Saturday, April 28, 2012

Quilt Along # 15 Sharp Stippling

This week Leah Day broke the news…. First the bad, we have to take a break from the quilt along for  a month, ahhh, so no quilt along in the month of May… (however, I do know of some good news, in May, Leah is our challenger in the 2012 FMQ challenge)   and then she dropped a bombshell… Leah’s book will be available in JUNE… way to go Leah !

Onto the challenge ~ I was so surprised to find how difficult it was for me to master the points of Sharp Stipple.  As I spent more time practicing, I finally got the hang of it.  Woohoo ~ here is my sample …. This would be a great design for making a sunflower with the right threads and fabrics :) 

The green circle is a buttonhole so I can add this quilted page to my ring, with my other quilt along sample pages!

Another stipple design added to my quilting toolbox.   Thanks Leah ~  Godspeed, Mary

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

FMQ Challenge April and Quilt Along #14

FMQ Challenge for April with Don Linn was fantastic.  Don taught us how to create a stencil using tulle, allowing us to make changes and/or alter our own drawings or stencils we have on hand, and then apply that image to a quilt without the need of a light box.  Love it ~

I created a motif (different than Don's sample) that went with my UFO and QA # 14 project with Leah Day.  Leah had us apply the skills we had learned in previous quilt alongs onto an applique project.  In this UFO, I had an applique heart with hand embrodered french knots in which I chose to use micro stippling and the following a line method all around the edge of the heart applique and also on the borders on this wall quilt.

I also used a loopy-d-loop and heart leaf pattern on the background of the heart applique.  The batting I used was a fusible batt in which you layer your quilt and then you iron it on the hottest setting with lots of steam on both sides of your quilt.  I found as I quilted this piece the batt seperated from the layers.  I wonder now, if I had washed my fabrics before I created the piece?  This will be something I will test again in a future project to see how well this batt works on washed fabric... for now, I do not think I will use this batt on a large quilt.

I applied two corner pockets to hold a rod for hanging, in place of a sleeve, I learned this method on TQS.  My label information is on one of those corners, thanks Danielle, great idea for personal quilts!  However, I forgot to name the quilt. I do think if I am going to ship quilts or enter in shows or put on public display, I would still use labels that are actually quilted into the project, but for personal and gifted quilts, I find this corner label is quick and easy and gets the job done.

I soaked the quilt in a tub of cool water to remove starch, fusible, and marks.  Now it remains on a frame as it is being blocked.  All that is left to do is put the binding on :)

Leah question for you, can't remember if you addressed this yet? at some point can you address binding color on your quilts, if you have not already... This project is now ready to bind, and just found that I am out of fabric that is the last border, and I usually go match or darker... but wondered what you thought  .... last border is dark brown, background white, and applique heart red ( see top photo) Would you go a darker color or something else?

Thanks Don and Leah ~ you have inspired me to get another UFO completed :)

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

QA # 13 Blocking, Binding, Finishing your quilt

Quilt Along # 13 is complete ~

     What a fun project this has been for me, and have I ever learned so many things with this assignment.  If you use a mechanical pencil, make sure your fabric is very starched, and you use a LIGHT hand when marking.  A scrubber, dawn soap, and elbow grease will remove what is left after you use a fabric eraser, but who wants to do all that work.

      If you use a wash away marking pen, just spritzing does NOT remove all the chemicals, and a hot iron with steam will cause them to reappear if not completely removed.   When completely dry, a dunk in a tub of water will reveal them if they are still present, and soaking for 15 - 30 minutes will remove the chemical as well as the starch you may have used.  Once dry, I then applied the hot iron again, and no more marks.

      A small change in pattern design can result in noticeable differences creating a different look.  Check out all 4 heart and feather quilts, 2 red spotted, 2 red bandana fabrics, and you will see differences.   Here is two of my red heart and feathers, blocked, bound, and have a sleeve, one is a wool batt one is a low loft poly batt, both went in the dryer after soaking in tub, and came out fine for blocking.

Here is my Third heart and feathers, done on a Fat poly batt.  It too, is completed having been blocked, bound and has a sleeve.  The fabric choice was too busy, so had to do a scribble stipple to help the trapunto work show up.   Look at the next quilt top below, which is already outlined, and you will see how very difficult that is to see.  When choosing a fabric to quilt with micro stippling, make sure the fabric print pattern is mellow enough to SHOW all your hard work. 

     When doing a twirling ribbon framing the piece that you want to puff well and really show, make sure you make it wide enough to give the batting  the necessary room to PUFF up !   Also notice all those pencil lines are now GONE!

My forth quilt is ready for microstippling, and has a cotton batt.  Because the red bandana fabric is too hard to see, I think that will become my backing and I will use the solid fabric for my top. 

You can see the outline stitching is done... now I wonder what alterations I will create in the design to make it different than the first three.

Thanks Leah ~ Really enjoying the Quilt Alongs with you :)  You have a very kind and generous spirit!  Godspeed,

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Quilt Along # 12 ~ Microstippling

Quilt Along # 12 ~ Microstippling
This weeks lesson was on Microstippling and I thought it would be a good idea to test this project on 4 different batts and use four different marking methods.   This weekend on Friday I decided I would try a new water washable disappearing ink pen by "Simplicity".  I marked the whole backing on Friday and layered it and pinned it, and set it aside until Monday!  Birthday weekend full of celebrating!
When I returned to my sewing studio on Monday morning to work on the wool batt quilt with the water washable ink, well, the photo tells the story!  It had been a rainy weekend, and the dampness in the air well, removed most of my marks!  Oh boy... glad I learned this lesson on such a small quilt!
After the quilt was stippled, I used a spray bottle of water to wash away what was left of the marks, and then pressed it with the iron while still damp, and the marks RETURNED... oh dear... sprayed and let air dry completely this time, and once the binding is complete I will wash it and try the iron again when it is damp, to see if that fabric marker should be removed from my toolbox.   will let you know later how it turns out.
So this is my Red Small Wall Quilt, made with a low loft poly   batt and the design was traced with white chalk pencil.

This is my Red Small Wall Quilt, made with a wool batt and the
design was traced on the back with the disappearing ink pen.
Two of my small wall quilts poly batt on left and wool batt on right.  I made a few changes in the pattern too, so some of the microstippling is different ~ both of these batts gave a nice puff to this project.   Thanks Leah, learning a lot:)    Godspeed ~ mary