Thursday, August 25, 2011

Wild Mustang - Part 5

The Wild Mustang top is now complete.  I finished adding the borders and here is what it looks like.

I have a small inner border of orange, followed by a 1" brown border and then a pieced orange border will be 4" when everything is trimmed and the binding gets sewn on.  When I attached the border I left the basting threads that I had on the background fabric and the horse fabric so that things wouldn't shift while I attached everything.  I think that was a smart move since everything came together really nicely and there were no issues. 

So next I need to figure out what I'm going to do for the back.  I have 4 decent pieces from the trimmings off the horse fabric so I would like to try and incorporate that into the back since that would be a waste to just throw all that work out.

Also if anyone is interested in how I do the small inner border I posted a tutorial about a year ago and you can find that here:

Friday, August 19, 2011

Pets on Quilts - 2011 Edition Jordie Helps

It's been a busy week so this is my last minute entry to SewCalGal's Pets on Quilts show.

This time it's all about Jordie helping with the quilts.

Here Jordie was inspecting the stitches on the binding and making sure that they were all nice and even.

Jordie likes to test out the quilting and make sure that it's nice and comfy. I think that face is the seal of approval.

Jordie making sure that the seams are a proper 1/4".

Now are you sure that's going to work? He has this puzzled look on his face.  I hope you have enjoyed these pictures of Jordie.  If you are wondering where Fergie is, she like her beauty sleep more these days now that she is a senior lady.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Wild Mustang - Part 4

I finally have finished all the buttonhole stitching on the reverse applique portion of the Wild Mustang. Now some people may also call this stitch the blanket stitch, it all depends on where you are from or who was your teacher.  The one that I was actually doing is a double one and on the Janome machine it is actually called a Parisian stitch.

Even with doing the initial stitching of the pattern twice I was still plagued by fabric fraying so it took longer to complete.  The next time I do this type of quilt and I do have another one planned with a sea turtle as my image, I will first use Misty Fuse on the back of my background fabric to stabilize it and that should prevent most of the fraying.  I'm glad that this is only a wall hanging so it won't get a lot of wear or tear otherwise I really would have had to start all over again to make it more durable.  So here is what it looks like at this point.

Next will come the borders.  I'm looking at adding a small dark brown Stonehenge border about 1" in width.  Then there will be about a 4" pieced border in about 3 or 4 different shades of medium to darker orange Stonehenge fabrics, and they will be pieced in a similar fashion to the background part.

Friday, August 5, 2011

Wild Mustang - Part 3

First I want to say that I'm really glad that I made up the sample piece to practice since I discovered a few things along the way.  First I was smart to tape all the lose threads out of the way since it prevented a lot of tangling once you start ripping out the paper.  As I finished a section, I would then tie off those threads and trim them down to about 1" - 2" and move to the next section.  Also having the sample gave me some practice in cutting the top layer of fabric without cutting into the bottom layer, you really have to be careful when you are doing this.  I did fine on my sample piece but I did have one minor oops on the Wild Mustang but Misty Fuse came to the rescue and I even have a hard time finding the spot that got cut.  Here is what the sample looks like with the top layer cut out.

I had mentioned earlier that I was doing 2 rows of stitching since I was concerned about the fabric fraying.  The Stonehenge fabrics aren't as densely woven as say your batik fabrics. I discovered that even with the 2 rows of stitching there were places where the fabric still wanted to fray so I had to leave more fabric from the stitch line until I'm ready to actually do the buttonhole stitch.  Here is the Wild Mustang all cut out but when I go to do the buttonhole stitch there will be some additional trimming at that time so that I keep fraying to a minimum.  If you look at the top of the horse's mane this is how much will be cut out, while other areas do show more fabric at the moment and the image of the horse isn't as distinct that will change. The areas that did frey I went back and stitched over them a couple of times to keep them in tack.

I have also tested the buttonhole stitch on the sample piece and have determined the appropriate width and length.  While running the tests I also realized that even with 2 layers of fabric I still needed to back it with a stabilizer since it was doing some pulling and tugging.  So now I'm ready to start finishing the reverse applique with the buttonhole stitch, this will take a few days indeed since that stitch takes time to run and you can't rush it.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Wild Mustang - Part 2

Here is the latest on the Wild Mustang Wall Hanging. My next step was to put the two tops together and baste them. The top that is for the Wild Mustang was laid down first on point right side up.  Then the background top went on top of it right side up and I first pinned the two together then hand basted them together.  Here is what it looks like after I was finished hand basting and I still had some pins to remove. 

Once that was done, I trimmed off the exposed corners of the Wild Mustang top since those portions are not needed.  Then the piece is flipped to the wrong side and the pattern is placed on top, centered and strategically pinned.

I started sewing the larger shapes first.  This is done free motion with the feed dogs down and your quilting or darning foot (which ever one your sewing machine comes with).  Since there is no batting here, just two layers of fabric and 1 layer of paper you will likely have to adjust your tension from your normal free motion quilting tension.  Take 2 scrap pieces of fabric and a piece of paper and run a few test stitchings to see what will give you the best results before you start on your actual quilt.  When you start to stitch a shape make sure that you have pulled out enough lead top and bobbin thread and hold onto it while you start stitching.  After you have stitched part way through your shape make sure that you bring the bottom thread up to the top so that you don't sew over top of the bottom thread.  Once you have finished your shape raise the needle and presser foot and cut your thread leaving about 4 " attached to the quilt.  Bring the one thread from the right side (currently underneath) to the top and I just took a small piece of tape and taped the ends out of the way.  Later once you remove the paper, these ends need to be tied and trimmed.

I stitched the shape twice around since my machine does not have a stitch regulator and even though my free motion stitching has improved there are times when I have longer stitches than I would like.  Since the insides of the shapes will be cut out to reveal the bottom layer of fabric, I don't want the fabric fraying because of the longer stitches.  This is what it looks like with two lines of stitching.  After I'm done cutting out all the shapes I will be finishing all the edges with a buttonhole stitch so where my two lines don't quite meet, the buttonhole stitch should take care of that very nicely.

To remove the paper, I use this tool to first score all the lines so that the paper will rip easier from the stitching.  I think it's called an embosser tool.  I find it works best if the quilt is on a softer surface or if it is just folded into quarters. You don't have to worry about getting out any of the little bits that may be stuck in a seam since this side will be inside the finished quilt beween the batting and the back.

Finally I also have made a little test piece from the 1 1/2" square test I did earlier.  I will use this first to test out cutting the first layer of fabric so I get the hang of that before I tackle the Wild Mustang.  Also the test piece will be used to try out the buttonhole stitch to figure out the right size in terms of width and length before I start stitching on the Wild Mustang.

Well time to start ripping out paper.