Nellie"s Needles

Thursday, January 04, 2007

"I Do" Shoe - Making the Block

One pair of shoes had to be displayed in the box. Isn't there always a customer who helps herself and doesn't put them back? Also, I felt this large quilt (70"x70") required a visually disruptive element.
This pair of shoes began as a single shoe just like all the others. It was cut apart to look like a pair snuggled in tissue (actually china silk). The shoe fabric is an old machine-made lace dresser scarf ... making perfect footwear for a bride.
Each block began with the same background and "shelf" fabrics. They and the shoebox were placed in the same positions within each block. I used glue stick as well as temporary spray adhesive to keep them in place. Roving was thinly spead on the shelf to ceate a darker forground.In the finished quilt each shoe is showcased in its own lighted display cube. Oil stick pastels were used to give the initial effect of colored light on the background fabric. The shoe and "tissue" were adhered in place with temporary spray adhesive. A piece of tulle colored the same as the "light" for the cube was adhered with the temporary spray adhesive over the whole block. The shoe and box top are trapunto. A thin batting was placed under that area on the wrong side of the block. I then machine quilted around and within the shoe as well as the lines of the box top. The excess batting outside of the shoe and top of the box was trimmed away.
A heavier cotton batting and backing were layered with the trupunto quilted top. The background, foreground, box and outline of the shoe and lable were free-motion machine quilted.
More pastels were blended and rubbed into the background through the tulle. After each application, the pastels get set with heat. There were many applications ... even after all the blocks were sewn together ... a lot of rubbing and ironing with the tiny triangle iron right on the design wall. The rubbing cloths end up with interesting marks and areas of color. Those will be heat set for future projects.
The block is trimmed to size. Soon I'll post about the construction of the whole quilt.

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Helen said...

These show blocks are way cool. Are they your own patterns? Thanks for the explanation on how you put them together. A really neat effect.

Maureen said...

It's been a really fascinating journey with the shoes.
Thank-you for sharing.
I shan't be stitching (big time) for a month or so,as I endeavour to pack my studio for relocation to our new home in approximately 35 days!
I hope you had an enjoyable festive season.

Nellie Bass Durand said...

To read about how this quilt came about go to the posting "Making the Shoe" (listed in sidebar).

I'm pleased to hear that you've enjoyed the "journey" of the making of this quilt. Just a few more postings and it will be complete. Good luck with your relocation.

Gerry said...

The lace and detail on this pair is amazing. Really quite beautiful!

Karen said...

This block is especially wonderful. thank you for all the stages of this quilt! I noticed that this last shoe doesnt have the red sole. A great way to set it off even more from the others.
And especially a big big thanks for the info on the oil pastel sticks. I just came across a set I have had from days gone by when I would use them on paper or canvas and have been experimenting on fabric with them. The heat set seems to work most of the time. Your timing was perfect! LOL

Linda_S. said...

I have always known that shoes say a great deal about a person and their experiences in life. Your quilts bring that home in a really wonderful way. You have such talent and it is a pleasure to see your work. Thank you for sharing.

Linda_S. said...

With your permission, I would like to link back to your blog using one of your pictures. My blog is called Fabric Follies Two and is found at
Thank you for this tutorial. It is wonderful.

Nellie Bass Durand said...

I've tries responding to you through your links without success. By all means you may post a link to my weblog in yours. I like to share.

Dormouse said...

I've been watching a loving all of the shoes but these are just stunning. I think it's the way they are snuggling into their box in that carelessly abandoned way.

Nellie Bass Durand said...

In response to Karen, the soles of this pair of shoes are a burgandy red. I don't recall why I couldn't use the same bright red that is on all the other shoes.