Monday, October 10, 2016

Folk Art Quilted Traditions Blog Hop starts TODAY!

Today is the start of the Folk Art Quilted Traditions Blog Hop!  The projects my friends and fellow quilters have made are truly amazing!  I can't wait to see them all!

Here's the complete list of participating bloggers.  Check out today's posts and enter the giveaway below!  Yes, I have a new project to show you below....be sure to scroll down and check it out.



Monday, October 10
Connie Kresin Campbell - http://www.conniekresin.com/

Tuesday, October 11

Wednesday, October 12

Thursday, October 13
Maryellen McAuliffe - http://teachpany.blogspot.com/

Friday October 14
Adele Mogavero - http://adelemogavero.com/

Saturday October 15 - Final Wrap-up

Giveaway!  You'll get a free autographed copy of my book and four gorgeous fat quarters of Island Batik fabric!  You can see the items below:



For this Blog Hop I decided to create something new using the patterns in my book.  I teach third grade so I decided that the perfect thing to do would be to make a bag just the right size to carry my plan book and papers back and forth from school.  

One amazing quilter I've been following lately is Cathy Wiggins.  You can check out her Facebook page by clicking on the link.  She's been working with quilting leather and I must admit being intrigued.  The question in my mind was this:  can you use fusible on leather?  What will happen?  

I went off to my local fabric outlet and found a gorgeous piece of tan leather.   Perfect for making a bag.  It was a little smaller than what I wanted, but it was so soft I couldn't resist.  I shrunk the pattern to 85% and was ready to roll.

First, I picked out some splendid Island Batik fabrics for my project.  I love Island Batik fabrics.


Then, I knew it was time to do a test sample.  I didn't want to waste any of my gorgeous batiks!  The first step was to see what happened when I tried to fuse my Decorbond by Pellon to the leather.  I use Decorbond to make the bag sturdy.  Sure, maybe by using leather I didn't necessarily Decorbond to make the bag stiffer, but I wasn't sure since my leather was so supple.  Plus it was also stretchy and I didn't want my applique to stretch out of shape. 

I must admit I was timid at this point.  So I sent a Facebook message to the lovely Cathy Wiggins to ask about ironing leather.  She assured me she treats it just like fabric so I went for it.  I tried a medium heat setting.  No luck.  Then the cotton setting, almost he linen setting on my iron.  I had to press for a while to make sure to get the heat through all the layers, but it stuck fast.  I was a happy camper!


Now it was time to try fusing.  I pulled a few stray pieces from my scrap bag and put them together into a flower.  I fused them on using medium heat and they stuck fast.  No problems at all.  I did constantly move the iron not leaving it in one place for any length of time.

I used Steam-a-Seam 2 as I always do.  I was pleasantly surprised how well the pieces stuck to the leather.  It is really soft and the fusible stuck right to the hairs of the hide with now problems at all.  I was also able to remove the piece and move it (before ironing of course!) with ease if I didn't put it in the correct place.  I then heat set the pieces using a medium setting.  


Here is my sample with all the blanket stitching. I am really happy with how it turned out.  I used a leather needle and had no trouble getting my thread to work or getting the needle through the fabric.  I also find it interesting that the pieces almost seem to settle into the leather than to be on top of the leather.  


Here's the back of the sample.


Now it was time to go ahead and stitch on my beautiful Island Batiks!  Here's the finished front panel for the bag.  I am so pleased with how it turned out.


And the back of the front panel.  One thing that was tricky about doing this was I wasn't able to make my regular registration lines because any holes made in the leather were permanent.  What to do?  I drew the lines on the stabilizer I'd ironed to the back (a good idea because leather DOES stretch!).  Then I figured out where the outer most petals were going to be and sketched them in.  I then put a hole (needle up and down on my machine) about 1/8 inch INSIDE the petals (the petals covered up the holes) to help with registration.  I then stuck ALL the pieces down at once (something I rarely do, but in this case I thought it was going to be easier) to make sure they were aligned.  Then I pressed to seal my fusible and started stitching.


Here is the final bag all done!  I decided to put canvas on the inside for a little for stability and I used a dark color in case something leaked.  I tried to make a leather handle, but it didn't turn out well, so I ended up with batik wrapped around strapping as it describes in the book.


Here you can see that yes, I really am using this to carry my school supplies.  One think I've learned is that I don't want to take my leather bag outside when it's raining, so I have put it in a garbage bag before to protect it while running out to my car after school.  LOL.




Here you can see the difference between the bag described in the book and my new bag.  I had to adjust the size due to the piece of leather I bought.




Come back tomorrow to check out the other quilt I made for this blog hop :)

I hope you get to quilt today!
Suzy



42 comments:

  1. Stunning Suzy, you made it look so easy

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  2. Thanks for sharing tips on leather. The bag turned out great, and I love the motif.

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  3. Beautiful Suzy! Now I'm going to be on the look out for some leather the try appliqueing on!

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  4. Your book looks very interesting, I love machine applique and have done a lot of it..and I'm interested in using some leather too..thanks

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  5. Very pretty, thanks for sharing.
    cork@pa.rr.com

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  6. That's perfect for a tote bag - it probably stops people in their tracks to comment about it! Fun to have a Blog Hop for your book.

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  7. Love wool applique and thank you for the info and creative tips!

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  8. I never thought of appliqueing on leather. What a great idea. Thanks for sharing your process. The tote bag came out beautifully.

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  9. This was a great eye opening and learning experience for me this morning. I love applique, but have never considered doing it on leather. There are several gifts that I could make along with what is in your book. I also am crossing my fingers that I win a signed book by you your projects look so fantastic! Have a fantastic creative day!

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  10. Great project! I have a piece of suede I want to use to make a wallet, and think I'll applique something on it. It's not my color, but I can add my favorites. Thanks for the inspiration.

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  11. I've never tried to sew leather but have used vinyl for machine embroidery with no problems. Thanks for sharing your tips.

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  12. Beautiful applique designs!!! Love those bright colours!!

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  13. You're brave to work with leather. Although my machine is capable, an old Viking workhorse, I've never tried it. LOVE those batiks, thinking about making a caftan out of one for a "dressy casual" wedding I'm going to later this month. Your book looks intriguing. We just completed a 14 mo remodel of our Spanish revival home. Any projects in there that I could use?
    Rosemary

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  14. Beautiful is all I can say. Love the color.

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  15. You proved "never featured never gained!" Your carrying bag is gorgeous, bright in colour and useful . Thank you for sharing your work . Happy Quilting :)

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  16. Nice bag .Would have never thought to use leather on an applique.

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  17. I love the different backgrounds. Great looking job.

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  18. Gorgeous bag, Suzy. Thanks for the chance. As my husband is Hungarian, I need that book.

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  19. Very nice! i love your color choices.

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  20. I love your flowers . . . always! (lynnstck@yahoo.com)

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  21. Your bag is stunning. I have really enjoyed your blog and your applique flowers with inclusion of black and white prints.

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  22. Your bag is stunning. I have really enjoyed your blog and your applique flowers with inclusion of black and white prints.

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  23. Your leather bag is quite lovely and luxurious. You are brave to work with expensive leather. Thank you for one sharing and hopping and writing your applique book.

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  24. Ohhh, what beautiful bags!! So clever of you to use leather, not something most quilters use very often but perfect for your bag!!

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  25. I've never stitched on leather before. Now I want to try it! Love your new book so many fun designs and so many applications.

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  26. Really love what your fellow contributors are making. Thank you for putting this hop together.

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  27. Thanks for sharing. I've been recently appreciating batiks but have not used them in an applique project yet

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  28. Beautiful work of art! I love what you did with this too.
    This looks like an awesome book of designs.

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  29. Love your bag. It looks greats x
    Iain.ross30 at gmail dot com

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  30. WoW! Your bag turned out super! I've never sewn with leather on my machine. Thanks for walking us through how you made the bag.


    usairdoll(at)gmail(dot)com

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  31. I'm loving the ways that I am seeing to use batiks! Very creative.

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  32. I'm a lover of folk art. I like your designs, as would several of my quilting friends.

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