Wednesday, July 13, 2011

ANATOMY OF A QUILT
Part 3 - Building the Face of the Quilt

So, now it's time to start building the face of the quilt.  Sometimes, I'll use a piece of foundation material and applique everything to it.  But this time, the background piece are so large, that I'm going to build the face without a foundation.  The first step is to sew the 'water' to the 'sky' forming the horizon.  Happily, the horizon is typically a straight line of sorts so this works out well.

But looking at it, I decided that I want the setting sun sewn into that horizon seam.  So I ripped out a space in the seam, placed the 'sun' in it and resewed the seam.   Perfect!  Now it's time to applique the edges of the sun to the sky.  Typically, you fold under the raw edges of material to be appliqued.  But with the numerous curves in my quilts, it's bulky and impractical.

I glue all raw edges to be appliqued using Heat-n-Bond.  It comes in a big sheet rolled up.  You iron it on, let it cool, remove the paper backing, then iron it in place.  This not only glues the raw edges so they're less likely to fray; it also replaces pinning and basting.
 
I don't glue the entire piece.  Of all the good things about this product, when set, it's pretty dense and very hard to hand quilt through.  So I cut small strips and shape them to the edge of the piece I want to stabilize.  The picture at the left shows the Heat-n-Bond ironed the first time.  The paper backing is still on it.  Time to remove the paper, iron it in place and applique it down.

I cannot believe that I did this!  I've got this beautiful, curved applique on the front and the entire back of the piece is a mess!  The fabric was folded under when I did the applique.  Time to rip it out and do it over.  As I said earlier, if there was no frustration in a quilt, I would feel as though I failed......

Time to put some shoreline in.  Looking at this, it's a little plain, I think.  Plus, it's not quite as wide as the water.  Hmmmmmmmmmmm.....

So I added another layer of different 'sand' and cut out the bay.  The edges will be glued and appliqued later.

Every edge gets hand-basted in place, with whatever color thread - the worse the match the better for me as I'm going to pull it in just a little while.  Basting all the layers down makes all these pieces a single, flimsy at this point, piece.  Once all the edges are basted, I can attach interfacing to the back and stabilize the entire thing.

Now that all the edges are basted, I can show you all the layers of material.  They actually could stay where they are - they would get quilted in place.  But leaving this excess yardage in a quilt is a bad idea for a couple of reasons.  First, it makes the quilt uneven and bulky.  Second, it's such a waste of material!  All these scraps will get used somewhere, someday in another quilt, or a doll outfit, or in bean bags!

The first thing I cut away was the piece of the sky that ended up behind the water and beach.  It's a large piece that I'm sure to find a use for.  But as soon as I did this, a thought occurred to me...  I never did measure the width of the sky to begin with.  All of the other pieces conform  to whatever that width is.  After measuring the sky, I measured the back.  At it's current width, the quilt face will be 4 inches wider than the material I have for the back.  Damn!  To just cut the edges down will throw the whole thing out of proportion.  I could piece the back, but on a quilt this size that's not what I do.  The only way to fix this is to take it apart and start over.  It must be time to go fishing.  Time spent:  4+ hours.


1 comment:

  1. Ugh, the folded under stuff is so frustrating! I don't make quilts, but I've done this with other sewing proects , usually sleeves or collars!

    ReplyDelete