Wednesday, January 6, 2016

"Spring Messengers" - Project Quilting Challenge 1

Project Quilting is back for the 7th season and while I have repeatedly thought about it last year, it actually hit me by surprise when I saw the first challenge posted on Sunday.
For some reason I thought the whole thing would start maybe one or two weeks later in the month, oops!

But since my work schedule is quite empty at the moment, I thought I might as well give it another shot, seeing how good the last season treated me in terms of wins. Let's see how this one will turn out, shall we? ;)

The first challenge is called 'Confetti' and the first thing that came to my mind reading that, was the confetti patchwork technique.
I have seen countless mini quilts and wall hangings using that technique, but had never tried it myself before, so this challenge was the perfect time to change that.

It took a bit of deliberation, but I quickly knew hat I wanted to make and dug up the fabrics for my project, as well as printing out photos for reference.

The picture above is probably rather self explanatory, especially since this post has the finished project as header as well, but I decided to go into the Spring direction and use a flower pot full of pretty hyacinths for my inspiration.

So I started building the actual flower pot, fusing on different parts of white fabric, one for the back and one for the front of the pot, and added two layers of thin white lace to give it actual detail. 

Then I started to cut up scraps of green fabric, to create moss for the inside of the pot. I mostly used solids and batiks to do this, as they have colour on both sides, meaning you can mix them up as you want and you always have colour to show, no matter which way they point up.

I also used different greens to make the stems and leaves for the hyacinths and started to build them up, by fusing on the different parts, then securing them with applique. My lines are pretty visible in this picture, I know. I usually use a thread colour that matches the fabrics as close as possible and sew on each part seperately, but you could call melazy this time. 
Instead I used "The Bottom Line" by Superior Threads in silver (# 623). It honestly must be my new favourite thread for applique (and handsewing as well) as it's so thin, that it's barely visible. Also, hyacinth leaves always have this silvery sheen to them, so in the end that kinda worked as well, I suppose.
But anyway,after attaching my leaves, I added my mossy bits of fabric. 

Since confetti quilts are secured by a layer of thin tulle (I used fly net as it was impossible to find some tulle here), I decided to go with black for the earthy moss and appliqued it in place over the confetti fabric, then added another little rim on the pot, using more lace ribbon.

After that I spent a good hour or so cutting up fabric to make my actual hyacinths. It actually felt like an eternity and my bad wrist totally didn't like me for it...

But the end result was totally worth it. Mixing a few lighter colours in with the actual flower colour, made it look like I had cut up hyacinths in my little bags already. At this point I got rather excited that I had decided to make a full pot and not just three flowers, like I originally had in mind.

I didn't take as many pictures from the actual making and building of the flowers, as I did from the steps before, but I think the following will explain how it's done, or at least how I made this confetti mini quilt.

Basically the fabric confetti is sprinkled onto your project where you want to sew it in place. But before you do that, you place a layer of thin tulle over it, which I needed a bit of practice with at first as bits kept falling out when I moved it.

Then you sew around the outside to secure your bits of fabric to ensure they can't fall out anymore. And then I just machine quilted over it repeatedly in a swirly motion to secure the tiny bits. That way it finished off even more looking like tiny blooms.  

The downside of doing this technique is, that it completely dusts up your machine. And not only that, I feel like my nose is full of fluff as well. ;)
I should have probably used a dust mask as I'm actually asthmatic and have a blocked nose now for working on this all afternoon, so in case you wanna do this, be prepared for lots of fabric dust and dust bunnies in your machine, on your needle and sewing foot.

Above and below are more close ups of the quilting as well as the details of the pot. As you can see, I really just used random swirls and lines on the flowers. The important part was to just secure the confetti bits of fabric. I also used a lint roller after each flower to make sure that I didn't mix my colours or accidentally had some transfers. 

Finally I added one more bit of lace ribbon to the pot to give it more depth. I have a thing for white ceramic flower pots, all of mine are actually white, so maybe that is why I did this, I'm not really sure ;)

I do hope that you enjoyed my creative endeavour for this challenge, though. I'm certainly buzzing for the next one one already!

Until then, happy sewing!
xx Lia

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