Embellished Spring: Mini Quilt #12

Spring is finally here- and a couple days in the past week have actually felt like it around here!  What a great time to start thinking about incorporating flowers into some projects.  Large floral print fabric is becoming one of my favorite things to look for when I go to quilt shops or shows.  I recently picked up some Amy Butler prints at a show, and I am so excited to embellish them with some hand embroidery!Embellished Spring Front

This flower is from the Organic Soul line, and I hand appliquéd it to a piece of Carolyn Friedlander fabric.  I really liked placing such an organic shape against a highly linear pattern.  The fun part was doing hand embroidery to enhance the dimension of the piece.Embellished Spring Detail

The backing is another Amy Butler print, and the quilting is a free motion design which loosely replicates the shape of the appliquéd flower.  The uneven stripe fabric on the binding is a Lotta Jansdotter design cut on the bias.Embellished Spring Back

Quilt Stats

Title:  Embellished Spring

Size:  10″x10″

Techniques: Hand appliqué, hand embroidery

Quilting:  Free motion in a design mirroring the flower and leaves of the appliqué design

Fabrics:  Flower appliqué and quilt backing are Amy Butler designs, Background by Carolyn Friedlander, binding by Lotta Jansdotter

Batting:  Warm and White cotton batting

Thread:  Appliqué done with navy Gutermann  Mara 100; Quilting done with cotton Connecting Threads Essential in Peridot, Persian Blue, and Persimmon; Embroidery created with assorted DMC flosses and hand dyed floss from Artfabrik by Laura Wasilowski.

Binding:  2″ wide strips, cut on the bias, machine stitched to the front, hand stitched to the back

What was new:

Extensive embroidery used to create dimension on a pre-printed design.

Quilt 12 / 50

Quilt 12 / 50

Goal #11 is Finished!

Goal #11 is Finished!

I’m sharing this post at Show Off Saturday at Sew Can She, Fabric Tuesday at Quilt Story, Let’s Bee Social at Sew Fresh Quilts, Whoop Whoop Friday at Confessions of a Fabric Addict, and Sew Cute Tuesday at Blossom Heart Quilts.  Please stop by to see all of the lovely sewing being done!


Preparing a Canvas Drop Cloth for Use in a Sewing Project

Confession:  I thoroughly enjoy the hardware store- especially when I can find materials to use in a non-traditional manner.  One of the items I like to re-invent is the canvas drop cloth.  Canvas is really useful in sewing and craft projects, but tends to be sort of expensive (for what it is) in the big-box craft stores.  In the tote bag series I am currently writing, canvas is used to add strength to the project.  I thought I would share how I prepare a drop cloth for this type of project.

Preparing a DropclothYou will find canvas drop cloths in the paint section of most major hardware stores.  I selected the 6’x9′ size because this size fits easily into a standard home washing machine and has no internal seams.  The amount of canvas in this drop cloth is roughly equivalent to purchasing 5 to 5 and a half yards of canvas off of a bolt at the fabric store.  My experience has been that a drop cloth costs about the same as 1 to 2 yards of plain canvas from the fabric store.  This is a good deal, especially for projects that you will never see this fabric.Dropcloth PackageTake a look at the fiber content.  You want something that is mostly cotton, but polyester is fine too.  The thing you want to watch for in non-traditional sources is spandex- canvas is a no stretch zone! (Unless I change my mind for a specific project that I haven’t dreamed up yet)  The good news is that a drop cloth should never have spandex, so you shouldn’t have to worry too much!

Care LabelLay your drop cloth out flat on the floor (or a table if you are lucky enough to have a surface the cloth can lay completely flat without hanging over the edges).  Now get out a measuring tape or two.  The metal construction kind is great for this type of thing.Tape MeasuresNext, we are going to measure the cloth to determine a starting measurement.  I put a permanent marker “X” in the corner, so I will know which corner my measurements are based from.  You can see that this drop cloth is about 107″ x 70.25″ to start with.  Make note of this measurement- you will need it later!Mark Drop Cloth CornerWash and dry the drop cloth.  Use hot water.  MAKE IT SHRINK!  This is the time you want the cloth to shrink- not when it is inside your super cute tote bag!  Lay the cloth out flat and measure it again.Drop Cloth ShrinksWow!  Now the same cloth measures 102.5″ x 67.25″.  That is a big difference.  Now wash and dry it again.  Use hot water, again.  Try to make it shrink again.  Measure once more.  Did it shrink by more than about a quarter inch?  If so repeat the washing/drying process.  You want to have two consecutive washings with the measurements not changing.  I usually end up doing 2-3 passes through the wash.  (Note:  Canvas purchased off a bolt at the fabric store will also shrink a lot, so make sure that you prewash that really well, too.)

Cat HelpsOptional Step:  Ask your cat to move off of the drop cloth.  This may take awhile.

Once you have shrunk your drop cloth you are ready to get rid of those wonky hems on the edges.  We are going to rip the edges to make sure that the final piece of fabric is on the grainline.  Clip about 3/4″ into the drop cloth.  Make sure you cut through the hem perpendicular to the clip.  The cut itself should be about 1 inch.Clip FabricNow rip the fabric, starting with the clip you just made.  If the rip runs back into the hem, make another clip 1/2″ to 1″ further in on the edge of the cloth and rip again.Rip FabricRepeat the clipping and ripping process on all four sides.  Prepared DropclothNow you are ready to go!  I’m excited- Are you?

 


Fabric!

Earlier this month, Sew Mama Sew hosted a giveaway week, and I am super excited that I won a fantastic bundle of fabric from Cynthia Brunz at Quilting is more fun than Housework.  The fabric arrived yesterday and it is beautiful!

April Showers Bundle


 

All of the fabrics in this bundle are from April Showers by Bonnie & Camille, which is put out by Moda.  I always think that it is difficult to do justice to fabric in a photograph, and these are even more fantastic in person.  The colors work wonderfully with the cheerful patterns of the design, and the texture is lovely.

April Showers Fabric

 

I am so excited to get to work with these prints!