Hot Fruit: update

Following on from the paper piecing in the previous post, I started a series of 8″ by 10″ mini quilts, and I’m using them to practice my free motion stitching.

First, this one:

Strippy background, combining my hand printed fabrics, a green hand dyed fabric and a commercial black and white stripe: 

With focal point lemons:

  

Echo quilted:

   
 Then added colour with gelatos, and hand stitch:

   

    
 
And this one, all pinned out:
 
I then added a ‘McTavishing’ machine stitch, following the video on Leah Day’s website  

 
With gelatos and hand stitch:

    

I’ve also stitched into the collage I started yesterday; it just needs gelatos and hand stitch now:

 

I’m running low on this variegated thread!

 

I have also finished the paper piecing on this piece, I just need to work out how to stitch it – it is all paper, and I don’t want it to tear:  

So, rather a lot of stitching recently. The concerted practice is paying off. 

New tool: Fabri-cut

I went to the Fashion, Embroidery and Stitch and Hobbycrafts show at the NEC, and discovered an intriguing tool, the Fabri-cut by Crafty Products. After watching a demo and having a go, I decided to purchase one. I’ve had a chance to try it out, and I am impressed.

It is a ceramic knife blade, in a swivel mounting, with a pencil like handle:

  
I backed some fabric with bondaweb, both a piece of pink scrap cotton, and a piece of my own hand printed fabric.

The swivelling blade makes it easy to cut wiggly lines.

  
I was also able to cut out these circular printed limes with ease, without lifting the blade off the fabric:

  
All of the sections of this piece were cut out with the Fabri-cut:

  

This gave me plenty of collage fodder, already backed with bondaweb, so I laid out the below piece, on a backing of hand-dyed fabric from Images of Egypt that I’d also purchased at the show.

 
The Fabri-cut made it easy to make this collage with plenty of smooth, intricate cuts. I think it will be a useful tool to use in the future, and I think I may also buy the paper cutting tool too. 

Some tips:

  • Ensure the bondaweb backing is well stuck down throughout – any bubbles or poorly adhered patches will cause the blade to skip.
  • Hold the handle and apply an even, medium pressure, allowing it to swivel for curves, rather than trying to drag it to a new position.
  • Crafty Products also sell a glue that you can apply, to the cutting mat to make it sticky. This was handy to help the fabric stay put.

Dye and paper Piecing

I finished dyeing all the papers. I love how the dye mixes and transforms quite simple prints into something beautiful:  

It has also transformed the fabric:  

I started by cutting felt and marking three more 8×10 inch rectangles, which I ironed bondaweb onto.

I sketched out a rough plan for alternating squares of stripes (rail fence quilt inspired) and lemon focal points.  

I divided my papers into backgrounds, middle grounds, and focal points:   

 

I then cut strips off my background pieces to use as rail fence strips – such yummy colours!

 

And tonight I paper pieces the background strips, just not in a traditional way:

I’m pleased with the background. Next step is to pick the focal points, get them bonded on, then stitching!