Sunday, November 22, 2009

Christmas Quilts - Part 6

I got the first part of the trapunto completed on the bird border and all the excess batting has been trimmed. I finished making the backing for the two Christmas quilts. The first one with the pine cone rows will be used with the cardinal border quilt. The second one with the poinsettia rows will be used with the other quilt. The red fabrics are different. The one with the pine cones is Robert Kaufman's Fusion 5573 in Lipstick while the other red is the red fabric that was part of the border fabric on the second quilt. That border ran along each selvage and the red was the remainder of the fabric.

So this week I'll be making the quilt sandwiches and will be starting on the stitch in the ditch.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Christmas Quilts - Part 5

I got the borders on the second Christmas lap quilt. I wasn't too certain how this was going to look because I didn't really like the border print when it arrived. It seemed a bit on the dull side. Interestingly enough once it was sewn on and I got the quilt up on my design wall it actually looks quilt nice. It has a completely different look and feel from the one with the cardinal border which I have included below this one for comparison. So I like both of them, for different reasons.

So now I have to get my snowflake designs figured out for the quilting in the main blocks. I'm still not sure what I'm going to quilt in the 4 patch blocks nor the border of the second quilt. Also before I actually do any quilting I will stitch in the ditch to stabilize the quilt since many of the pieces have bias cuts.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Tips and Tricks - Modified Trapunto

I finally finished the test on the modified Trapunto and I have to say I'm pleased with the results and I'm going to use this technique for the birds in the border print. For those who are interested I've taken pictures of the steps I did in making the modified Trapunto birds and will provide an explanation underneath each photo. Note you can click on each photo for a larger version.

Here you take a piece of batting and place it underneath the birds (or what ever you want to create the Trapunto effect on) and free motion stitch the outline of the birds sewing together the fabric and batting. I initially using a fine bobbin weight tread on top so it wouldn't show too much and a regular cotton thread on the bottom. The second time I did this I used an invisible thread, YLI's Wonder Invisible thread in smoke colour on top for this colour of fabric.

Here is what it looks like on the back. I pulled the top thread to the back, tied them off and trimmed them.

Next you need a good pair of embroidery scissors and you trim away the batting close to your stitching lines.

This is what it will look like when you have finished trimming. You will have to be careful when trimming that you don't cut your quilt top. It's probably best to lay the fabric on a table top and trim away the batting that way so to quilt top doesn't get in the way of the scissors.

Then you cut another piece of batting to fit the whole piece of fabric and your backing fabric, make the sandwich and then free motion quilt around the birds. Here I used a Sulky rayon is a dark red and a Superior thread Bottom Line bobbin thread in dark red for the bobbin on the cardinal, but when I first did the chickadee I still had basic cotton thread in the bobbin. On the cardinal I quilted the wing with too much detail so my next trial is to only do the outline like I did with the chickadee.

Here is what the back looks like.

Here's the details of the chickadee.

This is the second trial where I only did the outline of the cardinal's wing.

I did a third on on a light coloured fabric so that you could better see the Trapunto effect because I couldn't get a good picture to show you that it really does work. So I would say it's a success and now to start cutting pieces of batting for all my birds.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Christmas Quilts - Part 4

I finally got the border sewn on the Christmas quilt. It took much longer than I expected because of the type of border fabric I selected. It is a directional print that had a small gold border on the left hand side and a small red border with gold filigree on the right hand side. So I had to make the cardinals go around the quilt instead of having them be upright on both the right and left hand borders. With the birds going around the quilt the right hand side is the only one where the birds are upright.

In addition I barely bought enough fabric so instead of cutting all my borders to size, I just cut out the borders from the full length of the fabric and started working with them that way. The fabric had 3 rows of the cardinals, and then there were 2 rows of pine cones and 2 rows of poinsettias. Parts of those may end up being used for the back. So the two sides and the top were sewn from the full lengths of the fabric. Then the left over pieces were pieced together to make the bottom border. Amazingly I lucked out and was able to piece it in such a way that the flow of the birds was in tact.

After everything was put together the picture below is all that was left of the cardinal borders. Hardly any waste what so ever, or what a close call.

I was trying to figure out if there was a way to miter the corners so that I didn't end up with half birds, but I think the only way that could happen is if the inner quilt is sized specifically to the border and the placement of the birds or what ever other image you might have. The upper right hand corner is the only one where I succeeded in not having a part bird.

While I was working on this border an idea came to me for the quilting. I'm going to do some experiments with a modified trapunto technique that I saw and if it works I just might go for it. I'll keep you posted on the experiment and whether it works or not.