Wednesday, December 5, 2018

New Beginnings--post 2

Corners in place
Note to self. . . .don't wait seven months before returning to a class project!!! It was a challenge to remember what I was planning to do. I spent an hour reacquainting myself with the fabrics, the pattern and the instruction booklet. I thought I was ready to cut the corner pieces. I pulled the corner fabric and drew a blank. I couldn't remember the tips Karen gave us about the corners nor could I remember what the tips were to place the second border on the piece. Luckily, JoJo had finished her project and she gave me some insight on the process.

Template and shape drawn to the fabric
I spent about three hours on the corners. I was concerned that the gold fabric might show through the corner fabric so I ironed a
stabilizer to the corner fabric. I traced the pattern on freezer paper. I ironed the freezer paper pattern to the fabric and cut out the shapes. Then, I carefully placed the corner shapes on the top. Yes, there is a raw edge; but, in the next step, I'll cover that raw edge.
Second border basted in place.

The next step took about five hours. I made a template out of the heat resistant plastic. Note all the blue tape marks. The plastic was 8 1/2 inches by 11 inches so I needed to piece the template many times! After I completed the template, I traced around it on my fabric and cut the shape out of the fabric. (I did leave a generous quarter inch seam allowance.)

Then I replaced the template, starched the seam allowance and pressed the allowance over the template. It was a long process. Even though I had taken care in the whole process, I still had some stretching. However, with a little more patience and care, I was able to glue baste the border in place. I love how much life this border gave to the project. Karen's method was ingenious. Cutting the shape from a whole piece of fabric and then placing it on the top in one piece was worth all the time I spent. When I stitched each side of the pink border, I anchored the corner fabric and covered the raw edge of the gold fabric in one step!
Choosing fabrics for the inner appliqués

The next step was to fill in the blue area. I cut the shapes from the template plastic and then the fabrics. The fabrics that I had chosen for the class last May, didn't excite me then and didn't excite me in November either. After placing the second border, it became more evident that I needed to change most of the fabrics. I had chosen a yellow and an orange fabric. The fabrics were too close in value with the gold border and were too grey in relation to the corner fabric. The greens that I thought would be great were fine on their own; but, not so interesting when they were all together. The purples didn't work because the values of the medium and dark were too close together. I found I didn't have enough of the light purple to cut all the shapes that I needed. Some of the prints didn't blend well with the other fabrics. In the end, I replaced all of my original choices.

When I thought that I had a fabric that was going to work, I would cut the applique shape and prepare the edges so I had a clean shape to view. It took time; but, this trial and error audition method worked well for me.
Finished top
Once I had prepared the appliqué pieces, I glue basted a layer which I then machine appliquéd in place. I repeated this process until I had all of the shapes appliquéd to the top. The last bits to applique were the 20 small blue circles that I made for my homework when I took the class back in May.

I'm glad I prepared those circles. At least two other people in class chose to leave them out and to quilt circles in that area instead. On my project, these circles added dimension and carried the theme of the focus fabric well. Number of hours to this point were a lot. . .about 51 hours! I'll be figuring out what to do for a backing. I may use one piece of fabric for the back which is uncharacteristic for me!  Then, I'll layer it so it is ready to quilt.

I'm going to enjoy it as a top for a bit until I finish quilting that big BOM mystery quilt from 2015! As I worked on this top, it reminded me of one of the books our book club read that I didn't make a project. Perhaps, I can use it as a book club quilt too!

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