Friday, March 28, 2014

Friday Finish: Wren in Spring Wool Applique

Greetings!  I'm happy to report that the 7" x 7" mini quilt is quilted, labeled, and delivered to the Council of the Arts for their upcoming fundraiser.   You can read more about the mini art challenge here.  I used Aurifil Mako Cotton 50Wt thread Color #2000 to free motion quilt the background.   Have I mentioned how much I *love* Aurifil thread ?  Swoon!!
I wanted to share a few steps of the process. 

Once I completed the bird and flower stitching, I made a paper template to determine where I should make the 8" cut for a no binding finish.   The paper template allows you to "fussy cut" the quilt front. 

The inside border frame represents the desired 7" finished block size.  The outside frame is 8" wide and high.  I planned the 8" square to allow for a wider seam allowance (1/3" seam vs 1/4").  I also accounted for a little shrinkage from quilting.
After marking the outer corners of the frame I used a rotary cutter and ruler to cut out the 8" x 8" piece.  I then cut backing and batting pieces 8" square.  I used one layer of Hobbs Wool batting and one layer of Warm and Natural Cotton batting.  When you densely quilt these two different bats your quilt has both loft and stability - perfect for a little wall hanging.  I decided to NOT bind this quilt -- I wanted a quick finish ;)

Once all the layers were cut the same size, I placed the top and backing right sides together and placed the two layers of batting under them.  Below you can see the back of the top pinned to the other 3 layers.  Ready to stitch.
I stitched about 1/3" seam allowance around the outside of the quilt leaving less than a 2 inch opening to turn right side out.  I then trimmed the seam to less than a 1/4 inch (to reduce bulk).  I also trimmed the corners before turning right side out. I hand stitched the opening closed and "big stitch" quilted around the perimeter about 1/4 inch from the edge.   In hindsight, I should have done the border big stitch after the Free Motion quilting was done - the Quilting foot tugged on the threads and pulled them a little wonky :(
I loaded Aurifil Mako Cotton 50wt thread in color #2000 onto my domestic and slowly free motion quilted around the stems, flowers and bird as close to them as I could without stitching the wool.

That echo/outline stitch stabilizes the fabric (although not necessary on a 7x7 square ;).   I then slowly stitched a McTavish type filler in the negative space. (See Wendy Sheppard's nifty little S's here).  I really love that I can densely quilt a piece and not have a nasty thread buildup when using 50wt Aurifil thread.  If you haven't tried it you really should!
Quilting all done -- label and hanging sleeve added - - and ta-daa!!   All ready to be delivered to the Council of the Arts!   You can see my Computer Printed Quilt Label tutorial here.
Before it was delivered "downtown" I snapped this picture on the road not far from home. 
Thanks for stopping by everyone -- have a wonderful weekend and stay tuned for some fun next week. 

I'm linking up to some great parties - check out my sidebar and hop around for some Quilty Fun.

Hugs,
Karen

23 comments:

Raewyn said...

This is gorgeous Karen, and such a good cause! I haven't seen the border done quite like this before and it is really fitting for this piece.

Kate said...

It's beautiful, Karen. I really like the border - great idea.

Karen Walker said...

great tutorial Karen. I too LOVE Aurifil 50wt. You free motion is perfect for this...love the texture and the piece. and the barn! :)

liniecat said...

gosh that's beautiful!

Kelly @ Sew With Kelly said...

So beautiful! Love wool, love your quilting! Gorgeous!

Shauna said...

wow that is simply beautiful!!!!

Karen said...

I thought it was lovely on your previous post, but the quilting really adds so much! Truly beautiful!

Lea said...

Oh how beautiful this little bird is! You're quilting is gorgeous!

Muv said...

Such a wonderful 3D effect with the wool, and the background quilting is lovely!

Valerie Reynolds said...

So cute!!! I like the quilting too!

Kelly @ My Quilt Infatuation said...

there is so much texture in this piece with the quilting and the applique. love it!

Thanks so much for showing this off at Needle and Thread Thursday!

:) Kelly @ My Quilt Infatuation

Leanne Parsons said...

It is beautiful! I love the dimension of the flowers and the colours are so pretty. Thanks for linking to TGIFF.

riddleandwhimsy said...

This is so adroably sweet! Such a cute little bird and your quilting around it looks divine!

Snowcatcher said...

What a great applique project! Lovely colors, and so unique!

treadlemusic said...

I so love it when wool is combined with cotton and quilted!!! Your finish is wonderful and the "tute" is excellent!!!! Hugs..........................

A Nudge said...

Such a lovely piece! Thanks for the process - always helpful, Karen.

knitnkwilt said...

Love your small quilt. Thanks for the description of your process--I have a small quilt for guild sale to make and will try your non-binding indea.

Carla said...

Very sweet! So much detail you put into it

Teresa Connolly said...

Love the wren and blossoms pretty the quilting looks fab too!

Janine said...

This is a stunning piece, Karen. I love the effect of using wool for the applique and the quilting is amazing! Thank you for linking with Wool on Sundays :)

Sarah said...

I like you fb page

A Nudge said...

That turned out so cute, Karen. Do you know if it sold first, I wouldn't be surprised. I love the 3D flowers.

Valerie Reynolds said...

....and what a beautiful donation! You have a generous heart Ms. Karen,