Tuesday, 17 August 2010

DQS9 - Preparing to applique

I've put the beach quilt aside for a few nights and have made a start on my DQS9 quilt. I cut a square of the background fabric and laid it out on the cutting mat. Then, with the design next to me, I used some coloured thread to decide which ribbons whould be lime and which raspberry, and marked this on the sketch.
Then I used my flexible curve ruler to mark out the ribbons on the background with a Clover fine white marking pen, which is easily erasable with either water or heat. Once I was done I realised that they finished too low on the background, and decided to use the markings as rough guides only, and started placing the pieces on about an inch higher than the markings.
I used the flexible ruler to measure the length of each ribbon to the decorative end, added an extra 2 inches in case, and marked this on the sketch as well. Then I ruled the ribbons on the Lite Steam-a-seam 2, first those for the lime fabric, then those for the raspberry. I added the finials as I went, using a mechanical pencil to draw (and re-draw) the shapes. The ribbons are 1/4in wide.

I cut the shapes from the rest of the fusible web and seprated those going on the lime form those going on the raspberry fabric. Then I realised I'd forgotten to mirror my design before transferring it to the fusible web! So after having been so careful to draw on the correct side of the backing, I went and remarked the ribbons on the other side. This meant the fusible layer moved a bit more on the removable backing than it should, but ultimately didn't matter.

After pressing the fusible web to the fabrics along the bias (to give them flexibility for even curves) and cutting them out (using the rotary cutter and ruler along the length to keep them nice and smooth, and sharp scissors on the curves) I removed the second backing and roughly laid them on the background. I adapted the design as I went, but followed roughly my guides for weaving them over and under each other.
I laid a doubled-towel on my cutting table, and put the background fabric over that, so I could keep it all flat as I worked. I used my Clover mini-iron to attach the ribbons, starting from the finials and working backwards to the left edge. Because of the weaving, I worked on several at once. I managed nice, smooth curves on most of it, but needed to lift a few sections to reposition them to my satisfaction - they were only lightly and quickly pressed to start with. While still warm it wasn't too hard - but you don't want to do it too many times, as the edges of the fabric start to pull apart slightly.

Steam-a-seam 2 is supposed to be positionable without pressing and usually is, but it didn't work for me in this case - but I hadn't expected it to - partly because I was working with the other side, but mainly because I was pulling it quite hard to create the curves.
Then I added the extra shapes, and it's ready to start appliqueing. I have some lovely matching silky mettler threads and will use a small buttonhole stitch. I'm trying to decide how I want to stabilise it for the applique - I'd rather avoid fusible interfacing, but want to keep it supple and avoid puckering/bubbling.

I'm thinking of adding a plain black layer of cotton homespun between the top and the batting to minimise any bearding. I'll applique before sandwiching.


Maree: said...

Wow!.I am Lovin this so far..

Karen said...

Loving it! Can't wait to see it all finished. Its going to be stunning.

Joan said...

Now that is great! VERY interesting to see how you worked it all out...thanks for the detail of putting it together. I look forward to seeing it at comploetion!

Bogdan Stelistul said...

Salut!!!My name is bogdan from Romania!!!
We can be friends ???

Me aka Supermom said...

water soluable stabilizer!