Making Ravens

I am so honored to have my quilt North Rim Ravens shown in the Grand Muse Exhibit at the Museum of Northern Arizona. I miss those ravens! I’ve been thinking about making some small raven wall hangings for the “Mini Art” room at the Malvern Retreat House Art Show. I made trillium mini’s and mounted them on cradled wood frames and that worked well. 

It would be nice to have a regular quilt in the show also, so I decided to reprise the original while I wait for Cheap Joe’s Art Supply to send me the frames. I have constructed the background by piecing together the sections and pre quilted so I can just fuse the ravens on top. It’s much easier than trying to quilt around the three birds by twisting and turning the whole quilt sandwich under the needle of my domestic sewing machine. Why not just use my longarm? This quilt is too small and I like the way the very straight quilt lines look. 

I never make an exact copy-that would be too boring. So this raven pushed his way into the conversation.

I need to flip my pattern over to have him looking in the right direction. Using a sharpie marker, I traced the lines and now I have two ravens- right and left facing. 

The dark black marker line is easy to see through to trace the bird parts onto freezer paper. I draw a dotted line to remind me to extend a bit of fabric for an underneath piece.

I usually fuse my fabric to Wonder Under fusible web first. But I was in crazy maker mode so I just smashed the bits of fabric with the freezer paper pieces ironed on, close together, on top of the Wonder Under. I placed the whole thing upside down on a teflon sheet and adhered the fusible web. I know… there are easier ways to do this but I did say, Crazy Maker Mode took over!  No time for technique refinements.

All my fabric looks like this. Why is the perfect bit with just the right coloration in the center of the piece?

Yea! Finely the best part, watching the raven come together as the pieces fit into the puzzle. I have slipped my paper drawing under my teflon sheet and I am just touching the tip of my iron down to hold down the fabric lightly, while I decide if the piece looks right. 

When I’m satisfied, I give the whole bird a good press with the iron so I can peel him off as a unit. 

I can fuse a chunk of fabric to the top and bottom outline of the bird and then trim it. I really like the way the light and dark blue focuses the ravens. I made a mistake the first time and I didn’t have enough contrast, bird on background. Noooo! I have trouble with lack of contrast frequently. As a solution, I added the blue “highlights” and I really liked the effect. 

So all three ravens have taken their places and are ready for their “bling.” I’m going to quilt them with all my sparkly , glittery threads. Because everyone knows, ravens love shiny things. 

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  2. Andra H Rudershausen says

    Thank you for taking the time to share your process with us. It’s really fascinating. Quilt artist
    is just your jumping point girl… I am awed and impressed!! xoAndra

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