Monday, January 16, 2017

Mikaela's care bear toddler quilt.

Welcome to the world Mikaela, our great niece.  The plan was to finish her quilt for a presentation I'm giving at Nifty Needlers' meeting on January 18th, then mail it to her before Valentine's Day. My baby quilts are toddler size so the child make a tent with it, drag it daycare and use it on her first big bed.  This quilt was designed using Electric Quilt 7.
Care bears blocks with flower sashing, rainbows with sunshine sashing posts.
  Laid out prior to piecing.
  Watching "How to Make an American Quilt" while piecing.
 Scant 1/4" seam allowance.  
Inside white border.
Adding the ribbons for little hands to fondle.  These 100% polyester ribbons are designed for sewing. 
Basted on.
Stitched into place with outside flower border.
The seam with the ribbons is overlocked.
Then top zig zag stitched to the outside flower border.
The only way these ribbons will come off, is to cut them off.
After ironing quilt back and batting.  The back is held taut with plastic carpenter's clamps to table edge.  The edge that is shorter than table length was taped to cutting mat with packing tape.  In the past, I have used 505 Quilt basting spray and a quilter's basting gun with plastic fasteners.  Didn't like either one because the quilting spray is too sticky.  The basting plastic fasteners are flimsy, plus once a black bit of plastic fastenser got stuck in between the quilt top and batting.  In my opinion, safety pin basting works best.
Two flowers for the care bear blocks.  Traced the paper picture on to tulle in an embroidery hoop.
Using a sharpie black marker.
Next transfer the flowers to the fabric.
I used a Pilot Friction pen, which is supposed to disappear with a steam iron.
Unfortunately, the steam iron did not remove all the pink ink and on some flowers it left a dark grey residue where the pink ink was. The other down side of this pen is if the quilt gets cold the marks reappear.  I tossed it in the freezer all the markings were back.  
Ooops! I did this backwards, should have made a test piece first. With a scrap of unbleached white cotton, I drew a large pink flower on it.  I sprained it with "Shout" stain remover, let it sit for 30 minutes then washed and dried it.  Put in the freezer - the small pink centre circle of the flower was left.  Next sprayed hairspray on it, let it soak about half a hour, washed, dried it, then put it the freezer.  All the ink was gone.  After Mikaela's quilt was finished, I drenched the care bear blocks with hairspray and let it dry overnight.  Then sprayed it with "Shout" stain remover, washed and dried it.  The grey residue is all gone.  In the past I've marked the quilt tops with ceramic pencil, purple or blue fade away marker and chalk. 
The sashing, sashing posts and outside flower border have free motion quilted butterflies, the white border is heart shaped leaves.  All the free motion quilting was stitched with a Inspira 90 titanium quilting needle using 100% polyester machine embroidery thread in both the bobbin and needle.
 Back side
 Her name is machine embroidered .
Finished quilt is 47" by 59" 
Dear fellow quilters, if you have an easier method for marking quilt tops. Would you please share your technique?  Someone suggested I try children washable markers. 

Friday, November 25, 2016

Prisma Color Premier, Lyra Rembrandt Polycolor, Raffiné Marco and Derwent Colorsoft - comparison.

Recently, I added adult colouring to my activities.  In my quest to master blending, burnishing and water drops I have watched utube videos, read multiple product reviews, then purchased many pencil crayons, books, markers, pastel chalks and gel pens.  These coloured pencils (pencil crayons Canada) were purchased from in the largest set available.
Prisma Color Premier - 150 colours manufactured in Mexico ($.90 each). They blend wonderfully and lay down colour very well.  Their biggest drawback is they are fragile, the lead tips break easily, sometimes the core is not in the centre or broken all the way down.
Lyra Rembrandt Polycolor - 72 colours manufactured in Germany ($1.06 each).  These pencils are light, thinner than the others.  Lyra are oil based.
Raffiné Marco - 72 colours, manufactured in China ($.45 each). Hexagon shaped which I love using. Raffiné are oil based.
Derwent Coloursoft - 72 colours, manufactured in England ($1.47 each).  Bigger colour core, they sharpen easily, no breakage at all. They are a wax based. 
Marco Raffiné does not have the names of the colour printed on the pencil.  I could not find a list from the manufacturer with the names either.  The  colour chart above was printed then coloured with my pencils.
I like them all.  The Prisma colours are rich and vibrant, as are the Derwent.  The Derwent are not fragile, but Prisma has more than double the colour selection.
Side by side it is hard to tell the difference between Prisma and Derwent on paper.  They both lay colour down beautifully and blend well.
The Raffiné Marco in top left hand quarter, the Lyra Rembrandt in bottom right hand quarter.  These are the oil based colour pencils. They both require more effort for blending.  I did not use any solvent. The oil based pencils are fabulous.  The colours are not quite as vibrant, but they lay down so nicely. Both the thinner light Lyra pencils and the hexagon shaped Raffiné are a joy to use.  They feel really nice in my hand.  My only complaint with the Raffinés is no colour name on the pencil.  I have no cons with the Lyra Rembrandts.
The snowflakes were coloured white, the paper is light cream colour, but it is still difficult to see the white.
This picture was coloured using all four sets and Staedtler pastel chalks for the background. 
The fairies were coloured with Prisma Color Premier, Hilroy and Staedler triangular pencils.
The fish drinking wine is Derwent, Lyra and Raffiné Marco pencil crayons.
The vase of flowers is a combination of pencil crayon brands.
My conclusion is that we can never have two many pencil crayons.  The biggest bang for the buck are the Raffiné Marcos.  Most colour selection is Prisma Color Premier.  It is like machine embroidery thread, the more colour choices and brands the better. 
If there is a drawback here it would be that my adult colouring is interfering with quilting and playing the piano. 

Sunday, October 16, 2016

Trapunto quilting - cushion cover top and wall hanging.

I took a trapunto quilting class through Nifty Needlers and made this cushion cover top. Trapunto, from the Italian for "to quilt," is a method of quilting that is also called "stuffed technique." A puffy, decorative feature, trapunto utilizes at least two layers, the underside of which is slit and padded, producing a raised surface on the quilt.
The extra layer of high loft batting is under the ring shaped motif and the letter A in the centre of the ring.
All the motifs were free motion quilted.  I traced the hearts on the fabric with a wash away pen.
The back side is warm and natural quilt batting.  I used polyester thread.
Shadow trapunto quilting is five layers instead of three.  I used Geta Grama's tutorial and her flower pattern.
Geta's technique requires wash away thread to stitch the extra layer of high loft batting to the organza around the designs that will be raised in the finished piece.
I drew the hearts on card stock paper then cut them out and traced the trapunto motifs onto the wash away embroidery stabilizer.  Pinned the stabilizer on top of the organza and high loft batting. After stitching with the wash away thread I cut away the batting around the flower and hearts.  Next I pinned the pink cotton quilt sandwich under the organza and high loft layer.
I used Marathon pink embroidery thread to quilt all five layers together.  The binding was applied then the wall hanging was washed removing all the stabilizer, wash away thread and fabric marker.
This is the back side. 
After stitching the trapunto areas, the entire piece was free motion quilted starting with the centre and working to the outside corners. I drew the stems for the spray of feathers in between the hearts.
 The texture is marvellous.
 The hearts and the flower are very puffy.
 The organza and embroidery thread make it shiny.
The binding is only two inches wide and was applied with a Bernina #71 Flat Felt foot.  I used Lisa Yarost's binding tutorial.
It's difficult to work with such a narrow binding but the finished edge is worth it.  The binding cannot be wider as it will not fit in the foot.
Cutting the high loft batting away from the organza was challenging, because it is easy to snip a hole in the organza, as long the hole is not in the motif it will get buried in the dense quilting.
This was a fun project.
Dear Readers, have you tried trapunto quilting?