Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Tuesday's Tile - Off Balance

Quilter's Tile - Off Balance
8" x 8"
©2012 - Sharon V. Rotz

It started with a piece of chenille fabric I made long ago. It intrigued me, I pondered. What I could do with it? 

The chenille was made from 5 layers of fabric stitched together diagonally and then stashed down to the bottom layer. A wash and tumble dry plumps the slashed layers.

 What I kept stumbling over was the fact that the design was off balance. If the plaid used as the top layer were only centered, then I knew I could use it. We do like things to line up, don't we?

Determined to stay with it and not put it aside another time, I found a narrow piece of felted wool and three small doilies.

I arranged them over the chenille and stitched them on. No plan in mind, just playing, covering up the off balance chenille design. Oh, maybe this will work after all.

I added some decorative cord to areas.

A simple edge finish seemed appropriate, so I zigzagged over a strand of yarn. This didn't do it. It was not heavy enough to cover the edge and too many threads were poking out. A second row of stitching around the edge didn't help. What else could I do?

I chose to stitch another strand of yarn butted against the first.

This helped to cover the edge better and gave the edge the visual weight that it needed.

Mission completed!

Friday, July 27, 2012

No, Not Stitching Under the Table

It's all about under-stitching.

Of course, I don't mean sitting under the table and frantically stitching to finish my quilt. (Although, this may have happened when I was trying to complete a last minute gift.)

If your quilt is not a candidate for a traditional binding, a faced binding may be the perfect solution. To get that sharp, flat edge to finish your quilt, understitching is the key.

Stitch the binding to the quilt, matching raw edges, just as you would do for a traditional binding.

Fold the binding toward the quilt edge over the seam allowance.

Understitch the faced binding by stitching through the binding and the seam allowance. Your stitching will be approximately 1/8" from the folded edge.

As you can see the stitching is close to the fold and catches in the seam allowance.

Press the entire binding to the back of the quilt.

Hand-stitch the binding to the back of the quilt.

The flat, sharp, bound edge of the quilt.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Tuesday's Tile - Pink Stones

Quilter's Tile - Pink Stones
8" x 8"
©2012 - Sharon V. Rotz

I've been enjoying quiet summer moments playing with embroidery stitches on a quilter's tile. I started the tile several weeks ago. Since that time I have been adding more and more stitches until each stone is showing off at its finest. 

Some stitches are very simple. I've found even a simple Cross Stitch can add appeal. Adding spaces between the Cross Stitches gave them a different look.

Some stitches are a bit more complicated. Although it looks more complex, an Open Cretan Stitch is quick to learn.

Even a common Running Stitch can be eye-catching and effective. Is this nothing but a larger quilting stitch?

Covering only a portion of this stone with a stitch dramatized the whole stone. The Open Fishbone Stitch is shown here. Does this look like a pine tree to you?  Hmm.. store this idea away for another project.

I can see further uses for this stitch.  The Wheatear Stitch may pop up as underwater vegetation. The wheels are turning in my head.

The stones are all decorated and my little project is finished off with hand quilting and a traditional binding. With a large diversity of stitching, I think I will enjoy this tile for a long time.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Looking at Cattails

©Sharon V. Rotz

I enjoy being outside and spending time near the water. The reeds and cattails near the water's edge often catch my attention and inspire my artwork. In "Dappled" the cattails are made from strips of leather and machine stitched to the quilt top.

Red Skies
©Sharon V. Rotz

In "Red Skies" the cattails stems and reeds are pieced into the top and the three dimensional cattails are hand appliqued to the quilt top.

A simple idea interpreted in different colors and with different sewing methods.

How do you interpret your favorite subject?

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Tuesday's Tile is Coming Up Roses

Quilter's Tile - Red Roses
8" x 8"
Sharon V. Rotz

Your binding can greatly add to your project. The look of a double binding can raise your edge finish up to a new level.

For this quilter's tile, I added what appears to be a double binding.

But after closer inspection, it is merely a folded strip of fabric that I attached prior to binding the quilt. 

To make this, cut a 1" strip of fabric. Press in half lengthwise with wrong sides together, making a 1/2" folded strip. Attach this to the edge of the quilt with raw edges even.

Overlap the folded strips at the corners. 

Stitch the actual quilt binding onto the front of the quilt with a 1/4" seam. Fold the binding to the back of the quilt and hand stitch.

Friday, July 13, 2012

Tuesday's Tile on Friday??

Quilter's Tile - Fireworks
8" x 8"
©2012 - Sharon V. Rotz

Apparently, I have been bitten by the lazy days of summer and the days are slipping by unnoticed. Tuesday has come and gone.

But, I can come back. I am here again.

I was disappointed with my fireworks. They looked more like red palm trees than any fireworks I have enjoyed. (Not that I've seen any red palm trees.)

So I can either throw out my tile, (remember these small pieces are a place for play and practice) or I can make changes to it.

Maybe a bit of paint???

Blue added, now a bit of white.

Looking a bit more like fireworks.........

A white accent on the corners finishes it off.

If you are disappointed with your latest project, maybe it's because you are just not done yet.

Friday, July 6, 2012

Teach a Child to Sew

The Bed Skirt

When our 7 year old granddaughter came to visit, she wanted to make a bed skirt to match the quilt that I had made for her. 

First, we had to go fabric shopping. It was hard to pass up the watermelon fabric, the peace signs, and the cupcake fabric. We really liked the pink plaid and the blue patchwork. But, Grandma said we had to find a fabric that would match our yellow dragonfly quilt.  We finally made our choice.

To avoid cutting with sharp tools, we learned the fine art of ripping fabric.

We pulled and 

we pulled, ripping and ripping until we reached the other end.

We did have to deal with a few stray threads.

We laid out our fabric strips, one for each side of the three sides of the bed skirt. We used the selvedge to our advantage instead of making a bottom hem.

We had the opportunity to use the sewing machine to hem the sides. A zigzag stitch helped catch more fabric when our stitches went a little off course.

We used a piece of blue tape to help guide our fabric through the machine.

Our new bed skirt ready to take home and add to our bed. 

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Tuesday's Tile - Celebration Anticipation

Quilter's Tile - Fireworks
8" x 8"
©2012 - Sharon V. Rotz

In a few short days, we will be celebrating July 4th, Independence Day. I always look forward to the fireworks so I thought I would use this as a theme for this week's quilter's tile. With red, white and blue in mind, I chose this unlikely combination of fabrics. These small tiles are a place to try things to see if they will turn out good or bad.

I cut and fused bursts of red fireworks.

Standing by the iron and before I quilted, I am putting on a fused binding.  One side is cut straight and the second side is cut with a wavy blade in my rotary cutter.

The wavy edge is finger pressed to the front of the quilt.

The binding is folded over to the back.

A steam press fuses the binding in place.

Happy Independence Day to All!

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