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