stuff and things

21 February 2011

In Search of ... Seashell Motifs

A fine old book, with separate tissue paper sheets tucked in between images that face each other.
I like to frequent my local library's book sale shop. Often, I come across obscure and old cookbooks, which I collect. This particular library branch also abounds in very nice art books and coffee table books. Nope; I'm not telling. :)

The shell book held a surprise under the dust cover: a group of embossed shells.
In search of a few small shell motifs for free-motion quilting the squares-within-squares on "Morning After the Storm," I opened up the coffee-table book on seashells, above, to find a surprise under the dust jacket. Embossed on the dusty navy cover sat a group of shells in various shapes and sizes. Eureka!

My crude self-carved stencils, using X-Ray film. The black dots are "bridges" so it doesn't fall apart.
With a soft grade of colored pencil (Prismacolor, my favorite), I took a rubbing of two ideal shells, changing them a bit to my liking. I then outlined them in Sharpie marker, and traced them onto X-Ray film so I could carve them with an X-Acto knife and my smallest rotary cutter into rather crude stencils.
Quilted shell image from a rubbing off of Sea Shell book, modified to suit free-motion quilting.
Quilted shell from a second rubbing off of art book's cover, modified to suit a free-motion quilter.
My design, an Art Deco shell, free-motion quilted.
 I think I'm going to enjoy finishing the smaller "sashing" blocks on my quilt using these shells. If anyone out there wants to carve a quilting stencil and has questions, please email and I can share my experiences.
Hugs, and please comment if possible! Your comments are my fave part of the day!
Tina in San Diego


kwiltnkats said...

You go TINA! Will you be doing this just on the borders? Looks like hours and hours of tedious work...beautiful but not for this traditional quilter. Anxious to see how you progress through this project. Still have my "red X"!

Kat Sloma said...

Lovely way of transforming one art form into another! It looks like this worked beautifully.

Gail said...

What a lovely blog - and those blocks blow my mind! Great job.

Sue V said...

Great job! Do you need more shell designs? I think I have a few.

Ellen Anne Eddy said...

How cool is this?
I love it when the universe just gives you a gift. Who would have thought they'd have embossed shells?
Fun, fun, fun!
Ellen Anne Eddy

Tina said...

Thanks for the kind comments, folks!
Sue, thanks, but I think I'm okay on the shell designs.

Marti said...

Those shells make great quilt designs, or embellishments.