Sunday, February 5, 2012

Week 16 - Italian and Shadow Quilting and Faux Chenille

I had a bit of pink week at college - don't know why as it is not my usual colour palette. We started with Italian Quilting. Traditionally this is done by sewing parallel channels on two layers of cotton fabric and then threading through quilting wool to pad the channel. However, we experimented with two layers of sheer voile and threading through sari silk threads.

The voile was very difficult to sew without puckering as it is so thin.
To thread the sari silk through I used a bodkin. Where lines crossed I had to decide which thread would be dominant and stitch the channel accordingly. To start the threading off you have to make a small snip with sharp scissors - very fiddly.

I decided to pull the ends through to the front and make a feature of them by knotting with small tufts of silk. I pulled all the stitching ends through to the back and knotted them off.
Next we moved on to Shadow Quilting. I cut out oblongs of matt and shiny fabric and secured them in place with a small amount of Bondaweb. I also bonded a piece of furnishing fabric to the back of the whole piece to give it more weight and make it easier to sew.
Then I put a piece of brown organza over the top and stitched round the edge of each shape on the machine.

Finally I layered on another black square and 2 pink voile oblongs and stitched them on top. I had to tack these shapes first as I didn't want to use Bondaweb in case it showed through.

I edged the piece with a machine pattern to finish it off. I'm not sure I quite get the point of this type of quilting - perhaps it would look better if the trapped shapes were in a thicker material.
Lastly we had a go at making Faux Chenille. This was relatively easy. We layered up several layers of coloured fabric, choosing ones that fray easily, onto a base of firm furnishing fabric. Then we sewed parallel diagonal lines to secure it.

We then cut in between the lines of stitching, making sure not to cut the base fabric. You need good small sharp scissors to do this.
Then you have to rough up the surface to reveal the edges of the different fabrics underneath and make it soft and fluffy. It was too slow by hand so I attacked it with a pet grooming brush that really did the trick. Marvellous result!

At home I have been working on my needle-point and have now finished it. I am very pleased with all the patterns.


Last week I spent a day making a quilted case for a Kindle as a present. I wanted to use some special fabric for the lining (top right in the photo) so I spent a while looking through my stash for matching fabrics.
The design was based on an envelope following a pattern I got off the Sew Magazine website. To echo the squares in the lining fabric I cut 1 inch squares out of different types of material and arranged them in rows on the satin background. I put rows of different coloured yarns in between. Underneath the background is a layer of fleece material to act as the padding.

To secure the squares I stitched a horizontal line across the middle of them all and then stitched across the ends of the yarns to hold them in place too.
I then put a layer of brown organza over the top. This makes all the colours more subtle but also helps in the machining as the edges of the squares and the yarns don't get caught up in the presser foot.

I sewed vertical straight stitch lines in a dark thread first. Then I sewed decorative horizontal lines in browns, blues and metallic threads, varying it between parallel straight stitch, zig-zag and satin stitch bands.

I then pinned on the lining, cut round the pattern, sewed round the edge, graded the seams and turned it through.
I then slip-stitched the gap and folded in the flaps to make the envelope shape. The bottom flap is secured with a row of running stitch in embroidery floss.

The pattern recommended using velcro for the fastening but my overlap wasn't very big so I opted for a glass bead and a loop of ribbon.

I was very pleased with the result and there isn't another like it anywhere!
To go with it here are the birthday cards (lots of family birthdays this week).

Inspired by a book on 'Inchies' - 1 inch squares of textile art I cut out 4 squares of heavy interfacing and covered with different fabrics using Bondaweb. The top square is pleated silk with a piece of twig and tiny silk cross stitches; next a purchased metal charm tied with hairy wool; next a piece of satin half covered with Bondaweb and scraps of thread placed on and ironed over; at the bottom the background fabric is half covered with Bondaweb and a scrap of frayed organza ironed on. A further triangle was applied and then topped off with a flower-shaped crystal.

I chose a natural Kraft card blank and cut out a rectangle of furnishing fabric on which to mount the squares. I attached the fabric rectangle and the squares with glue-dots for a mess-free finish. I will definitely give inchies another go.

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