Sunday, March 21, 2010

Custom Tree Quilt Next Steps

Many of the next steps you can work on simultaneously. The order won't affect the outcome of the quilt.

What I do next is start working on the branches.  There are many different methods you can use for this, my current favorite is to use free motion quilting in what is commonly reffered to as thread play.  Basically I draw the branches on with thread using my machine as the pen.  Other methods might be stitching on cording, ribbon, hand embroidering them or maybe painting them on.

Some quilters I have met or those new to machine quilting talk about being to uptight or machine quilting being too stressful.  When I first started I would have a half a glass of wine with me next to my machine.  I would sip on it as I went which would force me to relax and be more free flowing with my movements.  With the amount of machine quilting I have been doing lately I would be tipsy all the time.  So I have also found that a good piece of dark chocolate helps to get me in the mood for quilting.

Next I prepare the leaves.  Sometimes I do this just before I finish up for the day and work on them while watching TV or a movie with my family.

Remove the side of the fusible paper that does not have the number on it.  This side should not have the sticky fusible medim on it.  Then randomly distribute the leaves between your varying greens of fabric and iron them on.  Cut around each leaf about 1/8 - 3/16 of an inch outside of the fusible shape.

Once I have all the branches stitched on I then get the piece prepared for embroidery.

For this piece I am using a taupe colored embroidery floss and the font will be King Charles.  I think the sweeping letters of this font suit the style of quilt well.

Once you are done tear away the stabilizer and cut the jump stitches.  Then take a spray bottle of water and spritz the top where your markings are and let air dry.  You may need to do this a couple of times for all of the blue to disapper, but one good soaking should do.

While your embroidery is going and your top is drying you can be working on you leaves.

You will need to find a method of organizing your leaves as you make them because you will be pulling off the last piece of paper which has your numbers on them.  I like to lay them on top of my freezer paper design.  This also gives me a mock-up before I tack them down to see if I want to move any around for better fabric placement.

Put the leaf face down on your ironing board or ironing surface.  Fold over the edge of the leaf at the line of the fusible medium.  You can use your finge, a pair of tweezers or a stiletto.  Using the tip of your iron or a small iron like the ones made by clover secure the edge by fusing it.  Work your way around the leaf and then trim off the excess at the tip.  Wha Laaa You have a leaf.

Why do I do my leaves this way you ask.  I love the convenience of fusible applique, but I prefer the look of needle turn.  I don't have the patience for needle turn so this is my hybrid.  Later I will show you how I secure the leaves to the tree, finish the edges of the trunk, add the borders and quilt and bind the quilt.

It's All About..Vol 9

This treasury was a difficult one to get.  Everytime I checked the opening time was right smack dab in the middle of soccer practice, then would have to wait another 30 or so hours for the next one.  But, you know what they say...Persistance pays off!

I present for you, It's All About...SPRING!

Featured sellers are: lmkquilts, Whimbrella, peskycatdesigns, GlassRiverJewelry, AmericaJane, DressGreen, uniquelynancy, clubaloha, ToBeTattooed, flandersfield, withhugsnstitches and josiemart.

Check out these great shops by clicking on their shop names.

Next Treasury theme will be:  Books

Sunday, March 14, 2010

I've Been Featured for National Quilt Day!

A great friend of mine from my Quiltsy Team on Etsy put together a fabulous blog post in honor of National Quilt Day.  Every day this week Quilting Frenzy (Ann) will be doing a new post on her blog highlighting different styles and techniques of quilting.  I am so honored to be included in her first post.

You can visit the blog by clicking here.

The quilt that was featured is one of my favorites and quickly becoming one of the most popular in my shop, it is my Family Tree Quilt.

QuiltingFrenzy has a finatastic shop on Etsy and is a very talented quilter.  Some of my most favorite items from her shop are:

Who would have thought to make a quilted easter basket!  So original and so creative.  LOVE IT!

Friday, March 12, 2010

It's All About...Vol 8

What a crazy treasury day yesterday was!  I was able to slip in and get a Treasury West using my next theme HOT PINK.  Then I had to leave to help in my daughter's classroom before main Treasury opened.  I heard from friends that it shot up to over 1000 in seconds and many people had to reload theirs.  I know I couldn't open any of them until this morning.  Guess that's a little too much traffic for the servers to handle!

Check it out while you still can!

The next treasury theme will be .... Spring.

Muted Figgy Pudding Featured in the Storque!

What a great way to start off the weekend.  First I found out that my Muted Figgy Pudding quilt was included in this week's voter. 

To get to the voter and cast your vote, click here.

Then I found out that they also did a Storque article to go along with the voter since this is National Quilt month. 


Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Custom Tree Quilt Step 3 & 4

I forgot to mention in my last post that when I enlarge my design I draw it in pencil so that I can make any necessary changes.  Then when I am happy with it I draw over the top with a black sharpie.

Next I create or cut out my background piece.  In this case the background is a solid eggshell cotton so I just cut the size I need.  If I had a multi colored background I would piece that together to form my background piece.

Lay your drawing on a flat surface large enough so that you can trace the whole design without moving it.  Then position your background piece over the top of the drawing.

Once I have the background piece positioned I then trace the design onto the background fabric with a blue water soluable marking pen.  These pens are great because you can mark your fabric and then just spritz it with water or dab with a damp cloth and the markings disappear.  If you are going to add the applique's and the stitching right away I sometimes us the purple dissappearing ink markers.  These are great if you are going to work with your design right away.  I once marked an entire twin sized quilt, then got a phone call, when I came back the markings were gone.  Most of the time I prefer the blue water soluable markers.
Onto step 4.  Time to prepare your applique pieces.  First you need to select your method of applique.  I prefer to fuse vs. needle turn because needle turn takes me too long.  In the case of this quilt I am using a fuse applique method.

My fusable medium of choice is Steam-A-Steam Lite 2.  I like it because it has a double sided fusion and doesn't make the pieces stiff.  It also allows me to embroider or quilt through the pieces without the needle getting gummy or sticky.
Turn your drawing to the WRONG side.  This is important otherwise your design will be mirrored to what you actually drew and traced and won't line up with any of your markings.  One of the great things about using the freezer paper is that you can clearly see your design through the paper so you don't need a light box or window.
Next you need to make sure you trace your drawing on the correct side of the Steam-A-Seam.  One paper layer gets peeled away when you iron it onto the back of the fabric.  If you put your design on the wrong side you will peel away thepattern that you need to cut out. I always double check by peeling back a corner.  The side that does NOT have the sticky mesh should be place down.

Next you will trace all of the parts of your design that will have fabric applique'd.
Once you have this done you need to cut out all of your pieces.  The majority of the time I cut about 1/8 to 1/4 inch around the design line, then fuse and finally cut the fabric shape out on the line.  This ensures that the fusable medium is all the way to the outer edge.  For this particular pattern I will do that for the trunk, but the leaves I will be using a different method and will cut those out on the line.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Custom Tree Quilt Step 2

After sketching the quilt out in my sketch book and getting all of the main details narrowed down I then transfer that image onto freezer paper in the actual size of the quilt.

This quilt will end up measuring 50"x55" and will have a 3" border of a colored fabric (yet to be determined).

This particular quilt is for an engagement gift so where the trunk spreads to the branches it has the couples names and their wedding date.  At the base of the trunk one leg has their engagement date and the other has the anniversary of when they began dating.

The next steps go very quickly so I will be posting several times over the next few days as I put this fabulous quilt together.

Friday, March 5, 2010

It's All About...Vol 7

Well persistance pays off and I snagged a treasury.  With the wonderful weather we have had Spring is in the air, the cherry trees are blossoming and the sun it out.  So, this vol of "It's All About" features a great Springy color...LIME.

Featured sellers in this treasury are: SuzyQQuilts, GurleysGoods, carameldiezel, flandersfield, BellflowerTextiles, chilirose, orglamix, catherinefilippelliWhimbrella, QuiltFinger, anandi, and northcountryquilts.

Please visit their shops by clicking on their names and see the other great items they have for sale.

The next Treasury theme will be "Hot Pink"



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