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.


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