We’re about half and block 7 is next. What to do to make this block special? I’ve come up with something nice for you, to use fabrics and threads but also to manipulate fabric…
Use Vlieseline L11 – 32x45cm – place this on top of the paper pattern. Just draw all lines of the Crazy Patchwork (the rectangle is for reference only), all to the edges. Make a sandwich from off-white fabric, 100% bamboo batting and the Vlieseline L11 with the patchwork pattern. Pin them in place.
tape the black batik quilt fabric (20 x 30 cm) on top of that. Make sure there is enough fabric around the shape of the Crystal to have a seam allowance of at least 1 cm in all directions (that is why I have tilted my black fabric). Draw all lines with white watersoluble pen (or blue if you use a lighter color of solid fabric for the center). BE SURE to draw thin lines: they have to be removed with water afterwards.
Cut the paper pattern with the Crystal to make a template, be sure to leave a 1 cm seam allowance outside the solid lines. Place the pattern on top of the black batik with the crystal drawn, and cut the black fabric the same size as the paper template. Place the black batik with the Crystal on the right spot, on the ‘center’ of your sandwich, pin in place with Flower Pins. Be sure to draw the solid lines with water soluble pen, to indicate the actual size of the section, inside the seam allowances.
First the bottom ribbon, then the next, skipped making stitches in the middle. The longest ribbon was stitched down last. Be careful to stitch slowly at the cross section: three ribbons on top of each other can be quite thick.
The ‘pattern’ of the Crystal is covered with a three-double stitch nr. 6 with my B770QE: this stitch is made by going forward, backwards and forward again. I’ve added some extra lines of stitches and will fill the rest with Hotfix stones, after the block is done.
Before sewing the fabrics, I will prepare special fabrics for sections 9 and 11, making tucks. These will be’ Spaced Tucks’ = pleats with space between them. I will turn them into ‘Waved Tucks’ after that. I like the special effect you get when doing this, I saw this a lot on pillows and beautiful garments .
The strips for making tucks are cut first: I have used batik fabrics: they are very dense, and the effect may be different when using lighter fabrics. That’s up to you. I have choosen a light and a darker batik. For top thread, I will use contrasting colors, to make the decorative stitches stand out more.
By preparing the tucked fabrics first, I can work my way around the sandwich afterwards, sewing fabrics onto the sections in numerical order. I will know the colors of all fabrics needed to be placed so for contrast, I will sort them out and put them aside untill the tucked fabrics are ready.
What size strip of fabric do you need? An extra long piece that covers the entire length and width of the section (9 and 11) times 2 and some extra. Eventually the strip will shorten because of the tucks, but it still needs to cover the section completely, with extra seam allowance.
For section 9 you will need to cover 35 x 13 cm, so the strip needs to be that size times 2 + extra = fabric strip 80 x 15 cm
For section 11 you will need to cover 50 x 12 cm, so the strip needs to be that size times 2 + extra = fabric strip 110 x 15 cm
I have cut these strips from batiks and used a blue or white marking pen (water soluble) to mark lines for the pleats. I’ve marked them 2,5cm apart from each other.
I have used a white marking pen with the darker fabric (blue), made markings on both sides of the length of the strip, each 2,5 cm apart. You can draw the entire line from side to side, if that works for you.
The picture shows the white markings on the blue batik, and blue markings on the lighter batik. Again, placing them 2,5 cm apart, you can draw them from side to side. I will use the lighter fabric for section 9 and the blue fabric for section 11.
Making the pleats by folding the 2,5 cm marked lines over each other, the 2nd over the 1st, repeat, like it shows above. Always fold in the same direction. Flatten the pleats by ironing or finger pressing.
To be sure the pleats are stitched down the right way, I have placed a pin in each ‘valley’ of a pleat (which is a folded line on the inner side of the tuck = stitch line). You can pin the entire pleat, but placing one pin just at the bottom is enough to indicate where to stitch.
I will make stitches with my B770QE, using a straight stitch with decorative thread: stitches will show after making the waved tucks. Be careful to fold the pleats back, before sewing the next one.
The picture above shows you where your stitches should be made: in the inner side of a pleat: because I have ironed everything, this ‘fold’ is a sharp line which shows very well, so you don’t have to mark this line with a pen.
After sewing the pleats I have washed all marked lines away and ironed the tucked strip of fabric. BE CAREFUL not to iron before washing the marked lines, because they will stay in the fabric due of the heat. Now you can see why these pleates are called ‘Spaced Tucks’ : there is extra spac between each pleat. When folding the pleats after sewing them down first, ‘Waved Tucks’ are formed.
This is the back after ironing. Both tucked strips are prepared this way, and placed in order of sewing with the other fabrics. First I will sew fabric 1 to 8 onto the sandwich and cover them with decorative stitches, ribbons etc.
I have made a little landscape with decorative stitches, just for fun. Made a base line with stitch no. 6 (B770QE), made houses with stitch 919 onto this base line and flowers (stitch 114) perpendicular to the baseline, each between a house. Working this way makes your block unique!
After sewing fabrics onto section 1 to 8, I can sew the tucked strip for section 9: place the fabric with the right side up next to the sew line of the sandwich: be sure all pleats are facing the same direction.
Cut the extra along the side of the sandwich, and with the slanted side, but be sure to leave enough fabric for seam allowance with the latter. Pin in place, so the fabric won’t stretch because of the pleats.
Turn the sandwich and work from the other direction. Find the centre of the space between the two decorative sttiches (aprox 2,5cm = middle), make a marking line and sew it down agains the direction of the pleats, with different decorative stitches, keeping this line in the middle. Fold each pleat back while catching them with the needle/stitch. A wave is formed. BUT BE CAREFUL: the pleat cannot be folded back entirely, just a small part. If you have used less dense fabric, perhaps the fold can be deeper. Be sure the sandwich does’n pull.
You can repeat this with the remaining space of the tucked fabric: you cannot fold every pleat back, like the short pieces, only the ones that can be folded at the 2,5cm line. Be sure to fold as far as possible to the side of the sandwich. Allthough some of this part of the sandwich/block will be cut with month 12 for assembly, you don’t know which part that will be.
TIP: if you want to fold the pleats deeper, just make one row instead of 2: the smaller the space between stitches of the first direction, the less deeper you can fold the pleats. Making just one row gives you deeper pleats, but it will look more coarser.
See you next month!
Sylvia’s Art Quilts Studio