Thursday, June 30, 2011

A Little Quilt - My Process

I thought it might be interesting to explain the process of how I built this little quilt.  Not a quilt actually, only 9" X 12", so really only a very small wall hanging.  This one started with this cross stitch picture I came across at the thrift store.  I felt compelled to "rescue" it because it really is nice handwork, very well stitched on linen.  So, I brought it home and took it out of the frame and washed and pressed it.  I was very happy to find a nice allowance of fabric all the way around - sign of a good framer! - so I was able to use the linen around the outside as a backing for a crazy quilted border.

I wanted this to be a cheerful piece that would be nice for a baby or child's wall, so I chose quilting cotton batiks in bright colours for the crazy quilt patches.  I had a friend visiting while I was putting the crazy patch together and didn't want to drag out the sewing machine so instead I basted all the patches on by hand.  I wasn't too excited about the way the edges came out but I don't worry about that unduly.   For me the crazy patch is just a canvas for the stitches and I trust the seam treatments to tie it all together visually and make it work.
I know folks who do their seam treatments and then remove the basting threads and trust it will all hold together but I'm not one of them!  My seam treatments are just decorative and I don't trust them to hold anything together long term so I use a ladder stitch to secure everything before I go further.  Here is how that works...

Starting at one edge of the seam line I want to secure, in this instance the blue patch wanting to be secured to the linen background, I bring my needle up from the back of the linen and take a bite of the blue fabric, slipping the needle in the fold of where the fabric is turned under.
Take your needle down again through the other fabric (the linen) as close as you can to where you came out of the blue.
Take a bite of that fabric (the linen in this case) and bring your needle back up.  As close as you can to where you brought your needle up (from the linen), you take another stitch in the blue. 

Carry on back and forth like this, making sure that your needle goes up and down right next to where it came out.

The end result is a secure seam and the stitching that holds it in place is almost invisible.  What you can see of the securing stitching easily disappears when you do your seam treatment.

After this, it was time for the seam treatments which I had a lot of fun with since they were short and quick to do.  I'll share some of the seam treatments in the next post!


Annie said...

Cool! Seems like x-stitch and CQ together are catching on. Did my first CQ sew and flip attempt recently for an ornament (check my blog if you care to see) and used your sidebar to find cool stitches - love that spiny chain!).

Now I want to learn some binding techiniques too!

gocrazywithme said...

I especially love that saying; it's so true! This is a cute project. Love the colors and the cross stitched center. I have lots of cross stitched pieces just sitting in a drawer, so maybe I should see if I can do something with them....