Saturday, January 7, 2017

Mrs. Furry Gnome's Fibre Art

I'm sure you've all wondered what Mrs. F.G. does while I'm out hiking and taking photographs, so here's the story.  Today, have a look at her sewing studio and the current projects on her design wall and sewing desk.  These range from creative quilts to what I call fibre art.  Mrs. F.G. hasn't sewn a typical large quilt in some time now.

The fibre artist's motto hangs on the wall behind the sewing machine, where you can always see it in case you get distracted.

And this is the design wall today, six projects on the go, plus two small old quilts that live in the upper corners.  The design wall is 3 sheets of foam insulation, 2" thick and 2'x8', covered by a sheet of quilt batting.  With a few pins she can lay out her projects and visualize the finished project.

And here's where all that creative work gets done, the sewing studio, another new project being laid out on the desk.

And of course several stashes of fabric around the corners, in all the shades of colour you might need.

The big project, ongoing for 18 months now, is this intricate hexagon-based pattern, all done using English paper-piecing, in odd-shaped blocks that will all need to fit together perfectly at the end.  It will be about 4x6' and is entirely being done by hand.

When you put the blocks together, you get some incredible patterns.  There are 6 tiny pieces of fabric in the centre here, and 18 around the next ring.  The idea is that the points all have to meet perfectly.  To give you an idea of scale, this entire piece is about 10" wide by 8" high, with 35 pieces of fabric if you just count out to the pink ones.

It you look closely here at individual seams, you can make out the tiny stitches; there are about 20 stitches per inch joining all these pieces.  The loose threads on top will be removed as a later step.

English paper-piecing is done by cutting out stiff paper for each shape, and folding the fabric over these to then stitch the pieces together by hand.  This is the back view.  It helps you be more accurate in getting each shape exactly the same.

This is the front view.  All those little loose threads holding the paper to the fabric (called 'basting') will be removed, as is the paper.  And of course eventually it will have a layer of batting and a back sheet put on to be quilted.  This is just step one, piecing the design together.  I'm estimating next year at this time for the finished product!
This is an embroidery sampler that Mrs. F.G. worked on until recently.  Many of the projects she does now are chosen in order to learn a particular technique, this one to learn a whole bunch of different hand embroidery stitches.

 A Bumblebee
 and a flower.

This one was an exercise that the artist did on her own, practicing 'layering', and curved piecing, where the fabric is not all cut on straight lines.  It also illustrates how the quilting itself (the wavy lines across the 'sky') can be a strong part of the pattern.  About 20" square.

 And this exercise was done at a workshop, where you started with a centrepiece, and then tried to cut fabric in crazy shapes to highlight it, about 16" square.

Five fibre art dolls made three years ago guard the sewing studio, and serve as inspiration for more creative work!  Hope you enjoyed the complete break from my usual blog topics.  I'll share some more projects from the artist in the future.  Mrs. Furry Gnome thanks you for your interest!


21 comments:

  1. Ooooh mr. f.g., I totally enjoyed this post. I love that you understand what she is creating and are proud to share it here!! Her designs are so colorful, unique and beautiful, what talent she has!!

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  2. As with your pictures Mrs. FG has a great imagination and the patience to see it through. I can understand why she has multiple projects going at once. Seeing one project being done will inspire a different design.
    Be Safe and Enjoy!

    It's about time.

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  3. Mrs F.G is very talented. Beautiful colors in her work and what a great idea that is pinning her projects on the wall.

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  4. As a quilter and fiber artist myself, all I can say is WOW. There is a whole lotta talent there. LOVE the doll!!!!
    You are one very talented family.

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  5. Wow she is an artist! Her quilt work is beautiful! I would like to try paper piecing but right now I have enough hobbies! Thanks for the tour, I really enjoyed it!! :)

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  6. She sure has some wonderful creations. Her use of color is so good and she has such creative creations. This is an active artist and not a part time hobby quilter.

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  7. I love all the designs and vibrant bright colors. Good stuff/

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  8. Your wife is quite the seamstress!

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  9. At long last we see Mrs. F.G.'s studio, design wall, WIP ,and your description of it all. I am thrilled to see fabric there, a gorgeous doll to watch over it all, and some finished projects for us all to admire, and as a quilter ( If I can attribute that title to myself) understanding all the work involved with those tiny stitches in the paper piecing. Thanks to you both for sharing this with us. I loved the greens in the pile of fabric.

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  10. Another quilter here. My jaw is on the floor!!! Your work is beautiful but your real gift is fabric choice. Wow!!! Love it. More photos please. Very inspiring!

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  11. Wow, the Mrs is very talented. I love all these fiber art pieces, love all the colors. The bumblebee and the beachy scene are my favorite. The doll is just amazing. Well done. Enjoy your day and the new week ahead!

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  12. I think anyone who is creative enjoys a little peak into someone else's studio. Thank you for sharing a little insight into Mrs FG's world. I really admire the hexagon quilts and have seen many at quilt shows. They are the kind of quilts you can admire and puzzle over for ages. Mrs FG has some beautiful projects on the go. The landscape piece in the top photo is beautiful and reminiscent of "Starry Night". Quite enjoyed this!
    Wendy

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  13. Beautiful work, detailed and intricate! Wonderful! You each have your own way to shine!

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  14. Well, I see Mrs. FG keeps herself busy while you are out chasing photos. She certainly has the eye for color and design - and yards of patience. I love her projects - the English Paper Piecing is one thing I too enjoy, such contentment, stitching stitching stitching. She has learned a lot of neat techniques too - wonderful! And wonderful that you are able to describe her projects so well - what a fun house you live in.

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  15. I love her color choices and the prints she chooses. I too like bright colors as I am a sewer, but not much of a hand quilter. You are very fortunate to have such a talented wife.

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  16. Oh, I love your wife's quilting...does she have a blog or anything. Need to go back and read cause I got engrossed in the photos before I read. I quilt to, but sure not at this standard.

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  17. I've done soe quilting but nothing as detailed as this, I love the work she is doing! And the colours are gorgeous!

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  18. Really nice and i adore the doll!

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  19. What a lovely tour! I love quilting. At least, getting it as a gift!!
    (ツ) from Cottage Country Ontario , ON, Canada!

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