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Monday, November 14, 2011

The Sharpest Tack in the Box...or not

My friend B and I have started working on an Easter quilt about four weeks ago.  We decided on the pattern together, and decided that if we had a plan we could work at encouraging each other and sticking with our project.  Plus at the end we'd each come out with a cute wall hanging that we could either display, gift or donate to some worthy cause.

You can see the cute picture on the bed...

B typed up a schedule to keep us on track and so far, I'm happy to report both of us have been sticking to the schedule.  We are sharing the pattern and B started with cutting out all of the cute applique pieces.  I started with the 'blocks'.  In an uncharacteristic move, I used surgical precision getting most of the larger squares cut.  Turns out that would be my first mistake.

After I had everything cut to the right sizes, I read the instruction that read something along the lines of... don't be a dufus and cut everything too close in the beginning because when you applique some of the fabric may be taken up and reduced in size as you do the actual applique work.  Swell.

You know the Amish purposefully put errors in their quilts so that they will not be mistaken as being too close to God.  There is clearly no concern with any of that from me.  Especially since I was on step 1 of 100.

Step 2... I received a cursory lesson with the tracing paper with all of the applique pieces from B this past Friday when we saw each other for a few minutes.  Got it.  How hard could it be?  Saturday J went to a slumber party, there was a presidential debate on, so I thought that would be a great time to get started on cutting out these little flowers, leaves, the cute bunny, chick and bee.

All of the fabrics were picked out...

Except when I started to iron from the tracing paper and the fabric nothing was happening.  So I sat on the bed and thought about it for a little while.  Still nothing.

Naturally I was missing something... I decided that what I was missing was Wonder Under (WU).  It's this fabulous stuff that you iron on to one side of the fabric, remove the paper backing and then fuse it to the next piece of fabric.  I needed to go back to the fabric store.  Given where we live, that would have to wait until Sunday after church.

Back home and now armed with more supplies, I'm ready.  I cut out pieces of WU and get started with ironing, life is great.  There are about 12 different fabrics involved for this part, but it's all going well--I'm using my stash of fabrics.  But then I'm stuck... AGAIN.  How to get the tracing paper information onto the fabric... No.  it still doesn't iron transfer from one to the next.  I was just really S-T-U-C-K.  I needed help.

I headed in to get the phone to call B and ask exactly how to make this all happen.  I clearly hadn't listened well when she gave me the instructions.  However, my pride got the better of me before I picked up the phone though, and I thought let me just use 'The Google' and see how they might suggest this all should happen.

As SOON as I the picture come up I knew I wasn't the smartest girl in the room, despite being the ONLY girl.... wait only PERSON in the room.  I started cracking up.  Duh!!!

Yes, it's tracing paper as in with a pencil.  You lay the blank, empty WU on top of the item to be traced and then you use your pencil to mark the lines before you get started.  Oh yes, you do remember, I'd already started ironing.

So I ended up taking the pieces to a nice sunny (and hot it turned out) window so that I could see the design to be traced onto the paper with a washable marker.  It worked pretty well except for two very dark fabrics, but I got those worked out too.

Turns out that all worked for the best because the WU rumpled underneath every single piece of fabric so if I had done it 'correctly' or more 'traditionally' well I would have ended up standing at the same window redoing all of the tracing in the same way.  See so I've saved a step in the process.

All 87 pieces of applique are now cut out.  I've gotta figure out what's next.  I think I need to re-cut my large squares so I can get ready for the next adventure.

I may have to donate anonymously.

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