Saturday, July 7, 2012

My Latest Craftsy Course

Recently I took a course called Stitch and Slash, taught by Carol Ann Waugh.  The technique of stitching and slashing involves stitching four layers of fabric together in patterns, then tearing away various widths of the layers.  I'm not explaining it too well, but it was fun!  Once you get all of your layers slashed, then you go back and play by adding yarn and decorative stitching.  I had a lot of fun with this project and really like Carol's motto - "There are no mistakes!" 

So I won't tell you how many times that I managed to sew my free-motion foot to layers of the project, because - oh yeah - there are no mistakes!

Now, because I took the process challenge, I've actually got a picture of the unfinished piece, as I was beginning the process of slashing away the layers.  In this picture, you can see the front of the project, with the lines stitched down.  I used four batik fat quarters.  And I've slashed away the first layer of fabric in one section.

And here is a closer shot...

I did lots and lots of slashing.  And naturally forgot to take more pictures.  BUT...once I got through with all the slashing, the next thing was to add yarn over my stitching lines, and then add some decorative stitching around the circles.  Once that was done, it was time to make the quilt sandwich, and do some stitching underneath the slashed areas.  Then I added some free-motion loopty loops (some of which are not very good at all), and then bound the piece with yarn.  Ta Da!  It's actually finished, although I might still add some beads.  This was a fun project and turned out better than I thought that it would, especially since I was using some really cheap fabric. 

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Civil War Blocks - A Craftsy Course

So...I've taken the Process Pledge and I am going to apply it to the blocks that I produce from my Civil War Blocks Craftsy course.  If you have never signed up for a Craftsy course, let me tell you - they are Tons of fun! 

Anyway...Kaye England is teaching a Civil War Block course that will yield 12 blocks, a plan very similar to the Block of the Month that I participate in at Bless My Stitches Quilt Shop.  The price was right, and I thought it would be fun, so I signed up for it.

The first block that Kaye has us make is the Remember Me block.  It's a two color, basic block.  So I'm thinking, yeah, I can probably do this, seeing as how I jumped into quilting learning to do more advanced blocks (the jury is still out on whether or not I've mastered THOSE techniques!  LOL)  Anyway, she recommends using some rulers that I discovered she designed.  I checked them out on the web and they do look to be interesting and useful, so I might splurge and purchase a couple of them.  When she demos them during the course, it does appear to make cutting much easier.

Kaye uses a method in her piecing that is new to me.  She doesn't iron between each stage of piecing!  Yes, you heard me.  She doesn't iron until the block is complete!  This is SO foreign to anything that I've learned so far in my quilting journey.  But I decided that I would try her method for the entirety of the course, to see if it actually helps my blocks be more precise.

Using this method on the Remember Me block, I felt like everything was out of control.  But, wonder of wonders, my seams did pretty much line up - usually my Seam Ripper is my best friend!  It just felt really weird, though.  I finger pressed, like she did in the video, so my pieces were basically flat, but it just wasn't as crisp as when you press. 

Since I hadn't heard of the Process Challenge when I started this journey, I don't have step by step pictures, but I can show you my finished blocks.  I made two of the Remember Me just to see if the process felt better to me with practice.  The second block does not have the border on it, but you can still see that everything went together pretty well.  Now in the first block, there is a mistake that I will need to correct.  Didn't see that until I had it up on the design board for picture-taking.  LOL!  You'll have to see if you can find it.  When I did, I wondered why in the world I hadn't noticed it before! are my first no-press results:

Interesting Challenge

Today as I was browsing the web, I ran across an quilting page that had an interesting challenge - one that challenges quilters to document the "process" of quilting rather than simply posting the finished product.  That seems to be to be a Great learning tool for quilters to come, so I decided to make the pledge!  It's timely, too, because I recently signed up for a course with Kay England, to make Civil War blocks. if I can figure out in this new editor, just how to add the pledge button, I'll be all set.  THEN it's simply a matter of remembering to document my progress.  Ha!