Friday, April 20, 2012

Raising It Up to a New Level

detail from Broken Star in the Garden

You can add eye-catching appeal to your quilting project with ruching. This is one of my favorite techniques for three-dimensional accents. 

It is easy to do with just a folded strip of fabric and a needle and thread.

Fold and press a straight grain strip of fabric (as you would fold bias tape). The width of the fabric determines the size of your ruching. The size of your ruched strip is approximately 2/3 the size of  the strip that you start with. (For example: 1-1/2" starting strip = 3/4" folded strip = 1" ruched strip)

Mark one edge of the strip for your stitching. Because you are making 90 degree corners, your marks should be equal to twice the width of your folded strip. (For example: 3/4" folded strip = marks 1-1/2" apart.)
Mark the second side of the strip with marks midway between your first marks.

Starting on one end, stitch from mark to mark making sure the thread goes around the edge of the strip.

Draw the thread to gather the fabric.

The ruched strip

To make a flower, stitch the ends of the ruched strip to form a circle.

The ruched flowers are ready to be appliqued unto your quilt. In this quilt, leaves are added and french knots enhance the center of the flower.

Have you incorporated ruching or other three-dimensional accents to your quilts? Please share your results.

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