Friday, April 15, 2016

Cathedral Windows....in the round?

A number of years ago, I saw a finished quilt that was a two sided beauty...it appeared to be done using a modified version of a Cathedral Windows block...unfortunately, I never did learn the maker of the quilt or what the technique was called.....but.....back then, I did set out to figure out how it had been created, I posted my experimental resulting blocks  here
Over the years, I have received many requests for a tutorial on this technique.
So.....here is my attempt to show you what I did ....Warning! this is a long and photo laden post.

Like most quilts, it starts with templates and or patterns.....In this post, I will walk you through the general steps to creating the separate blocks and for those who want to give it a go, you will find a link to a PDF containing printable templates here
 
You will be cutting a variety of bits and pieces and circles to assemble into blocks....the more you make, the more variety you make, the more patterns you will be able to create with them when you stitch them all together.  This is a "quilt as you go" type of project.....AND while there is some machine work, the bulk of it is done by hand.

you will start by making a set of templates (thin cereal box cardboard works great for the "pressing" templates)


If you want to try a few different looks, cut several 6" circles, 2" squares, 3.5" squares as well as some 2" x 3.5" pieces (I also include a pattern to create that "split"circle)


in the photo above, you see the cut pieces ready to assemble (seam allowances are included in the pattern) and in the photo below....the machine piecing is done, the bits pressed flat


The goal is to end up with a variety of 3.5" squares and 6" circles (pieced and solid)
then we can begin the pressing, folding and stitching process

take one of the circles, (wrong side facing) knot the thread and then do a running stitch just in from the edge, once you get all the way around and back to the knot you are ready for the next step


 Place the cardboard template (5.5" circle) from the needle end, gently tug on the thread to pull in the circle...evenly distributing the fullness



It is time to go to the iron....press this well and remove the cardboard ...it should look like this


now you want to press those rounded edges in toward the center to give you a place for your 3.5" square (remember, to make this cardboard pressing template 3.75" square as the pattern file shows you)


Once again we head to the iron


can you see where you are headed? remove the cardboard template and in this cavity, place a 3.5" square of thin batting (I actually used flannel instead, it is that solid white you are seeing under the 4 patch) so you have 3 layers happening...the folded circle, a piece of batt or flannel and a 3.5" square (solid or pieced)




those "flaps" will be hand stitched in place. I chose to use small applique stitches, but you could just as easily use big Sashiko stitching or possibly a blanket stitch for an even more interesting look.

here is another combination of circle - square layering (this time using a split circle)


Every time you change the circle - square combination, you will have a "different" looking block....the combination of different blocks will create a large variety of larger patterns.

below, is a close up look at my stitching, when you have made a number of blocks and determined a layout you want to make into a quilt, simply place the blocks right sides together and ladder or whip stitch just as one would with English Paper Pieced Hexagons


so....that is the basics.....as you can see below, there is quite the variety you can make with just a few pattern pieces, let your imagination roam free and see what you can come up with.


keep in mind that the whole thing is reversible too.....depending on which way you assemble the completed blocks you will have two different looking quilts, front and back.

If you are like me, you need to get the fabric in your hands and manipulate it to fully understand the process......hopefully I have shown and explained it well enough to get you started.  I would LOVE to see what you create!

the nice weather is finally arriving, this would make a great project to have on hand for sitting and stitching out on the porch or perhaps for on those shop hop road trips  :-)



Friday, April 8, 2016

Pincushions

Can one have too many pincushions?
I have several, but of course, there are plenty of times that one is not always immediately handy.....plus, I thought I would like to make up a little sewing "kit" that could sit by my chair in the living room, but have it not look like a sewing kit.
The project got started when I came across this perfect trinket box at a second hand shop.


I began fashioning some simple pincushions by tightly rolling strips of wool felt, held together by a couple of stitches


A piece of wool felt stitched to the underside of the lid, allows a variety of hand sewing needles and needle threader to be stored.


there is room for a stitch ripper, thimbles and scissors and should I require a little extra room, one of those rolled pincushions could easily be removed for supply substitution


 Would you have initially guessed what this pretty box contained?


I also find that often, when I am at my dress form, the nearest pincushion is generally on the other side of the room.  I easily found a solution to take care of that reoccurring problem.

It was a pretty basic fix. A "pattern" was made by tracing the shape of the top of the dress form, I cut one piece (the bottom) from felt and another about a 1/2" bigger all around from the same knit fabric that the dress form cover had been made with. (see my last post)  A few hand stitches around the outside edge of the larger piece allowed it to be drawn in to fit the smaller piece, while also creating  room for filling....the two were stitched together, turned right side out and the cavity firmly stuffed.



The resulting pincushion was first pinned to the top of the dress form cover,


 and finally, hand stitched securely in place


Pins are now always exactly where I need them...........when I need them.




Monday, March 28, 2016

Dressform Cover

Recently, I decided I wanted to design a few new garments for myself ( it has been a very long time away from that particular discipline)  I really dislike the look of the typical home sewer's dress form.....that red, those gaps and ugly dials are not a pretty sight and I find it distracting when I am trying to visualize the finished look of a garment in process. SO.....figured it was time to cover up the ugly!


I am a "make do" sort of gal, and happened to have some of this rib knit on hand, it turned out to be the perfect fabric choice for the job.  It has terrific stretch, it is nice and thick with extremely good memory to hold the shaping.

I started by simply making a "tube" and placed it on the dress form. I allowed lots extra at the bottom as I knew that I ultimately would be creating a drawstring closure to pull it all together.  I pinned the center back, stretching to get a smooth (but not too tight) fit, I pinned the shaping up at the neck and shoulder area, took it off the form.........stitched and trimmed.




....then placed it back on the mannequin repeating the process for a few refinements until I had a smooth, well fitted cover. 


Now, my garments look much better as I work on them, and the form itself is a much more pleasing sight when not in use.




Tuesday, March 1, 2016

The Art of Fashion Tangling.....now available!!!!!

Yahooooo!  Back in October, I told you about my involvement in this book. You can find that post here. (where you will also find links to the sites of all the authors/artists that are featured in this book.)

The release date was moved up and today is it!!!!!.....as you might imagine.....I am super excited....I hope to get my hands on a copy very soon. The book is available at many fine book retailers as well as many online sources, including Amazon


I have been continuing to play with digital doodling (drawing on my iPad) I guess I was thinking about a "can't do without" tool in fashion creation as inspiration for this one......I still have my giant scissors....although they don't look quite like these.  :-)






Monday, February 22, 2016

Designing....Doodled Hexagons

I have not made much progress lately in the actual painting and stitching of my "doodled" hexagons, but, I have been working to design and sort of plan out this project.
I say..........sort of plan.... because I don't really know where I am going with this, just that I am intrigued with the process and want to see where it might lead.
At this point I am trying to decide exactly what colour palette I will want to play with.....so, for now, I am creating, organizing and preparing designs that I plan to Hex.... in ink, paint and cloth.

I thought you might like to see how I go about this......it is fairly simple really.....I doodle and sketch on small templates I created for myself


I place mirrors to "see" what designs emerge


when something usable appears.....I clean it up and refine it


I also play on my computer to get a good visual of the final design. One of each (different) hexagon piece is carefully redrawn on paper that is cut to actual size...these then become the templates that I will use for the eventual trace onto cotton process


To keep it all organized, each "set" is being kept in a small zip-lock bag, stapled to the sheet containing its corresponding design.




Monday, February 15, 2016

Another iPad Doodle

I am really, REALLY enjoying using this technology for doodling.

It is a fantastic fit for the way I like to draw.....(and change my mind, erase, and draw again) over and over.  I don't plan to take photos along the way with every drawing, but I thought this might be a good addition to my tutorials page. To better create a "visual" of the way I develop each of my doodles for those who come here seeking that info. 
Whether I draw digitally, or use plain old paper and pen, my process is the same. I draw the basic outline of my subject matter, break the drawing into smaller shapes and simply fill them in with pattern.
For this fish, creating smaller areas within the tail and fins, placing arced lines to better define the shape of the body and head gave me lots of opportunity to place many different patterns.
Some patterns make sense (note the "scales") most do not...polka dots, checks and stripes for instance....but they all work wonderfully together to create a fun drawing

here you see the beginning outline paired with the end result


and here is a look at all the steps to get there


and finally.....a quick video so you can "watch" it come to life








Friday, February 5, 2016

Paperless Drawing

Doodling without paper and pen?........I suppose it was bound to happen. A few weeks ago I was given an iPad mini2 and have since been playing with it to see if it could be used to doodle with reasonable results.  WELL....I am loving it.....truth be told I just might be a little obsessed with this.

I downloaded and tested a few apps....but...once I began exploring the app, Concepts by the folks at Tophatch......I could tell pretty quickly that I was going to really like what it had too offer and wasted no time purchasing the full app. It is perfect for my needs (wants)....actually, it does way more than I need or will likely ever use.  I also ordered a particular stylus called Pencil by Paper 53
At this point, I am not doing a review about these products...just telling you what I am using.

I may never doodle on paper again.....These were created completely on my little iPad



and so was this one.

A great thing about drawing directly onto the screen is that I could simply take screen shots every so often allowing me to later 'go back" and watch as the doodle developed.....I used those images to create a short video






Joining in over at Nina Marie's Off the Wall Fridays......lots of inspiration to be found over there


Thursday, January 28, 2016

Teamwork

Last week, I talked about helping a friend learn to create themed, papercut snowflakes, but did not have a photo to show.....aah... but I have one now!

Susan was quite confident that she could handle the "cutting" part of the process, it was the designing she thought could present a problem for her (she expressed a concern that she could not "draw" well enough) but did want to attempt designing and making these. So,.....we talked about her options.
I suggested that since we really don't need a detailed drawing, but rather a "shape" to work with, that maybe something as simple as a stencil would be a good place to start. It just so happened that she had a stencil of an ice skate on hand.....how perfect was that? We used it to begin to build the design. I simply did a quick "modified" sketch of the stencil image while explaining my thought process when developing designs for these papercuts and the importance of using mirrors as a preview tool......but Susan could have easily used the stencil to trace/draw the image.

In the photo, you can see the rough, sketched outline Susan began with, I talked her through the process of folding the paper as precisely as possible, selecting a section on which to trace the image, refolding, how to determine where access holes needed to be punched, staples applied, and how to decide the cutting order.....but other than that quick sketch on the left, this is COMPLETELY her work and I have to say, I sure was impressed with her very first snowflake.  I am so glad she sent me the photos so that I could share them with you.  I can't wait to see what she will create next!





Friday, January 22, 2016

Winter = Snowflakes.....right?

Earlier this week I was showing a friend how I go about designing my themed, paper snowflakes. After some discussion, she came up with a fabulous idea to use ice skates as her theme. Her snowflake turned out incredibly well .....but unfortunately, I did not think to snap a photo.   :-(
In fact, hers was so terrific, she inspired me to do my own snowflake featuring ice skates....it is cold out so I threw in some mittens too.
this is it, all cut and ready to unfold


and the finished flake


If this is your first visit here and want to know more about these papercut snowflakes, see the tutorial tab at the top of this blog and check out my snowflake gallery (the button is on the sidebar)

Its Friday.....so you know what that means....I am linking up with Nina-Maries Off The Wall Fridays
Copyright Jill Buckley