Nov 13, 2014

To Fuse or not to Fuse, Makes Me Crabby!

My DH attended his Sons of the American Legion Crab Feast 2014 and after telling me all about the highlights of the event I got inspired to make a Fabric Collage to honor the memories there of.

Our Maryland Blue Crabs are renowned for their sweet meat and are just to die for! 

This was my first lay out. I chose the batik because of it's beautiful colors (like our crabs) and it reminded me of the bay water.

After gathering images and photos I did my mock ups and when it hit my fancy, I loaded them up in my graphics program and made them into photo transfers. I then cut them out with a wavy blade on my whizzy whacker.

I had planned on fusing the components to the background and embellish from there. At this point I hadn't decided whether to make a wall quilt, mount it in a frame, or what ever. The what ever turned out to be a canvas tote bag.

Now at this point I was happy with the way it was all falling into play. I stayed focused on the theme of the crab feast, family and friends This collage was going to his friend, so I thought I would let my DH take a peek and get his feedback. DH said he thought I was going to focus on his friend's family. Now I’m feeling I should do that as he knows his friend whom I have never met. So back to the drawing board!

This arrangement was okay, but it needed other elements to balance it. At this point my creative flow is slowing down and I'm having a hard time with decisions. I love the hand dyed lace pieces that I got from Cathys Crazy by Design . I wanted to add the bay elements back in again and remembered the lovely lacy/mesh material I had.

Under the upper right hand corner I filled with the Lacy mesh, and added a bit of teal velvet. 

On the left hand bottom I also added the lacy mesh. Now the hand dyed lace just didn't work anymore as there was not enough contrast. Dragonflies came to take their place and I gave them each beaded eyes.

I needed focus to go to the photos and images and added another border in golds and oranges. My colorway is now gone that I had originally planned, but let it flow to see what it wanted. I made black rick rack out of velvet, then applied metallic rick rack on top of that. It calmed the border down but seemed to still have the fluid element in tact.

I played around with buttons, ribbon, shells, you name it. Nothing wanted to go into my design (what was left of it) and it finally occurred to me, it's done. If I added these other elements they would snag on anything and I'm sure would become a catch-all. (Besides, men usually like it simple where as woman love sumptuous things LOL!)

As for the fusing of this piece, I used wonder under on the background, borders, photo transfers, and the dragonflies. When I was sure my surface design was complete, I fused this to the canvas tote and hope it stays put. I ran my needle into my finger and under my nail because the wonder under makes it difficult to stitch. After giving the dragonflies eyes, I wasn't real keen on the idea of decorative stitches that we use so lovingly on our crazy quilts.

I didn't attend the crab feast with my DH, but I didn't care because he steamed a dozen jumbo blue crabs for me at home before he left. I was a happy camper to say the least!

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