Saturday, 12 April 2014

And They Pay Me Money For This!

Yesterday we had a sew day at the shop. We were all working on the Easter kit, embroidering little chicks and hens on linens and making lace bunnies. Does it really matter what you're doing when sewers get together? My boss calls this work!

Now, go back and look at the word sewers. It seems to be one of those words where context is everything. Brits say 'machinists'. There has to be a better choice than sewers. Suggestions?

The Great P showed me how to load 1 chick embroidery into the machine, select a shape and # of repetitions, and Poof! Three chicks dancing in a circle! So cool! Seriously people, 2 steps!

So after I embroidered a few chicks I worked on a quilt sampler I was making to showcase a colour line of fabric in the shop. I rather like it and wanted to do something with it, and there was this neat quilting technique I saw on a web site. I'm in the back looking for batting, as I intended to do a 'quilt as you go' technique to make things go quickly. I found this bale of Hobbs 2 sided fusible batting. I've never used this for quilting before and hadn't thought of a use or it - but maybe the stars had aligned?

I put teflon sheets down on the ironing board and fused my backing first. Mind you, I'm working with a piece about 45" by 30". It was quite manageable. Then I cut the top background fabric into 2 1/2" strips (width of fabric) and the flaps into 4 1/2" strips. The flaps (olive green prints) were pressed in half lengthwise with right sides out. I couldn't decide which of 3 colours would make a better background, so I seamed 3 possibilities together so we could see all 3 (black, white, yellow). I was trying to showcase fabric, after all.

Now for the fun. I put the first background piece (black, white showing) right side up on the batting, placed a flap on top and then another background fabric wrong side down.

I sewed down the seam and opened the background  pieces up. Then I pressed them carefully to the batting. You don't want to get that fusible on your iron or your board, so a press cloth is a good idea.

Here you see the white/yellow part of the background being fused to the batting. The green flaps are facing away from the background and covering the other background strips.

Now the fabric fused quite nicely and I didn't need pins at that point! It was a quilt as you go project with a major helping hand! The fabric stayed fairly straight without any fuss on my part. Now if the piece had been bigger, I would have done some careful alignment, just in case.

However, I always prewash my fabric, and I didn't in this case as I was at the store and just doing a sample. The fabric did shrink a titch as I pressed and fused it. You could see this, and the batting did not seem to shrink. Therefore the fabric looks slightly stretched and strained. Interesting! I have some leftovers to play with.

 Here are the strips all sewn. Next you put the twist in place by stitching the flaps in alternate directions. I love to play with decorative stitches and thought this would be an excellent place for such. If only I would do as I was told!

If you look at that machine you can see the foot selection (upper left) indicates a 2A foot with no IDT (walking foot equivalent). The stitch goes in too many directions to stitch well with the top layer tugged as well. I forgot to check that, and my stitch was not pretty. Listen to your machine, people! You need to follow the directions! That's why you have all those pretty feet!


Here you can see the flaps sewn in alternate directions. Now, I love the fabric, and this shows it off well. The technique would make a really neat cuddly quilt! Scrap buster? Single colour family?

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