Monday, 6 January 2014

Star Wars Quilt: Embroidery or Appliqueing with a Machine

I finally did something else on the Star Wars quilt that was suppose to be done for Christmas. I've decided though, after rushing through a quilt before, that it is better for me to lose the guilt and take my time to do this one right rather than try to get it done just for the sake of having it done (at least that is what I'm telling myself).
I gave the characters some more character via giving them actual features on their faces.  R2D2 and Boba didn't need any embellishment so I left them alone, but Yoda and Anakin definitely needed something.

I debated whether I should just paint the faces on using fabric paint or markers, or try to stick to an all fibre medium. In the end I did a combination of applique and embroidery
using my machine (cause I am NOT a hand stitcher folks! Ya, like waaay to lazy for that. And clumsy. I always draw blood and then it gets all over whatever I'm get the picture.)

Anyway, I had some experience with applique and embroidery when I did a quiet book for my sons (FYI- any sentences with the words "quiet book" and "my sons" is a complete oxymoron, paradox, or lie).

I decided to applique the eyes using an iron-on adhesive and then stitch over them. I like Heat'n Bond. It's cheap. I can buy it locally, so I don't have to make a trip into the city, etc..
First I traced the outline of the faces onto paper. Using a window helps. Then I drew in the detail. I traced the shaped of each part of the eye onto the adhesive. Remember to flip your drawing over and use the reverse image when tracing onto the adhesive (I forget all the time and then I wonder why things are lining up as they should).

I used the Heat'n Bond Lite for the parts I knew I would be sewing over and the Ultra Hold for the small white and blue parts of the eyes, or the parts that I wouldn't be stitching over because they were too small.

I iron the adhesive onto the fabric, then I cut out the shape (I find it much easier this way). You peel off the paper backing and then iron them into place.
Once I had the eyes on I used a disappearing marker to trace in the rest of the lines.
Then I embroidered over the lines using my machine. I make sure to use a tear-away applique paper on the back to help stabilize the fabric and an open sewing foot.
The paper makes it easier to turn and slide the fabric the way you want as well. I also decrease the pressure on my sewing foot. I use a zig-zag stitch and set the stitch length quite small. I also use the stitch width at a small setting to start and increase it as I am stitching to created a line that goes from narrow to wide or that tapers to the shape I want. I have a manual dial at the top of my machine.
Afterwards you can rip the tear-away paper away and viola!
The whole process was less painful than I thought it would be. Procrastinated for nothing I guess. It actually went pretty smoothly and I was happy with the result (some lines are a little shaky, but oh well). It's always a surprise to me when I sew and it actually turns out to be easy AND exactly how I wanted it to be.
Now I just have to do the rest....

1 comment:

  1. That's a very cool way to do the faces! The blocks look fabulous!


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