Category Archives: Group quilt

The Orange Leaf Project Finale

The Orange Leaf Project is finished. I worked on little else over the last few weeks. When I finally made enough leaves, I started appliquéing the middle and bottom portions down by hand. If you have been following this project, you know that I was having a lot of trouble in the beginning because my orange fabrics were not playing well together – I hated the whole thing. Then my new color wheel arrived and I decided to just start over. I managed to find the gradated background piece we are all using and clear orange fabrics. I also decided to stitch the appliqué by hand, because everything previously looked so flat. Then I started adding embroidery stitches. Next I decided another problem I had with my slice was the dark green background I had pieced. We were all to use dark green on the bottom but I switched mine out to a green/orange background and immediately liked it much better. I will probably need to add some dark green leaves for cohesiveness of design. Before finishing the bottom portion, I auditioned a dark orange fabric behind some of the leaves, but it just wasn’t working out. Luckily I had photographed my final placement because after removing all the leaves, I forgot how I had planned it out. After that, I just pinned all the leaves on instead of constantly repositioning and repining — they didn’t get in the way too much.

Background Audition

Background Audition

Since I still needed to fill in some spaces, I decided to add some circles. I’ll do a future post with the embroidery stitches I used for this project.

Embroidery Details

Embroidery Details

I forgot to take a separate photo of the flying geese leaf but you can see it in the above photo. Here is my finished slice.

FINALLY FINISHED

FINALLY FINISHED

Last Friday my group sewed all the slices together. I have traced the black wrought iron pieces and will have them cut out before our October meeting.   We have a small wrought iron committee—we will press under the edges and someone can sew them on over the seam lines. I’ll get back to you when that part is finished.

Wrought Iron

Wrought Iron

As you can see I made a reminder to leave a seam allowance–I started cutting on the line and will need to retrace one piece.  We are using a dark grunge fabric.  Okay, priority one for today is to reset my camera so everything is not over-exposed.

About Group Projects: And what did I learn from this group project you may ask. I am pretty much done with group projects. They stress me out and this one really took a great deal of my time (nine months). I already have a slew of unfinished projects that I would like to get done. I enjoy designing quilts and not always following the rules. I hate working under a deadline. So time to do my own thing unless it’s a call to action and a group of us spend one or two workdays on a charity quilt. There’s one coming up in October–so far it’s a mystery. My family is happy with my decision. Here is the note to self next to the computer (thanks George H.W. and Dana Carvey):

Don’t do it

Wouldn’t be prudent

Wouldn’t be wise

Not at this juncture.

Coming Soon: The 8-1/2×11 Challenge (finished), Embellishing with Embroidery, Three Ways to Hang Small Wallhangings, Thread and Needle Tips, FMQ Tips, and The Miniature Hexie Project (not necessarily in that order).

Group quilt

Update on the group quilt (my orange slice).  Here is the finished elephant ear leaf.  Our long armer will have no problem with the edges not being stitched down.

Leaf with binding

Leaf with binding

Finished Elephant Ear

Finished Elephant Ear

I have been working on making larger leaves for the bottom area. I sewed some ¾-inch strips together and added 3-inch borders. This way, when I cut out my leaf shape, I will have an easier time turning under the edges, rather than dealing with the pieced section.

Strippy Block

Strippy Block

Next I pieced a half-log cabin. This turned out to be a neat block that I can use in the future with all my strips and strings. Start with a square (1-3/4 inch) and add matching strips to two sides only (instead of the traditional four). I alternated dark and light strips (1-1/4 inch) and then added 3-inch borders.  I used an ombre fabric in both cases, which adds some interest.

Half-Log Cabin Block

Half-Log Cabin Block

For a third leaf, I used Texture Magic, which is a woven fabric that will shrink with steam. This product is from Superior Threads. http://www.superiorthreads.com/shop/category/texture-magic/texture-magic-1/description/

I marked two diagonal lines through the center of my fabric and placed it right side up on the Texture Magic (I did not need to pin this, but you might need to). I stitched on these lines and then once on either side of the diagonal lines using my walking foot as a guide. After that I just stitched out to each corner—after you finish each corner, you can go to the next section without breaking your thread. You can also use free motion quilting to hold the layers together and add batting if you want to. Now to make the magic happen, just steam the entire piece with the Texture Magic right side up. The piece can shrink as much as 30 percent. During the week, I don’t have enough power to make this happen. The product still shrank and has texture so I can still use it as is. I will try again on the weekend during peak electricity hours.

Texture Magic

Texture Magic

Texture Magic Detail

Texture Magic Detail

Be sure to read the directions carefully before starting. The product comes folded in a package and you will have the urge to iron those creases out—this has the potential to ruin your day and make you very unhappy. You will be cryin’…

I have put my slice up on the design wall again and am just using a drop of glue to hold things in place while I smooth out edges, finish hand sewing and decide on placement.  I’m at the point where I need to step back, clean up my mess and then come back to this next week.  Till next time, I hope all of your projects are successful and fun.

Orange Slice

Orange Slice

Orange Slice

Orange Slice

P.S.  I often give you links for products, but you can try your local quilt shop for products, the big box stores and other online sources–you know where to go.

It’s easy being green

Green was popping up everywhere last week.  This is 2.5 pounds of packing paper that came in a box of late Christmas presents.  All I can think of is a papier mache dragon.  Where’s the chicken wire?

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Then I found a newcomer in the common area (Queen Anne’s Lace).  Some people here complain about them growing on the side of the road, but they are one of my favorites.  They dry well for floral arrangements.  They also do not bloom until August in Minnesota.

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The vines are incredible here, especially in years when we get rain after June 1.  We have several varieties including Virginia Creeper–I haven’t learned the difference between that and the poison oak yet.  I guess they can become a nuisance and invasive, but I’m glad they cover the scraggly looking black walnut trees.  There seems to be a line of demarcation between here and Missouri as I don’t notice vines growing there on our trips north.

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But wait, there’s more.  I redid the green portion of my orange slice–it needed to be longer and I didn’t have enough fabric to just add on so I ripped the piecing out and cut up 3-inch squares of two green fabrics and pieced them back together.  I added a 2-inch strip to every other row so I wouldn’t have to match up seams and pressed all the seams open to make it lie as flat as possible.  Chain piecing (reminds me of prayer flags):

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One more green item.  I took a personality test some years back and I ended up in the green category, green meaning that I fit in with five percent of the population.  It’s a wonder that I get along with so many people being that 95% of the population most likely think I’m weird.  Why be normal?

In an effort to do something on my orange slice, I decided to make a fiber leaf.  I took all of my otherwise useless orange scraps and cut them with the rotary cutter.  When you do this, be sure to put your other hand in your pocket or use a wooden stylus to hold the fabric.

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Then I used a piece of cheese cloth as a base and added fibers and threads from my orange collection.  (I usually throw a piece of cheese cloth in the container when I dye fabrics.)  On top of that I put in some gold thread for a little sparkle.

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Finally I sandwiched it all between two pieces of heavy duty water-soluble stabilizer, stitched around the edges to hold it together, traced the leaf shape with a line of stitching, and then free-motion stippled the entire piece.  I finished the edges with satin-stitching, rinsed out the stabilizer and let it dry overnight.  I don’t know if I’ll actually use this leaf in my slice but it will be used somewhere.

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I’m couching some orange cotton yarn scraps for veins.

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One of the Cotton+Steel fabrics on my design wall was really bothering me so I sewed the ends together to make this eyeless creature.  Then I started sewing the other scraps together in coordinated subsets.  This may sound constructive but it was actually an avoidance maneuver.

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I still do not know why I have had so much trouble being excited about my orange slice.  Perhaps because it was such slow going with all the tiny pieces.  Now that I have added slime green and larger leaves, I find it not quite so onerous.  Unfortunately, I will have to replace the green.  I used some of my hand dyed fabrics and even after starching, I cannot turn under a crisp, smooth edge so these will have to be raw-edge appliques.  Here is my wall of shame with experiments, rejects and mistakes–there’s another quilt here somewhere.

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I flipped the large orange leaf the wrong way so I’ll just use it on the bottom.

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And here is the bottom half of the slice so far with faux wrought iron pieces that will cover the seams.  I need to design a couple more leaves–I’m thinking Monstera (has natural holes) and Alocasia (has heavy white veining).

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Well it’s off to the races for the day.  I hope it’s a great one for you.