Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Living Water - The Work Continues

Living Water - so far

In my last blog I posted the beginning of my latest quilt -  tentatively titled Living Water.  This week I'll show you my progress - at this point all the strips are stitched down and I'm worrying about borders...

Before I get to my new quilt though, I want to invite you to check out my Keepsake Quilting page - I designed 2 quilts for them using RJR Fabrics and I can finally reveal them to you. Here is a link - I hope you like them!

Appalachian Sunset and Autumn Sentinel 

Appalachian Sunset

Autumn Sentinel

Ok, back to my current project. 
This quilt is made using my strip applique technique. This is where you arrange your strips on a foundation and fuse in place. There is no piecing so landscapes can be made rather fast.  The foundation is Pellon EK 130 Easy Knit.

I had planned to make this landscape in triptych form. So from my last blog entry, I began work on the 3rd panel. 

Arranging strips - I'm trying to get the color to flow across the sky, and to avoid creating a 'mushroom bomb' shaped sunrise.

I'm pretty happy with this arrangement so now I need to trim off excess fabric, move the strips to the foundation and stitch them down.

The Pellon comes on a bolt 20 inches wide so to make this quilt I have 6 sections of foundation. Four are 13 inches wide and the two center sections are 25 inches wide. I'll be sewing the six sections into three long sections.

Here is a pic of the strips on the foundation and as you will see, I started making rocks. From strips. 

I wasn't sure using strips for rocks was going to work. I thought it would but it wasn't until I built a couple that I knew it would be great.  The pic above shows the 2 rocks I started on. Once I made a few more rocks, it was time to get out my fabric dye markers and blend the strips together.

 I built more rocks and colored them and I'm very pleased with the results! 

Once all the rocks were done, it was time to stitch everything down. OH - I used a glue stick here and there to glue down all the angles in the strips and the edges of the rocks. Everything you see here is raw edge applique.

Using a zig zag and monofilament thread, I stitch down the raw edges. I use the regular monofilament (nylon) for all the strips except the dark dark ones. For those I use the darker monofilament. My zig zag is small and if you look close you can see how I zig 3-4 threads into the raw edge, and zag into the ditch.

The setting on my sewing machine - in case you find it helpful!
 I still have to create trees and ferns or some plant around the rocks, but in the meantime I'm worrying about borders or not.  I pulled out 3 possible border fabrics and tried them on for size... 
Blue 1

Blue/Gray 2

VaVoom 3
 Number 3 is out! The first 2 blues are variegated though you can't tell it very much with number 2.

This is the deal... triptychs are a bit of a pain to hang and show. If I show this quilt at any AQS shows, I'll need to put one long black sleeve across the top off all 3 panels. Then take it off when I'm done. Showing triptychs during my trunk shows are also a pain... getting 3 people to hold the pieces at the same height is a bother.

On the other hand, I really like triptychs. A lot. One other consideration is that as pictured below, the quilt measures 34 inches high. If I keep this in triptych form I'll have to add that other strip that you see on the top. Why? Because once the quilting is done it is possible that my quilt won't be at least 30 inches high and therefore will be excluded from many quilt shows.

If I add borders though, I don't need to add that last strip on top because it will definitely make the size requirements for the show circuit.

Decisions Decisions!
So this is where I leave off for the day.

To triptych or not to triptych - that is the question.
I still have to make trees, so maybe I'll just sit on this a while and think about it.

Comments welcome! 


  1. Replies
    1. Thank you! Using a border fabric would sure make things easier but I like the look of not having edges to 'stop' the flow of color. (I usually make faced bindings on the back these days) Today I'm just looking at it and doing laundry and some work on my store. Thanks for your comment. Maybe I need to try out other fabrics for borders too... it might be kind of neat to extend the landscape into the border area with thread painting and when I add trees, to have their branches extend into the border as well. Hmm! Soo many choices.

  2. This looks beautiful - so difficult to see the raw looks like your other technique of flip and sew on the back. I will have to try this, it looks like much quicker construction. Which technique do you prefer to use?

    1. Hi Janey, I LOVE this way of making quilts - no piecing required, no bothering with 1/4 inch seam allowances, etc. They are easier to design and to make. Once quilted, you can hardly see the raw edges and the zig zag stitching.

      I'm finished with this quilt now, I just have to update my blog! I've a son getting married this weekend, family coming in, rehearsal dinners and figuring out what to wear...getting my hair done, etc. etc. But maybe this week I can fit in an update here! Thanks for writing and I'm glad you like the quilt.

  3. Good luck with the wedding.

    I think that I will try this rather than the flip and flop method - i am just a bit leary of the raw edges showing a lot but...... we will see. I will have to test the invisible thread - see how invisible it really is.

    All the best for the happy wedding couple.