Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Screen print steps for Christmas Card

    Every year I create a handmade card for Christmas, back to 1976. This year, I gained inspiration from a photo I took at a tree farm in Boston, NY where we cut our tree down last year. The beautiful tones of the snow and clusters of evergreens invited me to make a print. Capturing God's creation was a daunting job. While I am not convinced I achieved what was in my head, I share this with you.
    I hope the steps help to visualize the process. The Color 1 blue is actually lighter than in photo. Color 2 has a metallic sparkle. The card is 5" x 7" on white card stock.
Photo of Boston, NY tree farm

Sketch of composition

Color 1

Color 2

Color 1 and 2 printed

Black, (color 3), printed

Finished card, all three colors

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Finish quilt with facings tutorial

  Working on an orphan block challenge for my guild and inspired wildly by Rayna Gillman, http://www.studio78.net, author of Create Your Own Free-Form Quilts and the video, Free Form Fabric Art, I realized that I needed to use a facing instead of a binding on my art quilt. 
  I had some bad attempts on other pieces, so I searched around and Cathy, from my guild, had a method of attaching facing that looked great. She gave me a copy of some hand drawn instructions. To help me along, and to help you, I took pictures of the steps and am posting them here. I was very pleased with the facing. It let the front of the quilt lie flat and the edges were fairly crisp to view.
  So, here we go!
1. Cut 4, 5" Squares for the corners
    Cut 4, 1 1/2" wide strips for the sides, minus 7" less than the length of the side. I cut mine long, and then trimmed later when pinning. I hate measuring and subtraction.
    This fabric can match the backing or be completely different.

2. Once the quilt is trimmed and squared up, take the squares and measure 2" from the bottom and left of the square. Fold the square on the diagonal so the 2 marks meet. Draw or eyeball a curve from the marks to the fold. Cut. Press under 1/4" on curved and the two short legs of the sides.
4 corner squares cut with curves
Corners side leg and curves pressed 1/4"
3. Place a curved piece in each corner of the quilt, right side of quilt to right side of curved square and match the corner of the facing to the corner of the quilt. Pin in place. 

4. Pin the 1 1/2" strips, right side to quilt right side overlapping the corner facings. If you subtracted the 7", you are all set. I trimmed my strips here, making sure they overlapped the corner facings. 
Corners pinned, strips overlapped and pinned
Facings pinned, right side to right side
 5. Sew around all four sides with 1/4" seam allowance. You may have to use a walking foot. I have a slant needle Singer 301 that sews flawlessly through this with a regular foot.
Corner and strip sewn

6. Trim excess batting and fabric on the diagonal at the corners (about 1/8" inside the corner). Do not cut away top facing.
7. Turn the corners, poke them out nice and sharp. Fold facings to the back and turn the edges under, press a crease and pin closely. 
Turn corners to back. Poke out corners sharp.
Pin corners, fold under long strip edge, pin
Whole back pinned
 The strips should now be about 3/4" wide. Hand stitch all the edges down. 
Hand stitch detail
Hand stitched back
 Turn over and enjoy your work.
Final Quilt with facing using two orphan blocks and Rayna's thin strip method
If this seems complicated, it is because I did not explain it simply enough. It is simple and looks great. Let me know if you have questions or suggestions!