Reverse Applique

Whew! December has been a HUGELY busy month, meaning I have neglected my blog and haven’t written any blog posts in 3 weeks. I cannot believe it has been that long. Oops! Hopefully I can get back on track soon get back to a once-a-week post.  I’ve got something a little bit different today for my blog post; reverse applique.

I watch Jenny Doan of MSQC on youtube all the time, and recently I’ve started watching Rob Appel on Man Sewing. He does techniques that range from quilting to applique to making bags to a ton of other subjects. He did this tutorial on a technique called reverse applique that I enjoyed watching. Last week I was stuck at home watching my son while the poor kiddo was sick and so I had some time to attempt this new technique.

I picked a horse image- and I actually wound up Googling “tribal horse” images since you need an image that is kinda blocky for it. However, next time I might try to do some designing of my own.  What makes this technique different from regular applique is that normally you cut out the design THEN sew it on; this time, you sew on the design THEN cut it out. It’s… well, reversed. This was my final product:

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It was a fun project. I didn’t quilt around the main design since I had just wanted to focus on the main design which was the horse. There was a lot of cool points about this: you can use any colors you want, you could make it any size… the possibilites for this really are quite limitless. You could do names, team logos/mascots, sports… Lets just say I have a few ideas myself.

If you want a more detailed design and you’re not free-handing it, and instead have a pattern you’re going off of, you’ll want a lightbox. I put my pattern on the lightbox, the purple fabric on top, and then used my Frixxion pen to draw out the design. I then sewed directly on the line I drew and proceeded to cut out the middle of the design. (This is why I did tribal – it gives you more dark spaces to cut out!)img_1236

In order to cut out the design, I found that I felt better first inserting a pin, pulling the top layer of fabric up slightly (the purple) and then cutting just on top of where the pin was to create a hole to cut into where I didn’t have to worry about cutting the back fabric (the batik).

All told, this little one (I think it came out to something like 14” square) took me a grand total of about 3 hours, start to finish. It’ll go faster next time since I’ll have an idea of what I’m doing.

Could you imagine how COOL a bigger wallhanging of this would look? Or even, dare I suggest, a full-size quilt? (That’d be a treat!)

Next time I post we will be in 2017! How cool is that? I’m going to be starting a BOW quilt, so I will make weekly posts on that (it’s the Winter Solstice BOW with Pat Sloan- check out her blog).

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Happy New Year’s Eve!

Christmas Pu- I mean, Fun Time!

Alright, this post is snow joke. Also, if you don’t like Christmas-themed puns you should probably leave because otherwise yule be sorry. No getting incensed on this blog, y’hear?! Buckle into your sleighs, because this one is going to be one wild reindeer ride!

A friend contacted me and asked if I would be willing to make her a Christmas quilt. Being the lover of Christmas (really the whole season) I am, I eagerly accepted. Especially since I have had the mistlefortune to never finish a Christmas quilt myself. (But, side note, JoAnn had a huge sale back at the beginning of the month and I got myself about 12 yards of Christmas fabric for about $35. Woo!)

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You’ll be happy to be informed that I had the presents of mind to design this quilt myself, and didn’t make it from a kit or steal an idea off Pinterest (although that is where we started looking at first).

img_1113I took a simple Irish chain design and added a couple of borders. The Irish chain was the part that was the easiest. It went sledding rapidly down the hill from there. It’s not that the design was hard, it was just time intensive. 238 2.5” HST meant a LOT of cutting, trimming, and line drawing. I used the 8 at a time method, and it STILL took longer than the applique and main part did together. It was snow frustrating. Honestly, the worst part wasn’t the time it took, it’s that because it is a holiday quilt I had a deadline to get it done, so I had to do it quickly.

img_1148When arranging the border HSTs I did it in such a way that it almost looks like a DNA strand. Yes, I will be doing this again in the (very far) future, when I’m not on such a huge time crunch. It’s the same arrangement for each row, you just flip the rows each time. I made 9 patch blocks and then put them together. The HST border is separated from the Irish chain by a simple 2.5” red border. I think it grounds the design.

At each corner, instead of doing more HSTs, I did simple but cute applique designs. The four designs were candy canes (sweet and to the point!), a poinsettia (also, right to the point-setta), Santa’s hat (blanket stitching the white part to the white background was ho-ho-horrible), and a Christmas tree (fir god’s sake, it’s definitely my favorite one!). As mentioned, I just used a simple blanket stitch on the outside of each design.

I learned a valuable lesson, however. I used some of the interfacing that helps the fabric stick on the quilt while you sew it on, and I forgot that I need to put it on the WRONG side of the fabric. I didn’t even realize it for the first few parts because they were all solids so it didn’t matter. But I had to re-cut the candy canes and the tree. I based them loosely on designs from EQ and then modified and freehand drew them on the interfacing.

For the quilting I picked a snowflake design in white to make it look a little bit like there was snow falling in front of the quilt. To be quite frank(incense), I really, REALLY like how this quilt turned out. And the design was pretty easy! I’m thinking about making this into a pattern for people to use in the future.img_1115

I guess this wraps up this post! Hopefully nobody got too incensed, and instead found quite a bit of myrrh-th from all these puns. I’ll take a bough and see myself out. Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to all who don’t celebrate Christmas!

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Owl Baby Quilt & Asian Panel

It’s been a long time since I’ve written a post. And you know what? Not sorry! I am sorry for being not sorry, though. Kinda. No I’m not.

Life has been busy lately, what with my first year of teaching almost halfway done (what?!) and my husband in his second year of law school. He accepted an offer at a Cleveland firm for next summer, so if all goes well that is where we will be resettling to Ohio in 1.5 years. (The one place I NEVER thought I would end up… Ohio.)

Halloween was a ton of fun, what with my son being a cowboy and me being a mad scientist. Thanksgiving is right around the corner, and then after that is my favorite time of year: Christmas! (That and snow, because snow days are awesome.)

I do have some exciting news, however; I have had two friends approach me and ask to make them quilts! And while I would love to do it free, I am a lowly teacher and have no money, so they were my first two commissions! And hopefully I can use the money I earn from these two to send out some other tops that need quilting that I can also put up for sale.

The first quilt is a baby quilt. The requirements were colors pink & grey, and an owl theme. Well, I couldn’t find owl fabric that I liked that was in pink and grey, so I got a bunch of grey and pink fabric. My original intent was to do a simple 5” square quilt and then quilt on the diagonal (my little brother machine, while a trooper, can’t handle anything more complicated than that and can barely handle straight lines). But then, after cutting the strips of grey and putting them together I *really* liked how they looked. And I could include some owls by doing a rough-edge applique of an owl in the corner. So this is what I wound up with:

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The backing and binding are the same fabric: a cute pink with white poka dots on it. It brings in a little more pink since the front is mostly grey. Which I actually really like. The owl in the corner was rough-edge applique, and it was probably the hardest part.

But I like how it turned out!

But I like how it turned out!

I’m still new to the whole applique part, but I had a lot of fun and next time I might try something a little harder when I applique again. And I will do it by hand as well.

Here are a couple more pictures: of the two with the quilt on the crib, which do you like the most?

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The second commission quilt I did was based off of my Asian fractured-panel quilt I did. (I’m almost done with that quilt as well, but that will be for a later time!) This one wasn’t quite the same style; the pattern is much different. Instead of doing strips, I had framed fussy-cut squares that I got from a fat quarter pack off of etsy (thanks, Shiboridragons!) If you like Asian fabric, they are my go-to. Anyways, here’s the quilt:

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I really, really love how this one turned out. It was a lot of fun to piece together, as well, and honestly was not as complicated as I thought! All of the fussy-cut squares were from 6 different fat quarters. Asian fabric is great for this because they can have some seriously cool designs on them where you can have two totally different squares that came from the same piece of fabric. The background is very slightly off-white, because the white background on the center panel is not actually true white. Each square is framed with the same gold fabric, which I think really helps it come together. One of my favorite fabrics in this quilt, however, is the backing fabric.

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It’s a beautiful Asian fabric that is quite calming, with gold, pink, and blue dragonflies on the back with cherry blossoms delicately floating on the wind. The quilting was not done by me: we took it to our local quilt shop and sent it out to a long-arm quilter, Kelly. She did a great job with the quilting!

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But anyways, that was my weekend! Enjoy the rest of yours!

Also: I’m still trying to figure out the whole “photographer” part works out, since photography is not my strong point. What pictures are YOUR favorites, and why?