Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Colourful Welcome Door Hanging

Last winter I started a spring door hanging at a retreat (it was very cold and I was very tired of winter). I had a lot of fun putting it together, probably because I did it purely by instinct. I added strips here and there, cut them up and sewed them back on. The colours were totally spring - pinks both bright and soft, greens, orange, small and large floral. Most of the fabrics may have come from the same collection. Let's just say that it wasn't for the faint of heart.
Appliqué - on freezer paper
Appliqué - on freezer paper

I had been looking at this thing for over a year. It was fun but it was missing a focus. This spring I decided that it was time to get it done! I went through a bunch of magazines to find something that I could add to the left panel of the project. I found this great looking owl that was supposed to go on a placemat. It was perfect. (It's from Owls All Around by Pearl Louise Krush, Quilter Magazine, April/May 2014)

I copied the pattern onto freezer paper, ironed the freezer paper to the fabric and then cut out each piece with an extra ¼ inch.  I appliquéd the owl by hand using the needle-turn
Appliqué ready to be sewn
Appliqué ready to be sewn
appliqué technique I learned last year in Kathy Wylie's workshop.  I didn't do too badly but it was only once I finished it that I remembered the trick she has taught us for making circles (the trick is essentially to make a yoyo and appliqué it). I'm afraid I wasn't keen enough to pull it apart.

I had an awesome time free motion quilting (FMQ) this project. Since I'm presently following Cindy Needham's Design it, Quilt it: Free-Form Techniques course on Craftsy, I wanted to practice some of those techniques.

Quilted using a template
Quilted using a template
The first thing I did was to use a few quilting templates within the quilt. This photo shows one of the templates I used. It's got a heart in the middle (which is on the house...our home); the second layer looks like a sun and surrounds the home; and finally the outside of the template are feathers. Since I find following lines easier then making designs free style, this suits me well.

On the right top corner I used a corner template of a flower and quilted it in bright purple. One of Cindy Needham's suggestions is to have parts of the motif outside of an area to give it depth. It's hard to see in the image, but the flower is peeking out of the  border.
Beaded flowers and template quilting
Beaded flowers and template quilting
I also used a template around the border of the top left quarter of the hanging. These are swirls sewn using Superior's Bottom Line thread. Two years ago, if you had told me that thread made a difference, I probably would have discretely rolled my eyes, but I am now a believer. Thread CAN make a huge difference. I almost always use Bottom Line in my bobbin when FMQ. This is one of the first times that I also use it for the top thread. It makes for very subtle quilting. Next to the owl I quilted "Chez les Faubert" in purple thread. You have to look attentively to see it, but I think that's perfect since we are a pretty quiet and subtle family (except for that hot pink!)

In the right bottom part of the quilt, I practiced some of the patterns that Cindy showed us - the "S" curve, the lines and the circles. Once I was finished quilting, I added beads to the flowers. It's slow work but very peaceful.
FMQ with "S" curves, lines and circles
FMQ with "S" curves, lines and circles

Quilted Door Hanging
Quilted Door Hanging

 What I learned:
  • A project gets completed when it's ready to be completed - it's pretty hard to rush inspiration.
  • On a busy quilt, you need something for the eyes to rest on. 
  • I love using templates and my stash is slowly getting bigger!
  • Using Bottom Line thread both in the bobbin and on top for FMQ can be very effective. 
Quilters aren't greedy, they’re just materialistic.
Enjoy the summer! When it's too hot out there, stay in and quilt :-)

1 comment:

I would love to hear from you - and since I have now fixed my settings, you should be able to leave a comment.