Monday, April 18, 2011

Quilted Symphony 2 project continues. . .

Now comes the fun (at least for me):  selecting the fabrics for the pattern segments.  As I choose white/cream for my background there is not much variance in my lights and darks.  However, I did determine my light source coming from the lower right corner.  That allowed me to use my brightest white there.  My mind's eye saw the light source coming from overhead from that right corner.  Therefore, I also selected the brightest whites for the very middle sections as well.  I then decided on the balance of my fabrics as to what background was behind a leaf or farther away from the light source.
My leaves are black/blue batiks.  I choose the blue/green for the larger leaves, the more solid black for the background darks, and the black squares for the lesser leaves.
The next step is to press the freezer paper templates on the right side of each selected piece of fabric.  My students have commented on their inability to see what the fabric will look like as the piece comes together with this technique because the freezer paper covers so much of the fabric.  If you want to see the full piece, take your pattern sheet to a lightbox source (including a window), tape it face down, and retrace the pattern on the backside with an extra fine Sharpie prior to tracing the full pattern on the freezer paper as discussed before.  
My pattern pieces are ready to move to the next step.  I don't mind not being able to see all of the fabric.  It gives me the opportunity to be surprised when I put it all together, knowing that I can always change a fabric prior to finishing it.

I thought this pattern was going to be so easy.  However, preparing the fabric pattern pieces was a little more troublesome than expected.  Here are some tips for cutting out the freezer paper pieces.  The majority of this pattern is curved so place the freezer paper so the curves sit on the bias.  Because the pieces are cut on the bias there is an opportunity for puckering when stay-stitching 1/8" around the paper edge.  There are two things to assist in keeping this from happening:  1) heavily starch your fabric before pressing freezer paper on; and, 2) stay-stitch around paper edge prior to cutting the shape out.  Be sure to leave approximately 1/2" seam allowance when cutting out shape.

Have fun and enjoy the process.  Embellishing will begin next.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Quilted Symphony 2 project begins. . .

Our next art workshop is a second project out of "Quilted Symphony" by Gloria Loughman.  This project reinforces many of the techniques learned in Project 1 and incorporates a new technique on mosaics.  The majority of this project is done as homework with workshop time being dedicated to making the leaf mosaics.
To select my color palette I began with this butterfly for inspiration.
I will cut the butterfly out and applique it to the project once it is pieced together.
I then decided to use white/cream for my project background and the blacks/blues for the leaf backgrounds.  The reds have been selected for the mosaic tiles and leaf details.
Hint:  Tape project sheet to table.
Begin this project with tracing the entire pattern from the project sheet on a tear-away stabilizer.  Put aside for future use.
Hint:  Tape freezer paper over project sheet.
Trace the project sheet once again with the pattern segments only on freezer paper.  Cut the segments apart.  Trace the leaf segments, as these will be embellished, one more time on tear-away stabilizer cutting approximately 5/8" beyond the tracing line.  

I am finding this project to be much simpler than our previous project.  I am not sure if that is because there are fewer steps or because of familiarity with the techniques.  I will have the next step submitted tomorrow.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Spring Bunny hops home. . .

Spring Bunny is finished and on its way to my sister's.  It feels good to meet a deadline. LOL
My quilting was done by free-motion quilting with feed dogs down, and a darning foot attached.  My preferred needle size is a 75/11 Quilting needle.  This needle limits the fabric fraying.  The quilting was begun by stitching in the ditch around the inner borders of each of the panels.
I then outlined each individual piece of applique that had a raw edge.  I matched the thread color to each section I quilted.
The only exception to outlining each raw edge was for the word "Spring."  Because the piece is quite skinny, I choose to stitch in the middle of each letter.  This limited the possibility of fraying and kept the amount of thread from overwhelming the fabric.
I then cross-hatched the lower greens on the bunny panels.
The border was stitched with a vine of leaves all the way around.  I machine-stitched the binding to the front, pulled it to the back and machine-stitched it from the front.
This was the first time I used tabs for the sleeve.  To make the tabs I cut a 3 1/2" x WOF strip and sewed it right sides together with a 1/4" seam.  The seam was pressed open and the sleeve pulled to the right side.  It was then pressed flat with the seam centered to the back.  The strip was then cut into 5" sections.  I folded the sections in half and basted the raw edges to the top of the back of the quilt before the binding was sewn on.  I then sewed the binding on as stated above.  I like the look of the tabs and will definitely use them again.

I would love to hear your opinions of "Spring Bunny" as I am considering publishing it as a pattern.  Thanks for your input.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Spring Bunny comes together. . .

Remember the greeting card I pulled my colors from?  Well, I also liked some of the design elements as well and used them for inspiration for the assembly of Spring Bunny.
I liked the two-layer greens at the bottom of the greeting card and incorporated it into my panels.
I next added a 3/4" light pink border which finishes at 1/4".  This is a kind of signature to my original applique patterns.
A 1 1/2" sashing stripped is sewn to the joining side of the panel as was done to the other two panels.
The three panels are now joined and it is time for borders.
Wha la!  It has all come together.  
Now look at both the quilt and the greeting card.  There are elements of my inspiration apparent in the quilt.  However, I did not use many of the original fabrics selected for this piece as the quilt let me know what I needed as the designing process occurred.  I like this card well enough I may use it again for inspiration.
Quilting is next.  I will free-motion stitch the applique and quilt at the same time.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Spring Bunny is on the move. . .

Here is the first rendition of Spring Bunny's first panel.  Once together the scale of the flowers to the bunny were too large.  So I adjusted.
Adjusting the pattern piece sizes was easy because I drew this in Illustrator.  This is the first pattern I have done where all of the pattern pieces were drawn or pulled from Illustrator.
The flower size was reduced, as were the grass blades.  Notice that I created the words in the mirror image so as to trace onto fusible web.  I was now able to make all three panels.
I really like the font I selected for the word "Spring."  The panels will now be enhanced with a few borders and some sashing.  It's been a while since I designed a quilt.  Creating this quilt helps me realize how much I enjoy it but how consuming it becomes.  I have a hard time stopping to do the things I "should" do.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Creating pattern for Spring Bunny. . .

My sister's birthday is coming soon and I decided I would like to make her a quilt with a spring theme.  I drew this bunny a few months ago in Adobe Illustrator, my new best tool for creating patterns, and decided to base my pattern on it.
Now that I had the pattern subject, I drew a rough (very rough LOL) picture for my applique.  I decided on three panels, one with my original bunny, one with a standing bunny, and one with words.
Next, I took my original bunny drawing and used it to develop the standing bunny in Illustrator needed for one of my quilt panels.
Here are the bunnies for my panels.  The sitting bunny stands 6" tall and the standing bunny is 8" tall.  This is what I will build the rest of the pattern around and use determine the size of the quilt.
I bought this greeting card because the colors excited me for use in a quilt.  I decided to use this color palette for this new quilt.
Here are the fabric selections.  I have also added a brown (not shown) for the bunnies.  My next step is to draw the flowers and create the pattern pieces.  I think I am going to add some embroidery for some of the flower details.  I'm not sure how I am going to make the panel with the words on it but I have something in mind.  Keep watching to see where I go with it.