Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Another Fabric Postcard

I said I was unsure about the postcard format but felt I needed to explore it more before making my final decision about it. So here is one that has been waiting in the wings since starting to play with this size. You can spot the beginnings of it in this post. It's called "Jockeying for Position."

The background is a scrap of muslin used to get the last of the paint off brushes after swishing them in water. The triangles are pieces of hand-dyed fabric trimmed off during paper piecing. I've layered the background with Thermore poly batting and Decor Bond, spray basted together. The Decor Bond's fusible side is facing down so that it will bond to the postcard back in the final steps.

I continue my hate relationship with Misty Fuse. Sorry, but I never hear anyone talking about the downside of it that I always struggle with. But I did want something light weight to hold the triangles in place. I considered trapping them under tulle but wanted to maintain the clear image and colors. I'll try that on the next one. Considered other fusibles, but knew the cutting around the shapes would be problematic since I didn't want to trim any fabric away. I hoped the Misty Fuse would be the easiest one to do this with, but I had trouble getting rid of the dark line of it around each piece. Plus it really doesn't fuse the fabric down all that well. In later steps the pieces kept popping up and needing to be ironed back down. Onward.

I played around until I settled on this arrangement, then fused them in place. I started by quilting around each triangle with a King Tut variegated thread - that's when the popping up of the shapes began. If you look closely at the first picture above, you can see that I went back in with invisible thread and stitched each triangle close to the edge so there'd be no triangles disappearing over time. Then I quilted parallel lines in the background, randomly changing their directions. The thread actually showed up a bit more than I intended, but I think it worked out ok anyway. The final step before finishing was to fuse decor bond to muslin for the back of the postcard, and fuse the two sections together.

Now to try something different to finish the edge. I followed Terry Grant's instructions in the April/May 2008 Quilting Arts Magazine (partially seen to the left). It calls for marking rather than cutting the finished perimeter and making the first pass of zigzag stitching over pearl cotton lined up over the marked line. Once the pearl cotton is encased, the excess is cut away carefully (and I DO mean carefully - it's too easy to snip the zigzag threads at the same time) and thread tails of heavy thread (like buttonhole thread) are pulled through the corners. These become nifty handles for encouraging the quilt to move under the needle at those corners. Now you can take one or two more passes around the outside edge. I used an Oliver Twist hand-dyed cotton thread for this.

I found this method gave me marginally better results than the way I've been satin stitching, but there's still too much peeking out of loose threads along the edge for my liking. Trim as I may, I couldn't trim them close enough and ended up inking the worst of them. Oh, but those thread tails are absolute genius! And it does make sense to do that first round of zig zag before trimming to size, much easier.

It was hard to see from the pictures in the magazine, but I finally realized that Terri was not doing a close satin stitch with this method and meant for the pearl cotton to be showing. I'd try this again with more widely spaced zig zag - for some pieces I think I would like it.


Exuberantcolor/Wanda S Hanson said...

I like this postcard. I think the stitching on the fused pieces looks good and they would have looked "naked" without it. I also like the color of thread for your quiling lines.

Felicity Grace said...

I love this one! I'm going to have to stop reading quilt blogs because I woke up yesterday with a strong urge to start piecing and beading again! ;) Yikes!

The Idaho Beauty said...

Wanda, yes, I think this turned out well in spite of a different vision in my head. I chuckled at your observation that the fused triangles would look naked without the stitching. My problem with having to stitch them was that I wanted them to look like they were floating, and now they are tacked down! But you only notice it on close observation.

Felicity, I have the same problem following your blog - it makes me want to give drawing and photography a more serious go! Hey, would it hurt that much if you got those beads out? I liked your quilting style, although I definitely see why you went back to the sketching - you really have a talent there.

JennaLouiseCreates said...

Very nice postcard. Thank you for the lovely demonstration. I love making postcards and getting them:) My DH always loves getting the mail when one arrives. Jenna Louise