My friend, Betz White has designed another lovely fabric line with Riley Blake. It’s called Juxtaposey. I loved reading about the inspiration for this line. “Juxtaposey is a juxtaposition of florals and other motifs drawn from textile influences from around the world. I love the stitching and textures of handwork from different cultures. The interesting thing is, the more I look and learn about them, the more I see similarities between them. Flower shapes, certain stitches, placed motifs, border prints, etc. To design Juxtaposey, I took a virtual trip around the globe and interpreted what I saw through my own lens then gave it a little stylistic spin.”
Betz shared picture collage on Instagram with gorgeous needlework on dresses, and pillows. The line also has matching wool solids that are now available from Riley Blake. I was thrilled to be asked by Betz if I wanted to play with her fabric. After I sent my request for specific fabrics, I instantly regretted not asking to play with the wool too. It looks so dreamy, and the colors match perfectly with this line. Actually, I had a hard time picking which fabrics I wanted to play with from this line. They are so vivid and happy. The designs are downright fun. Who can resist Llamas, and turtles that make a cute motif? To me, the fabric cried out to be fussy cut. So that’s what I did.
I thought it was more interesting to offset the motifs to make a star. I really enjoy figuring out how to do this. Then, I matched up a triangle of the star and fussy cut half the star points. I didn’t want to be all matchy matchy, so I left the points that don’t make the triangle as just random cuts.
I still had to fussy cut the orientation of each additional star point. I may not be able to describe it perfectly, but I really enjoyed making it anyway.
I fussy cut this delicious print to look like an embroidered ribbon wrapping around the edges of the pillow. I mitered each corner. Some of them came out perfectly. (Some not so perfect.)
I knew I had to do some hand stitching on it too. I couldn’t find a bright pink to match, but did find most of the other colors.
I started with a couple of flowers and leaves, but couldn’t stop. Seriously, it was so fun to play. I had to cut myself off, or the fabrics wouldn’t shine.
I put a layer of batting behind the block and did some long quilting stitches. It is supposed to be reminiscent of Sashiko embroidery since Betz had mentioned it had inspired her. My hand quilting is a little rough, but I still really enjoyed putting the needle in and drawing it through the fabric.
I did a row of quilting in each color aside from white.
It is subtle, but I adore the texture it brings to the pillow.
Seriously! This print is so pretty and the colors are so vivid.
The back of the pillow, I made a couple of inches bigger than the front. I gathered the back of the pillow and attached to the front. I love how it came out.
I regret not asking for more fabric for an entire quilt.
It’s fairly gloomy here in Maryland right now. This the season for overcast skies and over-exposed pictures, unfortunately. I couldn’t get a bright day for pictures. Still, I think this little pillow is just yummy.
Please check out the other makers on this blog hop:
Fast forward to this summer. I was contacted by Henry Glass again and asked if I wanted to participate in a blog hop. Sure. Of course. I am always game to play with fabric.
I present to you my Cascading Star mini quilt. Isn’t she lovely?
They sent me a bundle of Fusion Illusion fabrics from Blank Quilting Corp. (Part of the Jaftex family.) I got to use the bundle and some white textured fabric they sent, to make something for the blog hop. When the fabrics arrived, I knew exactly what I was going to make. This fabric is bright and bold and in a fairly good rainbow variety of colors.
It hangs on my family room wall and I spend a fair amount of time looking at it. When I looked at these interlocking star shapes, I couldn’t help but wonder what it would look like with the legs forming some kind of chain of cascading stars. The interlocking long legs would create a ribbon of stars that meander over a space.
I wanted to keep all the legs of each individual star in the same color so I flipped over alternating legs to use the backside of the fabric to create some dimension. I think it is very subtle but effective in creating distance and dimension. (The leg on the right is the wrong side of the fabric.)
I flipped over some of the background pieces as well, to give a subtle dimension. Then I laid out my stars into individual stars.
I wanted the legs of each star to be varied and wonky, some of the tips missing even. That is a big one for me. I normally like order and perfect points. Since I was playing, I wanted to throw caution to the wind and just explore the shapes.
I had made a mock up of how I wanted the mini to look and specifically which leg needed to be long and touching the next star. I referred to my diagram as I made each star. The colors on the diagram were purposefully done so I could tell which leg was to be with the wrong side of the fabric facing up. Each touching leg is a darker color…right side facing up.
With all the white in the background, I really took time to think about how I wanted to bind this. I didn’t want a bright color to interfere with the edge of the mini.
I figured this was the perfect time to try a faced binding. I love how it turned out.
The faced binding is hand stitched to the back so there are no lines from the front!
I love it and am so glad for the chance to participate in the blog hop celebrating Jaftex.
Now for the fun stuff. Please check out the other blogs for the rest of the month for your chance for some great prizes. Also, if you want to win a bundle of the same fabrics I used, please leave a comment on this blog post. I’m going to put the entries all in a hat and choose one winner October 1st.
My sweet friend Diane of Crafty Pod has done it again. She has written another great book All Points Patchwork. It needs to reside with all your other much loved reference books for creating. I’m serious. It is a fantastic book on Technique for EPP (English Paper Piecing).
I jumped at the chance to be in her blog hop promoting her new book for two reasons.
#1 I adore Diane. I have followed her for years and she has been so kind and encouraging to me the entire time. I’ve also followed her mom for years. My sister and her mom used to be pen pals until my sister’s life became crazy busy. Someday I’ll get to meet Diane in real life. In the meanwhile, I’ll admire her online.
#2 I knew her book would be awesome. I hadn’t seen it but I knew that true to Diane standards, it would be awesome. She is a fantastic teacher. She writes in a way that you feel like you are great friends, and she makes whatever she is teaching seem doable.
When I got to peek into the book I discovered that it was a bit different than many of the books out there. It is very much technique and idea driven. All these little nuggets of information I wish I learned when I started EPPing and had to figure out by trial and error. Many nuggets of information I never knew. A great resource for EPP technique!
So let’s talk about the blog hop. This week she asked us if we would use hexagons and fussy cutting. I love that she let us just go with whatever we wanted to, inside of those two words.
Maybe we should back up a little. What is “Fussy Cutting” anyway? I did a little internet search to see if there was anything saying were the term fussy cutting came from. I’m sure there is a fantastic story, but it was something I could not find. Basically, it is choosing a motif or part of the printed fabric to be in a specific place in your creating. Fussy cutting isn’t only something quilters use, but paper crafters often fussy cut too.
I see two different kinds of fussy cutting being used. The first kind of fussy cut is to cut out a novelty print or motif and position it in your patchwork in a specific way. If you were to make a pillow from a large print, you would carefully center the chosen design motif and cut to size. If you are using your sewing machine to piece a quilt, you may choose to fussy cut a bird from a print pattern and place it in the center of each block.
The second kind of fussy cutting I see is where a repeat in a pattern is used it to create other effects inside the patchwork, such as Willyne Hammerstein, author of Millefiori Quilts. For this kind of fussy cutting, you would inspect the fabric and locate repeats, color gradations, interesting parts of the pattern that cut up and put back together in a kaleidoscoping way. A great example of this is the lovely La Passacaglia Quilt you may see popping up in many photostreams particularly on Instagram. The piece on the front of Diane’s book uses fussy cut fabrics that creates the contrasting dark design in the center of the star.
I played with the latter kind of fussy cutting, but quickly decided I wanted to spend more time delving into creating more interesting repeats than I had time for. I found the kaleidescoping fussy cutting to be extremely fun and it kind of sucked me in. I will come back to this another time. (Read: I fell in love)
For either of these techniques, I suggest starching your fabric well before you start. I love to have a nice crisp hand to my fabric for EPP. Once my paper basted fabric is hand stitched together, I always press it again and I find that having it starched well before I started, I end up with a nicely finished piece.
I ended up using the first kind of fussy cutting for my project I’m sharing today. I was delighted for an excuse to use a new Layer Cake from Riley Blake designer Natalie Lymer of Cinderberry Stitches. She has recently released another adorable line called Saltwater. It features these adorable mermaids with flowing hair and seahorses and even Narwhals. I mean. I can’t even stand it’s adorableness.
I knew I wanted the goddesses of the sea to be featured. I wanted to center them on my hexagons. There are several ways to go about fussy cutting. I chose this way because I wasn’t interested in matching up an exact repeat and because the fabric I had was in 10” squares. The size of the fabric made it easy for me to tape it to my sliding glass doors and choose an image to fussy cut. With the light shining through the door, I was able to see the mermaids through my punched out hexagon papers.
I taped my fabric squares with the right side facing towards the glass and the wrong side facing me. I used my glue stick and applied some glue to the back of my paper hexagon. Looked through the paper and fabric and lined them up the way I wanted them to be and stuck the hexagon to the fabric. When I placed the next hexagon, I made sure there was enough fabric around the edges of my hexagon for a seam allowance. I like to have at least a 1/4” seam allowance for EPP. The final product isn’t going to be a quilt or something that gets washed often. Because of that, I wasn’t terribly worried about the grain of the fabric. Had this been for a quilt, I would have been more careful to use the grain to help me line the hexagons up.
I carefully took the fabric off the glass and trimmed the seam allowances around each hexagon. I used both thread basting and glue basting to baste the papers to the fabric. I do prefer thread basting, but glue basting is just so much faster. I think with thread basting, I get the corners of my paper shapes more precisely basted which means the sewing together of the paper pieced fabrics is more precise IMO. My tip for glue basting is to make sure when you are gluing the seam allowance to the papers, leave the very edge of the paper without glue. In other words, glue about 1/8” from each edge. I find that the glue basted pieces have a little less give or play where I want them to (the length of the sides) and not enough precision at the points where I want them to be precise.
Anyway, I put together a few rows of hexagons in a scrappy layout.
I decided to applique this piece onto some medium weight denim for a casual zipper pouch. I have some pouches that I use all the time. This one I made using the scrappy piece as a guide for the size.
I added a pocket and a place for needles inside the lining. I also added a little handle on the side to make it easy to carry around.
I think this size is so useful and I can see having many of them around for different projects. I typically keep one of these pouches handy for my EPP and hand stitching. Why yes, I am using a fussy cut hexagon pouch to home my other EPP projects in. Those mermaids and narwhals make me so happy! Is the plural of Narwhal “Narwals” or just “Narwhal”? Either way, they are stinking adorable!
Thanks for visiting my blog for this blog hop. Check out the other great bloggers for their day on the hop. Be sure to check out Diane’s new book All Points Patchwork. You won’t be disappointed.
Diane has also put together a giveaway of Black Gold hand sewing needles and Quilt Needle Threader from Clover. You can enter by Rafflecopter below. International entries are welcome and the giveaway closes on June 7nd. a Rafflecopter giveaway
I’m here to share with you how I made my bookmark for the 12 Hexies (or Less) Blog Hop.
I just love EPP (English Paper Piecing). It is a great way to keep my hands busy in the evenings when we watch a show. When I found this fabric, the little details like the bug jar and the footprints screamed to be fussy cut into hexies.
What you will need:
Cute scraps of fabric in an assortment of designs.
Felt one sheet, cut in half
Velcro (I like the sew in kind)
You can find great tutorials for basting your hexagons and even my little tutorial for stitching them together. I like to starch my fabric well, before I baste them onto my templates/paper pieces. It helps later with holding the shape after the paper comes out.
When you have this shape of three columns of 3, 4, 3 stitched together, press the combined shape well. Carefully take out the templates/paper pieces. Press well again.
With an applique stitch, applique the shape onto one layer of felt. I tried to center my applique on the felt. You are going to trim it up, so it doesn’t have to be perfect. Stitch a contrasting line of stitching about 1/4” all the way around the shape. I wanted this to look handmade, so I hand stitched this. You could certainly do this by machine. **You can wait to do the detail until you are stitching the two pieces of felt together. Since I wanted a thicker line and my thread was thin, I opted to do it twice. This is certainly not necessary.
Take about 5” length of the soft side of the Velcro and sew it down the center of the second piece of felt by machine. With your ribbon, fold one edge under about 1/4”. Sew a piece of the stiff side of the Velcro to the ribbon, covering the folded edge. This is just so you have a nice finished edge of ribbon that won’t unravel. Measure the books you tend to read. Start at the top of the cover, around the book and meet back at the top of the cover. I found that 15” seemed to be a good size length for the books I read. On the other edge of the ribbon, stitch a scrap of felt about 1 1/2” X 1”. This is to help hold the ribbon inside your felt sandwich so it won’t slip out.
Hand stitch the felt piece to the first piece of felt that now has the hexagons appliqued to the front side. Make sure you are not going through the front of the applique (the hexagons). It doesn’t have to look pretty. But you do want to make sure the ribbon is centered on the top of the applique shape. Think about the stiff side of the Velcro on the opposite end of the ribbon before you stitch this down.
Sandwich the bottom felt piece with the length of soft Velcro facing down, and the top piece with the applique facing up. (Wrong sides together). You will need to think about this step a little. The stiff ribbon end needs to wrap around the book and ultimately stick to the underside of your bookmark to hold in place. If you lay the stiff side of the Velcro UP when you are making your sandwich, this should be the right placement.
Stitch in the same holes as the initial detail stitching. Make sure the ribbon is sticking out of the top of the sandwich. Carefully trim around the completed shape through both layers of felt. Be careful when you are trimming the top edge with the ribbon sticking out. You don’t want to cut that ribbon off. I started trimming the shape on one side of the ribbon, cutting through both layers all the way to the other side of the ribbon. When I got to the ribbon edge, I simply cut the top layer first, flipped the shape over and cut the bottom layer second. Make sure not to cut through the ribbon.
To use it as a bookmark, lay the ribbon on the page you are holding. Stick the stiff Velcro end under the main shape.
Viola. You have a lovely hexie bookmark.
Check out the rest of the blog hoppers too and see what they are up to.