Sunday, June 25, 2017

Cleaning Up the Sewing Room!

I thought that the mandala pictured in the last blog would make  a good pillow and I think it did!!  Down in NC, I watch a show called Sew Creative on Thursdays.  I rarely take any ideas from it but have taken two and this was one -- a pseudo-piping technique.  

It was quite easy and took about 15 minutes to make the pillow!  First you ironed on fusible fleece to the back side of the front of the pillow (the mandala).  Next, you cut two pieces of fabric the width of the pillow and about nine inches longer than half the length (this was a 22 inch pillow so you would have to alter this for different sizes).  Fold back each of these pieces about four inches so that there is about  a five inch overlap.  Right sides together pin to the back of the pillow front.  Sew about 3/8 inch seam but increasing gradually to 1 1/4 inches at the corners.  Sew all the way around.  Turn inside out and then topstitch about 1/2 inch around the whole pillow.  Voila!!  The double layer of fleece in the seam makes a nice finish.  I was very very pleased with the final pillow.

I am sorry that I did not take pictures of the starting point of this piece.  It was a group of five or six pieces of random neutrals, some all lights, some mixed dark and light and some mostly dark with a little light mixed in.  Not one was pretty in and of itself.  It was an exercise in  a class with Cynthia Corbin many years ago.  I should add that she is one of my favorite teachers of all time.  I learned more about being free in her class than any other.

I whacked those above pieces apart any which way and started laying them on my design wall (again I should have taken pictures as I went along but was working fast).  Eventually a line started forming as I moved the pieces around.  I had cut them every which way and regretted that later  I discarded a lot of the all light colored pieces.  This is getting towards the end when I needed to fill in the  lower right side.

Finally, everything is pieced and trimmed.  I decided it looked like a stream or a river passing over rocky ground.

I liked it better turned on its side as it looked more tranquil to me  I added pieces of another neutral (I had long since gotten rid of the fabrics used in the body of the piece but the added pieces were from the same family).  I needed to contain the one light piece that was on the border.  Now to do the quilting.  It is about 31 inches by 19 inches.

This time I remembered to take a picture of at least one of the before pieces before starting to cut it up!!  I didn't take a picture of the second piece however.  These were two pieces from an exercise in a class taught by Emily Richardson -- another really good teacher.  

The other piece was very similar but in black and white.  It was an exercise in just cutting up pieces of fabric and fusing them to a base.  This was the monochromatic one (obviously).

I haven't sewn these together yet but have been trying out different orientations of the pieces to see which I like best.  

This is where it sits right now.  I may rearrange some more as I like the black kind of looking like it behind the reddish pieces.  

The fun I had at the Round Robin competition is the impetus for finally tearing into some of these long stored pieces that I hadn't known how to use.  They will at least get finished and as I have said before -- I am a compulsive finisher!!  (Also, can't stand wasting anything which is probably my New England heritage!!)  

Finally some abstract pieces -- three in a row even -- which has been a long time goal of mine.

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