Monday, April 7, 2014

Fun With Art Quilts

This month in our class, we are exploring art quilts.  I love McKenna Ryan's patterns.  Her love of nature shines through in her work.  Although these look complicated, she breaks it down for you and once you have mastered the principles you can take it into drafting your own pieces.

The first thing to do is pull a bunch of fabrics that you think will work, you don't have to exactly copy her color choices, you can do whatever you want!  Think of her picture on the cover as a guide to help you with your choices.  If you don't have lots of fabrics to choose from, buy small pieces at your local quilt shop, maybe go with a friend and share.  Read your pattern through from start to finish to make sure you understand the directions.  Just like baking a cake, it's a recipe for success.

Once you have your fabric selected, you are ready to get busy tracing your pattern.  I use Pellon 805 Wonder-Under.  I purchase it by the bolt at the fabric store, it's cheap and can be used for a number of things.  I use a sharpie marker and lay the Pellon over the top of the pattern, tracing each piece.  It helps if you use a small piece of tape on the edges to hold everything in place.

After you have traced and labeled all of your pieces, cut them out leaving a bit around each piece.  You will iron these onto the backside of your fabric and then trim your fabric pieces to the pattern.

When you get some pieces cut out, you can start laying them out on your background.  DO NOT PRESS THEM IN PLACE!!!  You can see that I have a sky and water, stitched together for my background, then I will lay out all of my pieces before pressing them onto that background.

Using a non-stick pressing cloth, you can lay it over top of your pattern and line up your pieces, give them a little tap with the iron and then you can peel them off and place them on your background as one piece.  You cannot see the pattern behind this piece due to the lighting, but I can see it fine to place my bits.

After you have everything where you want it on your background, give it a good press with a dry iron to secure everything.  Trim up your edges and you are ready to border, quilt and bind it as a small wall hanging or you can make it up as part of the larger quilt she has designed.

Some of the gals in our class are a bit apprehensive about this process, so I thought I would throw it up here.  Just have fun with it.  If you get stuck, call me or drop me an e-mail.  

See you all on April 25th at 9am for our next class.  I will be demonstrating the Stack and Whack method.  I think you will enjoy it.  Bring whatever you want to work on that day, if it's this project or you are working on something else, that is fine too.

Mean time, Happy Easter!  I'm grateful for the atoning sacrifice that was made for me and you by our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.  I wish you and your family a wonderful holiday!

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