Sep 282011
 

 Sadly, yet another small business in my area has had to close its doors.  First it was Saftlers, a fabric store that had been in that family for three generations; they’d opened in 1919 and closed just this summer. 

Now the Scrapbook Cupboard, a scrapbook store that was right around the corner from me, has gone under.  Both of these owners made valiant attempts to restructure and try new approaches, but with this economy they just couldn’t do it. 

What does this have to do with WOYWW?  (And what the heck IS WOYWW?  Go here to find out, you’ll love it!) Well, when stores go out of business, they have sales.  The Scrapbook Cupboard was well known for their excellent classes, and they came up with what I thought was a fantastic idea for their classroom supplies:  Pay $10 for a bag, and fill it with as many class room supplies as you want. 

I put my excellent packing skills to use, and had a blast.  Here is my bag: 

2011-09-28-woyww-scrapbook-cupboard-bag

And here is all the stuff that fit into it: 

2011-09-28-woyww-scrapbook-cupboard-goodies

Yes, even the magazines, transparencies and all the markers were in there at one point. Am I good, or what? I’m especially excited about the metallic rub ons, and practically a whole new set of markers.

Not bad for $10, even for used supplies. 

The only problem is, once I got home I realized I have no room for it all.   

Now a total reorganization and clean out of the crafting room is in order. 

====sigh==== 

Actually I like organizing.  So it will be a good thing – just a lot of work. 

Check back to see the results. 

 

Sep 262011
 

For quite some time I have been wanting to show you all how to make these fun origami purses.

folded-purses-2a

Depending on the fabric you choose they can be very elegant, or just plain cute.

folded-purses-4a

To make one origami purse, you’ll need:

  • 2 fat quarters, contrasting or coordinating colors (one is the lining, one is main fabric) If you don’t want to use fat quarters, you’ll need 1/2 yard of each fabric; this will be enough to make TWO purses.
  • 18” square lightweight batting
  • 4″x1″ scrap fusible web
  • 2 decorative buttons (or large beads)
  • 2 closures (hooks, magnets, Velcro)
  • 1 yard cord or ribbon for strap (or 3 yards to make a braid) OR, Go here to learn how to make gorgeous beaded handles.)

Also, you might want to check out finishing details for ideas and inspiration.

First steps:

  1. Cut each FQ into an 18” square.
  2. Layer squares, right sides together, top with batting square, pin.
  3. Stitch around through all 3 layers, using a ¼” seam, leave an opening to turn. (This is an excellent time to use a walking foot if you have one, if  you don’t, just be sure to pin thoroughly.)
  4. Clip corners, turn right side out and press; tuck in scrap of fusible web and fuse opening closed (or slipstitch if preferred)

What you have at this point is basically an unquilted mini quilt.  You can quilt it at this point if you want, I’ve never bothered, but it might add some nice dimension.

folded-purse-tutorial

folded-purse-tutorial-1

Fold this layered square in ½ diagonally, keeping the lining side to the outside. Measure in 7” from each side point and draw a 6” long line, perpendicular to the fold.

folded-purse-tutorial-2

These top corners will be the main flaps of our pockets and the most prominent part of the bag.  If you have a large scale print, like I have here, you may want to check and see if the visible design from folding on one diagonal is nicer than from folding on the other.

folded-purse-tutorial-3

Stitch along your two 6″ lines, backstitching securely at each end.  If you are going to go ahead and add beaded handles stitch the top part of each seam (the part not next to the fold) with a very short stitch length (like 1mm) for about 1 1/2″.

folded-purse-tutorial-4a

Turn the triangular sections outside the stitching right side out, pull each point towards the opposite stitching line, folding along the stitching line, one will overlap the other.

folded-purse-tutorial-5

Starting to fold one side…

folded-purse-tutorial-6

folded-purse-tutorial-7

Both sides turned right side out.

folded-purse-tutorial-8

When you fold down the flaps…

folded-purse-tutorial-9

…you can see that you’re nearly done!

folded-purse-tutorial-10

Now pin these two triangular sections together where the outer one overlaps the inner.

folded-purse-tutorial-11

The pinning will go all the way from one side, around the bottom and to the other side.

folded-purse-tutorial-12

Hand stitch the overlapping sections together, being careful not to catch the inside of the bag lining in the stitching.

You can use whatever you like as a closure (velcro, hooks and eyes) but I’m going to show you how to add these magnetic catches for a very professional finish.

They look like this, and can be found near the purse handles in craft stores.

folded-purse-tutorial-13

As you can see, the backs have prongs, these will poke through the fabric…

folded-purse-tutorial-14

…then go through these washers on the other side.  This stabilizes and keeps them from pulling out.

folded-purse-tutorial-15

You will need to mark where your catch will go.  First position the catch where you want it to go.  Then rub the prongs firmly on your fabric, they should make marks.  You can just barely see them here.

folded-purse-tutorial-16

Now use a seam ripper to make a small slit through all three layers (fabric, batting and lining.)  Make the slit a little smaller than you think it needs to be.  You can always go back and make it bigger, but there’s no making it smaller!

folded-purse-tutorial-17

From the inside, push the prongs through the slits.

folded-purse-tutorial-18

The prongs will be sticking out the right side of your purse flap.  (This is ok!  We’ll cover it up later with a decorative button or bead.)

folded-purse-tutorial-19

Now slide the washer over the prongs…

folded-purse-tutorial-20

…and bend the prongs inward.

folded-purse-tutorial-21

Now attach the other side of the catch to its mate.

folded-purse-tutorial-22

Fold the flap down and position it just where you want it.

folded-purse-tutorial-23

Once again, use the prongs to mark where slits should go. If you find you can’t see the marks, go ahead and use a fabric marker to draw lines right next to the prongs.

folded-purse-tutorial-23b

I had to mark the above white section with a marker, but as you can see below, they show up better on darker fabrics.

folded-purse-tutorial-24

Now cut your slits, insert the other half of the catch, add the washer and bend in the prongs, just like before.

I’ll bet that was a lot easier than you thought it would be!

folded-purse-tutorial-25

Now you can add a strap of cord,  ribbon or even braided ribbon, whatever you like.  Stitch the ends of the strap at the top of the seam line on either side.  However, this is a redo of this purse  and I’m going to add a beaded handle.  (Make sure to subscribe to this blog either by email or feed reader so you don’t miss that post, coming up in a few days!)

folded-purses-1a

Since I’m going to be adding a new handle, I may use different buttons.  If I were to use this button, I would cut off the shank with wire cutters…

folded-purse-tutorial-26

…and then superglue it to cover the backside of the magnetic catch.

folded-purse-tutorial-27

Like I did on this bag:

folded-purse-tutorial-29

This bag got a braided ribbon handle.  That’s going to get replaced with a much nicer beaded one, very soon.

folded-purses-3a

This is a class I’ve taught on several occasions, it’s always a fun time.  I’m making available my class handout with the directions for free.  Feel free to print it, use it, distribute it, even teach it! All I ask is that you leave my site name and link intact.  Thank you. 🙂

Have fun and happy creating!

 

Sep 212011
 

Hi everyone! Sorry this post is going up so late in the day.  I’ve only been distracted by about 15 million different things since I took the photo SIX hours ago.  Sheesh. (Well, maybe it was only 15 things… or 5, but it felt like lots more!)

Anyhow, here is what’s on my workdesk today:

what's on your workdesk wednesday - folded orgami purses and beaded handles

To the left are three folded origami purses.  The black one with the oriental print I made ages ago and even carried for quite a bit.  The purple and floral purses are relatively new creations.

I never was totally thrilled with the cord I used for a handle on the black purse, but I really struggled to find something I liked for the floral.  Finally I decided to take advantage of A.C. Moore’s 50% off sale and make beaded handles.

I’ll be putting up a tutorial for making the bags (so super duper easy you won’t believe it!) and the handles very soon.  These would make fantastic Christmas gifts, so make sure to watch this space.

Better yet, subscribe to the blog via email or in a feed reader.  (The links to do so are on the upper right.)

Happy Woyww!

P.S.  Are you wondering just WHY I’ve posted a  pic of my messy workdesk?  That’s cuz it’s What’s on Your Workdesk Wednesday.  Go over to Julia’s to check out desks from all over the world.  (It’s quite addictive!)

 

Sep 172011
 

Right now I’m working on a commission, a t-shirt quilt that includes what must be most every t-shirt this gal has ever owned.  🙂

It’s rather an interesting challenge, trying to get them all into a reasonably sized quilt.  We’re skipping any sashing between blocks, as that would make it far too large to be allowed.  It will be quite busy to look at, but full of memories.

In case  you’ve never made a t-shirt quilt, they’re actually very simple.  Fusible interfacing is pressed onto the wrong side of the t-shirt design to stabilize it.  Then blocks are cut out and treated as quilt blocks.

This is a Tanzanian memory quilt I made last fall, you can read the whole post here.

tshirts from africa quilt

For the quilt I’m working on now I got around the “way too many t-shirts” problem by cutting them into three different sizes, 6.5″ squares, 12.5″ x 6.5″ rectangles and 12.5″ squares.  Two of the smaller squares sewn together are the size of one rectangle, and two of the rectangles sewn together are the size of one large square.

t-shirt-quilt-pieced-blocks

As you can see from the photo above, it’s very helpful to have a design wall to help you sort out just how many completed large squares you will have.  If you don’t have a design wall, find a large table or some empty floor space to lay things out.

It’s also good to have a  couple shirt that will serve as “filler” for those odd areas.  Thankfully my client had some old jammies and two tie-dyed t-shirts that worked perfectly for that.  And here it is, with the all the squares sewn together.  Did I mention she had a LOT of t-shirts?

t-shirt-quilt-completed-top

We had two shirts with designs that had to be cut larger than 12.5″ square.  I solved this problem by making one row that was wider than the rest and filled in the gaps with our filler pajamas and tie-dye.  You hardly notice it in all the busyness. (It’s the second row from the left.)

If you want to make your own t-shirt quilt here are a few tips:

  • Use a design wall or large floor area to plan your layout
  • Save leftover bits of t-shirt until you are all done.  You may need them to fill in the top corners (such as in the blue & white UMass section) or make filler blocks, such as the green/red/yellow section in the top left.
  • Use a light to medium weight fusible interfacing.  If you use the heavy weight stuff  the sewing becomes more difficult.
  • If you have one or can borrow a steam press (such as this Steam Press), this is an excellent time to do so.  It makes the fusing go faster and be more thorough.
  • Be careful when pressing the lettering on t-shirts.  Some of it will smear and/or gum up your iron if you try to press over it. Iron-off hot iron cleaner is a great product to use  if this happens.
  • Use the leftover backs of your t-shirts to protect your ironing surface.  Place the piece to be fused right side down on top of the scrap t-shirt, then place the fusible (fusible side down, please) on that.  If after pressing you find some of the lettering has transferred to the scrap t-shirt, you can just toss it and grab another one.
  • To reduce bulk press the seams open.
  • Don’t even THINK about hand quilting.  Plan to machine quilt, or better yet, just tie it.
  • Each block will stand out better if framed by sashing (as in the Tanzania quilt) but you can squeeze in lots more memories if you don’t sash.

T-shirt quilts are great for graduations and are an especially good gift for that difficult-to-buy-for guy.

Have fun preserving those memories!

Sep 122011
 

 A couple days ago I was shopping at Fabric.com and ordered these two sweater knits for fall cardigans/jackets:

Boucle Sweater Knit Novelty Stripe Black  

I also ordered a yard of this pink diagonal stripe to make another drapey sleeveless top.  I love sleeveless tops as I can wear them all summer, then layer them under cardigans or jackets for the cooler weather.

Stretch Jersey ITY Knit Tonal Stripe Rose

While I was poking around I came across several ruffle fabrics like the ones below, but had no idea what to do with them, so passed them by.

Stretch Ruffle Knit Turquoise   Rainbow Ruffle Knit Orange/Pink

The day after I placed my order I came across a tutorial to make this absolutely adorable skirt. 

Is that not the cutest thing?  I am SO placing another fabric.com order.  A yard of the black ruffle knit and a yard of the cerulean, at least.

Stretch Ruffle Knit Black   Stretch Ruffle Knit Cerulean

You can find the complete tutorial here.  It involves a little measuring, two seams and sewing on one waistband.  Super duper easy.

Happy creating!

 

Sep 102011
 

Today we have the third and final installment of our three part series, A Primer on Sewing with Knit Fabrics. If you missed Part One, you can find it here; Part Two is here.

Sewing with knits

Many folks who have been frustrated when sewing with knits find there are just two simple changes they need to put into practice.  These often make all the difference in the world in their ease of sewing and happiness with the finished garment.

They are:

1. Use a ball point or a stretch needle (size 75/11 or 80/12 is usually just right for jersey and slinky knits)sewing-with-knits-ball-point-needles

Notice that I only have one needle left, that’s because I’ve been doing a LOT of sewing with knits.

2. Instead of sewing with a straight stitch, use the very smallest zigzag stitch your machine will do.

sewing-with-knits-zigzag-stitch_0

The top row of stitching is a straight stitch, the bottom row is a slight zigzag.  When the seams are pressed open, you cannot tell the difference.

The rationale for each:

  1. When sewing with knits you want the needle to slide between the threads of the fabric rather than pierce them; this is what a rounded, or ball point, needle will do. (If the needle pierces the threads it causes runs, snags and skipped stitches.)
  2. Since your fabric has stretch, so your seams need to stretch.  (Ever hear that dreadful “popping” sound when you pull a knit top over your head?  That’s because the seams didn’t stretch along with the fabric and the threads broke.)

This very slightest of zigzags looks and feels like a straight stitch, but has just a bit of stretch.  Many machines have special “stretch” stitches, but I have yet to find one I like as much as just a simple small zigzag. By all means, experiment with what your machine can do

So there you have it, sewing with knits is easy, and the finished garments are comfy and fun to wear.  Just keep in mind:

    • Pick the right fabric for the right pattern
    • Cut out with care
    • Use a ball point or stretch needle
    • Sew with a stretch stitch, such as a small zigzag

Now, I want to see all the knit garments ya’ll are going to make!

Sep 082011
 

Here we are with Part Two of our three part series, A Primer on Sewing with Knit Fabrics. If you missed Part One, you can find it here. Part Three is here.

Cutting out knit fabrics

My favorite tool for cutting out garments is a large cutting mat and a rotary cutter. My reasons are a) it’s quick, b) it’s easy and c) I’m lazy. For cutting out knits, though, there’s another reason, d) it’s more accurate.

As you use scissors to lift up the edge of a knit to cut it, it gets slightly distorted. The more drapey the fabric, the more potential it has for getting distorted. A better method is the following:

1. Cut out all your tissue pattern pieces on the cutting line for your size.

2. Lay your fabric (usually folded with selvedges together) on the cutting mat. The grain lines go along the length of the fabric, the stretch always goes around the body.

3. Do NOT have excess fabric draping off the table, this will stretch and distort your pieces.sewing-with-knits-fabric-hanging-off-table

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

4. Rather, lay out as many pattern pieces as will fit on the mat, then gently accordion fold or puddle the excess fabric at the end of the mat.sewing-with-knits-fabric-supported-on-table

 

 

 

 

 

5. Use pattern weights to hold down the corners of the pattern pieces. (If you don’t have pattern weights, you can just use small cans like tuna fish cans or go here to make your own.)

sewing-with-knits-pattern-weights

6. Use a straight edge and a rotary cutter to cut the straight lines. Use the rotary cutter to carefully cut any curves. (If you have very tight curves, use a smaller rotary cutter, like a 28 mm.)sewing-with-knits-22mm-rotary-cutter

Did you ignore my advice and get that slinky knit anyways?

If you absolutely had to have that slinky knit I warned you about above, here’s how to deal with it for the most success. Follow step one. Before following step two, lay out lightweight paper such as unprinted newsprint, tracing paper or tissue paper on the mat. Lay out your fabric on top of this paper, making the selvedges and fold as even and parallel as humanly possible. (Now you know why it’s called slinky.)

Continue with steps three and four. Instead of using pattern weights for step five, carefully pin through all layers (tissue pattern, both layers of fabric and paper underneath) along all the edges of the patterns.  Having your fabric pinned between two layers of paper keeps it from shifting out of shape.  The more pins you use here, the easier the next step will be.

sewing-with-knits-cutting-slinky-knit

Now you can use either scissors or a rotary cutter to cut out your pattern pieces. (I don’t own any, but I’ve been told that using micro-serrated scissors helps here as well.) Use your favorite method to mark notches, etc.  (You might notice from the photo that I like the quick method of clipping into the notches.  I usually use a water soluble fabric marker to mark the dots.)

Now, go ahead and cut out your pattern. I’ll wait. 🙂

Next time, Part Three, Needles & Stitches (choosing the right ones can make all the difference.)

Sep 052011
 

You may have noticed that I’ve sewn quite a few knit garments this past spring and summer.  Such as:

turquiose bamboo jacket-Simplicity 2603  simplicity-2364-raspberry   black lycra twist front top-Butterick 4789  simplicity-2219-raspberry-dress  simplicity-2364-aqua   turquiose bamboo twist top-Butterick 4789

Here are a few reasons why I chose knits (besides that fact that my local fabric store was going out of business and had them for one dollar a yard):

  • When you sew with knits you can make a lot of clothing fairly quickly.
  • Knits don’t ravel and generally don’t require much special treatment.
  • Because of their stretch knits are comfortable to wear and easier to fit than garments out of woven fabrics.
  • Most patterns for knits have less complicated design lines and construction is simple.

Some have expressed concern, however, about sewing fabric that stretches.  So here are a few things to keep in mind when sewing with knits.

Choosing the right knit fabric for your pattern, (or the right pattern for your knit): 

Knits have a wide range of stretchiness; you need to choose the fabric that best suits your pattern.

  • Single knits, also called jersey, are what come to mind when you think of a knit garment such as a t-shirt.  A single knit is simply a fabric knitted on a single pair of needles, just like you’d knit a sweater or scarf.  They have stretch across the width of the fabric, but not much along the length.  Jersey is great for tops, dresses and skirts.  If you’ve never sewn with knits before, I’d suggest you start with a jersey in a solid color you love.
  • Double knits are heavier in weight than single knits because they are made using two sets of needles, so the fabric is double in thickness.  It tends to have just a little crosswise stretch and so is good for jackets and pants.  A firm double knit can certainly be used in a pattern designed for woven fabrics.
  • Sweatshirt fleece is a thicker knit with a cozy brushed surface on the wrong side.  It tends to have only moderate crosswise stretch and is great for sweatshirts and sweatpants.
  • Ribbing has prominent vertical ribs on both sides and a great deal of crosswise stretch.  Ribbing is traditionally used for sweater and sweatshirt cuffs, necklines and lower bands, but can also be used for close-fitting garments, such as tank tops. (The blue top above was made out of ribbing. Click on the photo to read the full article.)
  • Four-way stretch knits are usually used for active garments such as swimsuits, leotards and dance costumes.  They have crosswise and lengthwise stretch due to Spandex or Lycra being blended in with the primary fiber. (The black top above required a four-way stretch knit.)
  • Slinky knits drape extremely well and rarely wrinkle.  You’ll know you have a slinky knit if you pick up a length and it flows through your hands like water.  🙂  Despite its lovely feel, and your strong desire to make a beautifully flowing top or dress out of it, I don’t recommend slinky knits for beginning knit sewers.  (If you must have it, I’ll tell you later how to best work with it.)

There is a LOT of helpful information on the back of a pattern envelope.  First you need to look at the recommended fabrics.  In the pattern below you’ll see that this top is sized for stretch knits only.  If I were to make it out of a woven, I wouldn’t be able to get into it. (Well, maybe just my arm, lol.) sewing-with-knits-fabric-recommendations

Next you’ll need to check the amount of stretch your fabric must have in order to work with that pattern.  If you look at the back of any pattern sized for stretch knits you’ll find a rule similar to the one below.

sewing-with-knits-stretch-gauge

Simply hold a folded crosswise section of fabric against the gauge and see if it will stretch (reasonably easily) to the point indicated.  (If you have to really yank on the fabric to make it stretch that far, it does not have enough stretch for this pattern.  Don’t be tempted, you’ll be sooooorrrry.)

Knits come in many different fibers including wool, cotton, rayon, silk and even bamboo.  One thing they all seem to have in common is that they tend to shrink in the length over time.  (How many too-short t-shirts do you have?)  I always pre-wash fabric for any sewing project, but it’s a good idea to pre-wash and dry knits two or three times before cutting out.

So to sum up, when it says “stretch knits” on the pattern, you only need to keep in mind two things:

  1. Is the fabric appropriate for the pattern style?  For example, you wouldn’t use a lingerie weight tricot knit to make a sweatshirt, neither would you use a sweatshirt knit for a drapey top. (Also note that the fabric suggestions usually give you an idea of what to use, such as in the pattern above where it says “Jerseys, Matte Jerseys, Stretch Velvet,” etc.)
  2. Does the fabric have at least the amount of stretch indicated on the gauge?

That really is all there is to it.

Part Two, Cutting Out Knit Fabrics (including how to cut out those ever-slippery slinky knits.)

Part Three, Needles & Stitches (choosing the right ones can make all the difference.)

Sep 012011
 

Last winter I was flipping through the Dec/Jan issue of Quilting Arts magazine and saw their “Save My U.F.O.” challenge.  The idea was to send in an UnFinished Object and have another quilter finish it for me.  In return, I’d get somebody’s else’s UFO to work on.

Now, I don’t have time to do all the challenges out there, but this one sounded like fun, and I have found that there’s nothing like a good challenge to stretch one’s creativity in new ways and get one out of a crafty rut.

I had just the perfect UFO to send in and had just a few days before the deadline, and so decided to go for it.

This is what I sent: quilting-arts-ufo-challenge-submitted

Once I’d sent it, I anxiously awaited what kind of UFO I’d get.

Monday, March 28 – Received a HUGE box from Quilting Arts.  Opened it very excitedly to find only a single, unfinished storm at sea quilt block inside.

Bleah.

Tuesday, March 29 – Put the single, unfinished quilt block on my design wall and stared at it.

Bleah.

Tried turning it on the diagonal.

Still bleah.

This 13"x13" doesn't seem like much to start with.

Wednesday, March 30 – Ignored the design wall entirely.

Thursday, March 31 – Started to have an inkling of an idea.  What really is bugging me about that block is the unfinished state of the design.  I’ve always loved the storm at sea pattern, so why not add three more blocks to make a small wall-hanging?  Perhaps then I could appliqué on some waves, small boats, etc.

Friday, April 1 – Sat down with my Electric Quilt software to start working out a design.  Feeling much better about this project now!

I’m thinking  of using tulle or something else very sheer to make water and waves at the bottom.  Hmmmm . . .

Saturday, April 16th – Just got back from my quilting group, so was in quilting mode.  Using only fabrics from my stash I made the blocks to make one complete design.  I really do love the Storm at Sea pattern, especially how it gives the illusion of curves where there are none.  And I’m so glad the block I got was in blues and purples.  If it had been in orange and yellows… well, I might still be stumped, lol.

Didn’t worry about any wonkiness, because, frankly, the block I got was quite wonky.

Tuesday, April 19th – Bought several colors of tulle at Joann’s.  Naturally, I forgot to bring the completed blocks with me, so I bought 1/4 yard of every color that I thought might possibly work.

Saturday, April 30th – Looked at the calendar and realized I have less than three weeks to get this thing done.  Yipes. 

So, I made myself sit down, print out the boat templates from Electric Quilt and then started picking out fabric.  I even sewed one of the little boats.  I think I’m gonna like it.  Now I’m thinking about white lace for froth on the waves, or maybe white pearl strands . . . and what kinds of embellishments can I do on the boats?  Hmmmm . . .

 Saturday, May 7th – It’s been such a busy week, that today I HAVE to make all these little boats.  It feels like drudgery, but hey, where would the world be without deadlines?

Here’s how I made the 3D appliqués:

Print out or draw your design.  Layer fabrics, right sides together and pin pattern to one side.  If you want to add a thin layer of batting, add that to the wrong side of the fabric that will be on the right side of the appliqué.  quilting-arts-3d-applique-step-1j

Stitch all the way around the design on the seam line.  Use a slightly smaller stitch than usual, such as 2.0.

quilting-arts-3d-applique-step-2

Trim around the appliqué, leaving about a 1/4″ seam allowance.  quilting-arts-3d-applique-step-3

Carefully remove paper.  Clip any curves and trim points.quilting-arts-3d-applique-step-4

Make a slash in the fabric that will be on the wrong side.  quilting-arts-3d-applique-step-5

Turn right side out and press. 

quilting-arts-3d-applique-step-6

Tip:  Only use batting on larger appliqués.  I can guarantee you WILL lose your mind trying to deal with batting on itty-bitty appliqués. Ask me how I know…

The beauty of these appliqués is that you get the exact shape you want and you don’t have to finish the slit in the back.  You can just add a layer of batting for dimension, or fill them quite firmly before sewing down to your project.  They can be ruffled, gathered, pleated, shaped, stuffed or embellished to your heart’s content. 

I kept these little boats simple, but here are some appliqués from a quilt I designed several years back showing lots of fun techniques: 3d-applique girl in purple dress

The dress and hair were gathered to give dimension, the legs were stuffed to give roundness and shape.

In the below example, the leave were pleated at the centers to give fullness.

3d-applique-violets

So, back to the Storm At Sea quilt…

The tulle made perfect waves when stitched down all ruffled and crinkled.  I layered it with the darkest in the back and brightest in the front to give the illusion of depth.  The boats had to be appliquéd between the layers of tulle.

quilting-art-ufo-challenge-4-waves

I used invisible thread to stitch down the waves and edge-stitch the boats.  Have any of you found an invisible thread that isn’t irritating to work with?  I love what you can do with the stuff, but hate dealing with it jumping out of the tension guides at random moments.quilting-art-ufo-challenge-4-waves-close-up

Once all the boats and waves were down I decided we needed whitecaps, so got out the white paint.  THAT was fun.  Splish-splash.

quilting-art-ufo-challenge-5-wave-and-boats

I also added some seashells, just for interest.  I had some sand/glue mixture for scrapbooking that I thought of trying out, but decided this quilt was more about the storm at sea than the beach.

quilting-art-ufo-challenge-complete

White embroidery floss added a bit more dimension as rigging and the borders frame it nicely. quilting-art-ufo-challenge-complete-close-up

Don’t know but that I went a little overboard adding the shells to the edges.  Ah well…

This was due in to the offices of Quilting Arts by Friday, May 20th, and I managed to get it in the mail on Monday, the 16th.  They received it on Thursday the 19th, so Phew!

Wednesday, August 31 – Finally got my hands on a copy of the August/September issue.  Sadly, my quilt didn’t make the cut.  (The quilters online rated it 4.75 out of 5.  Woot!) That’s ok, it was still an interesting and worthwhile experience.

You can see all the transformations here.  Some are excellent and really, really well done, and some are just “meh,” I’ll leave you to judge for yourselves which are which. 🙂

Happy creating!

P.S.  Speaking of being creative, I won’t be around this weekend, as my brother-in-law will be getting married… on top of a mountain.  Here’s where we’ll be staying, after we hike up there.  Should be fun!  Gotta go pack my rucksack now…

 

Aug 292011
 

Hey all!

It’s a beautiful sunshiny morning here in Mass. We had some wild wind yesterday, but we’re fine.

Yesterday morning we’d had our showers, made the coffee and had just turned off the TV after watching some of the footage from points south, when the power went out. This was about 9:30.

We spent the day reading, working on projects (I cut out a skirt and yet another knit top), napping (that wind really lulls you to sleep) and trying to open the fridge as little as possible. (Did you know that toasting a piece of bread with a lighter doesn’t really work all that well?)

At about 7:30 p.m., just as I was lighting the oil lamps and candles so I could continue to read, the power came back on. Just in time for Sunday night football. Yay!

The biggest problem we have in New England with storms like this are downed trees. They fall on power lines, houses, cars and passersby.  The best case is if they only fall into the street, blocking traffic.  I couldn’t find a photo of it, but the next town over from me a tree split a house in half. By God’s grace, the residents were fine.

Other parts of New England were not so fortunate.  There has been severe flooding and a few deaths.  We’re thankful that the storm weakened, rather than strengthened, as it made its way north.  We’ll continue to trust that God, in his providence, is in control of all things, great and small.

So, today we just have to put away all the supplies we don’t need, take our patio furniture back out and thank the good Lord that all is well with our family.

Thank you all so much for your prayers.