Thursday, July 20, 2017


I really need to name this quilt!
 Work is continuing on my Mary Poppins quilt - it's on my floor being blocked now.  I thought I'd show you a couple of things today. First, how I use Liquid Stitch or Liquid Thread, and second how I added the tulle bow ties blocks in the sky. (And third a tiny bit about using Glad Press n Seal for quilt patterns.)

Tulle blocks arranged and pinned in place
 In my last blog I explained how I planned to enter this quilt into the National Museum's New Quilts from Old Favorites contest. This year the old fave was the bow tie block. Also in last blog was a picture of the pattern I made for this quilt - in case you want to go back and see it from the very beginning on my graph paper. 

A close up of the skyline, just for fun
 Once the quilt top was pieced I added the tulle. It's pretty simple to do - just stitch it down.  
Free motion stitch down the edges of the tulle - I used monofilament thread.

To make the triangle portions, I just made little paper patterns and stitched around them.

And viola! they are done.
My design wall is a portable foam insulation board and it isn't tall enough for the whole quilt to hang properly. Hence the bottom is bunched up on a chair.

The next step and the MOST tedious thing ever was to make the letters for the song lyrics in the wheels. I had to pick 9 of my favorite songs from the movie, count out characters and see what I could fit into each 'wheel' in the sky. 

I downloaded coloring book letters and then used a photo software program to stretch them out into tall skinny things so I could fit them on the wheels. The letters are about an inch high and half inch wide.

Once I created my letter patterns, I traced each letter onto freezer paper and cut them out.  I pressed these on a whitish batik fabric that I had backed with Steam/Seam Lite and cut each letter out.

Then I arranged the letters and sort of fused them on the tulle wheels. The fusing didn't stick all that well to the tulle so I dabbed Elmer's Glue behind a few of the letters to solve that problem.

Adding song lyrics
(Sorry the pic is kind of washed out looking!)

Once I got the letters on, I stitched them down using white thread.

Now - on to using Liquid Stitch. 

You may remember that I built Mary on a foundation - Pellon EK 130. It's a knit interfacing with a fusible on one side. The fusible side is under the pieces I used to create the body - in this image we are looking at the wrong side of my Mary. There is no fusible on this side of the pellon.

Working on the wrong side, I smeared Liquid Stitch around and over the edges of my applique. It goes on thick, very thick so I use a Q-tip or finger to smear it thinner. I've been told you can add water to this stuff but I've never had it do the job when I've done this. PLUS, if you add water some of the glue/water mix leaches to the front of the applique and then it gets shiny when it's dry. (Yuck). 

The reason why I like using this product to fuse on appliques over pieced quilt tops is that you can fuse it on, stitch it down and cut away the patchwork behind the appliques. This prevents the seams from your pieced quilt top from showing through the applique. I used this same technique for the tower portion of Big Ben and for the dome of St Paul's. 

From the front of your quilt now, there are no seams to interfere with your applique and it will be nice and smooth. Back to Mary.

Once the Liquid Stitch is dry, press it using a Teflon pressing sheet. This smears the glue out even more and it dries clear. You want the glue to to smear over the edges of your applique! Why? Because now when you cut out your applique, the edges are nice and fused together and they won't unravel.

Now arrange your applique, fuse it down using steam and then stitch around the edges. I use a small zig zag stitch on monofilament thread to stitch them down.

Once your applique is stitched, flip your quilt top over and cut out the patchwork behind it -leave 1/4 - 1/3 of an inch or so. (Umm.... be careful with this!!)

In the above pic, you may notice the white foundation still on the back of my quilt - I remove it right before basting and not before. This helps me keep my straight rows straight through all the appliqueing and stitching of the words, etc. (For more information about using a tear-away to piece, click on the label which says "watercolor quilt' on the right of this blog.)

Mary's flying away now!
 So... on to the next thing. I wanted to quilt something special inside each wheel - something that relates to the song.  I'll show you how I added a medicine bottle and a spoon for the A Spoonful of Sugar wheel... 

I use google images and 'free clip art' a lot to find a lot of my patterns. Once I found them, I printed them off in the size I need them to be. Then traced them on Glad Press n Seal. The stuff is great for this sort of thing - I've never used it before but it works. Mostly. There are problems with it though.

The sticky side of the Press/Seal works great. I used an ultra fine point Sharpie to draw out my design on the non sticky side. Then I stitched out my pattern using a variegated blue thread. 
 Now that I look at it, my swirly parts of the design are a little weird. Oh well. The problem with the Press/Seal is that it is tricky to tear it away when it's under your stitches. Then you have darkish looking bits of it which makes your thread look a bit dirty. Next time I'll find a better way to mark the Press/Seal so if I can't get it all off it won't be a problem. Live and learn! 
It really does help the medicine go down - looking for those sweet times in the midst of hard times is a great life lesson. (I'm preaching to myself, too!) 

Here are a couple of my wheels - remember this song? They were having a tea party on the ceiling, hence the tea pot.

A kite - with a nice tail.

For Jolly Holiday I made a simple - lol - carousel horse. Remember how the horses jumped off the carousel and off they went into the English countryside?

If you look carefully, you can see some of my quilting. It's not the best but I've never tried to create wind before and making those large swirls on a little domestic machine was trickier than I thought it would be!

(She sailed away when the wind changed.) 

Quilting is done! Whew! 

Currently my quilt is pinned to the clean! floor in my sewing room. It's being blocked - I didn't soak it in cold water as I usually do because I was afraid Mary's face would run. So, I pinned like mad and steamed the heck out of it. It will sit there for at least 24 hours and then I'll sew on a faced binding.

I used Warm/Natural batting by the way. The dense cotton batting combined with the steam, etc. will help my quilt to hang straight without any rippling.

By the way. I need help naming it... my dad and I are leaning to naming it Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious which is only 32 characters.

BUT, then I have to learn how to spell it.
(I'm copying/pasting it everywhere now, lol.)
It kind of fits the quilt though.

That's it for me this week - now I'm off to clean the house.
It hasn't been straightened up for at least 6 months and boy is it a MESS! If there is a horizontal surface, it has clutter on it! I do have my priorities in order though.

Quilt First. Clean Second.

Comments/Questions are welcome!


  1. Your process is fascinating, and your directions very clear. Thank you! It's a wonderful quilt...I'm sure it's going to win.

    1. Thank you Laura, I hope I win something but it all depends on the competition and I know there are areas in my quilt which aren't perfectly done. We'll see! It was still a quilt made from the heart so I have the satisfaction of see my idea come to real life. :)

  2. Love this quilt and the process you went through to make.

  3. Wow and more Wow factor Cathy! Your quilt has taken my blues away and now I'm feeling just so superfragicalistic! You get it away! It's a winner for sure! Amazing amount of work and you are so clever. I truly wish I lived near you. To learn this artform and all the tricks. You do totally inspired me to get going and do something! Congratulations. Julie Beard Adelaide Australia

    1. Thank you for all the sweet compliments! It was a lot of work and I'm happy I did it all - I loved that movie and it's like my quilt is an emotional expression of how much it meant to me as a child.

      Anyway, I'm happy you like it so much and that all this stuff I post inspired you!

  4. Wow, Cathy you have done it again! Your patience to carry out all these steps is amazing! This quilt is a winner in every way - just love it and your creativity!!

  5. Wow! What a beautiful expression! You are absolutely incredible - your creativity, the way your mind works, the ability to put it all together, and to be able to explain it so clearly to the rest of us! This one is a definite winner! Wow!

    1. Thanks so much for the lovely compliments!! I hope to put up the quilting details soon so stay tuned. It would be great to win a ribbon, but we'll see... the competition these days is really steep. Have a good week!