For some time now I have been pondering the possibilities to repurpose some of my previously exhibited art quilts. One such quilt, Lightening Strikes was specifically created for my 2006 solo exhibition All About Alberta at the Alberta Craft Council.
At the time I was beginning to focus on adding dimension to the usual two dimensional quilt but utilizing commercial and hand-dyed fabrics, the manipulation of these fabrics and the successful integration of innovative techniques. Lightening Strikes had some issues which included the way it hung. I had removed the solid centre and replaced these with quilted strips that were twisted to add the desired dimension and movement to support the overall theme. An added insert made from navy blue tulle did not improve the hanging significantly and once the exhibition was dismantled, the sold pieces distributed to their respective collectors, Lightening Strikes ended up in my quilt storage area. It was moved from Calgary to Saskatchewan and eventually found a quiet, remote corner in the quilt storage section of my studio.
When the idea struck to repurpose some of the pieces Lightening Strikes (no pun intended) immediately came to mind. I retrieved it from its dark, quiet and comfortable resting place… but time and other commitments would not allow me to devote further energy to a new project.
Last week some free time presented itself finding myself organized and packed for Emma Lake. I scanned the studio while trying to make a decision whether to tidy and clean or… start a small project. Giving in to my creative urges the decision was easy – Creativity won out over cleaning (imagine that)! I climbed the stairs to my upstairs library and storage space and pulled out the quilt designated for deconstruction.
With sharp scissors and rotary cutter in hand I proceeded to select one area of the quilt designated as focal point for my project. My plan was to create an iPad cover for my friend Lynn, who we were planning to visit over the weekend. Lynn is a weaver, dyer and quilter and a very creative person herself – so I knew I had permission to follow my intuition.
Snip, snip here – snip, snip there and two sections of the solid quilt “frame” were removed. I quickly proceeded to cut away approximately half the twisted strips from the centre panel. These quilted strips were based on the first numbers of the Fibonacci sequence and resulted in some interesting effects once woven together to create a solid, yet subtle fabric for the iPad cover.
Connecting the newly woven fabrics with the solid, previously quilted sections was achieved by setting the satin stitch width to 7 and length to .25 on my Janome Horizon 7700.I selected 60/2 YLI Soft Touch and stitched the seams twice for a dense and secure joint.
Connecting the sides to create the pouch necessary to securely hold Lynn’s iPad was achieved by using a couple of 1″ quilted strips cut to the required length.These were attached with hand stitches. To complete the project with secure closures I added two 1 1/2 ” pieces cut from the quilted strips and finished with black satin stitch. They were affixed to the front of the cover. Two satin ribbons, folded in half and attached with tiny hand stitches to the back of the fold-over flap complete the closure design.
I am very happy with the way the iPad cover turned out! I love the fabrics, the way I was able to incorporate the previously created strips into woven fabric and how it all came together! The best part of this creative venture was that I did not have to drive to town and purchase additional supplies! The art quilt provided the base, the ribbon was left over from a previous project and the black thread is part of my regular supply. And the time – it was a gift to myself to create a gift for my friend!
PS: Lynn opened the little package I handed her upon our arrival – and LOVED it!!!