Splendor QAL: Week #2 – Appliqué the Small Flower Blocks

SplendorWelcome back!   It’s Week #2 of our Splendor QuiltAlong and it’s time to start appliquéing our small flower petal blocks!

But first — If you’re just joining us this week, be sure to review Week #1’s Blog Post to find out how to purchase the pattern and what fabrics and materials you’ll need to gather –

READ THE SPLENDOR QAL WEEK #1 POST BY CLICKING HERE

Also, just a friendly reminder!   If you want to join with other quilty friends and aren’t yet a member of our Facebook group, I invite you to join our free QAL Facebook group where you can ask questions, share your progress and of course, post pictures of your finished projects so everyone can share in the fun!  Also feel free to share this invite and any other QAL news with quilty buddies and invite them to join along in the fun!

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You can also subscribe to our Colourwerx You Tube channel right here!

JOIN THE COLOURWERX QAL FACEBOOK GROUP HERE


SUBSCRIBE TO THE COLOURWERX YOU TUBE CHANNEL RIGHT HERE

On to Week #2 of Splendor!
I do love to do fusible machine appliqué – it is so fast and fun and you can use a variety of stitches like the zigzag, buttonhole (or also known as the blanket) or decorative stitches to embellish and texturize your shapes.  Remember there are no quilt police lurking so experiment and have fun!

ASL 4

Also, if you’d like a video – you can view Week #2’s companion video tutorial right here!

View Week #2’s Splendor Companion Video Tutorial

But first things first….
Arrange Your Background Blocks for Value and Pattern Placement —
1. You should have precut your background fabrics in Week #1 – if not, please find the cutting directions in page 1 of the Splendor pattern and do so before proceeding.

2. Assuming you are using (12) 1/3 yard cuts or a variety of scraps for your background, refer to Page 2  in the pattern for the diagram, and arrange the background units on your design board or floor making sure you have evenly balanced the value and pattern placement (if there are patterns in the fabrics) across the quilt top.  Do not stitch the units together yet.

Once satisfied, be sure to snap a photo of your arrangement for future use and then remove from your design board or floor the (12)  background blocks that will have the small flowers on them.  Here’s my background units arranged on my design board.

Splendor Background

Prepare your Small Flower Petal Shapes —
You’ll be cutting out (12) sets of the small flower shapes.  (If you are following along and making the Mini Splendor pattern with us, you’ll make (6) sets of small flower shapes).

1.  First, gather the pattern page (included in the Splendor pattern) and following the directions on your adhesive fusible web, trace (12) complete sets of the small flower petal shapes on the smooth side of the fusible web. Use a #2 pencil for tracing.

Prepare Shape

Rough cut these shapes out at least 1/4″ beyond the drawn line.

Prepare Shape 1

Again, I like to use the adhesive fusible web Heat ‘n Bond Lite.

Heat N Bond

2. Next select your small flower fabrics for your first block, and fuse the shapes onto the wrong side of those fabrics.

Prepare Shape 2

Cut the shapes out neatly on the drawn line and be as exact as possible.  Use a sharp pair of scissors for this step.

Prepare Shape 3

3. Continue on and create (12) sets of small flower shapes.  (Again, if you are following along and making the Mini Splendor pattern with us, you’ll make (6) small flowers).

As a sidenote, if you own a desktop cutting machine like a Silhouette Cameo or Cricut, you can scan the applique patterns into your machine.  First back each of your fabric pieces with fusible web and then laser cut the shapes.  This will require extra fabric, a tacky cutting mat for your machine,  alot of patience and some time for experimentation to get your machine to work ‘just right’. 

silhouette

4.  Once you have all (12) sets of small flower shapes cut out, you are ready to appliqué.

What did Linda do?
I want to share what I did on my Splendor quilt for the small flower blocks – I chose to use the new Tula Pink True Colors 10″ stack.

TP True Colors 10"1. First I decided on (12) different colors for each of the smaller flowers and from there, I chose (3) 10″ squares to be grouped together to make each of the (12) colorways to create the flower petals. Here are the 10″ square fabrics I chose to use for my yellow/orange colored flower:

Fabric 1

Now I’ll share my little formula below for which flower shapes I cut from each of the three fabrics to create variety and movement across ta single flower block.  I could have used just one fabric for each small flower block but sometimes that can make a quilt stagnate:  so the my motto is more fabrics = more movement and more texture which =’s  way more interesting quilt!

My Formula  — Notice on the master pattern page that each of the petals on the small flower are numbered #1-#8 plus the center so that really makes (9) pieces for each small flower block.  So again since I am using (3) fabrics for each small flower block, I’ll cut three petals from each fabric BUT I want to make sure that the fabrics are alternating from petal to petal so here is my formula – feel free to copy this if you’d like  🙂

Fabric #1 – Cut Small Flower Shapes #1, #4, #7
Fabric #2 – Cut Small Flower Shapes #2, #5, #8
Fabric #3 – Cut Small Flower Shapes #3, #6 & Center

Fabric 2

Prepare Shape4

You can really see the texture, value and movement you get across the quilt top by simply combining a few fabrics of the same colorway for each smaller flower block.

Small Blocks

Fuse (or Iron) Your Small Flower Petals to Your Background Squares —
1. Before fusing your small flower petals to the background squares, create an overlay sheet to assist you in placing each of the (8) petals plus the center in exactly the right place before finally ironing them to the background block. Trace the small flower exactly as it appears on your pattern page including the numbers.

Overlay

Although this is an easy pattern shape, without the overlay you might place the petal shapes slightly askew which will throw off the look of this little fab flower!   This can be simply a piece of tracing paper or a nonfusible dressmaking interfacing like Pattern-Ease.

Pattern Ease

2. Taking your first background block and first set of small flower shapes, peel the release paper off the backside of each shape and iron the shapes into place using your overlay sheet to assist you in the exact placement.

Fuse Shape 2

Fuse Shape 3

3.  Also place a piece of stitching stabilizer (like Sulky Totally Stable Iron On Tear Away Stabilizer) on the WRONG side of the Small Flower Petal Block.   The stabilizer will help to “stabilize” your stitching especially if you are using a zigzag, satin stitch or decorative titch around each of your shapes.

Stabilizer

Any digitized embroidery machine stabilizer will work for this purpose, but my favorite is the Sulky Totally Stable Iron On Tear Away Stabilizer pictured below.

Sulky Totally Stable

Let the block cool after ironing and then get ready for some fun machine appliqué.

Machine Appliqué Around the Petal Shapes —
1. Set your machine up for appliqué stitching by changing your presser foot to an open toe foot and choosing some fabulous matching thread for your first flower fabrics.

2. Set your machine to your desired appliqué stitch.  I usually like to choose the Zig Zag and set my Bernina to stitch width 2.5-3.0 and stitch length to just below 1.0 .

Machine 1

Test, test, test before you begin.  Once satisfied, applique stitch around each of the petals and the center on your first small flower block. If you need additional reference for setting your machine up for appliqué and appliqué, please view my video from our Wonky Piecing and Easy Appliqué- Week #4 QuiltAlong here.

Stitch 1

3. Repeat these steps above until you have created and appliquéd the (12) small flower blocks (you can also save some of these for Week #3  if you run out of time this week).   Once stitching is complete, be sure to tear away the stabilizer from the backside and lightly press each block.

That’s it for Week #2!!  Next week – Week #3: we’ll be appliquéing the Large Flower Shapes onto the Center background blocks – woohoo!

Until then, please be sure to email us at colourwerx@yahoo.com if you have any questions.  Or feel free to post questions or progress pictures on our Colourwerx QAL Facebook Group.

Until your next colour fix and next week’s QAL post ~  happy and bright quilting always!    L&C xxoo

Splendor QAL: Week #1 – Gather the Pattern and Materials plus Precut the Background

SplendorHello!  And welcome to the ‘first week’ of our fifth Colourwerx QAL (quilt along) #CW-108 Splendor Front Coverwhere we’ll be making our super beautiful and modern, Splendor!

First, I want to thank you so much for joining us here.   If you want to meet with other Colourwerx quilty friends and aren’t yet a member of our Facebook group, I  invite you to join our free QAL Facebook group where you can ask questions, share your progress and of course, post pictures of your finished projects so everyone can share in the fun!  Also feel free to share this invite and any other QAL news with quilty buddies and invite them to join along in the fun!

JOIN THE COLOURWERX QAL FACEBOOK GROUP HERE

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Each week of the quiltalong, also look for a companion video to be posted either on the ‘day’ or a few days later.   If you’d like to receive alerts to when the videos are posted and other neat tutorials and replays of our Fab Friday Live broadcasts, then subscribe to our Colourwerx UTube channel right here!

So this is Week#1 of the Splendor QAL –  First let’s review the 4-week schedule!

Splendor QAL Slug

As you can see it’s an easy going  4-week QAL, perfect for summer stitchin’, but please know that you can take it at your own pace and join in anytime.  All of the videos and blog posts will remain here, as well as be posted on our website and on the social media pages throughout the year. 

GATHER YOUR PATTERN & MATERIALS —
Here’s what you’ll need to join in on the stitchin’ fun –
• The Splendor pattern by Colourwerx
•. You can also choose to use the Mini Splendor Pattern if you’re looking for a smaller project! (see below for Mini Splendor quilts).

Trio Mini Splendor
And great news? – both the Splendor & Mini Splendor patterns are now 20% off!

Purchase the Splendor Paper Pattern here!
Purchase the Mini Splendor Paper Pattern here!

Purchase the Splendor PDF pattern here!
Purchase the Mini Splendor PDF Pattern here!

Splendor Patterns

Fabrics —
This is a really scrap friendly/10″ stack friendly quilt pattern whether you have chosen to make the Large Splendor or the Mini Splendor version.  Make sure to refer to the back of the pattern for the exact yardage requirements, but since I’ll be stitchin’ along side of you and be making the Larger Splendor pattern – here’s what you will need for that:

For the Large Splendor:
Neutral Background Fabrics:  (12) 3/8 yard cuts of each fabric or scraps totaling about 4 yards;
Large & Small Flower Appliqués: (1) Layer Cake (10″ Square Stack) or scraps totaling about 2-1/4 yards;Heat N Bond
(Optional for the quiltalong) Binding – 1/2 yard and Backing 3-1/2 yards;
3 yards of Adhesive Fusible Web for the Flower Appliqués  (i.e.:  Heat n Bond Lite, Steam a Seam II Lite or Pellon Wonder Under
Sulky Totally StableStitching Stabilizer (i.e.:  Sulky Iron On Totally Stable Tear Away Stabilizer or any type of machine embroidery stabilizer) – This will help stabilize your zigzag or buttonhole stitches when appliqué stitching around the flower shapes;

 

Here’s what I chose for my background fabrics and flower appliqués:  the background fabrics will be cut from these (9) 1/2 yard cuts of dark gray/black fabrics and the flower appliqués will all be cut from this assortment of 10″ squares from the new Tula Pink True Colors collection.   (I just purchased this 10″ square stack from my good friend Deb who owns the Elkhorn Quilt Company – she has a fabulous assosrtment of #colouricious goodness!)

I think its  going to be epic!

Also for Week #1  – Cut your Background Fabrics —
Follow the cutting directions and dimensions on page 1 of the Splendor pattern and cut your background fabrics accordingly.

UPDATE! There is a minor cutting error in the pattern (but you will have plenty of fabric if you gather the recommended materials listed on the back of the pattern cover).  Also be sure to cut the total number of units listed below and also make a note on your pattern for future use:

Page 1 – Cutting:  For the background – You will need a total of:
•  (25) 10-1/2″ x 10-1/2″ squares;
•  (16) 2-1/2″ x 10-1/2″ strips;
•  (4) 2-1/2″ x 12-1/4″ strips (not 12-1/2″ long as the pattern states)

Splendor BG Precut

That’s it for Week #1!!  Next week – Week #2: we’ll begin appliquéing the Small Flower Shapes onto the background fabrics – woohoo!

Until then, please be sure to email us at colourwerx@yahoo.com if you have any questions.  Or feel free to post questions or progress pictures on our Colourwerx QAL Facebook Group.

Until your next colour fix and next week’s QAL post ~  happy and bright quilting always!    L&C xxoo

New QuiltAlong Coming – Splendor! – Starting July 1st!

Are you ready for another quiltalong? Announcing the Splendor QuiltAlong!

Splendor

By popular demand, I’ll be kicking off our newest quiltalong and I am so excited! Starting July 1st!

Join me in stitchin’ up this fresh and modern Splendor quilt!   Easy to applique mod flowers set in a fresh modern setting!  Also a great scrap buster project! The schedule is a 4-week QuiltAlong – You can follow along week to week or just take it at your own pace!

Make the whole quilt or just a few blocks here and there! Regardless – it’s sure to be super fun and filled with lots of tips and tricks!

Splendor QAL Slug

The quilt along is free to join and weekly blog posts and companion videos will be delivered to you in the newsletter and also readily available here on the Colourwerx Blog, on our Colourwerx website and Colourwerx Facebook pages.

All you need to do to join the quiltalong is to purchase the Splendor pattern and gather your materials! In fact this is what Week #1 (starting on July 1st) is all about!

And great news! The Splendor Pattern (paper or PDF version) is now 20% off in the Colourwerx Shop!  I’ve also discounted the Mini Splendor pattern at 20% off in case you’d like to work on a smaller project with me during the quiltalong!

Trio Mini Splendor

You can also join the Colourwerx QuiltAlong Facebook Group where you can post your progress photos and ask questions!

So join me July 1st as we kick off another fun Colourwerx QuiltAlong….

Click the links below to find out more information and to purchase your Splendor pattern! Come join us for some #colouricious fun!

Purchase the Splendor Paper Pattern here!
Purchase the Mini Splendor Paper Pattern here!

Purchase the Splendor PDF pattern here!
Purchase the Mini Splendor PDF Pattern here!

To find out more information about the quiltalong
– jump over to our Colourwerx QuiltAlong Page!

Join the Colourwerx QuiltAlong Facebook Group here for more information!

Subscribe to our Colourwerx You Tube channel! 

Splendor PS

Wonky Piecing & Easy Applique QAL – Week 4 – Easy Machine Applique & Finish

Wonky Week 3 Slug 4Welcome back!   It’s our final week – Week #4 – of our Wonky Piecing & Easy Appliqué QuiltAlong !  This week is all about applique stitching your animal shapes to your background fabric and then finishing off your project into either a wallhanging or pillow!

I’ll also be sharing with you how to get your sewing machine ready for machine applique, how to do some basic applique stitches, sew in and out of points and some very  general “rules of the road” to perfect your own applique stitch!  So let’s get started!

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First off, my biggest tip to perfect applique stitching is: practice, practice practice….  Machine applique requires practice and alot of patience.  You may want to review this blog post, watch my companion video or subscribe to our Colourwerx UTube channel.  Then set yourself up with some basic scrap shapes like squares and circles on a background fabric and practice, practice, practice.

But first things first….

Set Your Machine Up For Success –
Here’s how I set my machine up for a day of applique:
1.  Open Toe Presser Foot – a must!  Notice that this foot  has no bars or metal in the middle of the two outer prongs – this allows you to see the “open road” ahead of you while stitching.  For me, it is a must have before I start any applique stitching;

Open Toe
2.  Schmetz 90/14 Quilting Needle – here we go again 🙂  but this size and type needle is perfect for applique stitching and allows me to switch from thread to thread regardless of the thread thickness as I applique stitch;

Needle
3.  Bobbin Thread – Regardless of the thread you choose for stitching around your shapes, I always use a neutral colored cotton 50 weight thread in the bobbin – usually the same weight and color thread that I piece my quilts with — something like a tan or light grey Aurifil 50 weight (look for the orange colored spool) works well.  Although the exception to this is that if the piece will be finished as a wallhanging and I have already pre-quilted the background fabric, I will match my bobbin thread to the backing fabric – again, using a 50 weight thread;


4.  Set Your Stitch to ZigZag – This is stitch #2 on my Bernina machine and my go-to stitch settings are: Width – 3.0, and Length – just under 0.8-0.9.  This seems to be good starting point for me.  Your machine may be slightly different and more than likely, you’ll need to adjust your settings as you practice and gain more confidence.

Machine 1
5.  Very Important:  Test Your Stitch & Adjust Your Tension – Once you have your machine set up, test your machine by stitching out a straight line of zigzag stitches.

Test 1

Check your tension –   common issues are these:
If you see the bobbin thread (gray) on top like this, adjust your tension dial to a higher number;

Test 2

If you see the top thread (orange) on the bottom of your stitches like this, adjust your tension dial to a lower number;

Test 3

If your stitches “caterpillar” like this – you’ll need to attach a stabilizer to the wrong side  of your background fabric.

Test 4

Sulky

Stabilizer is just as the name suggests:  it provides stability to your stitching and helps to avoid distorted stitches.  Any stabilizer (like you use with digitized embroidery machines) will work just fine and even freezer paper works in a pinch!  My favorite brand is Sulky Iron On Tear Away Stabilizer.  (Sidenote:  If you pre-quilted your background fabric,  you won’t need to add a stabilizer.  The batting acts like the stabilizer.) 

Iron Your Shapes On to Your Background Fabric –
Once your machine is set up, you are ready to go and it’s time to iron your animal shapes onto your background fabric.

Score the release paper on the back of your applique shapes with a pin and then peel the release paper off.

Score

Place your shapes in place on your background fabric – making sure that those shapes  that are overlapped by others are placed down first.  Once satisfied with placement, with a hot iron, press the shapes down applying at least 10-15 seconds of heat to the shape to secure it firmly to your background fabric.

Pattern Ease

You might want to make an overlay sheet for something like the ModFish which has several shapes overlapped on one another.  This can be made from tracing paper or a dress making interfacing product called Pattern – Ease which is sold at stores like Joann’s.  Pattern Ease is a non fusible, woven lightweight interfacing.  I like it because I can trace my pattern on it, place it over my background and then move the individual shapes into place under the Pattern Ease. Once satisfied, I can iron right through the Pattern Ease to secure the shapes in place.

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Additionally, I like to fuse the smaller shapes onto their bigger shapes and stitch around those smaller shapes before fusing that bigger shape onto the background fabric.  Great examples of this are: the ModCat head and eyes and eyelids, or the ModDog eyeball; or the ModFish eye, or ModFish fin on the belly! .

Small Shapes

Why make your job harder?  Take for example the ModCat head, once the eyes and eyelids are fused in place, I leave the release paper on the wrong side of the head as it acts as a stabilizer and then I applique stitch around those shapes…I only have to wrestle with the head and concentrate on making my stitching around the eyes perfect and not deal with the whole background fabric, etc.  Easy-peazy!

Applique Stitching “Rules of the Road” –
I’ll do my best to explain these here on the blog but if you are more of a visual learner than I would encourage you to check out my companion video to this week’s quilt along which is now posted on our Colourwerx website and Colourwerx UTube channel.

1. Starting: Whenever I start, I like to bring my bobbin thread to the top.  This stops all of those nasty thread nests from occurring as you start. Turning your hand wheel one whole rotation, lower the needle into the fabric and then all the way back up again.  Pull on the top threads and pop the bobbin thread up to the top.  Now hold onto both the top and bobbin threads to start stitching. Secure the start of your stitch by either engaging your “secure stitch function” (check your manuals) or taking a stitch in place.   You can also just start stitching and when you finish going around the shape, you can bring all the threads to the backside, knot the threads and tie off.

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2.  Start Stitching:  Notice the photos below – the needle is “zagging” just to the outside of the applique shape and then “zigging” back onto the shape itself.  The foot is NOT really positioned in “dead center” of the shape and the background fabric.  The foot actually rides more onto the applique shape itself .  This is where I personally like my zig zag stitch to fall when I stitch.

3.  Stitching Around Curves:  Again check out the companion video as that might help, but the general rule on stitching around curves is as follows:

if it’s an outside curve, stop and pivot on the on the outside edge:  to do this, stop with the needle down on the OUTSIDE edge of the applique, lift the presser foot with the needle still down,  pivot (or turn toward you) the applique piece ever so slightly, drop the presser foot and take a stitch or two until you feel you need to stop again and pivot to maintain your stitch quality and position on the edge of the applique;

 

…if it’s an inside curve, stop and pivot on the inside edge: just as above, stop with the needle down on the INSIDE edge of the applique, lift the presser foot with the needle still down,  pivot (or turn away from you) the applique piece ever so slightly, drop the presser foot and take a stitch or two until you feel you need to stop again and pivot to maintain your stitch quality and place on the edge of the applique.

When you are turning the corner and the stitch is falling on the outside edge of the applique, try to aim for the same exact point as you go around the corner (see the 4th picture where the purple pen indicates).

Straightaways are easy – curves and circles are not so easy because it requires patience and lots of stop and pivots , stops and pivots to stitch around the curve.  You might find that it will take you just as long to stitch around a small curve as it does for you to stitch the rest of the applique with straightaways. A great example of this is the top of the cat tail or the little paws on the Mini ModDog.   Be patient, slow down and practice.

3.  Stitching In and Out Of A Point: There are some really beautiful ways of stitching in and out of points but this requires dialing your stitch width down and up again as you keep stitching (meaning reducing your stitch width as you approach the point and then increasing your stitch width as you stitch out of the point)…this is a little like rubbing your stomach and patting your head at the same time and takes a lot of practice.

I prefer to do a more “lazy man’s” way of stitching in and out of points.  Stitch all the way down and directly over the point. Keeping the needle down, lift your presser foot and pivot the piece so that it is now at a 45 degree angle to the presser foot.  Take one, (sometimes two) complete stitches so the needle is again on the outside edge but on the opposite side of the point.  Again keeping the needle down, lift the presser foot and pivot the piece so you are ready to stitch down the new side.  Continue on stitching.   It’s appears a bit bulky but it works!

Now with that and a little practice – applique away!

Finish your Animal –
To Make Into a Wallhanging – Once all appliqué stitching is complete, trim your project down so the edges are neat and even.  Here are the approximate measurements of my samples to give you an idea:
•  Mini MoDog 12-1/2″ x 16-1/2″
•  ModCat – 15″ x 21″
•  ModFish – 21″ x 14-16

Bind the wallhanging as desired.

To Make Into a Pillow – Once all appliqué stitching is complete, trim your project down so the edges are neat and even. I’ll explain in detail below what I do for a Mini ModDog, but if you are making a Cat or Fish, you may want to find the appropriate size pillow form first and then cut the project 1/2″ larger than the pillow size and then size the backing fabric accordingly using the Mini ModDog examples below.

Trim the Mini ModDog to 12-1/2″ X 16-1/2″.

I use a Travel Pillow Form for my Mini ModDogs that measures 12″ x 16″.

Cut the Backing Fabric into 2 pieces: 12-1/2” x 14-1/2” and 12-1/2” x 12-1/2”.  Turn and press only one outer edge (not the 12-1/2” edges though) of each backing piece 1/4” over twice to the wrong side to encase the raw edge. Topstitch down the edge to secure. Place the two backing fabric units RIGHT SIDES TOGETHER over the Mod Dog and stitch around all sides. Turn the unit right side out and poke out the corners. Stuff with a 12” x 16” travel pillow form through the slit on the backside.

This now concludes our Wonky Pieced & Easy Applique QuiltAlong – send me your pictures so we can see your cute and fun Wonky Pieced Mod Animals!!

Thank you so much for following along and for your continued support!  Look for more Colourwerx QuiltAlongs on our Colourwerx Facebook page or on our website under QuiltAlongs!mouth21

Until your next colour fix – happy quilting!  Linda & Carl xxoo

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Juniper Flower Garden Pot

IMG_6720It’s been a long time since I’ve blogged but rest assured we have been super busy!   This is our day on the “Juniper” Instagram Blog Hop – welcome!

When my quilty pal, Jessica Van Denburgh from Sew Many Creations asked me to make something from her new fabric collection,“Juniper”, I of course said yes!   Quilty friends are the best and it’s always a pleasure to help out a friend and at the same time get to make one of our patterns with new fabrics.

 

 

Jessica’s new fabric collection, called “Juniper” for Windham Fabric is oh-so-cute and filled with delightful little flowers and flying creatures like beautiful butterflies, majestic dragonflies and some very cute snails.

Once I saw the fabrics, I knew our Garden Party pattern was the perfect project.  I set out to make one Garden Party flower pot !  The Garden Party pattern is available in our Colourwerx shop and Jessica’s new fabric line “Juniper” will be arriving to shops this month so be on the lookout!

First off, I cut the background piece, added borders and layered my batting, backing fabric and the quilt top together in a quilt sandwich.  Using my favorite Aurifil 40wt Gold thread – #2975 – I curvy quilted the background.  This is just a regular straight stitch and keeping the feed dogs UP (like regular stitching) ,  I moved the quilt from side to side creating gentle undulations down the quilt.  It’s fun and relaxing and always looks so “artsy”.

Hint, hint!- You may have noticed that I am machine quilting my quilt BEFORE I place the applique shapes in place – that’s because I’m not very good at free motion machine quilting, On smaller pieces such as this, I like to machine quilt the background first before fusing and stitching around the applique shapes.  That way the piece is quilted and I don’t need to worry about machine quilting in and around shapes.  So far, no quilt police have shown up at my door demanding the piece be handed over- lol!

Once the background was quilted I cut out and began to fuse and applique stitch my shapes in place.  I started with the stem and leaves – centering them on on the background piece.  I love to use my decorative stitches around shapes like these to texturize and embellish the applique – I find the decorative stitches enhance and add an extra dimension of fun and whimsy to the pieces.

IMG_6387

Next up – the large pot.  I used the widest zigzag stitch around this shape.  My Bernina 750QE can go up to 9mm so that was the perfect choice.

IMG_6393

Then the large flower head.  I used my blanket stitch (aka buttonhole stitch).  These pieces took the most time as there were lots of inner and outer curves to negotiate – my patience game definitely had to be ‘right on’ for these pieces.

Finally , the flower center .  I used my most favorite decorative stitch from the Bernina  – this is stitch #419 – you may have something similar on your machine.

IMG_6401

Lastly, and because Jessica designed so many cute little creatures in her fabric, I placed some fusible web on the wrong side of scrap fabric leftover and fussy cut out some super cute flower circles for the pot and lots of cute creatures to fuse buzzing around the flower pot.

I even added a little extra flower growing near the bottom.

 

IMG_6703That was super fun !  Be sure to check out all the other projects made with “Juniper” on the Windham Fabrics Instagram feed.  And also be sure to enter your name for a giveaway on September 3rd by following all of the “Juniper” bloggers and also Jessica’s Instagram page at Sew Many Creations!

Until your next colour fix~
L&C

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The ModTiki – and why not?

Enchanted Tiki RoomDoes any one recall Disneyland’s Enchanted Tiki Room?  I do!   It was quite simply a most magical experience and is still a Disney classic to this day.    Located in Adventureland, it debuted in 1963, and entertains its guests with a colorful cast of animated talking toucans, birds, tropical flowers, tiki drummers and best of all, talking tiki totem poles – all singing a variety of catchy Polynesian tunes.  It is just fabulous!

So when we moved back to Southern California and decided to finally settle in Palm Springs, little did we know that we were moving into a mecca of what might be termed upscale, but rather touristy Polynesian playlands.   Around every corner in Palm Springs and the surrounding communities, you’ll find tiki themed hotels and cocktail lounges, serving exotic rum-laced cocktails from their own enchanted tiki rooms adorned with of course, Tiki statues.

Within a few months of moving here, I was quickly becoming Tiki obsessed. One morning to Carl’s chagrin, we even ventured out in triple digit temps to take photos of our Cosmos quilt draped over a favorite Tiki.  This guy greets visitors daily at the  entrance to the famed Club Trinidad and Purple Room (where Frank, Dean and Sammy used to hang out in the 60’s).    I just love the way the Tiki and the quilt  become one piece  – elevating both to new level of art.

CosmosTiki
So it was only a matter of time that I ‘needed’ to design a ModTiki – and hey, why not?  I started sketching this guy out about 12 months ago but didn’t really make him a reality until a few weeks ago when I made the samples and wrote the pattern.

Tiki Drawings

Warning — These ModTikis are fun and can be quite addictive….I had a great time looking through scraps of batiks and fabrics testing out which fabric prints might look great as the tiki body  – like these two made from Island Batiks or the Kaffe Fassett Artisan Collection…

….or this one made with Banyan Batiks, which would reflect more of  traditional hand carved look to the ModTiki…

BB Tiki

As always, my preferred method of applique stitching the shapes was on on my trusty Bernina 750QE sewing machine, using Stitch #2 and an open toe applique foot (#20 for Bernina lovers) using Aurifil 50 wt thread in the top and in the bobbin. My preferred zigzag setting is stitch length 0.5 and stitch width 3.0 – for me, this creates a nice tight stitch that resembles a satin stitch without being too tight,  and nicely outlines the shapes without overwhelming them.

Tiki Applique 3
What’s terrific too is that the shapes on the ModTiki provide many opportunities where you can “stitch into and out of the points”  – this is a fabulous look and really adds a “high end” look to your applique stitching.

When you approach the point of an applique shape, as you are stitching,  reduce your stitch width so the zigzag stitch becomes smaller and smaller – this is stitching ‘into the point’, if you will  – then after turning the corner, enlarge your stitch width to stitch ‘out of the point’.   It’s a little like patting your head and rubbing your stomach at the same time and takes practice, but once you get the hang of it, it really does create a fabulous touch to your appliqués.

The ModTiki pattern includes both the small wallhanging size – which is fat quarter friendly and measures 11″ x 22 (or 16″x 22″ when adding the optional flower appliqués), but also the Kon Tiki larger size – measuring 44″ x 66″ – 12 half yards is all you need for this bigger version and that includes the background fabric and all the fabrics for the 12 Tikis.
Kon Tiki
I’m finding that almost any fabric can make a great Tiki!  Solids, batiks, florals, geometrics, you name it!

So are you feeling a little ModTiki?  Then go ahead and give our happy little guy a try!  It’s guaranteed to bring a smile to your face and makes an excellent gift for that guy in your life!  You can purchase the pattern on our website here.

Mahalo and Aloha! Until your next colour fix~
Linda & Carl

 

 

 

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