Fused Glass Wall Art – Birds, Butterflies, etc

Changes to the cabinets at one of my offices left spots with voids. What to do with these spots? Paint the wall and leave the space empty? Hang some pictures? Buy some art for these spots?

Make some art – now that sounds more fun!

After looking at the space and existing decor, I came up with some ideas.  And, with a week off for Thanksgiving, I was able to completed these projects:

Three different birds:

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A couple dragonflies:

And, butterflies:

The walls at the office still need to be painted.  So, these may not get hung until January.  But, they were fun to make!

If you are in Minnesota and come by our Burnsville sometime in January, you should be able to see them in person.

Fused Glass Daisy

IMG_2127Last week’s post reminded me that I have not posted about a another four pane glass project that I created for my sewing room.  This project was ultimately inspired by two different items.

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The first was an image of flowers that I saw when looking for ideas to embellish for one of my landscape quilts.  The image was a collection of four canvases each with a white daisy painted on a different colored background.  I really liked this and thought it would make a good glass project.  However, since I had just finished my four seasons tree (shown at the end of my previous post),  I wanted to try something other than four panels side by side.

White DaisyAbout that same time, I received a birthday card from a friend.  This card had only part of a daisy printed on it.  This gave me inspiration for how to display my daisy idea – four corners in different colors.

IMG_2423I found a four section frame at Michael’s that looked like a window. After purchasing it, I removed the hardware and spray painted it white.

Since the leaves were green and the center of the daisy was yellow, I decided to use the other colors of the rainbow for the background (orange, purple, red and blue).  Originally I was considering hanging the project in a window, so the background glass is transparent. When the project was finished, I realized that it would look better hung on the wall.  The transparent glass still looked really nice even though no light is shining through it. Maybe someday I will add some back lighting to it.

For each background, I cut two pieces of glass the size of the individual window pane – one piece of clear glass and one piece of colored transparent glass.  These were fused together using a Full Fuse schedule.

The daisy petals were cut from white opaque glass.  To add texture to the center of each petal, I sprinkled almond colored opaque glass fine frit down the center of each petal.  The petals were Heat Polished (maximum temperature 1300) to round the edges.

The leaves were cut from Uroboros glass – Oasis Green on Dark Green. Each leaf was scored with a curve near the middle and split into two halves.  The resulting pieces were then Heat Polished.

One set of leaf pieces and three daisy petals were placed on each background and Contour Fused.  The center of each daisy was Tack fused and each pane was secured to the frame with E6000 adhesive.  Due to the size of project, each color pane required four separate fusings for a total of sixteen kiln cycles.

Very colorful addition to the wall of my sewing room!

Fused Glass Seasons

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I recently completed my first “commissioned” piece of fused glass art.

After visiting a local art fair, my sister-in-law contacted me to see if I would be able to make something similar to a piece of art she had seen there.  The photo she showed me looked like a fun project to do – Four Seasons of Trees set in a frame that resembled a window.  The item that was available at the art fair had a black frame, but she wanted something more “organic” or natural looking.  So, we found an unstained framed made out of reclaimed wood on-line and ordered it.  After it arrived, it was time to start making the fused glass panels.

After measuring each opening, I cut two matching pieces of clear glass for each pane 5.75″ square.  These were then fused together with a Full Fuse schedule (maximum temperature 1465, 20 minute hold) to create the solid background for each pane.  No need to show a picture of this as it was just clear glass. Because of the size of my kiln and the size of the panes, each one needed to be fused separately – so four firings needed for this step.

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Next, I cut brown glass to resemble the tree trunks.  Generally a tree would be leafless in the winter, and in the spring the tree would be less full than later in the year.  So, I added some strips of glass to make branches for the trees.  These were then Contour Fused (maximum temperature 1375, 10 minute hold) to pull the pieces together and round the edges of the glass. Because glass wants to settle at a 1/4″ thickness, I could not Full Fuse these pieces.  If I had, the shape of the trees would have been melted away into a amorphous log of unusable glass. After making the tree trunks, I fused red opaque medium frit to create small frit balls that would resemble apples for the summer panel.  I chose full fuse for this step because I wanted the apples to be well rounded.  If I had been thinking ahead, I would have done these at the same time as I did the clear glass to save me one fusing cycle.  But, that wasn’t the case – so these two steps were two more fusing cycles.

Finally I was at the fun part – creating the pane for each season.

Winter:  I used white opaque glass for the snow – fine frit and medium frit, as well as some clear dichroic glass to add sparkle to the falling snow. The pane was then fired at a Light Fuse schedule (maximum temperature 1350, no hold time).  I chose this schedule so that I did not loose too much of the detail of the glass frit pieces.

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Winter Pane – before fusing and after fusing.

Spring:  For this I used opaque green fine frit for the base layer.  On top of that I sprinkled Clover Blend medium frit.  To create the apple blossoms, I used Cherry Blossom medium frit.  This pane was then fired using the Light Fuse schedule.

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Spring Pane – before and after fusing.

Summer: I used a mixture of translucent and opaque green fine frit with opaque green medium frit sprinkled over top. The “apple” frit balls were then placed in the tree and the pane was Light Fused.

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Summer Pane – after fusing. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Autumn:  I used a mixture of translucent and opaque tangerine fine frit for the base of the tree.  The same green mixture that I used for the summer tree was used for the ground.  On top of this I sprinkled opaque red, orange and sunflower yellow medium frit.  I allowed some of the frit to land between the tree and the ground so that it looked like the leaves were falling.  This pane was then Light Fused following the same schedule as before.

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Autumn Pane – after fusing. 

After a total of ten firings, the panes were ready to be attached to the wooden frame using clear E6000 adhesive.

This project turned out very nice.  It reminds me of a project that I completed about two years, a Four Seasons Tree. This project required a total of 16 firings (four for each panel).

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Millefiori Garden Bed Runner

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Having been busy recently with several intricate and time consuming projects, I have not posted anything for a few weeks.  I will be posting progress on these newer projects soon.  But, in the meantime, I thought I would post something I completed earlier this summer.

While going through photos of my quilts with a friend, I ran across a project that I had not posted pictures of.  This bed runner was inspired by a pack of fat quarters that I saw at a local fabric store.

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Kaffe Fassett “Paperweight” fabric

The fabric made me think about some fused glass supplies that I have in my glass room – millefiori beads.  The term millefiori is a combination of the Italian words “mille” (thousand) and “fiori” (flowers). These beads are created by first making pattern rods.  On the outside, these rods are a single color. But, when cut across, the pattern becomes visible.  This multi-step process requires skill and special glass furnaces.  The results of this labor-intensive process are gorgeous “beads” that can be incorporated into earrings, pendants, bowls – any variety of fused glass projects.  While I do not have the skill and equipment to make my own millefiori, I have purchased some and love the look of them.

So, when I saw this fabric, I thought I would use it in a bed runner to add a real pop of color to my bedroom.  The design for the runner was based off of a photo of a quilt posted on the Blogger’s Quilt Festival. While her project was made with patterned wool felt, I wanted to use my sewing machine’s decorative stitches to create the the pattern in the flowers.  Going through my scraps of fabrics, I appliqued my “flower garden” and then used the lovely “Paperweight” fabrics for the border.

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This was a really fun project to do.  And, as an added bonus, I used up a lot of small scraps that were piling up in my scrap basket and too small to use in most piecing projects.

Hawaiian Quilts – four more quilts for Lincoln Place

IMG_2454Being a pediatric dentist, summer is a busy time at my office.  But, when summer ends and kids go back to school, I like to take a week off to relax at home.  This year, I decided to spend my week quilting.

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A few years ago, while on spring break in Maui, I purchased some printed Hawaiian fabric panels.  When I returned home from that trip, I started wondering why I actually purchased these panels.  If I was going to make another Hawaiian quilt, I was going to make an applique quilt (not use printed panels).  Sometimes impulse shopping is not a good idea!.  So, I just put the fabric in a drawer and left them there.  This summer, when sorting through my fabrics, I ran across these panels and I realized that they would make nice quilts to donate. Being printed, I could do a simple quilt block/sashing construction and make several quilts very quickly.

IMG_2465Taking out the panels – there were seventy two 11″ x 11″ panels in various colors  – I split them into groupings that seemed to go together.  Then I sorted through my other batik fabrics to find colors that coordinated with these panels.  Piecing the tops and quilting with simple block designs (definitely not state fair quality, but still very nice), I completed four Hawaiian quilts on my week off. I sure hope the new owners will enjoy these.

IMG_2472Now I’m going to start working on an idea for a quilt for the 2018 state fair.  Should be a fun one to do, but will take some time to finish it.

Lincoln Place

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Several months ago, I learned about a transitional housing facility right here in Eagan called Lincoln Place. This facility has 24 efficiency apartments and is a place for young adults who are at risk for homelessness.  Along with providing housing, the residents are provided with support services as they transition into adulthood, as well as life skills such as cooking, financial planning and job skills.

Many of the residents are there because they have aged out of foster care.  They arrive with few personal belongings.  After learning this , I decided to contact them to see if I could donate some quilts to the residents.  Previously, I have contacted other organizations about donating quilts.  Minnesota Habitat for Humanity would only take quilts if I would guarantee that I made a quilt for each new home owner that they worked with.  Well, I simply wouldn’t be able to make several dozen quilts each year.  So, that idea was a dead end. I have also donated quilts to charity auctions.  These were “state fair” quality quilts that were were not displayed well and thus did not raise much money for the organizations.  In fact, in each case, the money that I spent on the fabric and supplies was more than the quilts actually sold for.

When I contacted Lincoln Place about donating quilts, they were very supportive of this idea and I have gladly donated several so far.  The two split block quilts that I made back in April and May were among the quilts that I have donated.

I recently finished several more quilts for Lincoln Place.  One of these quilts incorporated several hand embroidered flower squares that my mother gave me.  She found these at an auction in Arizona where she lived. I took these squares, pieced them with some matching fabric and then quilted them. Hopefully someone will enjoy this very cheerful quilt.

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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.