Friday, August 14, 2009

New technique :)

I recently tried a new quilting technique, and I'm quite pleased with the results.

The technique is fairly easy. You start with a base fabric, which will show in your final fabric. Then you layer fabric on top of it, leaving the edges of these fabric pieces raw, i.e. unfinished. You can cut or tear your pieces - I chose to cut mine. On this project I used pieces of fine netting in shades of blues, purples, black & greens. Any fabric that is sheer, transparent, net, or sparkly (like metallics) will work. Any fabric that is not see-thru, like the metallics, should be used sparingly and probably kept in the bottom layers, tho, as the whole idea of this technique is to create new color play by the way the various fabrics shift the colors of those over them. Since all (or at least most) of your fabrics are see-thru, fabrics in layer #1 actually effect the way your eyes see fabrics in all the layers above them, even if you have 3 or 4 layers in some places, as I do in this piece. In some places, I layered a color over itself to deepen the color. The nets I used here were all cut into small pieces - none of them more than 2" x 3" - since I knew the finished product (the purse) was not large .... my finished front flap was only 7" tall.

Once I was happy with the way the colors looked with the layered nets, I used a piece of very fine white net (bridal net) to cover the whole thing. Then I pinned the piece - all over. Net tends to cling to net, so I didn't have a big problem with shifting, but if you use fabrics that may slide against each other & move when the piece is lifted, be sure you pin *every* piece as well as all around the outer edges so the base fabric & the top fabric are well pinned together.

Move to your sewing machine & sew all around the outer edges of your base fabric, using a 1/4" - 1/2" seam. Now you need to decide if you will use a regular pattern (as I did on this piece) or random quilting (as I did on another piece). Either looks great, which one you use just depends on the final result you want. On the other project, which I can't show because it's part of a swap & I don't want the person getting it to see it, I used random straight lines ... but not parallel to the sides. I used odd angles but a thread that matched my background fabric. Came out with exactly the result I wanted. :)

You also need to decide what color(s) you will use for your quilting. On this piece, I chose to alternate black & white threads, resulting in a pattern that reminds me of an argyle ... almost. On the other piece, I used thread which matched my background fabric.

The best tip I can give on this project .... cut your background fabric only very slightly larger than you want your finished piece. The quilting will pull it in some, but not much, and you want to be able to do no more than trim a bit on the edges, without actually cutting that outer seam if you can avoid it. At least not until the piece is sewn into whatever you are using it for.

This was fun, and I'll probably do it again at some point.

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