Saturday, January 14, 2012

Meet Mr. and Mrs. Sparkles

I love snowflakes and snowmen.  I think it's one of the cutest ways to decorate for the winter. I've also gone LIGHT crazy in my latest designs.  I'm working with JF Magic to design ways to integrate light technology into quilting.  I'm using LED light strands and Fiber Optic, as well.

 Most wintery evenings, as I let Hazel out for her last "call", I enjoy seeing the sparkle of snowflakes on the deck.  It makes me smile, and I had to do something Quilty to represent the glitter.  Hence, Mr. and Mrs. Sparkles.

Adding lights is not difficult, but does pose some challenges.  I want the lights to show on the top of the quilt.  Some can be done under one layer and will provide a glow, but I want others to be brighter.  I create tiny buttonholes and insert the light, and stitch behind the bulb to hold it in place.  Placement is important in the design, so I'm careful to mark which bulb goes where, and mark the locations of buttonholes carefuly.  The next step is to layer and quilt, but you can't quilt or sew over the wires.  The wires are fairly delicate, and one wrong needle can break them.  I don't do a lot of quilting in the area of the light strand, but enough to help hold the lights in place and accent the features.  The quilt finishes with a small pocket on the back to hold the battery pack.  These quilts are not washable because of the battery pack.  I'm working on a design that will be washable, and there are other features of the technology I'm exploring.  I have plans!!! 

Anyway, here's Mr. and Mrs. Sparkles.  I listed Mr. Sparkle on my Etsy store after he was completed for the classes I teach at Enright's Fabric Warehouse in Bethlehem, PA.   Someone contacted me about a pair, and since Mrs. Sparkle was already started as a sample, I finished her, too.  These will be on their way to Georgia shortly, to live in a collection of snow people.  I'm excited that my quilts will be added to that, and excited to play with the design from Quilt In A Day called Pumpkin Grins.  I may have to make a few more snow people with different accessories. 

Mrs. Sparkles accessories include a gold sequin necklace with gold flower, gold and pearl button earrings, and floral print yo-yos with purple buttons on her hat, as well as cotton lace scarf.  Some of her "face" fabric has glittery sparkles on it as well.  So, her name became Mrs. Sparkles. 

If you want more information about integrating lights into your quilt, please let me know.  I have classes and projects for different holidays, and can show you what to do.  It's fun.

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