Good Morning Scrappers and welcome to Week 4! This is a project I have been eager to share with you and I hope you enjoy it as much as I did. It has been hot, hot, HOT in Tucson, so I have been happily sewing away in the studio, diligently avoiding the heat and making new things for you.
This week we are going to be using a lot of a background color (I chose black as my foundation) and a variety of colors that stand out from the background. There are almost no rules to this project. It is a fabulous opportunity for improvisational quilting and design.
We are going to do a little fusing this week, but you won't need much fusible. 1/2 yard to 1 yard of fusible will be enough or if you have left over pieces of fusible, this is the time to use them up!
Cutting for this project:
Cut a stack of your background in strips of at least two widths. I cut mine in strips 2" wide and 3" wide. It doesn't matter how long the pieces are.
Cut strips of bright colors that will stand out from your background. Again, there is no width requirement or length requirement. I suggest not cutting anything skinnier than 1 1/4" or wider than 2 1/2", but you can choose to cut as wide or as skinny as you like.
Step 1: Begin by piecing your strips of background, end to end, until you achieve your desired length. I was aiming for 65"-68" long.
I pieced 4 long strips sets from the 2" wide backgrounds and 4 long strip sets from the 3" wide backgrounds.
Once I had all of my strips pieced to my desired length, I laid them out to see how they look best together and then pieced them together lengthwise to create one large background fabric. You can press your seams in any direction you choose.
This process is called building a Strata and it can be used for making background fabrics for all sorts of scrap projects.
You can make a strata and cut it up into blocks or you can use it to make a whole quilt background.
Today I gave it a good pressing and squared my strata to 66" x 16 1/2".
Step 2: Create smaller strata from the bright fabrics, as many as you like.
Press your seams in any direction you choose.
You can create any kind of shape you like with this next part of the process. I chose circles, so I have my circle templates out and as I build my strata, I check to make sure they are large enough, by setting the circle templates on top of them.
Remember that you don't need templates to do this part. Your kitchen is likely full of circle templates like glasses and bowls.
If you like the nesting templates in this blog you can pick them up from Quilter's Rule, my favorite template company!
Step 3: On your two sided fusible paper, trace the shape of your choice. I traced several concentric circles.
You can also offset some of your circles as shown below if you like.
Step 4: Set up your fusible on the wrong side of your strata, so you are fusing to the seamed side of the fabric.
Every fusible is different. Be sure to read the directions that came with your fusible material before you begin to press.
Don't be embarrassed to count. My fusible choice means I use a count of 3 at this stage. So I count 1 - 2 - 3 and then move my iron and count again, until I have pressed the whole surface.
Check to make sure your fusible has fully adhered and then move to the next strata and the next piece of fusible.
Step 5: Using a good pair of sharp fabric scissors, cut out your circles on the outside drawn line.
When you are ready to cut out the interior circles, it helps to start the line with by cutting a half inch or more with a small rotary cutter, so you can insert your scissors, and still cut a smooth line.
When all of your circles are cut out, you are ready to lay out your project.
As you can see in this image, it would be hard to go wrong with the colors you choose. You can really have fun with this part.
Step 6: The layout will tell you if you want to make any additional circles or if you have enough to make the space feel full. When you like the layout, remove the paper from the back of your rings and circles and return them to your chosen positions.
My goal for this project is a fun table runner for parties that can double as a wall hanging in the dining room when not in use on the table.
I love the idea of make 5 or six repetitions of this same look and piecing them together with a bright border for an awesome child's quilt. Make the outer rings skinny and leave some of the circles solidish and you have a great quilt for a budding astronomer.
Step 7: Transfer your project to the pressing surface and complete your fusing process using the directions from your fusible.
Step 8: Stitch your circles edges down with the stitching of your choice. I like to choose from a variety of decorative stitches when doing this part to add a little pizazz.
It's going to be 113 degrees in Tucson this weekend and I know what I'll be doing. I'll be keeping cool and stitching in the studio with some ice tea and an extra fan or two.
I hope you'll be doing the same to stay cool and comfortable.
Last week, I promised you a video and was foiled by run in with my cactus garden, so here is the video I promised you on the Tornado quilting pattern. I love this quilting idea. I created it last fall for some new projects and I just keep going back to it. Enjoy!
Finally, be sure to visit the Facebook page or my Instagram @swanamity and comment on the post for this week's blog to be entered in the prize drawing this week. Be sure to comment before 6pm on Sunday. The winner will be announce on Monday and will be able to choose a pattern of their choice from the website.
Remember the free shipping code "scrappy" is active for the whole month of July. It's always more fun to shop when all your money goes to goodies and not to postage.
Until next week, keep scrapping and share your projects! I love to see what you've been doing with your scraps. Happy Quilting!