Archive for the ‘Applique’ Category

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43.0 Dressing up the stained glass quilt

September 28, 2018

In contrast of the red and grey Dresden flower quilt, I was cleaning up the parts of the Forget Me Not stained glass quilt pattern, and I had a few ideas on how to do my borders on this quilt.

It was a nice change and I noticed the shift of tone, both literal and figurative, of working on such bright colors.

A few years ago I got a few green-blue-green fabrics that worked well with each other. I had done my “twisty quilt” from the challenge from my guild from 2 years prior, and these leftover solids were hanging out in my stash, but seemed to play nice with all the pretty fabrics of the forget me nots.

I started hijacking the initial fabrics provided by the quilt kit pattern that I bought initially, but still had a desire to use the fabrics somewhere in the border.

I also imagine the borders of stained glass windows to be made in smaller, manageable pieces like bricks.

And I have a very wild, colorful fabric that many people would automatically decide was perfect for a border fabric, but is usually not my preference. But I auditioned it next to the forget me not fabrics and was reasonably happy. As long as I continue on with the stained glass part of the quilt, which will frame the wild fabric well next to the prettiness of the applique of the forget me nots.

I didn’t take pictures of the quilt as I was designing it in stages, only at the end.

Actually these pieces are still all in the auditioning phase. None are cut out to the correct brick length or figured into the design of the end of the borders of the quilt completely. I do know my limited amounts of fabrics have kept the widths of each blue border bricks to these absolute widths.

Also I had some leftover bright solid yellow left from the same challenge quilt. Since yellow is such as strong color, I plan to use “mini bricks” in the rows of the borders to bring the yellow color outward from the middle of the quilt.

And then the large patterned obnoxious fabric I think will rest widely on the outside of the entire thing without doing any bricks on it.

But before it gets completed, I have the frontward-facing flower shrank down and copied, ready to add to the outside borders on top of all the bricks in at least 2 different colors.

And as of a couple of weekends ago, this was stitched down to the back.

I used the F stitch on my machine, a blind hem stitch, which meant I had to keep on the right side when sewing it down. I used Aurifil smoke colored monofilament on the front, and as you might be able to see, grey thread on the back.

Try as I might, it’s going to be near impossible for you to see the monofilament on the front.

But this project, even though the color, the brightness, the hope did it’s job to pull me from an area of darkness, my focus had to switch back to other things, and put this one aside for the end of the year this year or beginning of next year.

First to do some handwork type projects to not bring my sewing machine to a small sewing day, and then to have something to do offline when out of town, and then onto the guild quilt that I am in charge of making, as it is the one with deadlines and other people involved.

I do have to say, that it was really striking to have both this quilt displayed right next to the grey Dresden quilt on my design wall. It really showed the “tale of two cities (quilts)” vibe here of best of times, worst of times. It was kinda nice to see the interplay of both those types of feelings together. The spring, the color, the designing, the bright yellow pops, the curves, the possibilities!

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42.9 Grey Dresden quilt to help work through sad feelings

September 12, 2018

In the brief couple of weeks at the end of one project (guild show) before ramping back up with the opportunity quilt project, I have been working out my feelings between two different “art quilts”.

The last quilt I posted about the Dresden petals offset ended up being the “sad color quilt”.

It seems strange to be working in color pallets leaning towards grey and neutral, but also cathartic.

Last I posted was an offset Dresden petal with strange circles. I actually took the design a little bit farther before I got stuck.

 

I started making the grey petals to complete the design and settled into the light grey petals for the bottom of the flower. Then, since my other project I was working on just beforehand was a stained glass quilt, I thought about making a “stem” out of the premade bias tape I was using for that.

And can’t some other petals pretend to be leaves since they were pretending to be flower petals,

And then, can’t some other petals pretend to be grass, and be present at the bottom of the quilt. The flower has to have something to sprout from, doesn’t it?

I have glued down the stem as it is, I am not 100% certain I like how thin it is. But perhaps it could represent the thin feelings of the weight of the heavy flower being held up by a thin feeling of support, ready to crumble at any moment, but still holding strong anyway.

During the making of this quilt, I have been spending a lot of time working through some thoughts about how I am as a friend, about how much work I am spending towards others, how much I have been putting off grieving a loss of mine from earlier in the year.

How I have thrown myself into my responsibilities, even when that doesn’t mean “work” for me this year, well this is all in addition to working and driving, and having my normal crazy hours. How much I have done for the quilt guild I am part of, and how much I feel others might be smothered by what I am doing & overdoing, and how much it feels like I have been wanting to take a step or two back, but not being able to, and how lonely it feels to see others not feel so trapped in the feelings of getting too much done.

How I have been selfish, and selfless, how I have used other people, how I have helped other people, how I have sacrificed, how I don’t have a good support if something would go wrong. How unreasonable my expectations are of myself and of others. How much can I be expecting from others if needed. How to ask for help when things are going too awry. How I don’t feel deserving of help even if I do ask. How I haven’t been “really listening” to others.

How disappointed I was in a lot of areas, even thinking back to last year when we missed seeing the “great American eclipse” due to poor weather in our area, despite being directly in the center of the path of totality.

Anyway, in the background, I was working on this quilt, giving it “life” trying to create a pleasing design even when the thoughts I was having wasn’t exactly pleasing. I was listening to someone talk about working though issues at the same time.

Something about that was comforting. I obviously still hold some of the negative feelings I thought while making the quilt, but the act of putting the negative thoughts into the quilt as dark lines, dark themes, grey themes was nice. And then the idea of making a picture of my negative thoughts and putting them behind me, shrinking them down, and giving myself a safe space. It was nice. Pleasing. Kinda “whoo-whoo” but also needed, and reminding me how things were when I was a little kid.

I have sorta stopped working on the quilt now. I made a yellow sunshine that both compliments and contradicts the dark and the grey, and I keep trying to figure out what to do wit it. I have covered it up some with a grey piece, maybe to try to put out my grief from not seeing the eclipse last year (anniversary of it was during the time I was working on this quilt).

I was thinking about “sunflowers” as this is the Sunflower State that I live in now. Maybe I could make the yellow to either represent the sun and the eclipse or the sunflowers.

But not quite sure how to do it.

Someone in a comment accidentally through autocorrect called this the Offender Eye without seeing the yellow piece. Which might be an apt name for this quilt when it is done instead of grey Dresden quilt.

 

I have ideas of a darker pieced border with light grey diamonds around the center of this quilt.

Currently the thing is glued down with washable glue only. I would like to get some of this stitched down. Probably not the droopy yellow sunflower part.

I did glue down the borders on each of my circles with the bias tape and boy, does it make my “circles” look much more smooth.

All the feelings for the last few months have been feeling very BIG, very overwhelming. I know my natural “anxiety state” helps drives some of these big feelings, and anticipation and grief, and a ball of cuddly old feelings. Suddenly felt like the feelings were also overwhelming. And how it would be easier to shut some of this down for the time being, with intent to explore further in the future.

But, suddenly, with the wisdom of the guy I was listening to, the shift focused onto a much brighter quilt suddenly. And then, working on the grey quilt wasn’t quite as important as it was the previous week.

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42.8 Offset Dresden Flower

August 20, 2018

Since I was working on my watermelon Dresden quilt several years ago, I cut some extra red Dresden petals. They were too short for the length of petals on that project, they were all the same fabric, there wasn’t enough to make a full plate.

They kept finding themselves hanging around my stuff.

See on the right?

I finally decided to make a few more petals to round it out. Red / black combos are some of my favorite. So today some grey petals were born

I would be 2 petals short of the full patten for this alternating design.

I was finding several different fabrics that could center with the Dresden.

After noticing that I could pick some of the petals from the fabrics from the centers of the block, I tried some out.

I have been playing with the centers.

I am imagining the black bias tape as if this was a strange flower. I just had the bias tape out, and now I have put it away, and hid it from myself. So that will be as I found it.

My latest thought on this strange quilt flower, is to not center exactly the circles on the top of the Dresden.

It has been a very fun day, just working through a project from “start” to finish. I need to figure out which of my light backgrounds this should be appliquéd to. I am trying to decide if I am adding more circles nearby.

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40.0 Guild Challenge Quilt from Coloring book inspiration

June 19, 2016

Oy!

I took a few months off quilting to reset. Something about taking all my closet out, moving my ironing board and design wall, only having limited time to do outside tasks before blazing hot temps take hold – where we are now! – and family emergencies during another month, offset me from quilting until getting this challenge quilt ready for the June local guild meeting.

I’ve been a guild member since 2009, and this is the first “guild challenge quilt” I have participated in that we have had of this kind.

Ok, so we were given a challenge fabric and told, keep it small (about 2 feet), add one off white solid, add one other solid, and the rest is up to us.

challengefabric.jpg

So I purchased some variations of solid fabrics.

challenge quilt fabrics

I had a thought about recreating either a fabric design, or a notebook cover, or a coloring book I picked up a while ago.

coloring book inspiration

Between this and a frequently added Pintrest board of gradient colors, I decided to try to recreate the front design.

coloring book inspiration colored diagram

I drew a quick sketch, then one morning, I sat down with some rulers and circles, and drew out and then colored a design based off this colored pencil design. And proceeded to color it in.

colored sketch gradient challenge quilt

I drew the design actually on the heat and bond paper that gave me a “real life” feel of the size of each piece I was adding to the quilt design.

This design turned out very “arty” for my taste. I think I teased a portion of this somewhere else.

close up at drawing

I used the gradients of having several different colors of teal as the focus, and the little accent pieces of yellow, orange and pink to pop in and out of the piece.

Setting up the quilting part, I started looking at videos and how best to approach this. I was essentially setting up a large applique quilt, but have decided in many recent times that I feel like I have very little patience for handwork. I needed to do this quilt raw edge.

I remembered a video Leah Day did of a piecing applique quilt from several years ago.

If you don’t swing back to her video, I used the ideas of a few major concepts that later helped me with my quilt.

  1. Leah showed the upward direction on the back of her pieces so she could piece her quilt correctly again. This helped me get the right orientation.
  2. Leah had an outline behind her fabric she was pasting her quilt onto.
  3. Leah had flipped her design right to left to get the correct orientation on the front. This was something I should have remembered on my own, but actually did not.
  4. Leah suggested cutting and placing strips down on the quilt, line at a time. Which was a slow way, but it got me organizing my quilt in such a way, I didn’t get any part mixed up with any other part.

Ok so I flipped the design around and put the new flipped design on another piece of heat n bond paper. I also eliminated the very “darkest” teal. In matching it up in a line with the other pieces, it had the wrong tone. It was darker, but it had a little bit more brown or grey tinted into the fabric color that didn’t “pop” with the rest of the quilt color.

flipped over outline of piece on heat bond paper

Actually eliminating the one fabric made it easier. I had done a proof of concept piece, and as much as I liked the tweezers and setting the pieces down, I actually liked having slightly larger pieces in my finished piece. It makes it more likely to be done when this is all said and done if the pieces are a little larger.

proof of concept piece

The darkest teal in this piece above, I took out.

my key after ripping off fabric 5

Then I had one more challenge that I myself had created for myself. My original design was on heat N bond, which would mean that if I added pieces to my finished quilt and ironed them down, that I would heat n bond my “design” to the table.

Luckily, I had all the small quilts I have been free motion quilting during the month of March. I took a quilt sandwich of similar size, placed that on the table, and then took a piece of freezer paper, traced the outlines onto the freezer paper from my heat n bond design, then heated up the freezer paper “pattern” onto the back of the quilt sandwich as a barrier for the table.

I had traced the outlines of my design several times before really getting started on the fabric part of my quilt.

When everything was ready, I took some close up pictures of my design for reference.

close up of outline piece on heat bond

And once I had the whole quilt photographed, I carefully cut up the patterns out of the heat n bond paper, one strip at a time.

cut up heat bond pieces

It was so nice using solid fabrics for this quilt, I didn’t have to worry about right side and wrong side. I applied each piece of my template to a piece of numbered fabric. I tried to consider the raw edge quality of the quilt, and attempted to make the main line go along the grain of the fabric if possible.

heat bond pieces reassembled back

After applying the pattern to the fabric, I carefully cut the fabric around each piece, giving a little bit of a seam allowance to each side evenly. I was going to have to slightly overlap the pieces with the neighboring pieces. If each of these pieces didn’t match up with my original designed sizes, that was ok, as long as the overlaps made sense with the rest of the quilt.

heat bond pieces layout front

And here was another section cut out and then flipped over.

heat bond pieces long section

heat bond sections pieces long section front

And a different section that was meant to be “interrupted by another piece”. –  Shown from the back.

heat bond sections two sections assembled back

As I completed each section (slowly), I carried them over from my working space to my ironing board.

layout of several sections on ironing board

After cutting out to size all the sections of this quilt, I picked a section to start with, and using the (faint) outline on the freezer paper as a guideline for placement, got my section organized the way I wanted it. Then hit it with a hot iron.

gradient challenge first piece

The adding of each section became more and more fun. As long as I was paying attention to what goes under what piece, this quilt seemed to work out well. You may be able to see the faint outline under the off-white fabric.

I ended up using tweezers to help me place the “right” fabrics on front or on the back. For me, my general guideline was to have the lighter fabrics on the bottom, except in cases where that was an “alternating design”. I also tried to keep yellow on the bottom in places I would also be able to chose that too.

assembling the pieces raw edge and pattern

I originally had a different blue piece for the top corner that matches the “eye” I have on the right side. After doing all these pieces and strips on these smaller sections of lighter blues, I decided I wanted to add a little bit of color to the background. Adding even more of the quilt pieces to the quilt below.

assembling the pieces, more sections on fabric

In addition, I had a bright patterned yellow fabric that I tried to put into the quilt that would fit in the section next to the blue as part of a “sun” piece. Boy was it bright and distracting. I laid the cutout piece next to that section of the quilt, and it was too distracting. It felt like a “sun” part, but it just wasn’t working.

I did find a very light yellow and forgetting to flip the diagram over, I ended up placing the very very light back of that piece on the bottom right corner opposite my blue piece. It’s there, but hard to even notice, it’s so light.

And then I put the “front side” of the really light yellow to make sure I got a feeling of “offwhite” for the challenge portion of the quilt. It was a very lightly mottled tone-on-tone that fully reads as solid.

finished piece all heat and bond only

This is actually where I am with this quilt right now. It needs sewn down currently.

I did get it spray basted to a piece of batting and backing is the blue fabric in the “eye of the bird”. It reminds me of a bird with arms and a ball in his hand that trumpets out the front.

Sorta kinda but not really.

As I sew these pieces down, I will also quilt through the quilt sandwich at the same time. This will save me a step.

I was able to show off what I have finished to the guild on Tuesday, which was the “soft” due date for the quilt. We had quite a few people bring their challenge quilts to the guild meeting. Mine was not finished, but I was able to hold it up for all to see what I was working on, and to my knowledge, none of the pieces fell off in transport to or from the meeting.

This is going into our quilt show held on July 8th & 9th. Assuming I can actually sew it down & bind it in time. I may even use the challenge fabric in the binding!

Save

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36.9 Weave On took over March-A-Long

March 10, 2015

I am not certain how or why, but possibly when I was doing the ceramics last week on my day off, I woke up the following day with a solution to a 4 year old problem. Well probably a 2 year old quilting problem.

weave border top completed with weaved borders

Four years ago, I, on a whim, made a quilt with 3 main colors, blue, red & yellow. I improvised a pattern that I saw online, but I couldn’t have told you who or what then, all I know is I made what I called a Weave quilt.

Then I came up with a variation on borders that I have seen several places that involved paper piecing & bias tape. I made lots of these border blocks using 3 fabrics for the borders that I also bought on a whim.

It turned out that I didn’t plan ahead on borders, I was originally when I bought the fabric, thinking I would do inner, middle & outer border in plain sizes.

This often happens, I was starting to run out of red fabric in the borders, but I wasn’t all the way around the whole quilt.

So then I decided to well, stop making the weave borders that I had planned & already started. And then I needed to come up with a clever end to this pattern, this quilt.

That was 2 years ago. I am certain I talked of this quilt before on this blog before at least once or twice.

Any event, the ephiphany happened and now I suddenly gotten taken over by this quilt, a desire to finish it before guild (tonight) pushed aside plans on both Sunday and today (my day off this week instead of Saturday).

It still took a good chunk of time on Sunday, and I did some unsewing of blocks once I figured on size, and measuring, and drawing what to do both on paper & EQ7.

weaved ends close up borders

I had figured out the two corner blocks a while ago, but hadn’t made them.

connected corner on border

The ends are little applique circles of the fabric I had stored with this quilt.

Circular ends

The biggest compromise I had to make with myself is not floating the border in blue fabric. I still wish I could have done it that way, but I completely didn’t have enough of the same blue, and I do like that the red just trounces off the edge of the quilt while the yellow stays connected.

Wow it feels great to get this done. My March-A-Long which I was only going to work for 15 minutes turned out to be another full weekend of mostly quilting. That is both good and bad.

I could feel an urge to get this done before the guild, to finish it off before my mind was tired of working on it. It really only needed the bordered finished and then attached.

More borders, who would have thought? I wonder if any more quilts only need borders on them? I could get a lot of these UFO’s to the next stages.

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34.1 Dragons Unleashed

February 22, 2014

My dragon was so scary on the gold, that an evil wizard decided to encase him in in wood.

dragon wood border

A valiant knight heard tale of this viscous dragon. He set off on a quest to try to slay him.

knight sihlouette

First the knight had to find his way among the circular maze of the Celts.

celtic knot original placement

The dragon then encased himself in a wall of fire & flame.

celtic section and dragon section

The knight, confused, warm, walking in circles, called upon the angels for help.

celtic angels

A castle in the background will be calling for help and the success of the knights’ travels.

Stay tuned for that portion of the story after these messages (other projects)

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31.7 Little Star – from UFO to FO to Applique to Beaded

July 29, 2013

I can’t believe all the blog posts that have been coming out from me lately and none of them have really had to do much with what I’ve been sewing.

Which yes, I have been doing actually. A good thing for a break, and a good thing to be back in the middle of these UFO unfinished object things.

Of course, I haven’t really touched my machine in a few weeks, so I’m trying to be creative, think outside of the ‘using a machine’ for quilting steps.

This post, I will discuss my ‘fun’ in finding out that a finished object wasn’t exactly finished.

Some of you may have seen the pictures on twitter or something already.

Little Star went through some ‘stellar evolution’ over the course of the last month.

My little star was a bonus quilt, an orphaned block I purchased.  I bordered, quilted, and then created a single applique star in the middle.

It sat this way as a finished object (FO) for 6 months or so, and I kept looking at the quilt, thinking, huh, I don’t like the center quilting (heading toward the center star) very much, although very happy with the rest of the quilting.

I asked myself if I wanted to put it in the show, and I wasn’t sure.

Until about 3 days before the quilt show.

mini star quilt

Then I had an idea of “a fast fix” since I really didn’t feel like spending time gluing down applique pieces and then hand appliqueing them. I decided to “go look for heat-set / iron-on stars”.

So I drove to town, listened to a few quilting podcasts (starting to catch up much closer to on time now, helps that it’s summer and episodes are a little sparse with peeps), and located all the stars that I could at Hancock fabrics. I looked all through the jewelery section, and all through the buttons, and the iron on stars, and I purchased several types of things to try.

And then went to Michael s, and they had some silver sequins, in addition some iron-on metal-type stars.  And then I was in the bead section, and found some fantastic looking yellow stripey beads.  This got my brain thinking beads, to know to check my bead box when I got home, as I purchased a TON of types of beads and trims for the Periodic Sprial quilt (linked post only shows about 1/10th of my choices).

Coming home a few days (a day?) before the quilt show, I started arranging and making choices about the gold iron-ons, blue iron-ons and the silver tiny iron-ons. And set to work with the iron, a pressing fabric.

The yellow iron on stars stayed very well. The blue ones kept falling off no matter how heavily I pressed and pressed.

I was confused because the blue and yellow pieces were essentially the same brand, but apparently, the gold stars had a better glue than the blue stars.

But for that night they stayed on the quilt.

And these little metal iron-on stars had a few things that made them different (notable).

I was in such a hurry I didn’t get any progress pictures at all, but here’s how they worked.

The entire sheet of stars had a fusible webbing type backing on the bottom of the star, and the whole thing had a clear plastic sheet on the top of the star.

The idea was to cut out the star from the entire sheet of stars, and then peel off the webbing from the back, leaving the clear plastic top.  Which seemed odd. And then you had a scrap fabric covering over the clear plastic sheet, on top of the little metal star, on top of a webbing which now only appeared directly below the star and star alone.

Press down on the scrap fabric, hold for X amount of seconds, then remove the plastic from the top (when cool).

And by golly, these things worked. Worked well. I did lose one in a ‘folding accident’, but one only.

So I had all these stars ready to go. Day of the show I had a label I was pinning down to the back (no time to hand sew it in) and the blue stars kept falling off.

And I was going to try to get to the set up for the show, I knew I would be needed. But, I had like 45 minutes before I wanted to be there, and so I ’emergency appliqued’ my blue stars down.  I went for all the inside points of the star. Not easy to poke through. Not my best applique effort, but enough to keep any falling off.

You know how hard it is to applique thick pieces of fabric not meant to be sewn through, while they are not staying on the quilt, while you’re on a strict deadline? Not easy at all!

But it all got done. In time for the show. I was only a “little late” for setup.

DSC03900

So the quilt is NOW finished???

Umm….

No…. Not exactly ….

Saturday after the show (1 week later), I kept coming back to the yellow beads and some grey/blue disc beads I had bought before, and several strings of some irregular grey/blue smaller beads.

So I decided, post-quilt-show, to bling up the little star quilt again. More.

The very corners of my quilting have circles, so naturally the flat yellow beads fit directly into those prequilted circles.

And the half circles of the blocks lent themselves to the blue/grey disks.

And then I lined the very outer ring of the half circles with the small irregular beads, and couched them down.

little star with beads

Here is a closeup of it with the embellishments.

closeup of little star applique and beads

I kind of like that I didn’t stop when I thought I would.

Someone called this a ‘flag’ due to the symmetry and the colors and such. so now I think of it as the Little Star Scientific Quilter flag quilt.

I did do more quilting and gluing and stuff, but since I have been so good at posting lots of ‘smaller’ posts lately, I will wrap this up and show you my other progress in future posts.