Legend has it that Waco, TX, was built on land that was first occupied by the Huaco (also known by many other spellings) Indians and they made their home here because of the big spring on the Brazos River that provided abundant fresh water. They were also known to live in permanent lodges of thatch and poles and were considered to be fine artisans in flint and bone and stone. By the early 1830s the Huaco Indians were almost gone. When our challenge word was presented I wanted to remember this part of our history in my SPRING.
In constructing this, first the background was made and quilted and then the appliqués were completed. Two years ago I took a class at the International Quilt Festival on thread painting, taught by Nancy Prince. The steps are detailed in her book, Thread Painting with Style, published by AQS. Each of the thread painted appliqués was created separately and then attached to the quilt. To do these a sandwich of heavy weight soluble stabilizer, two layers of tulle, and a top layer of light weight soluble stabilizer, on which the design is drawn in a fine tip permanent marker, is made. The amazing thing about thread painting is that only two stitches are used, a straight stitch and a zig-zag stitch. The stabilizer and tulle sandwich must be placed in a hoop that will fit under the free motion foot of the machine and the basic rule is to run the machine fast and move the hoop slowly. The feed dogs must be lowered as well.
After the stitching is complete, cut out the appliqué approximately one eighth inch from the stitching and soak in water until the stabilizer has completely dissolved. After the stabilizer has dissolved, the appliqué will be edged in tulle. Using a hot stencil cutter, simply melt the tulle away. This also serves to seal the edges of the appliqué. The appliqué is amazingly soft and supple. The Indian, his lodge and the vegetation are all thread painted. The rocks are broderie perse appliqué, cut from a commercial fabric and fused into place. All appliqués were attached with a small zig-zag stitch using invisible thread.
[Note: Rita's quilt and narrative were posted by Alice since she was going to be out to town on today's Reveal Day; she sent them to me via email before she departed.]