Friday, March 30, 2007

What to do with a hunk of muslin

Last Tuesday, the Pointless Sisters met for our regular monthly meeting. This time, the excitement was the reveal of the "muslin challenge" we've had brewing for the last 6 months. We were inspired by an episode of "Project Runway," where the designers were to use only plain muslin in their designs. On that same theme, we challenged members to make a piece using only muslin. We could do anything to the fabric we wanted, but the fiber was to start out as bare muslin.

It was really fun to see what everyone did.

Here's mine. (I just realized that I haven't photographed it bound, and I'm too lazy to go find the camera right now, so here it is blocked but not bound.)

I used Tsukineko inks to paint parts of eucalyptus branches, then with several shades of green thread free-stitched in more leaves and branches. I call it "Elena Road," after my parents' road where I used to play and walk under the eucalyptus trees there. (I just love that eucalyptus smell!) A click for a closeup will get you a better look, by the way.

Here's a detail shot. I quilted in dense wavy horizontal lines as background fill to make the leaves pop forward more, using off-white thread on the muslin. The thread color doesn't stand out at all but it gives the piece a really interesting texture.

Genie brought a piece she's begun to paint on muslin. She plans to add a lot of texture and detail with threadwork. This will be fun to see finished.

Selma hand-dyed muslin to create this very fun "bubble" quilt.

Ann was inspired by a photo of a crater on Mars. For the background fabric, she photo-transferred an image of actual night stars onto muslin. She created the crater with stitching and then by using dryer lint overlaid with muslin! Very textural and cool.

Ann W. worked from a photo of one of her favorite local scenes to paint this picture of an old metal bridge. This was her first time (like me) working with Tsukineko inks.

There were other quilts that I wasn't fast enough to photograph. But we were all delighted to see the challenge results.

Challenges can be such great spurs!


  1. I love the eucalyptus leaves! I would love to do a challenge like this. I think I will hand my little group some muslin next week and see what happens!

  2. Oooh, that muslin piece turned out so great! I love all the stitching and the contrast of the filled in leaf with the background. What a fun idea for a challenge!

  3. Your eucalyptus leaves looks beautiful! The quilting adds such texture. I really like the simplicity of the design. This one as well as your acorn work.
    Muslin is my fabric of choice for nearly all my quilts. It is inexpensive and adaptable for so many different applications. What a very sucessful chalenge.

  4. what a great job of painting!

  5. Love the concept. And for me I like your work the best - but I am an Aussie and eucalypts are native here! I am also a fan of close quilting for texture.

  6. I know this is a really old post, but I just wanted to say how inspiring these pieces are, and I've referred to one of them on my blog: