Tuesday, 29 October 2013

900 Tiny Pieces or My Sore Back!

Voting has begun at the Bloggers Quilt festival. You can find my quilt, #63 at this link http://amyscreativeside.com/2013/10/25/bloggers-quilt-festival-wall-hanging-quilts-2/
If you like please vote for me. There are loads of wonderful quilts in several categories.

"Fabricville is having a quilting contest" I said.
"I should enter"
"What shall I make" I said.
"Ooh, how about that software that turns photos into pixelated images. Wouldn't that be keen" I said.

I found the software for transferring a photo into a quilt pattern here: http://www.vam.ac.uk/microsites/quilts/patchwork

"I know the perfect photo" I said.
It was a photo I took this summer while visiting my daughter in Ontario. Beautiful Georgian Bay photographed from Flower Pot Island. I ran it through the program, printed out the pattern and the instructions. Easy Peasy, right?

Contest rules: Quilt size 24 inches square and 75% of the fabric must be purchased at Fabricville.
"I'm off to Fabricville"I said.
What fun!

Now the norm for this piecing method is to buy lightweight fusible interfacing that is marked with a grid. Problem? The interfacing is gridded in one inch increments. There are 30 squares in the pattern, my quilt has to be 24 inches square to qualify.

"That's not gonna work". I said
"Where's my calculator!"
"I'll just mark the grid lines myself" I said.
So I marked off a 1.25 inch grid for one quarter of the photo, that's 225 1.25 inch squares.
"I'll just try that part first" I said.

"I should organize the fabric. Assign each one a letter according to the pattern" I said
Press, fold, slice into 1.25 inch strips. Cut those strips into 1.25 inch squares. 900 1.25 inch squares! "Oh, my aching back. I need to get a higher cutting table!" I said
To avoid confusion, I put all those little postage stamp sized pieces into compartmentalized boxes, the kind you put embroidery floss in. (Oh, you know what I'm like!)

Now in the pattern some of the squares are actually half square triangles. Nothing like complicating things!
"I'll piece them first" I said "That way I won't have to run back and forth to the machine"

Sewing 1.25 inch squares diagonally was challenging for me and for my machine. One row of the pattern at a time, chain piece the squares, slice off half and press into a square.

"Ok, that part's done, now onto the puzzle!" I said

Following the pattern graph place the squares and half square triangles onto the fusible interfacing one square at a time. Press occasionally and before a breeze or a cat rearranges the pattern! That took an entire afternoon (for one quarter of a two foot square wallhanging)

"Thank goodness I only did a quarter of it!" I said

Experience, AND the fact that the pieces were organized and ready to go meant that section two went faster, BUT, the HORROR, it's not the same size.
"Why are you smaller?" I said "Rats!"
It seems my seams or my grid had varied in size.
 "Quick! To the seam ripper!" I said

Okay, corrections made. Seams match now, barely. Section two sewed to section one. Phew!

"Ok" I said "I"m not doing the bottom in two sections!" "Bad enough that I'll have to attach the bottom to the top when I'm done"

Lesson learned? DO NOT do this in sections!

On to the bottom.
"Now this part should go super fast" I said. And I was right! There were only slight alterations required before attaching bottom to top.

"Now, how will I quilt this thing?" I said

I've been following Leah Day's Free Motion Quilting blogs and have been inspired by her quilting videos.

"Let's have a peek" I said "At all 450 patterns?" "Why not?" I said

I quilted the sky in blue with swirly Vincent Van Gogh style thingies, and the branches and leaves in grey and green. The design for the water was influenced by Leah's design #281 Calm Sea from this blog : freemotionquilting.blogspot.ca

Rocks and pebbles got quilted in grey based on Leah's design called Pebbles in a Stream #25.

Finally, I bound the wallhanging in solid black to frame it. It it was ready to be photographed and posted to the Fabricville contest website at www.Fabricville.com

Here's the finished product:

"That's it" I said "I gotta go" I said

"I have an appointment .....with the chiropractor!"

Since I completed the quilt this week, I'm also submitting this to Amy's Creative Side Blogger’s Quilt Festival :: Fall 2013!