Overlapping Triangles Quilt and Plate

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“Overlapping Triangles”  twin sized quilt.

Last year, one of the awards I received from the Minnesota State Fair included a gift certificate to  Bear Patch Quilting in White Bear Lake.  So, last fall I drove up to the store to see what to spend my certificate on.  I had some ideas of fabric I wanted, however, when going through the shop I was unable to find anything matching my ideas. Not wanting to drive up there again on another day, I looked around and found some fabric that I liked.  Without any plans for what I was going to make, I purchased two yards of the black fabric and took it home.

Overlapping Triangles Plate
My inspiration.

Several months later, when looking at some fused glass ideas, I came across a plate that I really liked. And, upon thinking about it, I realized it would make a nice quilt pattern as well. So, I went to my computer and came up with an idea for a quilt to make using the fabric.  Using the colors of the black swirled fabric, I designed the quilt to have graduated colorings in the strips.  When designing, I didn’t like the blunt ends of the triangles and decided to angle them.  I also decided to make the triangles overlap.

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My design.

When I went through the fabrics in my stash, I was happy to find that I had enough of each of the colors I selected that I only needed to purchase the black fabric needed.

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Close-up of quilting.

This summer, I finally pulled out these fabrics and started working on my idea. Finishing it in time for the state fair, I decided to enter it and received a third place ribbon.

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MN State Fair Display.

While the quilt was on display at the fair, I made some things to go with the quilt.

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Matching Throw Pillow and Fused Glass Plate.

 

 

 

 

 

Fused Glass Sun Catchers

I’m playing with glass again!

I have read that it is best to put glass on a kiln shelf to make sure that the temperature around the glass is as uniform as possible. But, I have a small kiln with a bit over 4 inches of height, making using a kiln shelf only possible for fusing flat. Also, I have been wondering if I can “double up” and flat fuse a couple items at the same time, one on the floor of the kiln and one on an elevated kiln shelf.

To test the effects of location in the kiln, I decided to make some sun catchers for my sewing room.  After cutting the glass pieces, I compiled one sun catcher on the floor of the kiln. Then the kiln shelf was elevated above it on 1″ posts. Two more sun catchers were put together on the shelf. The glass was fused following a contour fuse schedule. I selected contour fuse because I wanted the glass pattern be more distinct and crisp than full fuse would create. Also, I thought this temperature would better show if any differences would result from the location in the kiln.

What a learned was that placing glass directly on the kiln floor caused the glass to reach a higher temperature.

The sun catcher fused on the floor of the kiln was closer to full fused and lost much of its defined lines. Still pretty, however. 

The two sun catchers fired on the kiln shelf were truly contour fused – defined glass edges but nicely smoothed. 

These are now hanging in my sewing room window. I think I may actually make some more soon for the other window in the room.

Garden Art – Fused glass flowers and butterflies. 

I’ve recently shared some of my art projects for my gardens. Over the years I have enjoyed making several other projects. This year, having to  redo a worn out front yard (retaining walls and plantings), I am relocating some of my older pieces of art.

So, I decided to post a few pictures of some flowers and butterflies that I made in the past.

Enjoy the images!

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Fused Glass Mushroom

I have accumulated a long list of ideas for glass projects that I want to try.  Having recently replaced the landscaping in my front yard, I decided to try one of these ideas and add some new “art” to my perennial garden.

Fused glass mushrooms are one of the fun ideas that was on my list.  The ones that I have seen, the caps were created using pre-made patterned glass that is cut into a circle and then slumped into the shape of a mushroom.  For the stems, some were made with blown glass, others with PVC pipe.  But, the ones that I really liked were made with the top half of recycled bottles.

After completing a few pot melts, I decided that these would make great mushrooms. Also, by using scrap glass and recycled bottles, this would be an inexpensive craft.

I thought it would be fun to add some spots to the mushroom caps.  To make these, I first made some glass pebbles. The nice thing about glass is that it naturally settles to a quarter inch in thickness and prefers a round shape.  So, small pieces of glass were stacked and full fused.

These pebbles were then placed on top of one of my pot melt discs and full fused again.

After cooling the disc was placed on a slumping form.  For some of my mushrooms, I used a stainless steel form.

For others, I used a clay form.  I prefer the shape of the mushroom made with the clay mold, but the others turned out very nice as well.

To make the stems, I used a Kinkajou bottle cutter to cut the bottom off of wine bottles and sparkling cider bottles.

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As you can see below, both types of bottles look nice. However, I prefer the sparkling cider bottles because the nice green color is more visible in the mulch of my flower garden.

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Pot Melts

I’ve been accumulating lots of bits and pieces of glass from my many fused glass projects. What to do with these scraps?  After looking at ideas on-line, I found several blogs that talked about a technique called pot melting and decided to try it.

A Pot Melt involves placing scraps of glass in a clay pot with holes in the bottom.  A terra cota planting pot is the simplest form of a pot for melting glass inside the kiln. When the glass is heated to a high enough temperature, the glass will flows from openings in the bottom of a clay pot onto the kiln shelf below. This flowing thick syrupy glass will result in unique spiral or circular patterns.

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For my pot melts, I found that a terra cota pot was too tall for my kiln.  I tried to drill a hole in a terra cota pot base, but both times I tried the base cracked.  So, instead I purchased a clay pot made for pot melting.  The pot I selected had seven holes in the bottom and was purchased from Bonny Doon Pottery.

 

This pot was placed over a stainless steel ring lined with fiber paper.  Clear glass scraps were placed inside the ring before the clay pot was positioned over the ring.

After firing to 1600 degrees and holding for 90 minutes, the glass flowed through the holes leaving behind a thin layer of glass in the mold and a nicely swirled circle of glass below.

Lots a glass pieces – several pot melt attempts!

Now, to make these useful – that will be my next posting.

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Results:

 

 

 

Fused glass Art

There are many forms of glass art. Fused glass is one of them. The basic idea behind fused glass is that art objects are created by melting glass in a kiln.  Unlike stained glass, fused glass has no “lead lines”.  Unlike blown glass, the learning curve is relatively short and projects are easier to make. The precise origins of glass fusing techniques are not known, but there is archaeological evidence that the Egyptians were familiar with these techniques. While other glass techniques enjoyed a revival during the Renaissance, fusing was largely ignored during this period. Fusing began to regain popularity in the U.S. during the 1960s.

A few years ago, I took a class to learn about fused glass techniques.  It was a really fun class that made me want to be able to make more things. Months later, when a glass supply company had their kilns on sale, I decided to invest in getting one.  Fused glass has since become another hobby that I like to pursue. I have enjoyed creating many nice pieces of fused glass art over the past couple of years.  I will, over time, try to post some of these previously made items.

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Recently, I tried a new glass idea.  The birthday of  my sister-in-law, Ruth, gave me an excuse to make something kinda fun.  Ruth likes cats.  But, unfortunately she is allergic to them and can’t have any cats of her own.  So, I decided to make her an allergen-free cat.  I selected blue glass to match the colors in her home.

 

 

This cat turned out so cute, that I decided to make someIMG_2169 more.

I next tried some burgundy colored glass. These almost look like foxes.

 

After that, I decided to try to make some cats that looked like some of our pets.

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After making these, I realized that I wanted to make some more pets.  A little bit of time on-line and I found some clipart images that I want to try.

The kiln will be busy again!