Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Creating a Road Map

I've decided to set Adrift aside for the moment (more mulling and perhaps a burst of inspiration needed to "cowabunga" into the next stage) and get back to the fountain wall. After all, I've worked out most of the technical issues on the sample and have the full-size pattern drawn out. The big pattern plus all the fabric laid out in the auditioning process are taking up a full 3/4 of my work space. Time to start cutting and fusing.

But I can't just start cutting the interfacing following lines on my pattern. Some of those pieces overlap others. And some of the lines are actually stitching lines. Time to start measuring and making notes. Right away, I realized it would be helpful to color each unit to more easily see where the divisions are. On a whim, I'd bought a set of crayons and never used them; now they seemed the perfect thing to quickly shade in the sections. Next I numbered each section, noted whether or not I had to add overlap to the measurements, then measured away. Horizontal and vertical measurements are written in each section plus transferred to the number list on the left for quicker reference.

Then I drew the outline of each section with pencil onto the Stiff Stuff interfacing that will be the bones of this quilt. Overly cautious, you ask? I thought so, but if nothing else, I wanted to be able to change the layout should I find my first go didn't fit the amount of interfacing I'd bought. What actually happened was I'd made mistakes in transferring measurements to the list, and in one measurement itself. Yes, after drawing all the sections, I went back and double checked all measurements finding one huge one (2 inches short) and several small ones. After re-drawing some lines and triple checking, I'm fairly confident all is correct and I can proceed to cutting. I am SO glad I created a road map to work from.

The next step will be fusing fabric to these pieces of interfacing. I had planned to use Misty Fuse, even though I am not a big fan, and don't find it easy to use. But I have quite a bit of it and the wide widths may come in handy. It worked fine on the sample but now I am worried about the large sections which will have no stitching on them. One of the things I had problems with on other projects was the Misty Fuse lifting in spots, regardless of how well I'd ironed it down. Now I'm wondering if it might pop loose from unstitched areas as big as 21 x 9. If you're a big user of Misty Fuse, I'd appreciate your input on this.

Since the fountain wall idea is part of what got me thinking about doing a water series, I thought it appropriate to use this post to send you over to Annabel Rainbow's blog post about working in a series. She says pretty much everything I would say about it, and perhaps better. I particularly liked her mentioning that working in a series is not doing the same thing over and over, and it certainly is not boring. Go check it out:


Chris said...

Wow this looks complicated. I have never had issues with misty fuse lifting before, but then I never used it on areas that large. Plus I have never left areas that large without stitching. Could be you will have to stitch all the stones with invisible thread and then do the water with some hand stitching. But I guess that won't work since it would be hard to stitch through that interfacing. Sorry just thinking out loud. I am sure you will figure it out...

The Idaho Beauty said...

Yes, I DO think I have it figured out, Chris! ;-) If I were using batting - even fusing to it I don't think I could get away with no stitching, but I think this direct to interfacing method will work based on my use of it to create the effect of a mat type border around some of my art quilts where I did not want to have to quilt. I've just never done it on this big of a scale. "Stiff Stuff" is not as thick and stiff as timtex but more like Peltex which is what I used for the mat technique. And it has a softness to it plus spring-back memory that I am hoping will make it easier to roll up to maneuver through the machine as I satin stitch the grout, machine stitch the flowing water and join various section.

It's because it will be assembled in sections as I did in the sample, that I can do the main stitching on each piece before assembling. I just didn't want to have to quilt across what I want to read as smooth stone. We shall see! This is a bit of a grand experiement.

Chris said...

It all sounds very interesting. One would think you taught science or math based on your skills in this area. I will be watching your blog.