Here’s another Technique of the Week that took a long time to execute. This is a wool applique technique that is all by hand (except for the machine quilting), and is actually very dimensional. This technique is taught by Sue Spargo, who came to speak and teach at our guild. I liked this as a project, but can see why larger works are so valued. This takes a long time to do! Not only do you applique the pieces down but then all the embroidery stitches add to the dimension and the time. Part of what takes so long is deciding which stitches to use, and what color threads. Your mileage may vary!
I did not buy Sue’s book in her class (it sold out), but I did download an embroidery stitch app on my iPad that was great called “Judith Baker Montano’s Embroidery and Crazy Quilt Stitch Guide” (Free with in app add-ons for $1.99). It has videos that you do not need an internet connection to watch, which meant on the road it was good to use where there was no wi-fi. In all, I was happy with the piece and the techniques, but I like handwork. Give it a try!
Project Hours: 2 hours
Design and Materials: 1 hour +
Execution: Infinity and beyond….. (Seriously this took forever, read below)
I can’t tell you how many times I wanted to make an “apple core” quilt while I lived in Baltimore. To me it’s like the “album quilt”- if you live there, you just have to make one. It’s an old episode of Donald Duck/Chip N Dale that reminds me to make this, the one where Chip, Dale, and Donald Duck hurl applecores at each other after reciting the old “Applecore, Baltimore, Who’s your friend?, Me”. So, I thought I would make a small piece to try out the handwork methods needed to do the applecore block.
The handsewing needed for this block is all curved piecing. If you see this quilt in an antique store, I bet it has a high price, because these little things are a *(&^%& to sew.
I had pieces cut and in my travel bag for almost 2 years, and every time I pulled this out, I quit. BUT then I found the English style applique paper company called Paper Pieces. My friend Catherine uses them for Hexagons all the time. I had the pieces ready in one evening, and pieced the top while in San Diego at Comic Con.
Over on Pinterest, there’s a million “pins” for “Tie Dyeing with Sharpie Markers”. I decided that if this could work for shirts, it could certainly work for fabric for a quilt.
I have a giant multicolor pack of Sharpies, and I stuck to the brand just in case it didn’t work with another brand of marker. Similar to the pins online, I took care to elevate the center of the piece so that the rubbing alcohol ran to the edges of the fabric piece.
In the end, I could have used more colors and gotten more coverage, but as a test piece goes, it shows that it works!
Project Hours: 2 hours
Design and Materials: 1 hour + (includes charge time for the Slice machine)
Execution: 1 hour
You might be thinking “Why would an art quilter be at all interested in a die cutting machine?” In fact, I have looked at die-cutters for fabric for a while now, but the major thing that always held me back was twofold: 1.) the cost of the dies 2.) the lack of scale-ability of the designs. So while at the Chicago Quilt Festival in June I was introduced to the awesome people of Slice, and my die cutting adventures began! Note: I was not financially compensated for this post. I received a sample for review purposes. The opinions are completely my own based on my experience.
I own a manual die cutter, but I can’t afford the dies. I love the concept of cutting leaves and other common things out using a die, but the cost of a die in a 2 inch, 3 inch, and 4 inch size is too cost prohibitive. ENTER THE SLICE. Scale the die up or down, mirror image, shadow effects, the works. The designs are on a card and you just select the item from the menu, choose the size, prep the surface, and cut! I tried using the Slice machine to do a multi piece project from their Monster card. The great thing here is that the design booklet that comes with the card tells you where in the cutting zone your piece will be cut from so you can align it properly. I picked this monster who looked like a pear.
After I selected and fused my fabrics to paper backed fusibles, I set up my machine and let it do the cutting.
I assembled and fused down my little monster dude and got to quilting! This was a LOT easier to use that I figured it would be, and the design cards really speak to my “cute cartoony” style. I can definitely see using this in the future for all kinds of stuff! Christmas cards, table runners, pillows, all kinds of stuff. I have a ton of ideas now.
The awesome folks at Slice have given me a coupon code for you to use over in their shop for 30% off all design cards and accessories! Head on over to http://shop.slicecrafts.com and use the promo code MUPPINROCKSTHESLICE (this code is good until this Friday 8/9/13, so hurry on over)!