Sunday, February 23, 2014

Aspen Leaves progress

Here is the progress I've made so far on the aspen leaves quilt. The largest leaf is about 27 x 27 on the longest dimensions.

So here is my light box, works great, but only during certain hours of the day. If you'll click on the picture you can see that the paper has three leaves on it. The paper is parchment from a roll I've had a long time. It's great for tracing, but it's going to be gone one day so I want to be careful with it. I used different colored markers to make each leaf, so I wouldn't get confused while I was tracing the pieces onto the freezer paper.

After I traced the whole shape I cut each section so I had a pattern for each color in the leaf. (I finally remembered on the last leaf to make register marks so I could transfer them to the pattern pieces before I cut them apart). I turned the paper on the window wrong side down so the pieces would be the right way when I ironed the freezer paper piece to the fabric.

Once the pattern was ironed onto the fabric, I used a ruler and measured 1/4 inch from the edge of the paper while cutting with a rotary cutter. When I was done with each color I traced around the pattern and made the register marks. I also labeled the pieces with letters to help ease confusion.

  I stuck a pin through each mark and used them to line up the seams, then I pinned a lot more. I figured there weren't that many pieces and the more pins the merrier!

Here you can see the pencil outline. I traced around each freezer paper piece before I removed it.

I played around a lot with MS Paint to see if I could find a background I liked that I wouldn't have to dye. I wasn't having much luck, and then I remembered I bought a bunch of ombre fabric a while ago. I pulled it all out and I think it's going to work. I think I'm going to cut squares, I think so the finished size will be four inches, and sew them together so they kind of blend like my original idea. The colors won't be exactly the same, but I think I can make it work.

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Leaf Quilt Design

 I haven't quilted the Wiley Way top I finished two weeks ago, but I am thinking about it. I love having fleece as the backing for quilts. It's snuggly and feels good, but in our house it's not quite warm enough, so I think I'll add a layer of batting and use the fleece for the backing. That should warm it up.

I was going through some old sketches I made for quilt ideas and saw one that was three leaves on a couple of branches. I played with it some and decided I want to make it a bed quilt, or at least a lap quilt and not a wallhanging.

I played around in paint, and came up with this. The background won't be so blended, but I want to make it with lots of squares so there will be a blend of colors. I didn't originally plan to have the leaves break through the border, but I really like how it looks.

I have no idea how I'll construct this, but at the moment, I think it looks really good.

Those are supposed to be aspen leaves. I live in Colorado, so the leaves change, and we see those colors of leaves through the year.

Here is the large pattern. I ended up moving this a couple of times until I could find a place to hang the paper. It's about 60" x 87" (the paper) and I wasn't able to get the projector to make a large enough image to fill the paper, so the size of the quilt may just change.

Speaking of changes...
Gotta love Colorado. 245 sunny days per year!

Monday, January 20, 2014

Good Gosh Almighty....what a long time...and GLUE BASTING

I went back to school on July 1. I  sewed one quilt (the last one I blogged about) in 2013. I have one class left in my graduate certificate. I'm taking it now. I went to the Front Range Modern Quilt Guild on January 18. I got inspired. I am making a quilt (well a top at the moment).

One of the members showed a quilt called Wiley Way by Sassafras Lane Designs. It looked simple and I decided I liked it enough to see about getting the pattern. Once I had the pattern I realized it would be great for a collection of fabrics. I just happen to have a collection of dragon fly fabrics. What an amazing coincidence. I felt motivated.

I took out my fabrics and have started making the quilt. I changed the order up a bit from this photo, but on the far right is the background fabric. It's black with grey dragonflies...see, it was fate. I even had background fabric. The zig zags will alternate with lighter and darker fabric. They are all cut on 60 degree angles and the pattern suggests that it is a good idea to starch so those bias edges don't stretch. For some unknown reason in the past week I saw a video about glue basting. The woman demonstrating is Sharon Schamber's daughter if that makes any difference to anyone. I watched it and said to myself, "Wow, that's an awful lot of work. I can't imagine why anyone would do that", particularly since the video shows squares being used for the demo, that just seemed like a lot of wasted time. HOWEVER, I found myself making a quilt with 60 degree angles, and I just didn't want to starch all of that fabric, so I gave it a shot. Oh my, in this case it is an answer.

First, I didn't do anything exactly the way the video shows. I didn't have white elmer's school glue, but I did have the blue gel (well, it is glue). Second, I have some nifty pointy tips (somewhere) but didn't want to take more than two minutes to look...didn't want to loose the I'm just using the tip that comes with the glue. Third  I didn't put down a whole line of glue, just dots.

Anyway, here is what I did. First I was smart (or lucky, not sure which) that I cut and stacked each row of pieces I needed before I decided to glue baste. Put one piece down, put some dots of glue on, iron, move the pieces over, put the next piece down, put some dots of glue on, iron, move the pieces over....well you get the idea. Oh, and in the video Cristy says ironing is crucial so you don't gum up the works. It must be true because I'm not gumming up the works!

2 fabrics on the ironing surface, putting dots of glue on the
bottom piece.
See, dots of glue.
The strips took about 5 minutes to glue, press, sew together, clip the threads and press the pieces to one side. How, you ask, do I know that. Well in my family we time stuff, so I got out my trusty stop watch and timed how long it took to do. I timed three rows, and the average time was 5 minutes 12 seconds. Goofy I know, but inquiring minds want to know.
You can't see much, but this is glue basted; easy-peasy to sew
I sewed all the rows together, and only made two mistakes. I didn't think about how I was going to deal with mistakes but the pieces are GLUED only took a sec, well they are glued with white glue and it washes off with water. I sprayed both sides of the offending seam with water and then pulled gently. It came apart with no problems.

Do you see the three arrows (though how you could miss them I don't know). Those are seams that match perfectly because...glue basting. I didn't think I was going to use it for putting the rows together, but if I didn't glue I would have to pin, so I decided to give it a shot. I am a happy camper. I hope to have this top done tonight. I started it last night about 7:00. Yay for inspiration and a stash of fabrics I want to use but didn't know how I was going to use them.

I got the top done....YAY! Here it is in daylight--the sun wasn't fully up yet, so it's still a bit off. I also included a close up of some of the fabric. I'm happy with it, though the colors are not my usual.


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