Sunday, November 21, 2010

Folk Art 2

To continue with the Folk Art Quilt... thanks for waiting for part two.

Three different ways to create the prairie point are shown in this book.
Prairie Points – 3 ways: single-fold (218); double-fold (p219); continuous prairie points (p163)

Construction of the Continuous Prairie Point:

The next step was to work on the prairie points that are going around the edge of the quilt. I had not seen continuous prairie points before, nor had I made them.

If I remember correctly, the strip was 4" wide, and then pressed in half to mark a center line from which to create each fold of the prairie points. Then cuts were made every two inches on both sides of the center line, alternating along the whole length of the fabric strip.

Pressing a Fold-line

Cut to the Pressed Line

Then each cut square was folded once towards the centerline and pressed, as shown on the left below. The second step was to go back and fold each triangle shape to create another triangle, shown on the right side of the photo below.  Once all the triangles were folded, all the points facing downwards were folded up to create the finished prairie point. These I pinnned and then basted along the cut edge. They were set aside.

Folding the Prairie Points in Two Steps

Basted Prairie Points Strip

Before stitching the prairie points onto the edge, several things needed to be done first. Stacking the layers of the quilt top, batting, and backing together, to do the quilting. Shown below are the center of the quilt, and the applique elements. I stitched around the star design to quilt through all the layers. Then added a shadow stitch around the complete design.

Quilting the Layers

Quilting All Around the Outside of the Design

Still having a square-shaped quilt, it was ready to mark the cutting line. I placed the pattern piece back onto the quilt and marked the edge with a pen. When completely marked, I stitched inside these marks about a quarter of an inch, and then cut on the dotted line, marked in pen.

Marking the Cutting Line

Stitching 1/4" Inside the Marked Line

Attaching the Prairie Points

Closeup of Binding

I enjoyed making this quilt. It has lots of variety; especially, with the applique techniques, involved. And this quilt makes a delightful centerpiece, if one has a place to display it. I have done lots of square-shaped quilts on this challenge; however, it is my first round one.

My Finished Project
Size: 20" diameter

This concludes my 2010 quilt technique challenge. I will try to complete the final quarter review within the next month.

Enjoy the holiday season....

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Folk Art 1

Time to reveal my last project... I chose “Folk-Art Applique Table Center” on page 160.

The project is listed under hand appliqué in the book. However, I didn’t use any hand appliqué. Instead, I used three different methods for machine appliqué.

Machine Appliqué methods used:
1. Fusible-Web Method -- using Lite Steam-A-Seam 2.
2. Reverse Appliqué -- where a seam allowance is cut inside an appliqué shape that was marked on a top layer of fabric.
3. Iron-on interfacing used as a foundation fabric -- great for crazy quilt, appliqués, and selvage blocks.

Book, Fabrics

For this last project, I am going to divide it into two parts. That way, I can dialog the process the way I wish to and still have time today to continue with my preparations for this week's exams.


First, I hand-stitched my layers together and marked where the leaves were to go using a yellow tracing paper. Below it shows that I machine stitched on this yellow line before the shapes can be cut out. I had three layers of fabric - top, white, yellow-green. The backing fabric was stitched on after all the applique was complete.

Stitching on the Yellow Line

The pattern was copied from the book with my printer and the pages assembled before I could transfer some of the details to my top fabric.

The Paper Pattern

Next, with a small pair of scissors I cut just inside the machine stitched lines. This was done in two separate steps as I didn't want to cut too deep and mess up the process. Below you can see one shape is cut one layer deep revealing a white fabric. The shape beside that one is cut two layers deep to reveal the yellow-green fabric.

Because the yellow-green fabric is much darker then my top layer fabric, I used a white layer in-between them so that the darker colour would not show through the lighter fabric.

Yellow-Green Leaves

After all the shapes for the leaves were cut out, I used a light coloured thread and zig-zagged around the cut edges. Also shown below are the cut-out pieces for the flowers and the red hearts.

Applique Pieces- Leaves, Flowers, Hearts

The green flowers (tulips) and red hearts are ready to attach to the quilt top. Along with the leaves, this quilt uses three applique techniques. And now that I think about it, it appears to be a very fitting finish to my year's technique challenge, in that I end with my favorite technique.

Applique Pieces Ready to Attach

The tulips are stitched to the quilt tip using the machine buttonhole stitch in a variegated thread to match the fabric. Also, you can see the zig-zag stitch around the leaves. As this is a folk-art quilt the leaves to me don't really look like leaves, but they do create an interesting pattern around the edges of this quilt.

Leaves and Flowers

Lastly, the hearts are stitched to the quilt top. I was originally debating whether to use the buttonhole stitch or the zig-zag stitch. But after trying both, I wasn't happy with either. I also considered trying handstitching them on, but of course, you can probably guess how that went.  Or didn't go!!

So, digging out my sewing machine manual, I decided to use a stitch I hadn't used yet, and that one worked perfectly. A new machine stitch and no messy results, well, that was perfect! The book calls is an applique stitch.

Stitching on the Hearts

Before stitching on the flowers and hearts, I machine stitched the star in the center of the quilt top, as shown above. First, I marked it with the yellow tracing paper and then marked the points with pins and then carefully stitched on the yellow lines.

This may look confusing, but it worked really well. I didn't want the tracing lines to be dark, so this helped me see the points where I needed to turn the fabric. After stitching it in yellow, it needed more punch, so I stitched more lines with a red thread.

The Pins Mark the Star's Lines

Next week's entry will show the completion of the construction process and final photos... Enjoy your creative time!!

More Book Titles...
If you wish to see more quilting books you can check out my website for more details. Those books reviewed are listed on the "featured" page.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

An End To The Journey

At the end of 2009, when I was mapping out my quilting technique challenge, I decided I'd try for a total of 20 projects. 

Originally, I was only going to make a block of each new technique, and then make those blocks into a variety of projects. But that changed after my first project! It was then that I decided I'd make small ones and complete each as a separate quilt.

Then, there were two periods of time, that were going to be challenging to get any quilting done, so I worked extra time in the spring and then again in the summer. So, because of this I was able to keep up with my goals to make five new quilts in each three-month timeframe.

However, over the past few weeks, I've pondered on whether I should forge ahead and get to 20 completed projects or stop at 18. So for my last three-month session, the total will end up at 3.

As the weeks go by so quickly... and the challenge of going to college and keeping up with the assignments and such, I've decided that the projects that I completed in late summer will be all that I wish to do. I haven't done any quilting since late August and am not finding any desire to squeeze it into my schedule.

Therefore, next week I will share my last project from this year's challenge, before wrapping it all up in December.

Next week…

My eighteenth project will be shared next week...

The Complete Guide to Quilting Techniques/
Pauline Brown

More Book Titles...
If you wish to see more quilting books you can check out my website for more details. Those books reviewed are listed on the "featured" page.