Saturday, January 29, 2011

Competition: Best Mug Shot

I've been having a great deal of fun creating two entries for a competition at the gallery that is part of my favorite coffee shop, Equal Grounds. Each participant can enter up to three 5x7 images of their travel mug in the location of their choosing. The fun part is that the "images" can be in any medium. That immediately caught my attention and I decided to make two 5x7 quilts of my travel mug in, where else?, my studio! And boy did I have fun!

I started by taking an actual picture of the mug in the two places I wanted to immortalize in fabric: my cutting table in front of a stack of fabric from my stash and my sewing table in front of my favorite sewing machine (I actually took the image in front of my 2nd favorite machine because #1 was in the shop, but since they look identical, I didn't think it would matter (just don't tell the machines!)).
After I had two pictures that I liked, I sized them in the computer to 5x7 and printed them out. These would become my patterns for color, placement, and size. I wanted the mug and a feature item in each shot to be 3D, so I needed to choose the feature items. For the sewing table quilt, I, of course, chose the machine, and for the cutting table shot, the only thing I could choose was the fabric, so that was pretty easy. Since the fabric stack is so colorful, I chose white for the background for that piece, and, conversely, since my machine is so white, I chose a pieced rainbow background for the sewing table piece. That pieced background was inspired by the crazy-pieced curtains I made for the window behind my machine, so that worked well.

I started the projects by making the most complicated items first: the mugs. These were actually less complicated to make than the sewing machine, but since there are two of them and they are different sizes and perspectives, they became a bit more complex. I immediately fell in love with the completed little mini travel mugs - they came out so adorably well!

I then moved on to the sewing machine and the stack of fabric. At this point, I decided to make the sewing machine match the actual machine as realistically as possible, but to create the fabric stack more abstractly. I thought it would be fun to work on both a realistic piece and an abstract piece for the same project. And at the end of the creation, that's exactly what I created: a very realistic quilted sewing machine and a very abstract stack of fabric - I can't decide which I like best! (I actually think I will make a series of small abstract fabric stack wallhangings at some point in the future - I really like the look of them!)

The final part of the creation was the main quilt. This part was so simple. The finished piece needed to be 5x7, so for the fabric stack quilt that had a simple white background, I just cut two 5x7 pieces of white fabric, made the quilt sandwich, quilted, and bound it and was done. The sewing machine main quilt needed to represent the curtains and the wood table, so some piecing was involved, but it was still very simple in comparison to the more complicated 3Dish quilted pieces that would be attached.

This one is "Sapphire and Cider" named after
my #1 machine, Sapphire, and the beverage
of choice in my mug: caramel apple cider
Once I had all the pieces assembled, I used the pictures I'd printed out to guide me in placing each quilted piece on the background quilt and attached them using my machine. Placing and attaching them was a piece of cake (not counting the many many errors I kept getting from my machine because the presser foot was too high - these are VERY thick little quilts!).
This one is "Abstraction and Apple Cider"
I can't believe how very well they came out! I really love them both and can't wait to see them hanging in the gallery. The staff of the coffee shop and the gallery will vote on the best "mug shot" and the customers will get to vote as well, so I hope one of these two little beauties wins - but, honestly, I already feel like they're winners - they are simply gorgeous and I had THE BEST time making them!


  1. Great i like them ! Amitiés, Sylvie

  2. I like the work you do, it is very refreshing and creative. I found your blog through quilting gallery. For a chance to win an OttLite stop by by blog and leave a comment:

  3. Wow! I love those little quilts they are really colourful and look exackly like the photo's but 10 times better


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