Category Archives: English Paper-Piecing
Time to spray baste The Grandmother’s Flower Garden Project (and Gelato, as well). It’s a cool morning, no wind, so I haul out my table and 4×8 piece of insulation. I place my backings down, right side down, and pin. I have decided to try not stretching the backing to make it super tight (tight enough to have no wrinkles), pin the corners and then the edges. Next place the batting on, spray one side, flip and smooth it out. Then spray the other side. (For larger projects, fold half of the batting back, spray, smooth, and then repeat with the other half of the batting.) Next smooth the top onto the batting, remove the pins and bring it all inside. TIP: It is best to spray your batting instead of the backing or top as the spray CAN affect the fabric with spots or stains. I always spray outside and wear a mask just in case a breeze comes up–this only protects from direct spray, not the fumes. I practice holding my breath while I spray and then run around the corner when I run out of air. Not recommended for pregnant women and use a respirator if you have respiratory difficulties.
I had already spray basted my tablerunner (Gelato) but decided the batting was too fluffy and changed it out for Thermolam. Gelato is one of the projects I spray basted last summer with June Tailor Quilt Basting Spray, anticipating a winter of quilting (haha). The layers were still holding together well. INFO: Some sprays are very temporary and I believe 505 will hold together for five years. Here is the backing, which needs to be smoothed out as you can see.
I usually smooth out the back, smooth out the front, smooth out the back, and then smooth out the front again. For an all-over free-motion quilting design, you can just start in the center and work on one quarter of the quilt at a time. I don’t roll up the side of the quilt that is in the machine bed–I just scrunch it up. One last check to make sure the quilt is square–measure from one diagonal to the other and then measure the other diagonal. They should be the same–if not, reposition until it is. 43-3/4 inches in both directions–I win.
Because I will be turning the quilt a lot, I place four pins–you don’t have to close the pins–then quilt around the center hexie and the other four hexies, removing pins as you go.
After that I resmooth both sides, pin another set, quilt, repeat.
Oops–I missed a point on the edge–will have to stitch that down by hand before I finish..
I have finished three rows, weaving in thread ends as I go. That’s enough for the day. God forbid that I should have nothing to do tomorrow.
Update: I have finished quilting around each green hexie–only took me two days. That’s the good news. The bad news is that the flower rows are not lying flat so I’ll have to quilt around the flower centers as well. Then I will stitch very closely to the outer edge and either echo or free-motion quilt some kind of design in the border.
My next post will include photos from the Jamie Wyeth exhibit, some of which were painted on corrugated cardboard, one of the artist’s favorite mediums. I’m calling it, “Keepin’ ’em down on the farm.” Till then, find something to crow about.
I have now finished appliqueing The Grandmother’s Flower Garden to the background. I was writing a blog on The Quilt Show when I was putting this miniature together. For all intents and purposes, those blogs are gone forever. I now save my blogs to ensure against loss. Anyway, I’ll back up just a little to show how to put a hexie flower together, no matter what the size. I start by adding three petals to the center.
After this, you can fill in the last three hexies by starting on the outside edge and sewing the three sides without breaking your thread.
After adding two more petals in this manner, you will now have a completed hexie flower. Sweet.
When I started this project, I used cotton thread–don’t ask me why because using silk thread hides the stitches so much better, which is what I used to applique this project to the background. I decided to practice quilting on just one flower. I just stitched around the center hexie using the edge of my open toed applique foot (Janome F2) and 2.2 stitch length. This is what I’ll do to quilt this project, after layering with a thin batting like Thermolam.
On my sample piece, I marked some lines with a Frixion pen (marks will disappear with a hot iron) and then just echo-stitched around the entire piece. After finishing the edges, this can be a mug rug.
This week I will layer this project and start quilting. It’s a great feeling to near the end of another UFO.
Tomorrow I’m going to run away and take some pictures of the Jamie Wyeth exhibit at Crystal Bridges. That and the Andy Warhol Nature Exhibit will be closing October 5. In the meantime, Hwy 71 is Thunder Road for the next day or so with the end of Bikes Blues and BBQ in Fayetteville. The count was 400,000 last I heard — some mighty cool bikes and riders out and about. Safe journeys home, all.
My miniature Grandmother’s Flower Garden is half appliqued down to the background. I have been stewing about how to quilt this for years. The other day my husband came in and said, quilt around each flower, drawing his finger in a circle. I thought this was a grand idea but after a couple of days ruminating on this, I decided that I will stitch around the green hexagons. This will hold all three (four?) layers of the quilt together without making it stiff. Actually that really doesn’t matter as this will not be washed or used for bedding, but it also will not distort the quilt much. It will be nice to finally finish this project and move on.
And what is the marker for? I noticed that a stitch was showing in the notch so I used the marker to color the thread–now it does not show on the green background. This is a neat trick when a light-colored thread shows up on a dark-colored background. I do recommend using a permanent marker made for fabrics. I know some people use Sharpies but I worry about that running on fabric. Test on a scrap first! To prevent my stitches from showing in the notch, I take the needle all the way straight to the back and come up straight to the front again, instead of going from front to back in one motion.
This is a scrap from a vintage quilt that was in my husband’s family. I am guessing that feedsacks were used as they were very deteriorated when I rescued the quilt. The quilt was given to his uncle (a priest in Duluth) but the fam had used it as a paint drop cloth, while working under cars, and for padding furniture during moving. I decided to wash it one day and just keep the useable portions and will make some brooches and stuffies with the remains.
I went to put my needle in the pincushion the other day but it was pointy-end up so I really jabbed my finger. I decided I would try to remove the stain with my saliva. Just take a wad of thread and put it in your mouth or spit on it and rub the stain away. Only one thing wrong–this was a large stain instead of a pinprick and I think I just didn’t have enough saliva to really do the job. This only works with your own saliva. Otherwise, remember rule #1–don’t bleed on your quilt. Soapy water removed the rest of the stain.
My next post will be about another UFO that I am working on at night in my chair (embroidered tablecloth). Right now I’m going to work on the mini-quilt, which I have to do flat on my work table to prevent distortion. It hasn’t been too bad but I only do this for about 20 minutes at a time. Speaking of spit, this can just gave me the raspberries as I was opening it. Backatcha.
Coming Soon: The 8-1/2×11 Challenge (finished), Surface Embellishing with Embroidery, Thread and Needle Tips, FMQ Tips, and The Grandmother’s Flower Garden Project (continuing)