The Week as Art

Recently my good friend and former co-worker Tonia Jenny (until her recent marriage she was Tonia Davenport) asked me to participate in the Week as Art portion of Each week a different artist creates the numbers for that week, Sunday through Saturday. And since it’s a mixed media blog, any type of art goes.

My most recent crafting kick has been sewing, so for my numbers I decided to test some of my sewing skills. And put to the test they were.

On the site, each piece of art is tiny (only 89 pixels square), so making the number itself the focus is important. Applique seemed like the logical choice for most of my pieces. Here I tried my hand at needle turn applique. The sharp corners of the numbers were tough, and you can see some of my rough edges here. I cut the numbers out of freezer paper first, ironed them to the back of the green fabric and cut around the paper leaving about 1/4″ seam allowance. As I folded the seam allowance under and stitched it down by hand, I used the freezer paper edges as a guide to keep the number’s shape.

I used good old-fashioned hand embroidery next, outlining the number shapes with a back stitch. The numbers ended up a bit off center, so I added the rickrack to fill in the space.

Raw edge applique is the technique I used for the number 19. I fused interfacing to the dark pink fabric and cut the number shapes from that. I used a zigzag stitch on my sewing machine to secure the numbers onto the background fabric.

A yo-yo zero seemed appropriate, but I wanted to make an oval yo-yo to better match the rest of my numbers. I printed the zero in the same font and size as the 2. I then cut my fabric to about twice that size, keeping the oval shape, and made the yo-yo in the same way as I would a round one. (There are many, many yo-yo tutorials online; I referred to this one. There are also yo-yo makers you can purchase should you really catch the yo-yo bug.)

Here I added a little felt to the mix. I love the look of pinked edges on felt pieces, so I cut the number shapes with my pinking shears and stitched them down with my sewing machine. The pink thread helped the numbers to stand out a bit, too.

I wanted to include some reverse applique even though I’d tried the technique only once before. I fused interfacing to the back of the purple fabric to make the number shapes easier to cut out. I cut the striped fabric to slightly smaller than the purple square, basted the striped fabric in place, and then stitched with embroidery floss around the number edges.

Here, for my seventh and final number, I did another raw edge applique, but this time, instead of sewing the edges on my machine, I hand stitched them with a blanket stitch and two strands of embroidery floss. I was a bit concerned the green wouldn’t pop off the patterned background, but I think the orange outline adds just enough contrast.

Tonia is always looking for new artists to feature on the site and in the Week as Art segment. If you’re interested in applying to participate the Week as Art, click this link for the details.

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