Archive for the ‘Fabric’ Category

“Shirtings” project

Sunday, December 1st, 2013

Early 2013, my Tuesday quilting bee friends and I embarked upon a personal and shared group project…….. Personal, because we each create our own design and shared¬†‚ąí because we each contributed fabric and second-hand shirts purchased at local stores who specialize in re-selling donated items. There are many thrift stores operated by local churches, and larger stores such as those by Salvation Army and Goodwill Industries, who also offer job training, rehabilitaion and disaster relief in addition to resale of donated goods.

Our primary desired objects? Fabulous men’s and women’s shirts:

colorful shirts arranged by hue

shirts are arranged by color hue

We each purchased shirts that appealed to us – whether it was the color, the pattern (solid, stripe or plaid), or size¬†‚ąí translating into more yardage per garment! Some of us creatively searched the pajama pants and ladies’ dress aisles, capturing more bargains.

solid colored shirts

wonderful solid-color woven shirts

beautiful shirts in plaids and stripes

a myriad of plaid and striped shirts

NEXT: the garments were laundered to begin the projects with pre-washed fabric.

sorting for laundry

sorting the lighter colored shirts for washing

Shirts are ready for the laundry

Shirts are ready for the laundry

warm colored stripes and plaids - yardage

add some plaid and striped yardage to the mix

The garments are now “de-constructed”, breaking down the wearables into their flat-fabric forms once again. Collars, front button plackets and cuffs are set aside for future use (hmmm. Wonder what I can do with those?)

deconstruct the garment

cut away collar, cuffs and button plackets with scissors or rotary cutter

Finally, the flat fabric pieces become usable again. Each of us cuts from our collective “stash”, whatever sized pieces our projects will require.

My warning tip: if you embark on this journey yourself, it becomes very addictive! I find myself scouring local resale shops, searching for the “holy grail” of shirts!

light-to-dark collection

a wide range of shirtings from light to dark

warm colored stripes and plaids

A mix of lovely warm colored stripes and plaids. Some hand-woven Guatemalan fabrics included.

mixture of shirtings & yardage

warm colored shirtings, with some cool color mixes

Stay tuned for more……… ¬†Jan

Harajuku Lady Millifiori One Block Wonder

Thursday, December 15th, 2011

Wow, that title is quite a mouth-full! I think you’ll agree, the quilt looks great!

I added a narrow black & white striped border around the outer edges of the triangles to create a visual separation between the pieced hexagons and the lovely water-color printed & embroidered background fabric.

Jan Krentz - Add narrow trim, detail

Jan Krentz add narrow trim full section

Jan Krentz Harajuku Lady Millifiori detail

Jan Krentz Harajuku Lady Millifiori One Block Wonder

Piecing One-block Wonder – construction tips

Sunday, December 11th, 2011

Yahoo! My quilt is now underway! After laying out all the pieces, moving the hexagons around until the colors blended and flowed from one area to another.

Here is a preview photo of my design, with the first row (on the left) sewn together. You can see the design shrinks quite a bit once the seams are sewn together!

Harajuku Lady One Block Wonder in progress

When sewing the rows together, I use a slick trick that I developed when sewing a previous quilt‚ąímy Indian Summer Thousand Pyramids quilt.

Using an ordinary 1″ wide roll of painter’s tape, begin applying tape at one end of a long row of loose pieces. Press firmly as you apply the tape, securing all the loose pieces to the single piece of tape. Gently lift the tape & pieces, carrying them to your sewing table.

Apply painter's tape to one row of loose pieces

Move the taped pieces to the sewing table

Begin sewing ANY project by establishing an accurate seam allowance. When you resume sewing, double-check your seam allowance to verify you always sew with the same seam. This one step will insure every project you sew will fit together much more accurately. I use one of two seam allowance tools, pictured below.

Perfect Piecing Seam Guide by Perkins Dry Goods

Lower the needle into the scant 1/4″¬†hole BY HAND. Lower the presser foot. Apply a raised guide such as stacked painter’s tape, or Q Tools vinyl tape to the right edge of the tool.

Apply a guide such as Q Tools vinyl tape

or use the Jan Krentz Corner Marking tool (designed for seam accuracy and marking tips and edges of diamonds for 8-pointed stars).

Pink, Orange and Yellow Jan Krentz tools

Insert the needle into the scant 1/4" hole. Apply guide.


One Block Wonder – design preview tips

Wednesday, December 7th, 2011

When creating One Block Wonder or Stack n’ Whack designs, there are clever¬†methods to preview your fabric motifs and see multiple repeats. I frequently use a set of hinged Quilter’s Design Mirrors when designing with multiple cuts and repeats for projects such as Lone Stars, Quick Stars, Kaleidoscopes, Mariner’s Compass, hexagonal designs, etc.

Quilter's Design Mirrors

A quick¬†method to determine whether a fabric will be suitable for your “fussy cut” technique is to lay the template shape (in this case, a 60-degree triangle‚ąísold in several sizes) on the printed fabric, and position the mirrors at one tip of the triangle.

A repeated hexagon is magically created! The reflected¬†image is not exactly the way it will appear when¬†physically cut, but does give you a good idea whether you’ll like the visual effect of that particular fabric before cutting. An unsuitable print won’t be exciting‚ąísave that fabric for another project.

Clearview 60 triangle ruler, and pre-cut triangles

Here are some examples of the same 60-degree triangles‚ąíon the left, the mirror image and on the right, six identical cuts from the same image (also known as “fussy-cut”). Both versions are enticing! However, if your printed yardage doesn’t have mirror-image motifs, you will not be able to create the images on the left.

The combinations below are the same triangles; each combination is rotated to view a different tip in the design center.

Mirror image set A

Mirror image set B

Mirror image set C

One Block Wonders

Monday, December 5th, 2011

I am inspired to make a new quilt‚ÄĒbased upon the designs seen in the¬†book One Block Wonders by Maxine Rosenthal. Several friends have made successful quilts using Maxine’s book, and I found a terrific Alexander Henry fabric that may make a dynamic quilt. Maxine suggests designs cut with a 60-degree triangle (use any of¬†the great Clearview Triangle rulers)¬†, or a 45-degree triangle (perfect when cut with the Fast2Cut 45-degree half diamond ruler!).

Here is the Alexander Henry Harajuku Lady fabric:

Alexander Henry Harajuku Lady fabric       One Block Wonders by Maxine Rosenthal

I purchased several yards. The book recommends at least 6 repeats plus a few inches for cutting / cleanup. I am cutting 3-3/4″ wide strips, and subcutting through all 6 layers to create sets of identical¬†60-degree triangles. Watch the blog in the coming days, I’ll show you what I come up with! If you are working with this fabric, please send me YOUR photo, to share with readers!