Wednesday, 10 February 2016

Blah to bright




Promarkers to the rescue:)


Friday, 5 February 2016

Scrappy Appliqué Shapes Tutorial

The second tutorial using scraps for appliqué makes use of those tiny little scraps that you’d otherwise throw away. At least I usually do, but I kept a few for these samples. Both these techniques can be used to make any shape you’d like.

The first sample uses scraps with fusible web on the back.

Draw your shape on a piece of parchment paper, deli paper or similar paper. Your scraps may have any shape or size, but for this tree shape, you can cut your scraps into small triangles. I used scraps from cutting out the dots on the iQuilt, giving my triangles a curved branch-like shape.

You will cover the tree with triangles, row by row. Start at the bottom, and place the triangles so that they are overlapping each other until the bottom row is covered.

Do the same for the next row and all the other rows until the shape is totally covered.

Fuse the pieces together using a hot, dry iron and let it cool. You can either loosen the tree from the paper and use it as it is, or cut it out following the lines from the back and then remove the paper. Handle your tree with care. My tree has not been cut to shape as I rather liked the jagged silhouette.

The tree was fused onto a background and covered with silver tulle during quilting. All the edges were free motion quilted, and the excess tulle was cut off using the tip of my scissors.


The second sample was made with scraps without fusible web on the back.

Draw your shape on a piece of fusible web and cut it out roughly. Your scraps may have any shape or size, but for this tree shape, cut your scraps into small rectangles.

You will cover the tree with rectangles, row by row. Start at the bottom of the tree, and place the rectangles so that they are overlapping each other until the bottom row is covered. Do the same for the next row and all the other rows until the shape is totally covered.

Fuse the pieces onto the fusible web using a hot, dry iron and let it cool. 

Cut the tree out following the lines from the back. Carefully remove the paper from the back. The web will keep the pieces together when handled with care.

My tree was fused onto a background and all the edges were free motion quilted with dark grey thread. The pieces will get a little rough around the edges. You can avoid this by covering it with tulle like for the sample above.

If you are wondering why on earth I’m posting a Christmas tree tutorial in February, you can see my answer on the previous post.)

Thanks for stopping by!

Wednesday, 3 February 2016

Ticker Tape Tree Tutorial

As I have been catching up on last year’s scrap theme, I have promised to post a few tutorials and here is the first one – the Ticker Tape Tree.

I had a lot of oddly shaped scraps of one fabric, so I made my background from different scraps in a similar value. If you are using lots of different fabrics in your tree, you may want to keep your background calmer.

Layer your batting and backing, and cover it with scraps (or one piece of background fabric) – dark for a light tree and light for a dark tree.

Secure all the edges with zigzag stitches or several straight seams.

You can see my dark blue seams on the back.

Prepare your tree scraps. My scraps were oddly shaped, so I cut them into approx 1” wide strips. Figure out how tall you want your tree to be, and place enough scraps to get the required height on your cutting mat (I used 8 rows). Place a ruler on top of the scraps, arrange the pieces as in the picture, and cut them.

Do the same for the other side of the tree; the top piece needs to be cut in both directions.

Place the ruler on the background at the same angle as when you cut your scraps.

Place all the left side pieces. 

Move the ruler to the other side, and place the right side pieces. Trim the pieces on one side or both with scissors so that you get a little gap between them, or use more pieces in one row. It looks better if the gap is not in the same place in every row.

Pin all the pieces in place, and start stitching them down. I have stitched mine with orange zigzag stitches – first the vertical gaps in each row

then the perimeter of the tree

then horizontal rows on the top and bottom of each row

and last I have filled out the whole background with horizontal rows.

you can see all the stitching on the back.

My tree panel is ready to be made into a pillow; I just need to decide which size. Fortunately I have more of that fabulous orange wintery print. You don’t see too many of those around do you.

If you are wondering why on earth I’m posting a Christmas tree tutorial in February, there are some good reasons for that. First of all – I need to do it while I still remember how I made my tree. Second – I need to do it before I forget that I promised to do it. Third – you can use the same technique for almost any shape. And last – one thing is sure, Christmas will come around again before you know it!

Thanks for stopping by!

Monday, 1 February 2016

A year of scraps: Appliqué

Continuing with our guild’s scrap theme from my two previous posts – in August the theme was appliquéing with scraps. I showed two ways of using small scraps, one for scraps with fusible web on the back, and one without. We had a new challenge coming up for the Christmas meeting, “Make a Christmas pillow from scraps”, so I used simple Christmas trees as a shape.
These trees are quilted and made into pillows; a tutorial on how to make them is coming up.

In October I demonstrated Ticker Tape. I had never done this technique before so this pillow was my first attempt.

Orange is the perfect neutral I’d say.

I also played with the simple Christmas tree shape, making a Ticker Tape Tree.
The panel is quilted and ready to make into a pillow. A tutorial on how to make such a tree is also coming up.

Thanks for stopping by!

Friday, 29 January 2016

A year of scraps: Crazy

Continuing with our guild’s scrap theme from my previous post – in April we displayed the results from our mugrug/placemat challenge, pictures posted here.


2 ½” was the theme for our May meeting and I demonstrated several blocks made from 2 ½” strips (original post here)

This block was one of the most popular as it comes with a twist (tutorial coming up).

In June we talked about crazy quilts and I did a step by step demonstration. Grandson’s pillow was made with this theme in mind. 

It’s as crazy as it gets. 

I layered batting and backing and started adding scraps in all 4 corners and the middle, stitch-and-flip-quilt-as-you-go style.

As the 5 clusters of scraps melted together, pieces were topstitched to cover all raw edges.

I wanted to tie everything together with red tacks, but I could not get them right.

After several failed attempts, I gave up on tacking and couched red yarn in vertical lines instead.


 Worked like a charm! This pillow gets a lot of love:)

Wednesday, 27 January 2016

A year of scraps: Strings

I am currently serving my second year as the leader of our guild, and was quite active regarding last year’s theme – Scraps. You all know how I love my scraps, so that’s probably no surprise, so I thought I would share some of the things I worked on during the year, starting at the beginning.

In January we presented the first scrap challenge which was to make a small quilt from the size of a mugrug and up to a place mat. I made two quilts as examples and blogged about them here.

In February we presented our block swap of the year which was a diagonal string blocks with a white strip in the middle
(step by step tutorial posted on the guild blog here).

I also played around with different setting possibilities in EQ7
(all of them were posted here).

We also had a scrap workshop where I demonstrated different ways to make scrap blocks and generally had great fun with our fellow guild members. I worked on some simple string pillows which I have embellished with yarn and free motion drawing.



It is a very simple yet decorative way of jazzing up string blocks (or any block). I will post a tutorial on how to do this later.

These small pillows probably spend more time on the floor than on the couch upstairs, serving as weapons in pillow fights…

Monday, 25 January 2016

Sir John and I

Meet my new workmate, Sir John. Isn't he just a dashing young fellow! I have been dreaming of a bigger machine for years, and now he’s here.

He has been sitting in my studio for days until I finally took him out for a run yesterday, but first I had a look in the manual to see if there was something fundamental different from my other machines. So far everything looks quite familiar.

My studio floor is rather slippery, so I cut a piece of a bath mat to put underneath the foot pedal so I won’t have to chase it around.


My first projects were some leftover scrappy blocks which I’ll be making into doll quilts for grandson’s kindergarden. 
That pink floral fabric is a recycled favourite of mine. I wish I had yards of it!

The walking foot worked smoothly, so I soon switched to the free motion equipment and a test cloth.
 
Having tested all my usual twists and turns, I felt confident moving on to the next scrappy block. All that extra space sure makes a difference even with such a small project.

No eyelashes on the front or the back

Scraps of fleece on the back

I’ll be practising some more before I move on to the pile of tops waiting to be quilted. I think Sir John and I will get on very well indeed.