My friend Sarah over at Let’s Make Art. Com has really inspired me to start practicing my watercolor techniques and so once a week I throw a bunch of newspaper on the table and get out the paint brushes.
And then it inspired me to make this awesome quilt. I’ve got a fun tutorial for all us working with this raw edge applique. Let’s get started.
That’s right, you know I love to put my raw edge applique down on the top of easy patch work base blocks.So I want to teach you how to do all of that today.
We’ve got a really fun method in this. And my brain is often thinking about those of you who love your pre cuts because we love you that love those pre cuts out there.
But what I did from this fabric was actually108 inch wide print.This wonderful newsprint that I’ve used.
But then I cut it down into ten inch squares so that I could use it for the background. And if you look really closely in this ten inch square, this is the back side.
What I also then did is I cut down into five by ten rectangles and two five by fives so that when I’m working with the back ground it has more sewn lines, more seams, more structure.And I believe that actually just helps everything not get saggy over time.
It helps the physical structure when quilting.
So let me show you how I do these.I normally take four or five of these blocks at a time that are the ten squares, whatever I’m comfortable cutting through.
I’m going to line them up so they’re really nice and accurate though.
And then I’m just going to take and I’m going to use my five by 15 here and I’m going to cut.I’m going to set this stack aside.
And then I’m going to cut here too.And I go through and do that with all of the fabrics. And then I kind of start to mix up these fives so that I’m not always putting back together exactly the same.
I’m looking for random.I want this to look like a giant pile of newspaper was put on the table before I spilled my paints, right? So that being said, one little trick because this is so well printed, in every block up there one of the three pieces I’ve taken and flipped upside down before I got started.
Sometimes it’s the rectangle, usually it’s one of the two squares. So let’s do it this way now. So right now I’m going to take these two squares and I’m going to sew them together at the machine.Just doing a simple quarter inch seam allowance.
And I’m doing these usually very fast and efficiently while sitting at the machine.I grab the rectangle piece.
I”m going to go right sides together on that.And even if it’s upside down it’s still right sides together. And now I’m just going to roll through here.
I’m going to let that seam press towards me with the weight of the presser foot. Now I”m going to go ahead and flip this over.
Now as I come to the iron itself. I’m going to let it heat up just a little second.
I got a little distracted in my sewing.Iron is not quite warm enough.
So then as I come in here what I want to do is I want to press the first little seam so that it does flatten back out the way it was in the long seam that is going this way.
That’s real easy to do.This is what it should look like so that everything is working nicely for us there.
And then the last step for building our blocks is we’re just going to trim these back down. Just like this. Taking that off.And now this is a full square.
So once you have your square built you can start to build out the size of your background.
Now today I want us to think in more of the creative side than the physical project side. I want you to all be able to do this in whatever size you want to do. So I want to show you a few of my other tricks.
So I have a smaller version of the background that I’ve already created for us. And it’s right here. So with something like this what I’m going to go ahead and do, this is going to be the full size of our quilt.
So this is maybe a 25% reduction of what you’re seeing on the back wall.
What I’m going to do now is I”m going to get my fusible web ready so that I can draw the shapes right on my fusible web that will become my paint drips or whatever kind of shape you wanted to make for that matter.
Now what I did here is I used the Heat N Bond Featherlite.
It’s 17 inches wide this way so I’ve just taken roughly a yard and another yard and I’ve blue taped them together. And then they happen to fit perfectly on the width of my quilt my background whatever size it was.
Then I started with a sharpie marker to just draw the lines and label the colors in the order in which I want them, keeping in mind whenever you’re drawing on fusible web things are transposed.
Things are flipped around. So if this is green on this side over here,it’s going to be green on the opposite side of your project.
Not that that would matter.I kept my colors in a rainbow order so it would n’t matter where the green ended up as long as it didn’t end up in the middle of my rainbow. That being said, once each one of these is individually drawn and labeled they are going to go on their own pieces of fabric.
And when I say their own pieces of fabric,look at these beautiful batiks we have from Anthology today.So I’ve chosen some very primary looking batiks because I want it to look like a wash of color as they blended together.
So with these pieces here you’re going to go ahead and precut, kind of rough cut these shapes out of your fusible web.
Let’s get this out of the way because I have one last sample to show you here. Here it is. And you can see that most of this was just roughly cut until I get right here to the area where the two colors were meeting together.
This piece was that single line.
So I’m just going to go ahead and cut along there.
And somewhere up in here I have that wonder ful little shark rotary cutter.
I know a fantastic designer has invented this and I think it’s just fabulous.
Anyway we’re going to take it, we’re going to hold it like a pen.
And I’m just going to come in here and I’m just going to start to cut right along this line.
And one of my tricks is I like to often curve the fabric even more so than curving my wrist.
But I”m just going to follow this along,rotate.
And the reason I like to use this little applicator that I call it is because it’s a rotary cutter wheel, a 14 millimeter.
It runs nice and smooth, gives me a really clean line. And some of these big long runs like this would actually be, I think, a little challenging to do with a smaller applique scissor. And again this is a mock up.
The only one little section that has to be slightly accurate whatsoever in the way it’s cut.
You can always go backwards too if that’s just easier on your body.
See how I did that.
And this is the only section I was just talking about that I want to be somewhat accurate so I’m just going to come and run my cutter just barely on the glue because what I really want is I want that cut so there’s actually glue.
I said barely on the glue, I meant to say barely on the paper. I want there to be glue right under the edge of every edge I have. So that side has been trimmed down.
Let’s go ahead and trim this side. That will be the top edge. This is the outside edge so again doesn’t need to be quite as accurate. But I have done this for all of my colors as you see here. So I’m almost ready to get ready for my layout but I want to put some batting down so we can work flat on the table.
I’ll be right back.Hey welcome back. As I’m getting ready for my layout let me tell you what I’ve really done. And with almost every applique quilt this is how I handle it. I really want to work flat so things don’t move around if they were hanging up on the wall.
So I’ve put a layer of batting down on my table so I can bring my iron right to my project once everything is where it goes.
This is that mini background or that wonderful news print all chopped up and thrown on our table.
Now if you’ve never used fusible web before a couple of tricks in getting the paper to come off.
Usually you can just grab a corner and start to peel.
Let’s see how that works.That’s working good.
The way I know that is I see there’s the shine is now on the back of the fabric and no longer on the paper.
But let’s say that didn’t work.
Sometimes what I’ll do is I’ll come into an area and I kind of poke a little bit at the fabric here with my stiletto tip and then I can get that in there.
And then again that’s a good peel.And I’ve also seen folks take something like a straight pin and maybe do like a scoring line across there if they needed to. And then they could fold that over.Oop I might not have pressed deep enough.
But that will also work.
Ya you can start to see where that’s breaking.But I’ve already got a good peel so let’s go ahead and get this. I’m going to peel away slowly because I don’t really want the glue to start to rip.
And that sometimes happens if your iron is not quite hot enough when you’re applying it.
If a little bit of glue comes off it’s ok,it won’t be a problem because you have this giant piece of fabric that’s being held down by a lot of glue.
So I’m going to make sure I then start with this one.
This one here now lays out on this corner.
This is the green and I have stacked up all my paint drips in the proper color order I hope. So here comes my yellow.And remember we had that little area where the green and the yellow were going to slightly overlap each other.
So we’re just going to touch there and I’m just looking at that spot. Here comes the orange. Some exact mojo.And I just of like to use a patting style motion so I’m going to hold my hand up here and kind of pat this applique out. And when they are skinny like this we can bend them pretty easy so you have a little bit of design availability to you there still.
I’m also going to mention right now as I double check. I’m glad I did because I wasn’t. I had my iron heating up. I”m going to use a dry, hot iron for this and we’re not going to be able to anchor it all in one pressing.
We’re going to have to return because I’m using that wonderful Panasonic cordless iron. But I always want to make sure that the bed of the iron or the plate of the iron is extra hot when I’m doing this for a great bond.
Ok so I have all of my pieces laid out.When I traced I gave myself a little extra on my other cuts. I see that so it’s hanging over. No problem there.
I want to make sure I don’t have any gaps where the colors are supposed to be touching each other. That being said I’m happy to go.
What I’m going to do now is I”m going to take that hot iron but I’m going to press from the top edge anchoring those areas that were the most sensitive first.
I’m pressing and lifting.
And the Heat N Bond Feather lite that I almost always use has about a three second heat up time to anchor.
There.So what I’ve done effectively is secured all of those pieces across the top.
Now I’m going to come back here and I’m just going to go ahead and slowly slide the iron.
Usually I’m doing a pressing and lifting motion but I don’t have any other appliques here that could go missing, get folded over or something bad happen. And I’m also watching the background, making sure everything presses down nice and flat.
Now I’m going to go ahead and take this iron because it’s cordless, set it back over.
I’m going to let it recharge and I’ll return later on to do the yellow, and then the orange all the way through.
And this quilt will be ready to go ahead and put on the batting and the backing and ready for your free motion.
Now look at the quilt if you will with me.Now the free motion machine quilting is super easy. And the first job as you can see was to go ahead and I used the same color thread as the applique fabric itself. And I’ve just stitched along the edge of the applique shape.
I didn’t put any more stitching into that because I wanted it to kind of loft up. I want it to really look like thick paint dripping down on my newsprint.From there then I took the same orange thread near the orange applique and I started to allow it to run down.
And then the red thread to run down throughout the quilt and just add that extra fun additional element of design into the quilting here.
And that’s one of the things I love about being a machine quilter is I can add little nuances that way.
Now there’s something else that I did in this very early on and I want to show you.
Now I have just purchased for myself a tablet that I absolutely love.
And one of the things I’ve started to doing my audition process is I’ve started to take photographs of the backgrounds of the quilts.
And then I use the pen tool in my tablet to actually draw. So what you’re looking at in this photo here is the real quilt background that was behind me.
And then I drew in the shapes. And I’m also learning how to take those shapes in and print them out at full scale size.
So these shapes are actually what you saw me then go ahead and put into the quilt behind.So I’m loving allowing the use of technology to come into our quilting world.
And I think this could be a really cool feature.
The other reason I point this out is often I will take a picture of the finished quilt and then I will practice what kind of free motion quilting designs with the pen tool on the tablet so I’m drawing on my quilt not actually quilting for that whole practice and audition to figure out what motifs I want to put where while I’m quilting.
So what I want to hear from you today, are you using technology in your textiles already? Would you like to hear more of how I do it? Would you like to share with all of us how you’re doing it? Let us know in the comments below. We’ll see you next time here at Man Sewing.
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