Friday, February 10, 2012

Unfamiliar Territory


I'm doing things I don't ever do on this quilt. Let's start with the edge finish. I'm Miss Neat and Tidy, using either a traditional binding or a pillowturn (knife-edge) finish or pop it in a picture frame. On pieces that I attach to a mount, I may cover the raw edges with decorative threads or yarns. With the exception of fabric postcards, I would NEVER just satin stitch the edge of a quilt. Well, never say never, because that's exactly the kind of edge finish this quilt cries out for. You may click on the picture for a larger view, but I think you can see that I first ran a line of straight stitch where the outside of the quilt would fall (it is about 13" square). Then I ran a narrow zigzag stitch just to the outside of that line before trimming off the excess. I reset my machine for a satin stitch and made sure the swing was wide enough to encase the black perle cotton (#3 I think) lying next to the edge.


I know lots of people use perle cotton when they satin stitch the edge of small art quilts, but I had never had good luck with it. I would place it on top of the quilt, not alongside the edge - this is what I understood various directions to have me do and it always left a ridge under the stitching. Now I'm thinking I was wrong all along, and that this is what I was to do. The reason I did this should be obvious from the picture. Black fabric, black batting, but I had stabilized the quilt by adding a layer of white Decor Bond. Past experience told me that even with two rounds of satin stitching, I could count on that white peeking through the edge somewhere. On the left is the satin stitching with the perle cotton along the edge - I only had to do one round!


And now time to dive into truly unfamiliar territory (and answer the questions about cutting out the center of the quilt). Remember that metal plate I picked up off the side of the road - the one that became the template for my discharge design? Well, the whole idea was to suspend it in the middle of the quilt, and I've been thinking long and hard about how I would do that (and it is the reason for the extra stabilization of the quilt). I was poking around my local Ben Franklin looking for something to use to attach it to the quilt - thinking maybe leather laces or wire. I picked up three different metal wires from the beading department and settled on this Beadalon wire because it had that rusted look of the plate. Initially I thought that whatever I used would have to be threaded through metal eyelets I'd have to figure out how to insert, but the wire is thin enough that all I had to do was use a large needle to pierce through the quilt which made a hole large enough for the wire that would naturally close up around it. Just hoping it is heavy enough to withstand the weight of the plate.


I've done a lot of fiddling with this, and finally decided I really should have done just a bit more research. I assumed that the Beadalon wire could be twisted together like a twist tie, but it cannot. I thought I could tie a knot in it, but not really. Because it is multiple wire strands that are coated with nylon. The wire is flexible but tends to return to square one. Knots can't be cinched down and slip as well. I spent a lot of time looking through back issues of Quilting Arts for answers (there's a good series about using metal on quilts but little to solve my problem). I was about to ask if any of you had experience with this product and could advise on how to secure it when it occurred to me I might get answers on Beadalon's website. Yes indeed - all is now clear (including learning about that nylon coating), and I determined I needed some crimp tubes to properly secure the wire ends on the back side of the quilt. Back to Ben Franklin today and hopefully these little bits will solve my problem.

6 comments:

Connie Rose said...

Before I got to the end of your post crimps came to mind! Love the discharged fabric.

Sherrie Spangler said...

I was just going to suggest crimp beads, then I read on and saw that you already got your answer. I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE everything about this quilt.

The Idaho Beauty said...

You two are so smart! I've never done the kind of beading that would call for something like this - didn't know they existed, although my thought processes were going that direction. Thanks for the thumbs up for how this is coming along.

Wil Opio Oguta said...

I really like the effect you got with the metal thingie in the hole.

The Idaho Beauty said...

Thanks Wil! Yes, that "metal thingie" - I still don't know what it is or is used for but your description makes me giggle. Maybe some guy who comes to the exhibit I plan to show this in will enlighten me.

bj parady said...

Just call it a washer and they'll accept it.