Monday, March 30, 2020

Join a Stay-at-Home Round Robin

If you have followed QuiltFabrication over the past year, you've probably discovered I love to participate in Round Robins. You know, that quilting activity which starts with a center made by the quilt's owner, then the quilt is passed to the next quilter for each round or border addition, and so on, until the top is done. 

Being stuck at home but not letting that get me down, Gail of Quilting Gail has started a Stay at Home Round Robin - I am sooo in!!

                                              Screen Shot 2020-03-14 at 4.34.42 PM

My last experience with a round robin produced two quilts made with the same rules - the Round Robin Rooster, made by my fellow guild members,

Round Robin Rooster by SCVQA members

and Who Rules the Roost?, my own round robin.

Who Rules the Roost? by QuiltFabrication

Though I'm a bit late in sharing this activity, there's still time to join. Each Friday she'll give the theme for the next round, and host a linky party to share our progress. I've gotten my center done, using leftover blocks, 

round robin project center from leftover blocks at QuiltFabrication

adding other leftovers and scraps to the center to make a focal point.

round robin project center at QuiltFabrication

Then making sure I had enough scraps for the piano keys border idea,

round robin project at QuiltFabrication

with corners finished with a fun frog print because it coordinated nicely. 

frog print to finish the piano key border corners

Not sure if frogs will become this quilt's theme, but I do envision the center as a pond with a spraying water feature. Am I stretching the imagination?

Now I need to figure the pinwheels - what size, how many, where, etc, etc. I'm challenging myself to stick with scraps, though there may come a time when yardage is needed. It's going to be interesting to see where this goes! 

I hope you join Gail and the rest of us for a fun project to keep you occupied while staying at home - the resulting quilt will certainly have quite the story to go with it!

Happy Quilting!

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Friday, March 27, 2020

How to Make a Picture Frame Border

Today let's learn how to make a picture frame border, just like the one used on The Second Life of Quilts.

how to make a picture frame border

I was shown this technique in Noriko Endo's class in Houston last year, and thankfully remember how to do it. It's made from two pieces of fabric, with no seams showing in the corners, and is more suited for mini and small quilts.

closeup of a picture frame quilt border

The only stitching visible is the straight line stitching along the inside edge of the frame, giving the piece a great finished look.

So how do we do this? First, cut two pieces of fabric the same size as the mini quilt, placing right sides together.

fabric for a picture frame quilt border

I'm using the solid backside of this piece of fabric as my right side - I'm not to fond of the print for my border. The point is to choose what side you want showing in your border, and make it the right side.

Next, determine the width of the border. I chose 2" for mine, and I would suggest nothing over 3" unless you plan to quilt in it. I marked in 2" from the edge all around.

marking stitching line for a picture frame quilt border

Stitch on the drawn line, then cut out the center 1/4" away from the stitched line.

inner portion cut and clipped for a picture frame border

For turning purposes, make a small clip in the inside corners.

interior cut out of a picture frame quilt border

Press, and turn both wrong sides of one border edge up. Press the seam to one side. This helps to create a crisp seam.

setting a crisp seam for a picture frame quilt border

Turn the piece that's on the inside over on top of the other, matching border edges. Carefully press at the seam.

pressing the borders of a picture frame quilt border

Continue around the border, repeating the steps for each side. When done, place border frame on top of the mini quilt, pinning in place.

placing a picture frame border on top of a mini quilt

Stitch a straight line 1/8" from the inside edge of the border.
Prepare binding, pinning to the outside edge. Stitch both the binding and the outside edge of the border down at once. Finish the binding as usual, and ta-da, you have a picture frame border on your mini quilt!

picture frame border

Happy Quilting!

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Monday, March 23, 2020

Using TAP or Transfer Artist Paper on Fabric

I'll admit, I'm pretty impressed with TAP or Transfer Artist Paper (affiliate link), used to create my super fun The Second Life of Quilts project!

windsurfer using TAP or transfer artist paper

Images are crisp, clear, and vibrant, better than printing directly on fabric, and even on paper. Transferring was easy too - just had to make sure I reversed images and ironed long enough. But yet to be tested is it's colorfastness and crinkling properties when washed. Once I do that, then I can really be a huge fan.

So, here's a few tips I learned before running TAP through the ink jet printer, and transferring to fabric. Some are highlights from two videos,
How to Use TAP Transfer Artist Paper,
How to Use TAP Transfer Artist Paper with Fabric

and others are my own observations. I totally recommend watching the videos to make sure of how the printing and transfer the process works. Certainly don't want to misprint or goof up a fused image and waste this product!

Here's a couple things I learned:

for image processing,

  • make images and lettering in reverse
  • fit as much as possible onto the page before printing
  • think about what color/print of fabric the image will look best on as TAP is transparent, allowing the background to come through on the image

TAP itself,

  • trim away as much blank space of TAP as possible before transferring to avoid image-free excess TAP from discoloring the background
  • protect the transferred TAP image with a piece of fabric or silicon sheet from the hot iron
  • be sure to press, with a hot, hot iron, for the required amount of time for complete image transfer
  • if the image doesn't completely transfer, keep ironing till it does
  • excess clear TAP can be removed by ironing over with a scrap fabric piece or a silicon sheet
  • TAP images can be ironed over as long as there is fabric or a silicon sheet covering the transferred image 
  • a matte finish is achieved by removing the paper while still very warm. A glossy finish happens when peeling the paper from a cold image.

Let's talk about image processing. For The Second Life of Quilts, the three black sports icon images were reworked in Photoshop to all have patchwork in their sails. I'm not a pro at image manipulation, and it took a few Photoshop video lessons to achieve what I wanted, but I got there. 

Once the images were done, I moved into Word, creating the lettering and testing out different fonts (there are 2). Then resizing everything to get it all to fit on one piece of paper, with a couple of print tests to check image size and such. 

The above is the normal printing orientation, so that I could do a test run of the quilt layout. 

images on printed on paper for quilt layout

Once I was happy with that, I made sure to reverse all images and double check, because TAP requires all lettering to be in reverse so that when it's transferred (ironed on), the words read correctly.

reversed images on printed on TAP for quilt layout

When that sheet came out of the ink jet printer, I was super impressed with the print quality on TAP - wow! And with that, I planned my attack.

First, I wanted the sail colors to stay vibrant and not get muted by the blue background. So, I cut the images apart, trimming away excess white TAP, and leaving just enough to keep some pieces connected.

reversed images cut out from TAP

The colorful sail portions were transferred onto white fabric, 

colorful sails transferred onto white

then a 1/4" of fusible was applied to the backside edges, with the front image protected by another piece of fabric. 

fusible web to backside of a TAP transferred image

Once cut out, they were fused, again with a piece of fabric on top of the image so that it didn't transfer to the iron.

TAP transferred image protected for fusing

There was a bit of stickiness peeling away the fabric, but the image remained intact. Adding in the black images required covering the fused image, 

protecting a TAP transferred image

and lots of hot iron pressing,

transferring a TAP image

for a great transfer!

transferred TAP images

The final result is a transfer with a slight sheen to it, and up close, it looks like it's been inked into the fabric. The hand is soft, though the appliqued sails, which are double fabric, are stiffer. And it was well worth cutting away as much excess TAP as possible, as there is a very slight value change on the background. If you look really hard, you can see a line between this guy's knees, though it's barely noticeable. So far, two thumbs up for TAP!

Someday I'll dream up another project using TAP, (affiliate link) with the plan to wash the item. I'm curious to see how images hold up - I'll keep you posted!

Happy Quilting!

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Friday, March 20, 2020

The Second Life of Quilts

What happens to old, retired quilts? Why, they find a useful, purposeful second life, such as any of these three possibilities!

The Second Life of Quilts mini by QuiltFabrication

Yes, any quilt can find a new, second life as a parachute, a hang gliding sail, or as the sail for a windsurfer! Certainly a perfect fit - just make sure to mend any holes!

Did this make you chuckle? Hope so! Welcome to my day of the Making Us Laugh Blog Hop hosted by Joan of MooseStash Quilting.

All of the images were transferred with TAP or transfer artist paper (affiliate link), which was not only really easy to use, but provided great transferred images. Can you tell I had a lot of fun? Weee!

parachute man image transferred using TAP or transfer artist paper

quilted hang glider

quilted wind surfer

I was lucky to find the perfect background fabric in the stash - a blue ombre, grading from the sky

The Second Life of Quilts top portion by QuiltFabrication

down to sea.

The Second Life of Quilts lower portion by QuiltFabrication

Notice the sails are appliqued on. That's because I wanted them to keep their vibrant colors and not get muted by the background blue, which is something to consider when using TAP (affiliate link). I'll have more on working with TAP, (affiliate link) and how I did the applique part on Monday's post.

And did you also notice the border? See any seams? 

seamless picture frame border

This is a 'picture frame border', a technique I learned from Noriko Endo's class in Houston. I actually remembered how to do it, and very happy with how it turned out. There's a tutorial coming on making this picture frame border next week!

I hope you've enjoyed this fun little project, and that it made you think about your quilt's second lives. I know I have a couple that would work great for sails!

Happy Quilting!

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Monday, March 16, 2020

Spring Fling Table Runner

Time to welcome spring! And how better than with Spring Fling, my new runner pattern with a beautiful flower spray!

Spring Fling table runner by QuiltFabrication

Spring Fling has been tossing around in my head for over a year, and I'm happy to say it has finally come to reality! Just gorgeous, and well worth the wait, no?

All of the appliqued flower pieces are fused onto a solid blue background, with pieced borders finishing off the edges. Simple and elegant.

Spring Fling table runner quilting by QuiltFabrication

The quilting is just the same - simple and elegant. Long ago, when I was a cake decorator, I remember heeding the advice to give it a KISS - keep it simple, stupid. Yes, that's rather rude, but it's good advice to live by. With that in mind, I ditched my first idea of echoing the elements and alternating filled squares,

Spring Fling table runner original quilt plan

to a dense stipple around the applique elements to make them pop, 

Spring Fling table runner stipple quilting by QuiltFabrication

and varying widths of vertical lines in the background. Again, simple and elegant.

Spring Fling table runner straight line quilting by QuiltFabrication

The flower center is just as pretty, as the quilting has just enough to add some detail without distracting.

Spring Fling table runner flower center by QuiltFabrication

Notice that the flower is also a four-leaf clover. Yes, I made this in part to celebrate St. Patrick's Day, but it also looks lovely in other color combinations. How about a lighter blue for Easter?

Spring Fling table runner in light blue by QuiltFabrication

Perhaps a soft peach and olive?

Spring Fling table runner in soft peach and olive by QuiltFabrication

Or maybe hot pink for Valentine's Day?

Spring Fling table runner in hot pink by QuiltFabrication

So many color possibilities abound!

Spring Fling table runner closeup by QuiltFabrication

Spring officially arrives March 19, and I'm ready to celebrate! You can too, with the Spring Fling table runner pattern in my Etsy shop.

Happy Quilting!

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