Friday, May 9, 2014

Making confetti patches

Yay me - I finally got some work done on the tree part of my sunset quilt!  I'll show you all the steps I took to make it in this blog entry. Then it is time for coffee! (I was awake at 3 am worrying about making this tree - ugh!) 

                                      


I decided make the airy tree by using the confetti quilt technique... only with some changes. I've never really created anything using it before, but it seems simple enough, right?
Tiny strips of fabrics in assorted dark blues, purple and black.

 I used my rotary ruler and cutter to quickly create some tiny strips and pieces of fabrics which would blend yet be darker with the background of my sunset.  Noriko Endo uses small strips and I've seen others using tiny tiny square shapes. I decided to go with strips.


Aqua Melt wash away foundation

I didn't want to sprinkle my confetti right on my quilt top, I wanted more control over it to make branches, etc.  Therefore I layered a light colored tulle on top of the Aqua Melt and sprayed it with 505 Basting Spray to make it a bit sticky.  Then I sprinkled on my snippets.




After the sprinkling was done and the sprinkles were evenly spread, I covered it with one more layer of tulle - this time black, and one more layer of the Aqua Melt.  Then I pinned it like crazy.


Pinned tulle, snippets and Aqua Melt

Ok, now for the BORING part. And the TEDIOUS part. I stitched a dense pattern through the layers to hold everything in place so I could cut up branch and foliage shapes when it was done. This took a long time... but music helped. As well as listening to Pride and Prejudice on a CD player. 





Once the stitching was done I soaked the whole thing in HOT water and rinsed until the Aqua Melt melted away.  This is what I ended up with. 

Finished confetti layer for tree foliage


Oh dear, it is rather dark...



By this time, I knew it would work but that I'd have to make another batch which would be lighter and more see through.  I cut out a few foliage shapes just to make sure I was on the right track.  Remember, I've never done this before!

Playing with dark confetti patches

So, now I had to make a lot of this confetti stuff and it had to be lighter... this time I cut up tiny strips and cut them into squares and real confetti. The 505 spray made it easy to spread the tiny snippets around, I just pretended I was flouring a greased cake pan and viola!

Of course I had to stitch and stitch and stitch... 



Closeup of the new improved confetti

Now on to the tree.  I had drawn out my tree pattern (see previous blog - the one before Star Wars.)  I cut it out just to see if it was the right size; it was.

Some confetti patches and the tree, I'm trying it on for size...

I was too lazy to transfer my tree pattern to freezer paper so I sprayed the wrong side with 505 spray, stuck it onto my tree fabric, traced it and cut it out.  The wrong side is up here because I decided to try another new product to fuse it on the quilt top. This time I went along all the outside edges with Liquid Thread mixed with a bit of water.  This will help prevent the edges from fraying... however, it does show shiny on the 'right' side of the fabric so you have to be careful.  After I was done, I used a fiber glass press sheet and a medium iron. The thread glue spreads and mushes around a bit, so I re-trimmed the tree edges.

My tree

Once my tree trunk was ready to go, I layed the quilt top on a board on the floor and began to assemble the foliage shapes, branches/trunks etc. Arranging them and cutting out individual patches of foliage from the confetti thing.  I pinned the branches in place because they got curly from the glue...

I'm not sure what I think about the glue, maybe I'll try it out again and see if it works better. They say it won't make your quilt top stiff like fusible webs will.

Adding foliage

 You can see that I positioned the darker clumps of foliage toward the ends of the branches where it would naturally be thickest. Then I cut up shapes of the lighter confetti and built up around them to make the branches look more natural.



Pinned and ready to fuse

Up at 3am... thinking... what is the best way to fuse these confetti patches in place? This morning I just put bits of Wonder Under fusible web under each patch of foliage. The Liquid Thread did not stick to the tulle, the WU did. I only put a bit of it here and there to hold them in place enough for me to stitch them down with dark monofilament thread this afternoon.  Assuming I have energy for it!


Fused and ready to be stitched


One other thing I decided to do... I got out a dark purple and black pastel and played around on my tree trunks.  Can you see a bit of purple on the left outside edge?  I think it looks kind of cool so before I stitch, I'll spray it with a fixative since pastels are not permanent. 


Closeup of the tree trunks

Well that's all for now.  I will be stitching down the confetti patches and perhaps the trunks.  Next I have to think about reflections in the water... do I want them? Should I made them with yellow tulle or should I try using bright yellow thread and painting some ripples into the water... or maybe do both?  Hmm.

As always, comments are welcome!

29 comments:

  1. simply stunning. I personally wouldn't bother with a reflection, as it might be too busy. Great job and super instructions.

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    1. Thank you! I'm glad you liked it. :)

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  2. Beautiful work, the lighter confetti is perfect for the tree foliage.
    Have a great day.
    Always, Queenie

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    1. Thank you Jacqui. It occurred to me this morning that after all my worrying about the sun being too bright it ended up being covered by one of the low branches, lol. Sometimes these quilts take on a life of their own and don't quilt end up the way you envisioned...

      Anyway, thanks!
      Cathy

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  4. You did an incredible job. It's gorgeous! I can't imagine I'd ever have the patience to do this.

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    1. Thanks, but instead of patience you'd be just as accurate to call it addiction, lol! Seriously though, working with these colors makes it easy for me to play and have fun with my landscapes. I like to try new things as well and creating a sunset and this type of tree was new to me so it was more of an adventure. :)

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  5. This quilt is absolutely, breath-takingly gorgeous! I read through how you did the foiliage and I just can't believe how lovely it is! You dealt with the judges comments in such a healthy manner even though it hurt for a while. I'm glad I found your blog!

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    1. Thanks! Today I posted about blocking it... I have a bit of a mess on the back which you'll see in my next blog. Maybe next week? When I quilted the tree, I used the same little loop da loos you saw when I made the confetti patches. It was impossible to see where I was quilting as I quilted with black thread over those patches. Soooo, my loop da loos are messy on the back.

      AND, wouldn't you know it, I chose a golden yellow and lilac backing! What was I thinking!? It shows all the mess. So now I'm figuring out to to make the back look better because I don't want judges complaining about my sloppy quilting, lol. (I am gun shy, there is no doubt about it).

      Thanks for writing though and I'm glad you are glad you found me. :)

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  6. You are so wonderful to share your techniques with the masses. I have been super inspired by you and find myself becoming addicted to fiber art. It is wonderful!

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    1. Yippee! That means I'm doing my job. :)

      Thanks!

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  7. love this and your tutorial , thanks so much!

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    1. You're welcome. :) I was thinking about making another confetti tree since I'm in between projects now. (I hate not having something to work on, lol.) If you ever try this, I'd love to see the results.

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  8. I'll try this - can't throw away even the tiny scraps... :)

    Thanks for the detailed instructions!

    Maria

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    1. You're welcome Maria. One extra tip - making those confetti patches is easier when you cut up tiny bits of fabric that do NOT have a washed out wrong side. It is a royal pain if you use them and then have to get a tweezers and flip each bit of confetti over to the right side. If that makes sense. :)

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  9. Your instructions are so easy to follow and this turned out just amazing!

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  10. Wow! This is fascinating! I hope I get to see it in person sometime.

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    1. Thanks! I hope to enter it into more shows so maybe you can. :)

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  11. I just found this and must say, it wonderful! Thank-you so much for showing how you did this. I love it.

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    1. Thanks Ann, I made another quilt using this same technique and will be able to share it in July. It is tedious sewing all the tiny circles/pebbles, but the effect is so nice it is worth it!

      I'm glad you like my blog. :)

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  12. I can' help but think you worked way too hard. I got a similar effect with black tule and light basting spray in specific areas.

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  13. If you'd ever like to show me your tree - I'd love to see it!
    Cathy

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  14. Where can I purchase the powder from

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  15. Perfect timing. I want to try this.Ihave a tree that looks beautiful each fall.. aside of a historic home... always an awesome site. Thank you

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    1. I'm glad you like my blog and have fun with your tree. :)

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