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.

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