Friday, January 4, 2013

So what did I do with that BIG made fabric?

 I made a BIG quilt from blocks of Triangles Galore  (Victoria has a tutorial for them in her header). I loved making these blocks because I got to play with lots and lots of different fabrics, in combinations one might never expect to put together.

just a few of the Triangles Galore blocks I made..
Even though V. talks about using made fabric to make some of the small triangles in the block, I ended up NOT doing that (except for maybe four blocks).  I decided the huge variety of fabric I used in making these blocks was enough busy-ness for the center.   (By the way, I made all these blocks this past spring and they sat in the closet waiting for the next step, which I began over the recent holidays.)

I set 25 blocks (14.5 inches square each) on point.  HMMMM.  Now I needed made fabric for the corners.
And each corner measured about 51" x 51" with a diagonal of about 73".  That took some doing.

Here's a photo stream of what ensued.  Enjoy!

cleared living room.  used sticks from the basement to get an idea of size and how much made fabric I needed.

all four corners attached.  Need trimming

used lumber to check for  a straight line and stuck pins along the inside edge of the lumber.

Marking the line an old carpenter's trick.

preparing the chalk line - no chalk? no problem . I used baby powder!

holding the string steady and tight


My helpers- this was a two person project.

John - alright... now what?

Poppy - who herds us everywhere


this gives you a feel for the size

outside picture

One final note.  With made fabric pieces going every which way, there are inevitably bias edges along the outside edge.  To minimize stretching, I sewed rickrack along the edge edge. When I ran out of rickrack, I realized that I have strips of selvedge that I saved to tie packages, so I sewed that to the remaining edges. Sorry, I don't have a picture.  These are temporary stabilizers until this baby is quilted and bound.... hmmm.  Should I hand quilt this???? I'm tempted!  I'm also a wee bit crazy!

I'd like to thank V I C T O R I A!  None of this would have happened without her influences.

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Making BIG "made fabric"

I've been working on a project that needed made fabric.  And I needed a lot of it.  Since the made fabric had to cover large areas, I decided to use big pieces of fabric.  Big for me is anything bigger than 4 inches wide!  Even 4 inches seems "big".   Compare "big" with my usual bits in the picture below.

I tried different ways to do it and refined my technique as I went along.  I have been using made fabric in quilting for some time now, but if you need inspiration or directions on what to do be sure to get Victoria's new book, 15 Minutes of Play.  It is chock full of ideas.

First I pieced the fabric together free form.  This took a lot of time and I was never sure just how much of my "area" I was covering.

Then I tried paper piecing - actually sewing onto newspaper pages.  That worked ok, but I found the paper slipped easily on the  sewing machine, so that some of the pieces did not lie flat.

Finally I simply used a sheet of newspaper as a template and took fabric swatches and lay them over the paper in various angles. That gave me a good sense of how much fabric I needed to cover the paper.  Then I could mark my seam and cutting lines of each fabric (with soap) so that I could maintain the angles I set them at.  I found I could manipulate sections of made fabric that were about the size of a sheet of newspaper, so I made about l5 sheets worth of made fabric.

just a fraction of the made fabric I needed.  
So  what now?  I'll show you tomorrow!