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Saturday, February 4, 2012

CQJP 2012 January Block

I did it! I actually found time to finish a block in a month. As a committee person for the project I thought I had BETTER find the time or I wouldn't be in any position to encourage others to do so, lol.

I have entitled this block Inside Neptune's Garden Net. I hope it gives you the feeling that you are under the sea, inside the golden net of Neptune with those 3 large fish, looking for a way out through the seaweed.


When I decided to participate in CQJP 2012 I thought it would be an opportunity to challenge myself a bit with each block by doing something that I hadn't done before but might have wanted to try. I also decided it would be a good time to revisit some techniques that I hadn't done for awhile.

On this particular block the challenge was to work with that gold netting. I can tell you it was a true challenge to get it to lay on the fabric and not curl the fabric right back up because the netting has a 'memory'. It was a gold net bag that had held some chocolates. It expands well when full but it retracts to its original condition when not full of chocolate, evidently, lol. I had only the corners and the side points tacked down and I thought that would hold the netting open. My initial plan was to stitch all the seaweed elements over it to hold it in place - the next morning. When I picked up the block the next day it was all rolled up inside the netting. What a tangled net we weave....lol. So, I spent the better part of the afternoon that day tacking that netting in place from the center out on the fabric. I fought with it like crazy because it really wanted to keep retracting back to its tight bag shape. Does this make it 'crazy' quilting?

One of the techniques I revisited was stenciling the distant fish onto the fabric with Shiva oil paint sticks. I even cut my own indistinct stencil. I really like the effect of depth it gives to the block. I laid a lot of dark seaweed on both sides using scraps of yarn, perle cotton and other funky stuff. I used a lot of feather stitches, fly stitches and some of the fibers are just laid on with couching stitches. I also tried my hand at scrunching a large piece of fabric for the sand and tacking it down to retain the pleating. I just love scrunching fabric. Then I laid the netting, the fluffy/bushy central seaweed and the seashells, coral rocks, skull and blown glass bead.


I decided to use needle weaving for the legs of the starfish holding the shell down. The center is a very tight buttonhole and cross stitch, with silver blending filament accents to make it show up a bit more. I love the vintage trim that winds its way across the ocean floor. The sand dollar is cut off a necklace from the thrift store, as is the skull by the seaweed on the right.


The 3 large fish are also thrift store jewelry parts. They are mother of pearl cut from an abalone shell. I used some rose petal motifs from some old dyed lace curtains for their tails. I trimmed one petal down a bit to fit under the body so I could tack it in place before setting the fish body in place over the lace. The veins in the tail are also silver blending filament.

I hope you enjoyed this part of the journey. I have begun my February block. It is pieced and I have some ideas but need to pull the threads and other embellishments before I can start my stitching.

Hugs, Shari

12 comments:

Ati. said...

Beautiful under water block!

kerrykatiecakeskeb43 said...

Hi Shari! I would say that all the hassle of the netting was definitely worth the trouble - the result is spectacular! I love Under the Sea themes and you have done an inspiring job of it! It is nice too that you have detailed what you did - very helpful!

Thelma said...

Beautiful block Shari,,couldn't help but laugh with your net experience.All these years I have wanted to do an underwater scene and haven't done it yet, other than the challenge from the group I done one on aida fabric but that doesn't count. lol

Pippa's quilts said...

love all the detail a lot of work, and so beautiful.

Nath said...

Lovely block ... I support this project and I like this.
I received your message because I 'm in France. I finish my february block ...
I love the crazy and I'm very happy to participe ...

Suztats said...

This is just wonderful, Shari! Creative use of different elements.

ARLENE said...

Thank you for the wonderful explanation of how you put your block together. I've been working on a 12 block underwater-themed CQ since last summer. I was trying to figure out what embroidery stitch you'd used, then read your post and realized it was gold netting from a candy bag. That was ingenious, though it sounded like quite a job to get it to lay flat. Beautiful!

Faye said...

Oh Shari, this block is so amazing, I just love it to bits...

Mamabill said...

Wow. I thought this block was great, but now that I read your story, I know you are a true crazy quilter and artist. I can't wait to see what you come up with next. By the way, which Colorado sea did you get your inspiration from? lol

Maureen said...

I finally got the chance to visit blogs today and see the close ups I ask you for. Love this square.

Glenda said...

This is gorgeous, Shari! Thank you so much for explaining how you put it together -- I enjoyed reading then going back to the pictures to "connect the dots" in my head :-).

Glenda

Nicki Lee said...

Love love love this UTS! Every stitch is perfect!

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