Thursday, February 23, 2012

It's all about Heart and will you just look at what Cherry did in teaching us how to: Make your own fabric

Thanks Madame Samm for inviting me to share my little heart project with you all. My name is Cherry and I blog over at Cherry Blossoms. I have been playing with art quilting for a little while, and today I want to show you how I used fabric pens to make my own fabric design.

These are the supplies I used:

 high thread count fabric - I used 200 ct Pima Cotton (don't wash the fabric)
mechanical pencil
black Micron pens in sizes 05 and 005
Fabrico Dual-Tip markers in various colors
Freezer paper
Your own drawing or Clip Art
a light box - optional

For my little quilt, I used Clip Art I found in my publishing software, but you can always use any drawing you choose; in the future, I plan to make a quilt with some of my children's drawings. This is also a great way to make labels for your quilts. The markers are acid free, fade resistant, and will not wash away, and  best of all, the fabric stays soft!

I found these images 
and played with them until I was pleased with the arrangement, color, and size
for the word I used a pretty font, enlarged the letter "A"
and for the "o" used the little heart image after cropping the stem and leaves out

Next, I changed the color to grays and printed it out

Now the fun begins...
first, cut a piece of fabric several inches larger than the design
and tape it on to the paper to keep it from moving during tracing

Using a light box, trace the design on to the fabric using a mechanical pencil

Remove the paper from the back... 

To make the "coloring" process easier, iron the shiny side of freezer paper
to the back of the fabric with the drawing, this way you won't be stretching the fabric with the markers

Now that the fabric is nice and stable, start tracing over the pencil lines with a black Micron 005 pen.
Once you've done this, the next step is very important: you must heat-set your Micron ink with a dry iron.
If you don't do this, it will run when you start coloring with the Fabrico Markers

Make long, light strokes when coloring with the Fabrico markers;
you can always come back and darken any areas by coloring over them again
 That was so much fun!!!

Of course, to be a quilt, it most have a little batting, a backing, and some thread to hold it together,
and since I don't plan to wash this one, I drew some quilting lines for the wall and floor using the mechanical pencil, giving it a little bit of shading

I used white thread for the whole thing and, yeah, made a few mistakes where the white thread showed on the dark coloring, so I just went back and "covered" my little mistakes with the markers...
...Oops! don't tell!

Add a little binding and hanging tabs...

And you're all done!

You've got to try it, you'll feel like a kid again...


It's all about heart and Penny shows us all about Super easy continuous prairie points!

Hi All, Penny here from sewtakeahike! Happy Valentines Day month!
I was thrilled when Madame Samm asked me to share my super easy continuous prairie point tutorial with you all in honor of Valentine's day this month! Since they are red and all, it seemed like a perfect fit!! I hope you enjoy making these, I know I was super excited to find an easy way to make these lovely prairie points!

I had always wanted to try prairie points, but the thought of making and lining up all those little points and getting them sewn down perfectly seemed daunting.

But once I saw this technique, I had to try it, and now I'm totally addicted and want to share it with you all.

So if you've ever been drawn to prairie points but didn't have the energy to try, here's a tutorial that will encourage you!

Super easy, continuous prairie points:

What you will need:

  • 6"X Width of fabric strips (as many as you need to go around your project)
  • 2" wide ruler
  • rotary cutter
  • fabric glue
  • iron and ironing board
  • spray starch


1. Using one of the 6”X wof prairie point fabric strips, fold it in half longways and press.
2. Using a ruler and rotary cutter, cut a straight line from the edge of the fabric just to the center fold line every 1.5”, alternating cuts from the top edge of the fabric to the lower edge.

I used a two inch wide ruler to do this, lining the previous cut edge up with the 1.5” mark on the clear ruler to make even cuts. (see photo)

3. Cut off the first 1.5” flap of fabric at the fold line

4. Cut off the last two flaps of fabric at the opposite end.

5. Fold each square in half to form triangles, making sure to fold each one in the
same direction and press as you go.

6. Place a dot of fabric glue on the outside tip of each triangle and fold the triangles in half, bringing the raw edges even with the center of the fabric strip. Press as you go.

7. Fold the top triangles over on top of the lower triangles, pressing and using spray starch as you go.

8. Baste stitch 1/8” from the straight edge, and you're done!

Now just make as many strips of these as you need to go around your project, and you have instant, super easy prairie points!


Wednesday, February 22, 2012

It's all about Heart and this lady will shower you with her quilt and pillow! and pssst 2 guests today...

Let's add some colour and comfort in red!

Red is such a passionate colour and I admit it's one of my favourites, especially when I use it in varying shades to make something scrappy! Back in November, here on Sew We Quilt, I gave a tutorial to make scrappy bento box blocks. (In case you missed it, click here).

Now what can you make with a single block? How about a pillow? I 've put together a tutorial for you to make your own, including instructions for inserting a hidden zipper closure on the back and also for binding the finished pillow. {Click here}.

Now maybe you will discover that you're like me and can't stop with making one block. ;o) If that's the case, then maybe you'll want to turn (30) blocks into a quilt (60" x 72"... that is the perfect size for cuddling under with your sweetheart)! It will make up in no time, once you have your blocks ready.

Think of all the fun it will be to use so many different red fabrics together.

Plus, any extra blocks can be used to make a pretty pieced backing!

I hope I've inspired you to grab some colourful fabrics and start sewing!

I'm ever so happy to be here and want to express my thanks. True to her word, the gracious Madame Samm invited me back and once again I want to thank her for letting me share with you.

PS....In keeping with this month's theme, I recently completed another pillow in red... this one includes a heart. You can read all about it on Sew Me Something Good. Happy sewing!

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

It's all about Heart and color this month and DEB scoops us some Color talk

  Love color?  Yes!  Always know the perfect color or fabric to pick?  Uh, no.  Have sweat trickling down your neck, or sweaty palms selecting fabric for your next project?  Yep, there I am.
  I'm Debbie from Stitchin' Therapy and I do love color.  When I began quilting, I had absolutely no idea how to choose colors or fabrics for a quilt.  In my first class I was told to use a light, a dark, and a bright.   I never finished that quilt, I wonder why?  Today I  mainly do multi-print, multi-color quilts---scrap quilts and water color quilts--- because the colors make my spirit soar.
   Color is what I notice first about a fabric.  It will draw me in and influences how I react to a quilt made with it.   So before your eyes glaze over and you think "Here comes the color wheel talk, and all those words like complementary and analogous,"  relax!  I'm going to share a simple technique I learned from an artist turned quilter.   The class I took from her was not about technique or sewing. It was about selecting fabrics and colors.  I consider it my secret weapon to creating wonderful, colorful quilts.
 Here's a quilt in which I used  this technique for selecting  the fabrics.   I used 18 fabrics for this bargello quilt, but it all started with one fabric that  I loved.  I  followed the steps below to pick the other 17 fabrics.

Steps to selecting fabrics/colors
   It's a simple idea based on letting the fabric and designers do the work for you.   Find a focus fabric you love that has 2 or 3 colors in it.  The seventh fabric from the left was my focus fabric.....shades of purple to plum with blues and greens.  There's my palette!

 Now select  other fabrics that "play well and are friendly" with the focus fabric.
  •   Select a second fabric based on your favorite color in the focus fabric.  The color doesn't have to be an exact match.  My second choice is right next to it at position #6.
  •   Select a third fabric based on another color in the focus fabric.   My third choice ended up in position #10.  Notice anything?  My selections were a light, a bright, and a dark fabric scheme.
  •   Select a "friend fabric" for the second and third fabrics you chose.  Make it a shade lighter or darker for depth and variety.  
  •   And so on....Try to select fabrics that vary in scale (size of print), and value.  Tonal type prints are great "friend" fabrics.
  •   Finally, stand back about 6 to 8 feet from your selections.  Does anything jump out and not fit?  Replace it.  Look at the ninth fabric.....does it seem too dark?  Yes, probably, but the plum color was so striking with the other fabrics that I left it in to spice things up.  Rules can be broken!
  •   Is the collection of fabric all the same value and seem boring?   Note---Value refers to the lightness or darkness of the color you see.  The overall value of the fabric is as important as the color.  Using a palette of all medium value fabrics will appear flat and boring.  Adding a dark and a lighter value will greatly enhance your quilt.   If you are not sure of the value, take a photo, look at it on the computer.  Squint at it, or take off your glasses like me, and get it out of focus to see the value rather than the pattern and color.  Change it to a black and white photo, and you can easily judge the value.  It is so worth the effort to do this.  
 This is the same photo as the above palette converted to black and white.  I wanted to be sure the darkest values were scattered throughout my palette and not all in a clump.   Don't be afraid of using a dark fabric.  The dark values create depth and let the light and medium value fabrics shine.  

Selecting the dozen different batiks for this one was done in the same way.  
This smaller photo below of the first blocks made  gives you a closer look at the fabrics chosen.  Can you pick out the focus fabric that I used for the palette selection?  
Did you pick the fabric in the bottom left corner?  That was it....a beautiful collection of colors in it to chose from.  Using the focus fabric made it easy!

   Are you a traditional quilter?   In Summer of Love I used 20 different floral fabrics for the very traditional Jacob Ladder blocks. The bold yellow  is predominant, and required a careful selection of other fabrics to be successful.  I began with one floral featuring  lots of colors--including yellow.  Each of the remaining floral fabrics were selected because they picked up a color from the focus floral.  Some were on  dark backgrounds, and others were on  lighter backgrounds, and  2 had very blue tone backgrounds.  And in the end, all of them blended and worked well together.
   Show no fear when selecting fabrics for your next project.  Conquer your  fear about mixing colors and fabrics.  You have been empowered with the secret weapon for fabric selection.... Let the designer and fabric do the work for you.  And now,  you also have a great reason for building your stash.
  Thanks so much,  Madame Samm for letting me share my thoughts on color and how to make it work for us all.
Wishing you all a color filled day and happy stitching.