Thursday, July 19, 2007


This was such a good day. The heatwave finally broke, complete with much needed rains overnight and again for awhile this morning. I took the next step on the angel quilt, one I've been avoiding because I knew it would be tedious, needing some patience to complete. And when it's hot, patience is hard to come by; shortcuts are actively sought. However, if there's one thing I have learned about this quilt, it's that it will suffer no shortcuts. So with the heat gone and my energy and confidence renewed, here is what I did.

As soon as I decided to add this batik as the side borders, I knew that I should extend the leaves over the seam line. In this picture you can see how the top leaf does this. Look at the lower portion of the picture and you can see the leaf tip "cut off" in the seam. The extended leaf looks like magic - even close inspection might not reveal how this is achieved.

But the magic is just Lite Steam-A-Seam II and a little fussy cutting. A complete leaf is cut out and positioned carefully over the partial one, then fused in place. The reason I like to use this fusible over other brands for this particular technique is because it does not have to be fused to the fabric until the motif is cut out and positioned. How is this possible? Steam-A-Seam is tacky, so it will adhere to fabric temporarily without applying heat. Once the motif is fussy cut, remove the paper backing and this side of the fusible is tacky as well. You can arrange and rearrange your pieces to your heart's content, even on a vertical surface, and they will stay in place. Once everything is exactly where you want it, heat setting with a steam iron makes the bond permanent. Any fusible remaining on the fabric beyond the fussy cutting can be removed leaving no residue.

As for my revelation from yesterday, I found just what I was looking for in my pile of reduced and manipulated patterns from this work day. A reduction of the original side scroll looks to be just what I need to run up those side borders, but needed to be just a touch bigger. So I took the pattern and enlarged it 125% which made it perfect. I'm anxious to make a master pattern of this and cut one from the fabric I think will work for it - see if in reality it does for the design what I was seeing in my head. I'll tackle that tomorrow. In the meantime, I'm sighing a sigh of relief at being back on track and feeling like I know what I'm doing in my studio.

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