Create experiences that leave you in awe, for these will be the highlights of your life. ~Ryan Blair

Friday, August 8, 2014

How-to Make Your Own 'Pieced Fabric'


Need a fabric that is unique,
to add extra dimension
or for when you just cannot find that perfect shade?

Why not make your own fabric pieces? It's easy and fun!!

Cut them into:
(1) squares to use as blocks; (2) into the shapes needed for applique designs; or (3) use them in the borders of your quilts, for added interest.

PIECED FABRIC SECTIONS


STANDARD GUIDELINES
In string quilts...
the narrow strips are generally sewn onto a lighter weight fabric or interfacing. The block is then trimmed to fit size requirements. This is also especially helpful when working with strips placed in a diagonal direction or pieces that are cut on the bias, keeping pieces from being stretched out of shape.

TRIMMED BLOCK (9" X 9")

However, if you are working with strips that are not placed diagonally, or the backing size is not an issue; you can skip the extra fabric layer. 

CONTINUE JOINING SECTIONS
FOR LONGER PIECES

You may just wish to sew strips together and store them for later projects. (Care should always be taken in every project, when pressing seams.)


THE HOW-TO METHOD for APPLIQUE

Scrappy designs come out beautiful no matter how the colors are put together. So have fun making some colorful appliques for your next project.


METHOD:
  1. Start by selecting a particular color family or group of colors. 
  2. Because each strip is cut from scrap fabrics, arrange the strips into stacks with similar lengths. (This makes the sewing process more efficient.) 
  3. Lay out the strips next to your machine, whether in a particular order or at random, that you wish sew together. (This may be the whole stack and save some for later use, or a chosen few to match the size required for an applique project.)

STEPS:
  1. Begin with two strips... with right sides facing each other, sew them together using a quarter-inch seam allowance. (You may use either a regular or scant quarter inch for applique templates.) 
  2. Then lightly finger press the seams open. These seams will later be pressed flat with an iron. However, as you sew, you do not need to press each one, as you  assemble them. Work with the selected fabrics until all have been joined together. 
  3. Carefully press all the seams open; and tidy up the seam allowances from dangling threads.
  4. Now your piece is ready for the correct placement of the appliques. 

WAYS TO JOIN COLORS:
  • Alternating two colors in the same color family.
  • Selecting a set number of fabrics and repeating the pattern.
  • Selecting a color family and using a variety of different fabrics.
  • Using colors at random, making the section with a range of colors.


My Recommendations:
                                                                                                                                            
ADDING APPLIQUE



(1.)  
For pieced-fabric appliques: seams should always be pressed open.

This allows the fusible web to hold down all the seams neatly; and enables the backing paper to lift more easily when ready to separate from the fusible fabric.




RELEASING PAPER








(2.)
To release the paper from the back, I use the tip of the seam ripper to release an edge, (before cutting out the applique) as once it is fused to the fabric, it is really difficult to remove easily. Make a pencil mark at this location so it is easier to find the loosened edge.

(I do this when using Pellon 805 Wonder-Under transfer web.)



(3.)
Stitch lengths to use while you work on your project.
  <> Stitching seams:  I now use a (1.5) stitch length.
  <> Quilting the quilt layers:  A (2.5 or 3.0) stitch length works well for stitch-in-the ditch, outlining appliques, etc.
  <> Feel free to use free-motion quilting to quilt your project. (I still need to try this; however, it looks like that may still be in my bucket list in 2015.)

<.> <.> <.> <.> <.> <.> <.> <.> 

Butterfly Applique Picture Tutorial

(A.)  Sew five strips together to form the pieced-fabric section needed for this butterfly. (Hopefully you can see the fabrics in this photo, as black is difficult to photograph.)
(A.)  BLACKS SEWN TOGETHER


(B.)  
The butterfly has been cut out of the pieced-fabric section, seams pressed open, fusible web applied, and paper released. (It is now ready to place on the quilt block.)

(B.)  WRONG SIDE OF APPLIQUE


(C.)  In this finished project, the appliques have been fused, stitched on with an applique stitch, and an outline stitch added around each applique; to join the three layers of the quilt.
RIGHT SIDE OF BUTTERFLY

If you wish to make this free mini quilt, you can check out the tutorial and download the free PDF pattern at the website. 


Enjoy a new experience down this creative path....





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