Creative articles about quilting

Month 9: Block 9 of the Crazy Crystals Mystery Project 2018

Holidays are over, schools have started again and we are are back to work. September 1st is always the start of a new ‘year’, full of quilting and sewing, everybode being refreshed after a long and hot summer, preparing for Halloween and Christmas to make lots of wonderful projects.  Block 9 of this Crazy Crystals Mystery Project 2018 can be made, with an extra fun technique.

For the ninth block you can download three pages again:
Block 9 – left part
Block 9– right part
Block 9 – Crystal

Print the paper patterns, block no. 9 consists of two pages again, just like the previous blocks – a left and right part.

Make one large block, by taping them together (use the dotted line)

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 pattern of the Crystal for Block 9 to a window, or a light box,

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.

I have filled the Crystal with many different decorative stitches, all with metallic thread, and worked back over the base lines again with a straight stitch (because some of my stitches didn’t fill that line up).

And after that, fabrics are added to cover the sections, up to section 8 and 9: I will do something different with them. Sewn fabrics for sections 1 to 7, covered them with decorative stitches and effects.

I have made multiple rows (normal and mirror images) of stitches next to each other at some point: looks like one very wide stitch row, all together.

For section 7 I have sewn two fabrics together: on the bottom purple Lamé, on top an Organza with goldprint/Poinsettias. The latter fabric is a Christmas fabric, but that’s not a problem. I have sewn it down with a straight stitch near the seam, and made a scalloped decorative stitch on the empty parts of the Organza, dancing my way over the fabric by turning the sandwich all the time. This way you don’t use the decorative stitches in a straight line, but find your way over the fabric. The Lamé shines through the Organza, giving both fabrics a special sparkle.  

And now it is time to make a special fabric for sections 8 and 9.

Special technique: make your own meshwork fabric with two batiks.
I am using batiks, because they don’t fray that much after cutting. Pick two contrasting colors. 

A piece of Heat’n Bond Lite is used as a base: size aprox.  28 x 40 cm (or the measurement of your choise. Be sure that the length is long enough to cover the length and width of the largest section 8 and 9, seam allowances included.)  I have choosen for a larger piece of Heat’n Bond Lite, so that the extra meshwork that remains after cutting pieces for section 8 and 9 can be used for future blocks.

Place the piece of Heat’n Bond Lite on your ironing mat/board, glue side up. Pin this only on the corners. Use regular pins. You can see at the picture above that the shiny/rough side is up = glue side, and the paper side is down. 

Cut both batik fabrics slightly larger than the Heart’n Bond Lite: aprox. 30 x 42 cm = 2 cm larger or more.

Cut the lighter batik fabric in strips of 2 cm each, lengthwise/long strips: with rotary cutter and ruler. Make sure the strips are straight, and all 2 cm wide. Cut the darker batik fabric in strips of 2 cm each, along the width of the fabric = the opposite direction/short strips.

Pin the first strip of the light batik fabric along a long side of the Heat’n Bond Lite. Make sure that no piece of Heat’n Bond Lite can be seen from underneath the fabric. Pin both ends of the strip.

Cover the Heat’n Bond Lite with the light batik strips, all close to each other without any gaps. Be sure the strips are sticking out over the edges. 

Weave a strip of dark batik fabric through the light strips, under and over, starting from the middle. Use a quilt ruler to be sure the dark batik strip lies in as straight line.  

Working towards both sides, weave all dark batik strips and check frequently with a ruler, to be sure all lie in a straight line. Some strips will fray a little, but if you don’t touch it too much, fraying will be limited. 

Coming to the sides of the meshwork, it gets harder and harder to slide the dark batik strip under and over the light batik strips. Just raise the fabric strips at the end, one by one, where the pin holds them, to get more space. But be sure though that the pin still stays in the fabric/ironing mat.

Continue with weaving untill all strips have been placed. To weave the very last strips at the edges/sides, remove the pins of the light batik strips where the dark batik strips will go underneath, place the dark strips, and put the pins back. Be sure all strips are tight/secured on the ironing mat.

When your meshwork is done, check if all strips are tight, but be sure not to stretch them. Place a piece of fabric over the meshwork and iron this so the heated glue of the Heat’n Bond Lite will connect with the strips. Don’t shift the iron, but place it on one spot, lift the iron and place it onto the next spot. 

Remove all pins after ironing, turn the meshwork carefully and replace it on your ironing mat, paperside up. Iron it again, to be sure the meshwork and the glue will bond properly. 

Cut all exess fabrics beyond the Heat’n Bond Lite. This is not bonded by the glue, so you cannot use those pieces.  

And there it is: a wonderful meshwork, made by you. Your own, personal new fabric.

If you carefully remove the paper from the back of the meshwork, you can see the thick glue at the back the woven strips. I have just done this to show you that the strips are bonded. But don’t remove the paper at this point, just lift a tip to see if all bonded well. Leave the paper behind the meshwork, because you will have to store it untill you are ready to cut pieces for covering sections. Without the paper the stiff glue will stick to other items/fabrics, if you store this in a pile. The paper protects everything.

Before cutting the meshwork, make paper templates for sections 8 and 9 out of pattern paper.  Draw the shapes and add aprox. 1 cm seam allowances to all sides. 

Place the paper templates right side up on the right side of the meshwork. Cut them slightly larger (just to be sure…). Remove the paper from behind the meshwork pieces you’ve just cut, but don’t remove it with the remnant. Store this, to use in future blocks.

Sew the first cut out meshwork onto section 8. Place the meshwork piece upside down onthe sewing line with seam allowance, and place the paper template on top of that: you will sew on this paper. The glue of the Heat’n Bond Lite is sticky; the presser foot will not slide well, so using the paper makes it easier to sew.  

Tear the pattern paper away after sewing. Fold the meshwork to the right side. 

Cover it with decorative stitches. I have used more open stitches, because I want to see the meshwork itself. Sew the meshwork piece for section 9 the same way and cover it with stitches too.  

Proceed with adding fabrics to sections, untill your block is complete. I have used a golden Lamé on one section along the side, and made leaves by Free Motion Quilting with my BSR. I love the relief of the leaves.

Some details with the last sections: I have made a wave/decorative stitch row with variegated thread onto section 10, and placed rows of leaves perpendicular.

My block 9 is ready. I cannot wait to see what you are making of this block, with the meshwork and adding lots of fun things.


See you next month!

Happy Quilting
Sylvia Kaptein
Sylvia’s Art Quilts Studio

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