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There's nothing quite like starting a NEW project whilst you are in the middle of an existing one. :-)
My current Forever Project is my Art Deco applique project. I've been prepping blocks like mad, in anticipation of road trips and our annual family vacation. I became somewhat anticipatory of how all this beautiful applique blocks would look assembled, so I started cutting the sashing strips and sewing the blocks and sashing together, when I had sufficient adjacent blocks to do so. (I've been rather haphazard in which blocks I've worked on.) I assembled a whole bunch of rows, when in the middle of the night, it hit me .. oops. I hadn't trimmed the blocks to size.
The pattern calls for a 12" finished block, which means you cut the base fabric at 12.5". With applique, I'm never quite sure how much the base fabric might get drawn up, so erring on the side of caution, I cut all my blocks at 13". I knew that I would need to trim them to 12.5" before assembly.
Except I didn't.
Furthermore, I didn't verify the width of the sashing strips between the blocks, so I cut them at 2", for a finished width of 1.5". Except they are SUPPOSED to finish at 1", which mean a cut strip of 1.5". Ooops.
Wellllll .... ya know it *really* doesn't matter what size your blocks are (in this particular grid layout), as long as they are all the SAME size. Ditto with the sashing. Except, I have a 10' frame on my Innova longarm. That's a maximum of 120" along the rails .. minus the width of the carriage. For me, that means I have a maximum working length along the rails of 109". That's a VERY big quilt.
Doing a quick calculation of my oversized blocks + oversized sashing + border blocks gave me 111". Ooops. Weeeelllll, I could possibly trim the outer border to get to 109" but that would leave me with a backing/batting/top of *exactly* the same size. That makes me very anxious. I don't want to mess this quilt up.
The only, best solution would be to .. sigh ... rip all the assembly I had done so I could properly trim the blocks and sashing to their proper sizes. What a complete and utter drag. I wasn't looking forward to it. But, as fate would have it, today I was visiting with a friend in ill health and I brought along all those assembled rows with me. As we chatted during our visit, I was busy with Jack (the Ripper) and by the end of our visit, all of my ripping was done. Hooray! The visit was a pleasant diversion for my friend and I got an unpleasant job done. win/win
So, what about this other project that my first sentence alluded to?
At a quilt show that Mr. Pirate & I had done to several weeks ago, it happened to be a slow day (due to the rain) for the vendors. Since there were VERY few customers around, I didn't feel badly about striking up a conversation with one of them, whose business was applique patterns. Our conversation turned out to be even longer than I had anticipated and she didn't seem reticent about chatting. I certainly don't need another project but after taking up a big chunk of her time (even with the lack of other customers), I felt compelled to buy one of her patterns that was designed for reverse applique.
This is a technique that I don't remember doing but it's exactly what the name says ... it's applique but in reverse. Instead of having the applique design sewn on top of the base fabric, you place the applique fabric under the base fabric and cut the design hole in the base fabric, exposing the applique fabric underneath. You then needleturn, raw edge applique or somehow address the issue of the raw edges.
Right now, I'm all about needleturn applique, so that's what I'm doing for the reverse applique. I used by Scan and Cut to cut the applique design and used a disappearing marker to trace the design onto the base fabric. Already, I've learned a lesson: it's best if the base fabric has a sturdy weave. I'm thinking that something like batiks would be excellent. However, I wasn't thinking that far ahead and didn't use a batik. I used just a regular quilting cotton ... which is perfectly fine, too.
Except, this particular cotton is woven a bit more loosely than others, I think. When I cut the applique shape from it, the raw edges seem to ravel much more easily than other cottons. Ahhh well, I'm committed now.
The pattern is "In a Word For the Love of Applique: Beauty" by Jill Rixman, A Designing Woman and can be found at her page: http://www.artfullyapplique.com/product/pina04-beauty Her website is http://www.artfullyapplique.com/
This is what I've done so far .. one complete butterfly and the beginning of another. The complete design is a trio of butterflies, all facing away from the center point. If you drew a box around all of them, it would about 8" square. The applique fabric, then, was cut at 8" square and basted *behind* the green base fabric. Using the applique "stencil" (next photo), I used a disappearing pen to trace the seam lines of the butterflies. The base fabric was then cut away, leaving a hole to expose the applique fabric. The raw edges were then needleturned under and stitched down.
Here is the applique "stencil" that I cut with my Scan and Cut:
and this is the fabric I'm using for the applique for these 3 butterflies:
Marcia, what a cute and charming quilt! I'm sure they will love it. Glad to see you posting again.
Sorry to hear about all that seam ripping, but spending time with a friend is a good distraction while you're ripping away.
Your new project looks interesting. I like the butterfly fabric you're using for the applique.
Thanks Lynne. It feels good to be back.
Thank you for the suggestion to use blue thread, Dee. I bought all of Superior's King Tut line years ago and I will probably use one of those threads when the time comes to quilt the monster. Right now I am going to focus on polymer clay for a while and create some bugs, flowers and other ornamental things to stick in my flower pots on our terrace.
Marcia, glad to hear that the parents really like it cause it is a fantastically fun looking quilt. Love the bright colors.
William is nice. If I can keep it going long enough I could switch to My Sweet Billy.
If I can keep it going long enough I could switch to My Sweet Billy.
and if you're especially nostalgic, you could use the familiar Billy Bob.
Judy, I'm looking forward to seeing some of your polymer clay ornaments decorating your pots!