Archive for the ‘technical problems’ Category

To Fuse Or Sew? That Is The Question

Tuesday, September 20th, 2011

This is recent experimentation with fusing my signature wandering fabric strips to black background. (sample size shown c. 6″)

While in the US recently I bought a brand of fusing /bonding material I hadn’t used before, partly because the veisoflex I’d been using didn’t seem to be anywhere around where I was.  So I bought some Steam a Seam 2., its different, and I really like it.  I haven’t done a lot of fusing in the past, but I did think it might be a way to go with the new smaller works I am doing.  These smaller works I posted previously have been sewn, then fused to a backing before being  sewn down onto the base fabric.  One thing I thought was that strips of fabric fused down might be quicker than sewing inserted strips.  Wrong –  really, small strip by small strip it is a bit fiddly, or, if you back a piece of each fabric you’re going to use, even jsut 2″ x 10″, and cut pieces from that, then you have bits left which you need to keep using to get the best value from your materials, right?  And I am pretty nifty with the sewn strips.   So that’s one thing I have to work out.

Below is a pic of strips pieced, ie sewn, into background fabric (a section of  pre-quilted “Ebb&Flow 15″   as it happens) 

 

And this third pic is a side-by side comparison –  sewn on the left, with fused on the right.   The fused piece is a very flat looking surface by comparison.  In a bed quilt there would be too much movement of the quilt for it to be a viable technique, it wouldn’t last.  On the wall though, it would, and for some kind of background it could be just the thing;  though, as I say, hardly ‘quicker.’  This afternoon I have fused sheer to plain as a substitute for stencilling some sand ripples – light ridges vs dark hollows – its very promising indeed and I have been doing some hand stitch over the top of that, and as quilters would say, ‘ the hand’ is fine. I had thought there might be a stickiness or resistance on the needle, but no.  Pics of all that when it’s a bit further along.

Facing irregular shaped quilts

Friday, June 15th, 2007

I have made quite a few irregular shaped pieces in the years since around 1992-3, many of which can be found in the gallery pages of my website, www.alisonschwabe.com
In the past couple of days, on the Quiltart list there have been questions about doing this, and various answers given, and since I sent the original questioner this jpg, I thought I should post my version for anyone else who is interested in trying irregular shapes but intimidated by the finishing.
There are lots of ways any shape can be finished, and even look ‘unfinished’ if that goes with the integrity of the work, but irregular shapes can be tricky if you are looking for a really neat ‘properly finished’ edge, as many who are currently entering pieces in the experimental areas of quilt shows are feeling they need to achieve. (the Quilt Police loom large here) If the outline of the quilt is not too convoluted a binding will probably work OK. But if you have lots of pointy bits this one really works well. Granted a bagged back is popular, and probably perfect for small things, but I have noticed that bag-backed large quilts are often just that – ‘baggy’. This method always works for me, and despite the several diagrams is not at all difficult; if you can face an armhole or neckline of a garment, you can do this easily. Note point #8 – faced pointy bits do tend to curl a little allowing the facing to roll forward and be seen from the front, even other less shaped areas will tend to do this too. Even if you use some of the same fabric as used on the front, this looks sloppy and incompetent. So use the instructions in point #7 around the whole, and #8 where you get to a tricky point shape. Then complete by sewing the edge of the facing down.
I teach workshops taking this all further, including how to get some seriously non-straight shaping along the top edge. Some steps need to be taken in the pre-quilting construction stages to ensure these hang easily and conventionally, also that they fold for transportation, if these things are an issue with your work. To me it sometimes feels disappointing to see exciting shapes along the sides and bottom of a quilt hanging from a straight edge along the top. I think that if that person had known how, he/she might have chosen to make the top shaped, too. .. or maybe not, of course.

Three steps forward and one back…

Tuesday, August 22nd, 2006

In earlier posts re this piece I mentioned the machine stiched guidelines that once used for shape placement are pulled out. But I wasn’t thinking properly. I just didn’t realise that although it was too early to pull out the horizontal ones since they are helpful in the quilting process too, it was past time to take out the sides, ie the two vertical ones. These had marked the limit of shape placement out to the sides/selvedges, but I had done quite a bit of quilting before I realised that the quilting needs to go right out to the very edges to give that compositional borderspace framing the shapes. Since not every thread started and ended on the sideline, this was not actually a simple matter rectify, and i knew that at the start but decided it MUST be done., and that yes, it would take me several, maybe 10, extra hours to rectify. Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, August 22nd, 2006

So, there was a fair bit of unpicking and re-sewing going back in some places about 10″ long a line to find a suitable starting point or get to the end of a thread, to bring all the quilting lines right out to the selvedge of the fabric – the strip of batting showing on the right side of this photo is about 1″, and the gold fabric that needed to be filled after all was about 2″ wide, and approx. 72″” long, a little more maybe. Quite fiddly – but now I am back on track and the result will be worth it. Posted by Picasa

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