Saturday, June 10, 2017

Transfer Lines from One Side of the Fabric to the Other

During my career as a custom seamstress, original patterns
and alterations to ready-made clothes were a major part
of my activities.

When I'd "pin fit" on a human body or dress form, I would
work from the right side of the fabric. It was then necessary
to transfer the lines made by the pins to the wrong side
for matching and sewing.

The garment is carefully removed, and working from the
wrong side of the garment, chalk would be pressed
along the pins, making a "rubbing" of the pins. Then pins
were removed and the garment was sewn, matching
up the chalk lines. How easy is that?

Thursday, June 8, 2017

Fussy Cut for "Mine Alone" Quilts


Every quilter wants her quilt to be hers alone.  

After all, she did the work, in spite of using classic shapes

 and patterns, and manufactured fabrics.


How far will we go to make something unique?


One award winning quilt at Spring Paducah 2017 uses tiny pixel-like dots -
 not fabric prints but "separate, minuscule dots"
 placed with tweezers and fused.  
Others color their fabric, or use dye methods that produce random results.

Fussy cutting implies and requires selective choices.


 It happens when we use the cut and position of the print
 to create a focused design. 
Joining two fussy cuts to create another image takes the concept further. 
Paula Nadelstern has turned it into an art form,
 and while I have never made a Nadelstern style kaleidoscope quilt,
 her books taught me a lot over the years.

Most are familiar with Willyne Hammerstein's Millifiori which uses
repetition of fussy cut English paper Piecing to create
 amazing one-of-a -kind quilts.
 In that method, the paper shape is covered with the fabric.
It's a simple matter of placement.

Juxtaposing Two Fussy Cuts,

My Process

  • I start with a vague idea, then select a pattern and fabric that generally fits the idea.
  • My work surface is an inexpensive cork board that measures about 17" X 23."

The Pattern

  1.  I draw the pattern full size on graph paper from a tablet by June Tailor, 12.5" X 12.5." In this case I want my block to finish at 8" square. I use pencil in case I want to make changes. Note: Ziploc 2 gallon freezer bags are excellent pattern protectors at 13" X 15."
  2.  I cut a piece of clear cellophane gift wrap the size of my pattern, and glue it over my pencil drawing with Elmer's Washable Glue Stick, to protect the paper pattern from glue from the fabric.
  3. The pattern is pinned to the cork board.(I love being able to pin into my work surface.)
  4. The center square is just a square-on-point, so I measure my pattern and make a "viewing window" from cardstock, the finished size of the square. I only need one, so I don't bother with a template.

 Corner Triangle Template

  1. Using heat resistant template film (from Jinny Beyer Studio, sold as Multi-Purpose Template Film) I trace my corner piece. After adding 1/4" seam allowance to all edges I cut it out.
  2.  A 1/16" hole punch,  (from Jinny Beyer) puts a hole in the template at each seam intersection.
  3. With the template on the fabric, I trace guidelines from the fabric to be able to repeat the fussy cut. I believe I first learned this from Paula Nadelstern.

The Pattern and corner template

The Fabric

  1.  I will use pins to note the general edges of my center square, [note: see June 10, 2017 post] and remove the viewing window. Adding  3/8" seam allowance to the area for the center square, I cut the fabric, place it on the pattern and pin. The large seam allowance lets me re-arrange the square once the corner triangles are pinned to the board.

    On the left, fabric for the center square. To the right is the fabric for the corner triangles.

      The corner triangles are cut using the template.

  2.  I place the template on the fabric, lining up the guides on the template to the print in the fabric, and trace around template shape with a Micron Pen. With all four corners traced on the fabric, I cut them out.

Corner Triangle

Using template film with a quarter inch guide marked, I starch, turn 
and press the seam allowance along the long edge of the triangle.

Putting it together for glue basting...

  1. The center square is on the pattern and secured with 2 pins. Only one pin would allow it to "swivel."
  2. The corner triangles are pinned to the board, with the edges even with the corner pattern line PLUS one square or row, for the quarter inch seam allowance.
  3.  The pieces are pinned only to the board, not to each other.

  1. With the corner triangles pinned in place, you can remove the pins in the center square and move it around slightly until you are happy with this 'trial run.' Pin the center in place again with 2 pins. 
  2. Remove the triangles. 

Putting glue on the seam allowance. Any glue that gets on the cellophane wipes up with a damp towel.
  1. Thinking of the corners in terms of compass points, add glue to the seam allowance only of 2 of the triangles and place them at the North and South corners, exactly as in the 'trial run.'
  2.  After the glue has set, but not dried, you can fold the triangles to the center, to reveal the seam allowance. Remove all the pins and carefully pull the unit loose. Take it to the machine and stitch in the crease that was pressed in when you turned the seam allowance.
  3. Press the triangles back in place, face up. Repeat the process with the East and West corners.

    The center is finished!

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Creating a Legacy

Rachel Remembered...


A legacy quilt is a collection of blocks that are special to the maker...milestones or significant elements in a life. It is a way of saying: This has meaning for me.

When I started my legacy quilt, it was just an abstract idea. Then, surfing the web, I ran across the fabric collection called Rachel Remembered by Moda's Beth Gutcheon. It was a "WOW" moment.
The Rachel in the collection was Rachel Jackson, wife of Andrew Jackson. My Rachel was my 3rd daughter, born and died on June 23, 1970.  You try to make something beautiful out of everything. But while I remember Rachel, I want her remembered in a lasting way.

The fabric arrived, blocks appeared: The large block pictured above was made in the 1980's, using a border print. The colors worked. The date palm symbolizes the dates we grew on the ranch. The unfinished block, called "A Light Unto My Path." It's an adapted design.

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Diamond In A Square Paper Pieced

Making 380 Diamonds in a Square to Finish at 2"

After printing the needed number of paper foundations,
I drew the square, plus seam allowance, on the wrong side of the my main color fabric.
Cutting from strips would mean wasted fabric. The diamonds are basically squares set on point, which means the cut edges are on the bias.

 With center squares pinned to the foundation papers,
 I stitched each "corner" to a bias cut strip of background fabric, 1 - 1/2" wide.

The strip was pressed to one side, and with wrong side up, the corners were cut to size.
The triangles between that are cut off will be sewn to the next side.

A bias strip, cut selvedge to selvedge yielded 27 corners, approximately.



Sunday, May 14, 2017

Fabulous Free Motion Quilting

"It's Not a Quilt Until it's quilted"

I forget who said this, but it has been a standard for years. 
I didn't really  "retire" - just changed I am a full time quilter.

Rosemary's blogspot has an excellent tutorial on using "Press N Seal" ®
to "mark" quilts for free motion machine quilting
without marking the quilt.

Check it out


Friday, May 12, 2017

Neocolor II Water Soluble crayons

A shaded tulip in Block 4 - Diamond Hill pattern by Esther Aliu















 The Fabric Medium is "Golden GAC 900" - The coloring agent is Neocolor II

I love the way the Neocolor II Watersoluable wax pastels work with fabric in applique!

These pencils open up so many opportunities to practice creativity!

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Glue Sticks! Love em!

I use a lot of glue sticks - especially for absolutely awesome applique - to assemble the units, and then to apply the unit to the background in preparation for stitching.

A piece of scrap wood, and a couple of hole cutters for the drill, and presto, I had a glue stick holder to clamp to the table. The lid of the glue stick is screwed into the wood.

I put my palm on the clamp handle and lift the stick out of the lid.