Tuesday, April 8, 2014

In Which I Am a Cheating Cheater Who Cheats, and Also a Crazy Person

Perfection!  But I Cheated...
 So, remember my post a few days ago when I was lamenting that this yellow applique petal came out with a crooked and overly-acute point in my first attempt at needleturn applique?  Well, I went ahead and cheated by preparing four of these petals with preturned, starched edges.  See how perfectly the petal is shaped when I do it that way in the photo above?  Knowing I could get it that accurate using the starch and press method is what made me so critical of the needle turned results.

This does not mean that I have given up on the needle turn method altogether; I was just getting antsy and wanted to get started with the actual block instead of spinning my wheels with practice samples.  So I have stitched two of the four perfect yellow petals to the coral petals so far, and I hope to complete the last two in today's carpool line and music lessons.  Then I'm going to try starching the completed units before I needle turn applique the coral petals to the larger brown petals, starching the brown fabric as well, and see whether that doesn't help reduce the distortion I experienced in my trial runs.  Another idea I had was to use the heat resistant plastic templates I made to help me finger press the edges of my applique shapes prior to stitching them down.  I've been trying to pinch along the chalked line of each shape as directed in my Piece O'Cake book, but I feel like my pinched edges come out more like a series of short lines than a smooth curve.  So maybe pinching the fabric around the edge of a curved plastic template edge will help with that.

In other news, I have officially gone stark, raving mad, and have volunteered to create a raffle quilt with my son's 5th grade class for a school fundraiser.  The completed quilt needs to be turned in to the PTO by May 1st, and we haven't started it yet.  We have 24 or 25 students, very limited class time, and no sewing machines at school.  So my idea is to have each student contribute one block to the quilt, which I will sew together and very minimally quilt or tie in order to meet the deadline.  Since there is no time to teach them all to sew, I am thinking of using those printable fabric sheets and scanning in the students' original artwork and/or photos, printing those onto the fabric, and then sewing the fabric squares together to create a quilt top.  The other idea was to have them draw on plain muslin with fabric markers, but I thought the printable fabric would probably come out better and allow a higher level of detail -- also that way the kids can work on their artwork outside of school, using whatever medium they are most comfortable with, or even contribute a drawing they have already made. 

EQ Inkjet Fabric Sheets, photo courtesy Amazon
I've never used the printable fabric sheets before.  If anyone reading this has experience with this product and can give me some tips or pointers, I would really appreciate it!  I know it has to go in the inkjet printer, not the laser.  Do I need to color set after printing with that Bubblejet stuff, and if so, how does that work?  Are some brands of fabric sheets easier to work with than others?  I see EQ, June Tailor, and even Avery make fabric sheets and the prices do vary from one brand to another, but I'm not looking to make this project more stressful by skimping on materials and giving myself a lot of extra grief!

As always, advice and suggestions are greatly appreciated.  :-)

I'm linking up with Esther's WIPs on Wednesdays linky party.  Esther is offering a beautiful Easter table runner pattern today, too -- check that out here.


Lane said...

Oh, my, but you've taken on a lot. I don't think you need the bubble jet and the sheet. I think the sheet is pre-treated with the same stuff as the bubble jet. Regardless, everything I've done this way faded in the wash. It was still visible, just not as vibrant. Best of luck, you crazy, crazy person, you. And, I love your applique. I have a kit. Can I send it to you to sew and then have you send it back? Lane

Rebecca Grace said...

I just ordered the EQ fabric sheets and they told me I'd have them in my hot little hands by Friday. I've also been researching online and have seen suggestions to enhance color saturation in photo editing software prior to printing, so maybe that will help.
Now, you're going to send me an applique kit, are you? That sounds great. I'll be sending you a nice double wedding ring kit to piece for me, and we can call it even. ;-)

Jenny K. Lyon said...

Well cheating becomes you-it's lovely! And yes, you are stark raving mad-good luck with that one and consider adding "no" to your vocabulary, giggle!

Sewing Junkie said...

I'm doing this pattern too. I have four blocks out of 20 I want to do. Looks great. Chris

Anonymous said...

An easy quick kids' quilt can be done with Sharpie markers and alcohol to spread and separate the dyes from the markers. See this:

We took the kids' blocks and sashed them with wild striped fabric and backed them with fleece rolled to the front for the binding. Quick and fast.

Anonymous said...

Here's how to do a kids' quilt with Sharpies and alcohol

Carole @ Fresh off the Frame said...

No need to use Bubble Jet Set with these fabric sheets. I've used them a number of times, and been happy with the result. They do include directions (let them sit for x number of minutes, and then soak in cold water, or some such), so be sure to follow them. I think the soaking is intended to remove excess ink before you stitch the prints into a project. I've never seen a change in the water when I've soaked, but with such saturated colours it might make a difference...? Best of luck, crazy woman!!!! :-)

Carrie P. said...

the starch method is one of my favorite applique techniques.