Saturday, January 22, 2011

Popsicle Sticks

I haven't gotten much further than to let my resist drawings dry. It is so humid here that nothing will dry now and I don't have the patience to wait the alloted time in between colors.
I let my mind wander and I kept coming back to the popsicles (half melted). I decided to use them as my next series form. For some reason blogger won't let me download specific pictures. I have tried and tried so I will just type you through the experience. I first drew a small composition of popsicles. I then copied it to acetate and put it in my overhead projector onto a white wall that had paper taped to it. I then drew a big size of the sketch. It ended up being about 60" x 30". I made a couple copies (taped to the slider with the light shining through- (thoughit was up and down and not side to side as it is now when I took the pic; this position was just to help me decide on spacing).
I started to make patterns and immediately decided to make a master pattern of the shape out of mylar. I knew that I would want my shapes pretty much exact (my anal brain showing through) so that seemed to be the way to go. I then started to look at my fabric selection. I ended up using a green background after auditioning all sorts of colors and combinations of colors. I thought that I should start out
simple in case I ended up hating the series form and had all that time invested in a background, which I have done many times. This is what my final shapes ended up being positioned and at this point I was auditioning colors for the popsicle sticks. For a second I thought to use actual sticks but where do you get 24" popsicle sticks?

Because my background fabric was a hand dyed pima cotton, I figured it was almost impossible to hand applique so I opted for the appli-piecing that I learned from Caryl Fallert. It is the way she does all her piecing.

The shapes are cut out of freezer paper (mirror image so the shiny side can be ironed to the back of the fabric). I always cut out the bulk of the paper and leave only the outside shape to contend with. It's much easier to work with, especially if you have the creepy fingers like I do. After ironing the freezer paper down I cut out the fabric with a scant quarter inch extra which I iron under after spreading spray starch on the seam allowance with a little paint brush so it stays in place for sewing.
I cut lots of tape (with one end folded under for easy removal) so that I don't have to contend with pins while I am sewing the pieces down.
I work from the bottom up (meaning that the shapes that are overlapped get sewn first). This is an example of what it looks like with the tape on before I sew it. When I come to the piece of tape while sewing I remove it and put it back on the ruler to reuse.
The stitch I use is the smallest zigzag my sewing machine will do. One zig goes on the shape and the other falls on the background. I use invisible thread. I used to use the clear for the light colors and the smoky colored for the dark but I got lazy and only use the invisible clear now. It makes the re threading of the machine that much easier. I use regular bobbin thread.
This is as far as I got last night. I was sewing until 11 p.m. which is usually my- put up your feet, drink wine and surf the tv- time but I was inspired. I realized that to keep my new year's resolution of doing at least one quilt a month, I would have to get crackin' as I was running out of time. My college roommate Maggie is coming to visit this week and that's not the most productive time for me. I hope to finish this before the weekend is over.


Susan Turney said...

I love watching the progression!

Anonymous said...

The procedure is fascinating. The product is a wow!

Gayle from MI said...

Very cool quilt! You can buy popsicle sticks at any craft store if you decide to do that in the future.

Bonnie said...

What type/brand of clear thread do you use? Love the popsicle idea...'cool' !!!