Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Quilted Poppy Coasters

Well, I think I finally have coasters to cover me for the entire year!  I decided to declare spring here by putting out my spring table mat and didn't have coasters to go with it.  Our spring poppies haven't begun blooming yet - when they do is one of my favorite times of the year, so I decided to go with poppies.  

*white quilting cotton
*black quilting cotton
*fusible felt
*SetaSilk silk paints - tangerine and hermes red
*black, orange, and yellow sewing thread
*pattern found here

1.  Wash, dry, and iron the white cotton and place either on a silk painting frame or on a piece of plastic on a large, flat surface.  In this past post, I introduced SetaSilk paints as part of a silk painting project - they work great on other natural fibers, too! 

2.  With a large, soft brush (such as a bamboo brush), paint on some of the tangerine straight from the bottle in about a 6 to 8 inch area.

3.  Do the same with the hermes red.

4.  Wet the brush and scrub over the colors to soften the lines.

5.  Continue until you have enough for the number of coasters you want to make.  Let dry and then iron each painted area on the back for about 4 minutes on a cotton setting.

6.  Using the pattern, cut out backs from the black cotton and fronts from the orange/red shapes you made.  Trim 1/4 from the outside edge of the pattern and cut out the batting from the fusible felt.  Fuse the felt to the back.

7.  Pin front to back and sew around the edges using a small zigzag stitch and black thread.  Trim edges even.

8.  Put on a free motion quilting foot, lower the feed dogs, and sew in three large petals.  See here for more information on free motion quilting.

9.  Sew between the petals to suggest back petals.

10.  Sew creases on each of the front petals.  Switch to orange thread and go over all the lines you made with black.

11.  Switch back to black and sew radiating lines in the center, very close together.

12.  Switch to yellow thread and sew a tight spiral in the center.

And you have your poppy coaster!  I may have to try this with other flowers ...

Happy Creating!  Deborah

Monday, February 25, 2013

Year of the Snake Quilt - Finishing

So finally, here's how I finished up my Year of the Snake quilt!  See the last two weeks' posts for how I got to here.

After all the appliques were attached and zigzagged around, I sandwiched the quilt - back, quilt batting, and then the top.  I pinned it about every six inches with curved quilting safety pins to hold everything in place.

Then the fun began!  I really do love free motion quilting - it's kind of a Zen thing, giving me lots of time to think.  For this quilt, I used large curls to give a general idea of lots of snakes.  And I also stitched around each applique.

For the quilting, I used this variegated black/white/gray thread from Sulkey.

After I finished the quilting, I trimmed the edges and rounded the corners.  I just like the look of rounded corners and it does make binding a lot easier!

I made bias tape for the binding, in the same color as the backing.  See this past post for how to do bias tape.

I've begun adding one last step - printing off the name of the quilt, my name, and the year onto printer fabric ....

.... turning the edges under and machine stitching to hem, and then hand sewing into place.

 Happy Creating!  Deborah

Friday, February 22, 2013

Friday Inspiration - Pot Holder Fiber Art

Every once in awhile I get on a kick of looking for every day art - items usually used every day, but artistically made and presented.  I recently found two artists who work with potholders .... yep, potholders!  I like the way they've hung them as an artistic display - and I don't know how these particular artists feel, but if I was making these I'd really hope they found a home that also actually put them to use!

Finnish artist Anu Tuominen works in unusual media - rocks, socks, ... and potholders!  I love the way she blends the colors in these exhibitions of pot holders, moving from different colors to neutrals.  How fun!

Cherie St Cyr uses the surface of a pot holder as her canvas for painting - and then quilts, adding nice texture.  Lately I've been thinking of using fabric paints more like watercolors.  Cherie also has some beautiful quilts on her website that are well worth a look.

Happy Creating!  Deborah

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Year of the Snake Quilt - Adding the Appliques

Okay I'm back!  Last week I showed you how I make pieced backgrounds for my quilts.  Today I'm putting on the appliques!

After the background is sewn together and ironed flat, I place pieces of fabric around the background in the general position of where I think I might the appliques I make from them to be.

Next I cut newspaper patterns of all the pieces I think I'll want.  Notice I said "think" - this changes as I move them around and see how much space they take up.

I then cut out the fabric, using the paper patterns, and put Steam-a-Seam on the wrong side.  You can buy this by the yard at many quilting shops, but I have a lot of odd pieces from the squares I've been saving so I just patched them in!

When you iron the pieces on to attach them to the background, start with the furthest back piece first - the piece that other pieces overlap - and then work your way out.  On my quilt, that's the rising moon.  I printed a piece of printer fabric organza (see this past post for more info on that) to add some depth and pinned this on top of a piece of white fabric (cut out in the same shape - I used a paper print out of the moon for this) that I first ironed on.

After I got the top half of the quilt appliques ironed on, I zigzagged around each edge with a small stitch.

Next it was on to the bottom half of the quilt!  I wanted to duplicate the moon features on the moon's reflection, so again I first ironed on a same sized piece of white fabric, pinned on the moon printed on the organza, and zigzagged around the edges.

And finally, the snake - with two embroidered eyes!

Next week I'll show you how I finished it up!

Happy Creating!  Deborah

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Year of the Snake Quilt - Making the Background

In honor of the Year of the Snake (which also happens to be the year my husband was born!), I started on an appliqued quilt.  For the next few blogs, I'll take you through how I did this - today I'm working on the quilt's background.

When I'm making a pieced background, the first thing I do when is to draw a very rough sketch of the background. This is just a draft and, as you'll see, it can be changed!

The next step is to tape enough pieces of newspaper together to make it the size of the quilt.  For this quilt, I divided the quilt into quarters, with the two top quarters being reverse images of each other and the two bottom quarters also being reverse images of each other.  So this time I only needed to make two newspaper pieces that were the size of one quarter of the quilt back - in this case 22 x 30 inches.  For the top quarter, I used a Sharpie to draw the pieces in.

To make sure the pieces went together in the right order, I wrote the same symbol on the two seams that need to be sewn together - I use capital letters.  The pieces can then be cut apart.  For one of the quarters, the pattern is used right side up - for the other quarter, turn the patterns upside down so you will get a mirror image.

Next, I pinned each newspaper pattern to fabric and cut them out - NOTE:  when cutting the edges that will be sewn to other edges, add 1/4 inch for a seam allowance.

I then sewed the pieces together using a 1/4 inch seam.  Here's the finished top half.

Next I drew the pieces for one of the bottom half quarters.

After the two quarters were sewn together (and again, for the second quarter I turned the pattern upside down when pinning it to the fabric so I would get a mirror image and also added a 1/4 inch seam allowance to each edge that would be sewn to another piece) I played with how I wanted to put them together.  I liked this arrangement - different from how I sketched it.  I like how all the panels roughly lead to the same place.

And here's where I am!  On Monday, I'll show you the making of the appliques and how I put them on.

Happy Creating!  Deborah