Monday, October 25, 2021

Vagabonds Challenge 2021 - Two legs on a path - Emily's Boots

Vagabonds set up another challenge for 2021.  We were challenged to make a 24" high x 24" (or less) width art quilt that features a pair of legs walking on a path.  I remembered a picture that I took of one of my granddaughters helping me in the garden when she was about 2 years old.  She was wearing little yellow boots and blue jeans.  It was such a sweet picture!  I knew right away that it was the one I was going to use.

I printed the photo, traced the parts that I wanted to use, and had it enlarged at my favorite blueprint shop.   I don't know how many of you live in the Portland, OR area.  If you do,  Rose City Blueprint is fast and cheap.  It only cost $3.25 to enlarge my sketch to 24" x 24".  

Once the drawing was the size that I wanted, I traced the lines onto clear acetate film.  Notice that I had to imagine the bottom of the boots that couldn't be seen in the photo.  

The acetate tracing was taped to a board covered with a Teflon sheet.  I've used this board and sheet many times and I keep it on hand for art projects.  I tape it at the top so that I can flip up the film and place pieces of fabric.

For the boots, I picked 3 shades of yellow, fused them to Steam-a-Seam Light II and cut out the pieces, placing them to match the drawing.

For the pants, I picked 3 shades of blue, following the same technique.

And for the jacket, I picked 3 different shades of blue than were used for the pants, following the same technique.

When all the pieces were placed, the entire piece was steamed and allowed to cool.  Here's what it looked like on the assembly board.

The background started out with just a couple of pieces of fabric to test out the colors.

It seemed just a bit too simple, so I added some different colors into the grass.  I trimmed notches into the top of little pieces and layered them from top to bottom.

When that was complete, I fused the legs and boots on the top, weaving the grass around the boots.  I quilted it with a quilting stitch #1304 and a walking foot on my Bernina 570 sewing machine.  It was easy to start with lines 3" apart, then sew down the middle of those lines, and once more between the middle of all of the lines.  I liked the way that stitch looked like rain with it's two forward and one backward stitch.

The piece is 24" x 24" and is faced.  I added silver bugle beads to enhance the rain effect, which were added after I took the photo below. 

I hope you like it!

Monday, October 18, 2021

Baby blanket made from Minky fabric

One of my nieces is having a baby in October and I decided to make her a baby blanket out of Minky fabric.  It is so soft and cuddly.  I've used it before on a few baby blankets and have gotten really cool feedback; so here it goes again.

I bought two different blue fabrics from Fabric Depot's website.  The don't exactly match, but they will be on different sides of the blanket, so it doesn't matter.

I added a few tabs for the baby to play with:

Sewed around most of the edges, leaving a spot to turn the blanket.  Stitched the opening closed, and stitched around all the edges.  Here's one side:

And the other

I hope the baby will like it!

Monday, October 11, 2021

Shisha mirror embroidery quilt - Final

This is a continuation of two previous posts about the making of the Shisha mirror embroidery quilt.

I kept adding mirrors, embroidery stitches, and beads to the quilt.  I liked the process of adding mirrors to the quilt, and thought that the embroidery was relaxing.  Well, at least until the cat decided to play with my thread.  My 8 year old granddaughter said that she really liked it and wanted to buy it.  I asked her, "How much are you going to pay me?".  She said, "Well, I have a lot of pennies in my piggy bank and I think I have 20, so 20 cents."  Hmm, I thought a bit, and then replied, "Do you have any other money?"  She thought it over and replied, "I think I can find some one dollar bills."  "Do you have $20 worth?" I asked.  She said, "Maybe."  We left it at that.  I think I might have to make a smaller version and gift it to her.  Before she left, though, she drew a picture of a hot pink skort that wanted me to make for her.

Anyway, here is a picture of the finished piece, with some close-ups.  

The bird was sketched by Diane Stone, and I colorized it after I embroidered the edges.

This was really fun and different to make and I hope you like it.

Monday, October 4, 2021

Changing Binding Colors

I was originally going to share a technique that was developed and demonstrated on the Quilting Arts TV show by Sandra Bruce.  (It was on Season 22, Episode 8).  Her design is way more accurate than any technique that I've shown before.  Why it is so cool is that you are able to do regular binding and still get the effect that you would get with facing a quilt.  A couple of things to know is that the seams are very tiny close to 1/8", and they are pressed in the direction of the darkest fabric.  The other thing is that you can only work on one side of the quilt at a time.  But, after having this in my draft folder for so long, I decided that I would should you how to change binding at the corner, and let you look up her technique, if you're interested.

I'm pretty sure that I've shown this before, but here it is again.

I wanted to have green binding on the bottom edge of this little quilt, and blue binding on the other 3 sides.  I sewed the green binding first, leaving plenty of fabric hanging off both edges.  I then sewed on the blue binding, leaving a tail at the beginning and the end, but folding the two corners.  I stopped and started the sewing, backstitching at the all 4 corners.

Using a white marking pencil, I used my corner mark-it tool, and drew a triangle on both the green and the blue side of the binding.

I lined up and sewed right on the triangles, backstitching at the start, the stop, and the corner.  This was trimmed and turned to the backside.

Slipstitching was used to sew the binding to the back of the quilt.

I hope you have fun binding your quilts!

Monday, September 27, 2021

Fabric Dying - Take 2

 I had so much fun dying fabric in the class that I decided to do some more of it at home.

Ann Robertson, one of the women teaching the class, me a bunch of her old dye powders.  I looked at them and at the Dharma Trading color card to try to figure out what I could mix into gradations.  I made up some charts and then Ann told me she had some leftover dye from the class that needed to be used up before it got too old to use.  So, she gave me 6 bottles of that pre-mixed dye too!  

I had 7-1/2 yards of white fabric that I had washed and dried.  It got torn up in fat quarter pieces, and that determined how many dye lots I could make.  

Here was the first one:

Here is the second one:

The third one:

The fourth one:

And the fifth one:

Now, I have to figure out what quilt to use them in.

I hope you have fun and try different things too!

Monday, September 20, 2021

African fabric quilt top #2

I had enough African fabric left over from the first African quilt top, so I made this second one.  I changed up my design a bit, by making the triangle pieces smaller and more wonky and eliminated the smaller blocks.  I also was more cognizant of the size, keeping it to 60" x 72".

I made it with square in a square blocks, strip pieces blocks, and wonky foundation pieces.  

I hope you like it.

Friday, September 17, 2021

Sewing a wonky foundation pieced pattern

I made some wonky foundation pieced strips for the second African fabric quilt.  This post is to show you how to do that piecing.  Warning:  it is complicated!

1.  Draw the pattern onto freezer paper.  The finished size of the strip was 6" W x 18" L.  So the pattern was drawn to these dimensions.  (Hint:  I find that adding the seam allowance makes it much harder to tear away the freezer paper.  This means that you must remember to add the allowance around the edges.)   Draw a line 3/8" in from both of the long edges.  This will be where the points will end up, and not on the edge.  (I like this look a lot better than precision pieced points.)  Draw in the triangles, making sure to alter their angle and width to get that wonky look.

2.  Cut the strips of dark and light fabric 1" wider than the width of the strip and WOF.

3.  Lay the first color underneath the pattern and cut out the shape generously.  I like to leave about 1/2" around all the edges to make sure that I don't have to tear out the seams and try again.  Pin it in place with the right side down and the paper on the top.

4.  Place the second color underneath the pattern; lining up the top and bottom of the strip horizontally.  Eying where the fabric is supposed to cover it's shape, cut out the shape generously.  (Hint: fold back the pattern and trim the seam to be sewn even with the shape of the pattern, but leaving 1/2" allowance.  Fold back the pattern on the other side, and trim even with the shape of the pattern and also leaving 1/2" allowance.)  Remove this piece and set it just to the right.

5.  Using a thin ruler or long post card, place this on the seam to be sewn.  Fold back the paper, and trim the first fabric 1/4" away from the edge.  A ruler that adds 1/4" is very helpful.  This picture shows the thin ruler underneath and the 1/4" ruler on top.

6.  Flip and place the second piece underneath and line up the seam allowance, making sure that the left side seam is  the side being lined up.  Also, make sure that the wide side is opposite of the previous strip (Hint: if the wide side is down on the previous piece, the next piece should have the wide side at the top).  There is a bit of flipping and turning using this method, so I apologize in advance for how confusing this is to write up.  The main thing to remember is that the seam allowance is trimmed on the first piece before the next piece is sewn on.  And that the second piece has a seam allowance that matches the first piece, but is flipped right sides together with the first piece and underneath the paper. Pin it in place.  The stack should be (1) paper with the lines visible, (2) the first fabric face down, and (3) the second fabric face up.

7.  Flip back the paper , leaving the two fabrics right sides together and only the seam allowances to the right side underneath the paper pattern, and sew right on the seam line with the paper on top and the fabric underneath, using a 1.8 mm to 1.9 mm stitch length.  Start and stop 1/4" outside of the top and bottom.  It works best if you place the second piece to favor the wide side, meaning that the point can be placed at the top of the paper and the wide side hangs over the bottom.

8.  Press the piece in place.  The freezer paper's waxy side will hold these pieces in place.

9.  Pick up the strip of the first fabric again and follow the above steps until the strip is complete.  Make sure to alternate the light and dark fabrics.  I used batik fabric, so both sides were the same.  If you are using a fabric that has a right side and a wrong side, you need to pay attention so that the right side of the fabric is facing down when you cut the piece, and right sides facing up when you sew the piece.

10.  Trim the piece 1/4" outside the edges of the paper.  The piece will be 6-1/2" W x 18-1/2" L.

11.  Sew the entire quilt top and then remove the freezer paper.