Thursday, April 14, 2016

More about Pandemonium - How I Organize Applique

A few people have asked me how I work my applique.  I travel with my needlework and thus prefer to use as few pins as possible, especially as I am often at swimming pools or parks with grass lawns.

For this example I am showing a few shots of Pandemonium, designed by Kim McLean.

Her patterns are printed on large sheets of paper.  They are somewhat sheer.  My first step is I number the creatures, or flower pots, trees, etc as needed.  I use a fine-line sharpie to avoid smudging.

I use a piece of freezer paper and trace the shape.  I label it with the same number as on the pattern.  I then decide what color I want it and label the piece with the color.

I've traced a few shapes here, maybe 10-15.  I've found it is good to not repeat the same motions over and over again.  Then they are rough cut out with paper scissors and organized into piles by color.

I pull scraps out of my scrap bin and press them flat with an iron.  I might starch at this point or use Best Press.  

Picking and choosing what bits of the fabric I want showing is my favorite part.  I iron the freezer paper patterns onto the fabric and then let cool.

Using fabric scissor or a rotary cutter, I cut out the applique pieces.  

Since the original pattern is somewhat sheer, I am able to lay down the background piece, place the applique piece, check with the pattern, and then pin down.  I like flower pins because they are long enough that I don't lose them on the ground and they are easy to pull out.  They have a fine shank too.

I usually pin several pieces at once.  

Next I use a 3 mm stitch on my machine and sew through the drawn lines on the freezer paper.  It can take a while.  I then remove the freezer paper, and my pieces are now basted onto the fabric with no pins.  I use a seam ripper and break about every 10 stitches on a piece and do my needleturn applique.  After that it is just a matter of practice for turning corners, knowing when to clip, etc.   I like to repress with an iron and might use Soak's Flatter spray or more starch.  

This was before my sewing room remodel.  I didn't have a good spot to lay out blocks so I would pin them to the walls so I could make sure I was being consistent in my color use from block to block.

My old Brother sewing machine was a great one.  

I actually made the back of the quilt before I started on the front.  Here is Clark demonstrating his love of quilts.  

Many of the blocks were both pieced and appliqued.  A lot of fun!  I like Karen Kay Buckley's Perfect Ovals and Perfect Circles tools.  

Choosing fabric was a lot of fun - I used Aboriginal Prints, Kaffe Fassett and Philip Jacobs fabrics, batiks, Liberty, Cotton & Steel, Tula Pink and many more.  I did have a lot of stash but I kept buying more.

Thanks for reading!

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Pennsylvania Star Quilt

Pennsylvania Star
design by Edyta Sitar
74" x 74" cotton, cotton and wool battings
Hand-appliqued.  Machine pieced.  Machine freehand quilted.

It is primarily batik fabrics.  The cheddar is a commercial fabric from Wyndham.

Quilted in Aurifil Threads.

I have a domestic Juki with a 9" throat.

I used a wholecloth red fabric for the back to really show off the quilting.  Scrappy batik binding. 

Pandemonium by Kim McLean quilt finished

design by Kim McLean
92" x 92" cotton, cotton and wool battings
Hand-appliqued.  Hand and machine pieced.  Machine quilted.

My Side, Your Side
design by Summer Truswell based on traditional barn raising pattern.
Machine pieced.

This is my vision of animals running amok at night.  I worked hand needleturn applique on the blocks - lots of time at swim practices!  I cleared through a lot of scraps making these two quilts.  Special thanks to Susan Webster at Gathering Fabrics for giving me the Cotton and Steel fabric gift.  

This quilt won first prize in the Large Solo (made by one maker) category.  It also won Viewer's Choice at the Quilter's Anonymous 35th Annual Show in Washington 2016.