Monday, September 10, 2012

The ORIGINAL Circus Quilt!!!. . . Finally

This Art Quilt is Titled: The Side Show Marquee
Size: 16" x 24"
Made of Cotton, Wool Felt, Tulle (Behind Tattooed Lady)

To call this a Labor of Love would be an understatement! This Mini Art Quilt was made with my blood, sweat, and tears! I know that people who quilted were special and that what they created was magic, but it wasn't until I made this that I really felt it.

If you didn't read up on my other Circus themed quilt, then here is the cliff notes version. For awhile I was big into Craftster, and had signed up for a Mini Art Quilt Swap. My partner had very much darker themes than my own liking and had Side Show Circus acts as an option. I started researching and came up with the quilt top featured above. I took it uncompleted to my Quilt Guild meeting and women there said I needed to enter in the San Diego Quilt Show and not send it! And thank God they said that, because I went home and made the other quilt and mailed it, but never received anything back from my partner! Not even word she had received mine (The second one of course....). I was so thankful I kept this quilt because I literally cried, sweat, and bled making it!

Today is the day I have to turn it in for the Quilt Show this weekend.... So if you find yourself in San Diego this Friday or Saturday please come check it out! I'm entry #119! 

This is what it looked like up until about 10:30pm last night! Yes, I love to procrastinate! It's really a very bad habit! But the idea of figuring out how to make a three-dimensional circus tent was scaring me.

I knew what I wanted it to look like in my head, but getting it out and onto that quilt was another story!

So I actually made the base of the tent first. I cut the middle red rectangle down the center to make the flaps and attached a piece of black felt to the back. So that was made on Friday.... Then I let pretty much 2 days go by before I started work on the top... the most important part!

So last night as were heading out to take the puppy for a walk I cut and used interfacing to keep the top triangles together...

But of course, just interfacing alone would have been too easy of a fix... so I then whip stitched the triangles together... There is black felt behind it all and I made the top and bottom separate pieces so I left a small opening to stuff and well this is what came...

It's not just as I imagined but hey THAT came out of my head with NO pattern! I was just pretty proud of that alone!

Now it's about 2am... And I didn't like all the black on the sides so I hop on the computer, find a font and am cutting felt by 2:30am!!!

I finally forced myself to go to bed around 3am this morning, and figured at least I'd get a good 3 hours in before our daughter came walking in our room, but no... today she came in at about 5am.... And that is how my day started!

I finished it completely around 10:30am and have gone over it with my lint roller and gotten it ready to walk out the door. I signed up to have it judged, but honestly, I don't care what they think! I know how much time and effort went into this. This was truly the first quilt I ever made (over the size of a mug rug) and I am so very proud of it!

Although, it didn't start as something I would have ever made, after those lovely women all telling me I couldn't send it away, and then not even getting anything from my supposed partner, I am so happy I made this, Circus theme and all! I learned so much about the side show acts and incorporated them into my quilt! I thank that woman now for pushing me further and only hope that she enjoys what I sent to her.

These are the two "real" side show acts. I printed out their images on fabric and embellished them with floss, beads, and colored pencil.

I had never worked with printing on fabric before and it turned out so well... Just can't get it wet!

Here is the detail to the felt characters. I stuffed them in areas to accent her bust and hair and his muscles.

Here they are full sized in all their glory! I have plans to try a little hand quilting around them. It's hard to get a photo showing there is a tulle spotlight behind the Tattooed Lady. It is a very faint yellow in the picture...
I close with the label I made for the back. I dipped the fabric in coffee before embroidering it to give it a bit of a rustic feel! After the Quilt show I will add that information to the top. (Such as the entry number, and the judging information)

Thank you so being so patient as I took literally months to complete this... always saying I was "almost done." Well now I am!!! I am so proud of the time and effort and hope that what I make in the future will be just as wonderful as an idea, but maybe a little more quality quilting as this piece! 

I am off to load us up in the car and head out to drop it off with my head held high and a smile on my face! I hope I brought one to yours!


1 comment:

  1. It is such a great quilt and an even greater story behind it! You did so well and the hard work really shows!

    Amazing how you didn't like the theme and then totally fell for it and took it to a higher level! Congratulations, Beck!