Monday, August 21, 2017

Canada150 Quilt

I told you that my sister and I were working on a project when she visited in early July. I didn't show any pictures though. (I think I was distracted by talking about teaching her kids how to sew.)

Here's a picture of Kim's so you can kind of see where we're going with this:
 And how far she got by the end of the day:
We purchased kits that included the fabric (specially designed for this project) and the pattern. We had to do all of that fancy cutting ourselves!
How it was put together: (If you want to skip this mini tutorial, click here to go to my battle with adhesive or click here to go to final pics.)

The pattern gives you all the shapes to cut out for each fabric. Here, for example, we have the goose body/wing and the long "under wing" pieces:
You trace the shapes onto double sided adhesive. One side is backed with paper and that's the one you draw on. You cut them out roughly, that is outside of the lines. Then you iron them onto the back of the fabric. Finally you cut out the shapes on the line. You end up with a piece of fabric with adhesive on the back ready to stick to your background.

But when you're making more complicated applique, it is helpful to put the unit together before you try to put them onto your background. You use the pattern placement guide to put the parts together, pictured on the bottom right here:
Each goose was different and had its own guide. My pieces fit on more or less, as cutting fabric with scissors is not the most precise process. You can also make changes to suit your own asthetic.

Since you're working with adhesive, you need to take some precautions. I covered the pattern placement guide with parchment paper.
It's there so that the adhesive won't stick to anything. Or rather, it will stick to the parchment paper, but you can peel that off and still use the adhesive. It's also important that you can see through it.

Then I place the bottom two parts where they're supposed to go and cover them with a piece of white cotton.
This is to prevent the adhesive from getting onto my iron and to keep the parts in place.

Once I've hit them with the iron, I have the beginning of a goose:
Repeat for the next layer:
And the final layer in this case is the flash of white behind the beak:
What this gives you is a goose that works as one piece that you can arrange on your background until you find the place where it belongs:
Obviously, this goose needs some help as it is
taking a nose dive!
Once it's placed, you can hit the whole thing with an iron again and it will stick to the background.

Although they were made from more pieces, the geese were simple compared to the maple leaf:
The final goal is a maple leaf nested inside of another maple leaf with the background showing in between. To save room on the pattern and use less fabric, the pattern is nested as well.

I roughly cut out the outside of the shape and stuck it to my fabric. Fortunately for me it was a batik with no "wrong" side because I put it on the fabric thinking that was the front. My heart sank when I realized until I remembered that I could use the reverse side just as well. Phew!

My job now was to cut out the two maple leaves! The inside one is complicated enough (I love you Canadian maple leaf but you are the bane to every child made to draw the flag!) but the outside one has to be cut outside and inside. Ai yai yai!
To make a mistake slightly less likely, I scribbled in the part that I wasn't going to keep. That was the safe zone to make extra cuts to get around all those corners.

My biggest frustration with this quilt was working with the adhesive. Me and any type of glue just don't seem to get along! The adhesive stuck fine at first, but as I handled the piece for quilting and as the quilt changed shape due to the quilting (quilting around the maple leaf literally makes the maple leaf puff up), the adhesive just couldn't keep up.

All the sharp edges and skinny shapes of the maple leaf border were prime for lift up. A lot of the edges were sewn down, but I didn't want to sew on the border--I wanted the puffing up! I also didn't quilt over any of the geese or numbers I ended up adding.

The maple leaf was attended to with a glue stick. Since I doubt I'll ever wash it, I think it will hold fine and it is common for it to be used for quilting projects.

I used the adhesive recommended by the pattern but when I looked at the packaging more closely, it did claim to work for basting. So the company has an out by saying that they expect people to sew the pieces after they stick them down. The pattern did not address this and simply said "quilt as desired". I just have to wait and see how much of a problem this becomes.

Here is the final piece:
I added the numbers since this is the year of "Canada150", i.e. 150th anniversary of Confederation. I printed them on paper from a word processing program and then tackled them in the same way as the rest of the appliques.

To accommodate the numbers on the quilt, I rearranged the geese compared to the pattern.
I can't believe how effectively they convey a goose with only four layers of fabric. For such a small part of it, the white piece adds so much!

The kit did not include backing fabric. I found this in my stash and thought it was ideal:
I really like the maple leaf print and the colour, but have found it very hard to fit it into quilts when I have tried. Sounds like a perfect backing to me! Kim had brought a red stripe fabric for her backing but she used a piece of this as well and traded me for the red stripe. (Win win)

Kim also managed to find a red for the binding among my many red fabrics. I, however, was able to use the same fabric as the red stripes on the front:
The triangle of backing fabric was added to the top two
corners. These pockets will hold a rod to make hanging easy.
Kim left me all of her leftovers and I had enough to piece together a binding. (There are more seams than you would normally have but with this busy fabric, who can tell?)

Here is a shot of the back that shows the quilting:
I echo quilted around the centre leaf, going around the geese as I came to them. On the red stripes, I followed the lines of some of the maple leaves in the fabric. I added some vein lines and outlined the centre leaf. I wasn't planning to at first but the leaf was puffing up way too far and I had to hold it down a little. (And by that time I knew stitching around the edges would be needed to hold it down.)

Then I had a choice to make. I could enter the quilt in this year's fair or I could bring it with me to family camp where my sister and I could share our finished projects. I decided to bring it to camp:
I would have had a harder choice if the fair was in Canada--entering it next year would have seemed so out of date, but the Americans here won't care. They haven't been inundated with all of the Canada150 celebrations (and merchandise) this year!

I worried about bringing it camping for all the obvious reasons, plus keeping it "safe" in a packed car. On top of that, I figured any excessive heat (like a car on a sunny day) would make all of the adhesive fail. But I took a chance and brought it with me. I stored it in the camper in a safe place...and that's where it stayed when we drove off!

I realized late that night that I had forgotten it and sent my sister a message. Best case scenario, her co-worker could bring it with her the next day and I could pick it up on my way out of town. But no, the trailer is stored somewhere else and the coworker wouldn't have access til later. So my sister retrieved it later and will store it until we meet again.

Speaking of forgetting, my sister finished hers as well and then forgot it at the cottage where they were staying right before coming to camp! But she sent me this picture so you could see:

Project Stats
: 03 Jul '17
Finished: 11 Jul '17
Pattern/Materials: Homecoming Kit by Shania Sunga Designs, Cotton fabrics, binding, and backing; wool batting.
Size: 17'x33"
Equipment: Quilted on my Husqvarna Viking Sapphire 830

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