Wednesday, April 29, 2020

The Violet Protest

The Violet Protest
ten squares, 8" x 8"

As soon as I saw this project, I knew that I wanted to be a part of it.  It inspires me greatly! It is a call to make 8" blocks using equal parts of red and blue in ANY textile medium and then donate them to the project. The squares are going to be stacked in an installation in the shape of the letters "US" and then when the installation is over, the squares will be sent to each of the members of Congress.  So, if you don't want to make squares, you can still help out by donating some money to help pay for shipping.

They need a total of 26,750 squares!! And, the organizer is hoping to have contributions from each of the 50 states. As of today, I think there are volunteers for 49 of them!!

A mockup of what the proposed exhibit will look like
I decided to make little quilted squares.  I stitched the tiny tops and then used Mistyfuse on the backs.  Then I fused them to squares of felt.  This made for an easy finish after adding some machine quilting.  In case you are curious, it is super easy to quilt the little felt sandwich!

Here are my completed blocks.  Some are clear favorites of mine, others, less so.  But it was all good, and all were made while contemplating the healing the giant rift in our nation. I really like the values represented by this project: Civility and Respect, Citizenship, Compromise, Country over party and Corporate Influence, Courage, Candor, Compassion, and Creativity.

Thanks for stopping by.  Hope you will consider participating too! Every little bit helps!

Wednesday, April 01, 2020

Turn the Dial - Stealth Hanging Tube

Turn the Dial - Stealth Hanging Tube
detail of the back side of Turn the Dial with the matching hanging tube
To hang a quilt for an exhibit, or quilt show, or even on the wall at home, it needs to have a fabric sleeve or hanging tube sewn securely to the back.  For two-sided quilts, I like to make the hanging tube look like it is part of the design of the back side of the quilt.  For some quilts, this is super easy, especially if the top of the quilt is one piece of solid fabric all the way across.  For my yellow quilt, this was not the case.

note: This post is not meant to be a exact tutorial, but just a few tips to help you along the way if you ever desire to do something quite as crazy as this.  My experiences have taught me that just when I think that I have learned how to do this on an easier piece, I make a new mistake on the next one, and have to start over.  It has definitely been a learning curve for me.

My first idea was to get the paper template pattern out and use the top 8 or so inches of it to make a matching tube.  Sadly, this would not work because I inserted those random strips of color which changed the real sizes of my little arc pieces.  So, I needed a new template, one that matched the actual quilt.  Here's what I came up with:

I cut and ironed a long piece of freezer paper directly to the top of my quilt.

You can see the fabric through the paper.  So I took a pencil and traced the shapes underneath.  And, I started finding all the fabrics I used in this section of the quilt.  It is a crazy amount of different fabrics!

After tracing the shapes, I peeled the freezer paper up and then labeled the pieces and started cutting them apart.

Once I had the individual pieces cut, I ironed them to the front side of the corresponding fabrics.  Remember to cut a 1/4" seam allowance around each piece.

I think it gets a bit more complicated because the hanging tube is not sewn in a flat shape to the quilt back, it has a tuck in it so that it bellows out a bit.  This gives room for the rod to be inserted in the hanging tube and not distort the front of the quilt. The first tip is to try to match the bottom edge of your tube to the place where it will be sewn onto the quilt.  Here's a photo of all the pieces sewn together like a quilt top and placed on top of the actual quilt to check for placement and if it matches or not.

Also, when I pieced this section, I did not make it wide enough for the entire tube.  So, I cut another long white piece for the back of the tube and sewed along one of the long edges (right sides together) to make it wide enough.  Then finish the ends by turning under 1/4", twice and topstitching.  Then sew the remaining two long sides of the tube and turn it inside out.  Use a basting stitch to make a pleat for that extra ease on the front side of the tube.  Then it was ready to sew to my quilt.  After hand stitching in place, the basting stitches are removed.

As a little extra touch, I added my label to the inside of the tube before hand sewing the tube on the quilt.  This way, when you look at the back side of the quilt, the label is not visible and it adds to the illusion of "which side is the front?"

I love it!