Thursday, June 14, 2007


I may as well admit it; I really do have to push myself to get anything done. Here is "Rebirth" finished yesterday afternoon, hanging sleeve, label info and all. (Finished out at 11" x 13") Did I mention I was making this for my church (partial penance since the angel quilt is taking longer than I planned) and that I was determined to present it at the potluck last night? As much as I hate deadlines, I obviously need them when I get in these insecure moods and start to lose faith in myself.

I tried yet another way to attach the "quilt" part to the mounting base, and thought I'd take you through the process. I've used this before on a pillow top, but not for something to hang on the wall. I start by attaching binding strips to the quilted piece. Here I'm using single fold binding cut narrower than if it truly was wrapping around the outside and needed the extra 1/4" seam allowance folded under.

You may recall I used a piece of newsprint instead of fabric on the back. I definitely wasn't thinking clearly when I decided to do that. The paper has to be removed and newsprint held in place with spray baste does not remove easily. I spent a couple of hours in front of the TV tearing it away and picking at the bits with tweezers. A Sulky tearaway stabilizer would have worked much better.

The next day I prepared the mount. This can be prepared in several different ways, but for a truly stiff and stable end result, I fuse Decor Bond interfacing to both the top and the backing. I cut it the exact size of the finished mount, fuse it to fabric, and add the seam allowance as I trim away the excess fabric. The backing gets a slit cut in it, usually where the sleeve will cover it, or it can also be hidden by the label. This mount has no batting and will need no quilting stitches.

The edge of the interfacing now becomes the stitching guide. Pinning parallel to the seam line allows you to check underneath to be sure the bottom is lined up properly to the front.

And here I am stitching. Stitch all the way around - no need to leave an opening because this will be turned inside out through the slit in the backing.

Before turning, clip the corners to reduce bulk. It's hard enough getting those points poked out.

Once you have the corners to your liking, secure the slit with a whip stitch or herringbone stitch. Remember, this will be covered by the sleeve, so it doesn't have to be pretty. Sometimes, I've fused this closed. Then give the edges a good pressing, taking care to pull the backing under if necessary so that it doesn't show from the front.

Now it's time to attach the quilt to the mount. Before removing the newsprint, I'd pressed the binding under so I'd have that guide once the hard edge of the paper was gone. Here I'm using a little Roxanne Glue Baste to secure it in place. It's particularly helpful to glue the double layers at the corners.

Center the quilt on the mount, which may be tricky. It can be pinned, glue basted or spray basted in place. I opted to use spray baste, then stitched in the ditch with invisible thread with the feeddogs down and the free motion quilting foot on. I was worried about shifting if I used a regular foot.

With the top secure, I could add some additional quilting - enough to secure it nicely to the mount, then I put my regular foot back on and stitched the outside edge of the binding to the mount with a narrow zigzag stitch and clear thread. I wasn't as pleased with how this came out as I thought I would be and wished I'd cut the binding wider so that it would have been well secured with the stitch in the ditch. Then I could have left that edge free. I wasn't about to hand applique it down which would have given a more invisible look. I think it must have been the combination of the tight weave batik and the flat surface of the mount. The pillow I'd done this way didn't show the stitching. On this it almost looked top-stitched.

Overall, I'm pleased with this, although I reneged again on doing a more elaborate background. I haven't tried the fusible web over a seam and I guess I was afraid I'd have a line if I pieced a background. I hoped that the sprigs of grass would be delineation enough and just followed colors in the batik to mimic clouds in the sky. A bit trite, perhaps, but I couldn't think of anything else to do. I'm not sure the batting added as much to it as I'd hoped - the stump stayed pretty flat. Yet another learning experience.


Claire Joy said...

Beautiful... looks like a Jesse Tree.

Anne Wiens said...

I like this piece for many reasons- the image is beautifully executed and the message is timeless. It also reminds me of the redwood trees "back home" in Boulder Creek, California.

Anne (in Montana)