Wednesday, 13 June 2012

Kaleidoscope / Quilting Tips

I have just completed a wall hanging where the background is made up of kaleidoscope blocks. I fused the background blocks with a thin iron interfacing.  This was to prevent my blocks from stretching (as they are on the bias) while I hand applique my image onto it.  This worked realy well.

I machine quilted my piece with my new sewing machine (Janome Horizon 7700).  I have to say I am missing the BSR foot which my Bernina had, that regulated my free motion stitches but I'll get better with practise.  So therefore some unpicking was required.

When unpicking you are left with stitch holes in your fabric.  There are two methods I use to close them up.  (click on image to view holes)
With a needle or pin, I carefully move the weft & warp threads working them to close the hole.  This works with most cottons however I wouldn't use this method on silk as you will scratch it.  If the holes are not closing well or you are using a very fine fabric, lightly damp the area with cold water (light spray or cotton bud) then rub lightly with your finger then press with an iron.

I use the later method quite a bit. Though today I did have an accident.  I had used a fine black mesh on my piece to create a shadow effect.  So after unpicking my stitching, I wet the fabric to close up the holes then ironed it, promptly forgetting about the mesh and melting it into the background fabric.  Needless to say my iron has black mesh melted onto it.  Trick to remove gunk from the bottom of your iron is to iron a brown paper bag.  In most cases it gets it of. 

With acidents comes discoveries - I had already quilted over the mesh and with it now melted into my fabric, it has created hard surface and now wont lift or frae.

I've named this piece Spinning Koru.  For those of you reading my blog from outside of New Zealand, Koru is the Maori name for a curling fern frond.  As the frond grows, it uncurls.  Bit like new life.  Koru means twist. 

Center of the Spinning Koru

Spinning Koru
Happy quilting  Shirls

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