Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Floral Kaleidoscope - Part One

The Plan:  To make a blanket-stitch applique quilt that was larger and not cut in pieces.  The last time I tried this it was a bit disastrous as I fused all the pieces and then as I put this large bundle in the machine pieces began to fall off before I could get them stitched down.  So, could I do it successfully this time?

Well, sort of.  Follow along over the next few weeks and you'll see what I mean.  I am a bit picky after all...

I drafted out a pattern that I was happy with.  I love drawing patterns.  It always makes me happy because the next step is playing with fabric and making it come alive!

Then I started playing with fabric and did a mock-up of part of the quilt I could reflect in my mirrors.

After a lot of playing, I was finally happy with my choices.  I know I'm happy when I feel like the quilt "sings."  

So I started by fusing down all the pieces on the bottom layer.  At this point the quilt was on a 44 x 44 inch piece of background batik fabric.

I knew the center was going to be a challenge because this quilt has 12-fold symmetry like a clock does.  I started by looking at my 12 pieces that would go around in a circle.

I fussy cut these pieces from a batik and I love the way they look in a circle!  However, I knew that it was critical that these pieces be in the right places because otherwise they symmetry was not going to be correct.  So....what to do.  Well, since there is a piece that goes in the center and completely covers the middle of the circle I decided it was safe to use a Frixion pen to help mark registration lines.

Now I used these lines to carefully put down my pieces.  I laid the fabric on the original patttern on top of a light box to ensure even more precision.  This is always how I put down my pieces.  First, I roll small pieces of rolled Scotch tape and stick them to my pattern.  I then put my pattern on the light box and stick my background fabric to it.  Since I use Steam-a-Seam 2 I can then stick my fusible pieces to the background fabric and they won't move.  Then I iron them on.

Here is the first layer in process and all ironed on.  You can see that I have stitched down the horizontal and vertical lines in the middle of the quilt to help with lining up pieces.  These lines are done in large basting stitches and removed later.  (You can learn all about how I do this in my new book Folk Art Quilted Traditions coming out August 30, 2016 from the American Quilter's Society!)

Come back Saturday to see the start of stitching and the next steps in the process!

I hope you get to quilt today!

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