Wednesday, March 30, 2011


On a recent visit to The Marsh Store, I came home with some de-Colourant to try, made by Harbor Sales Inc. Basically, de-Colourant is a substance that you apply to areas of your fabric where you'd like to remove the colour. Once the de-colourant is applied, you leave it to dry, then to "activate" it, you simply press with a good hot iron using lots of steam. There are many of ways to play with this product, try using, brushes, stamps, stencils, resists, the list goes on, but I wanted to see if I could use it with one of my own designs.
I printed directly onto freezer paper and then ironed the freezer paper to fabric.
Next I went to the machine, removed the thread and using the free motion setting, I stitched along the lines. Once I was satisfied that I had created enough perforations, I began to brush the De-colourant over top of the paper.
I peeled off the paper and left it to dry. See how faint this is?And here is what emerged once the steam iron was applied.
One of the things I LOVE about The Marsh Store, is that in addition to the fabulous fabrics, notions, and services they provide, they also strive to bring in products for the art quilter as well, I always come away with something wonderful. Thanks Shirley!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Eighth inch stems

In my previous post, I promised to come back and show how I achieve those eighth inch stems. I use a bias tape maker, they come in all sizes. For these tiny stems you will need one that is 6MM or (1/4")
When you are purchasing your bias maker, pay attention to the "mouth" Can you see the difference here?These are both the 1/4" bias tape makers, but the one with the big open mouth won't work for this. The one on the right is what you want to look for........mine is made by Clover and works wonderfully.
Begin by cutting your fabric strips slightly wider than a half inch
Dampen your strip with spray starch or Best Press, then press as you guide the fabric through the bias maker.You now have some nice 1/4 in stems.but wait...........want them even skinnier? Fold them in half and press once again.

Your raw edges are trapped inside and you now have a very narrow bias strip that can be easily curved for the most graceful, narrowest of stems

Friday, March 18, 2011

Applique - Glue Stick and Freezer Paper

This is my preferred applique method. Press your freezer paper shape to the wrong side of the fabric
For ease of applying glue, I do this on an old magazine. The glossy pages make this part of the job super easy and keeps everything much cleaner. You'll want to apply the glue onto both the seam allowance as well as a small amount along the paper's edge.

On this piece, I began with the corners firstThen the sides

Finally the curve
I do NOT remove the freezer paper, it stays in place until all of my pieces are stitched in place and is removed from the back as I showed in my most recent post.

Until recently, I have been using a regular glue stick that you can buy at any office supply store. These work fine, but there are some drawbacks. I find that they are quite "gooey" and can be a little bit of a mess, on top of that, areas where you may have been a little generous with the glue tend to be difficult to pass your needle through. Michele at Quilting Gallery asked if I would like to try a new product called Lapel Stick and offered to send me a couple. I must say that I am impressed with these. They are smooth and easy to apply, rinse out very nicely, stick well, are not nearly as messy and do not leave the fabric quite as stiff, so they do allow for much easier stitching. I did not hesitate to order more so I have a good supply of these on hand.

There has been some discussion in our Yahoo group about how to go about getting nice thin stems. I'll get some photos prepared and show this in my next post

Monday, March 14, 2011

When Fabric Speaks

While working on the next applique block for the "My Tweets" BOM, I was having a little trouble deciding what fabric/colour I wanted to use for the flowers. Nothing in my stash really appealed to me for this one, so of course, I had to go shopping. I came across this fabric on the weekend and it screamed "Take me home.........I am the one"I love the way these pieces turned out.
I hope to have the block assembled later today, so I will be able to show the whole look soon.

Monday, March 7, 2011


In my last post I talked about the fact that the method I use for applique involves leaving the freezer paper in until all of the stitching is finished and then immersing the work in warm water to dissolve the glue and soften the paper for removal.
Well, this block is completely stitchedHere is a view of the back............see all the paper still in there?
I make slits through just the background fabricPut the block into VERY warm water (I added about a teaspoon of Retayne to the water)
The freezer paper is gently pulled out through the slitsOnce all of the paper is out, the piece is again rinsed to be sure all of the glue is removed, then instead of wringing or squeezing, I roll the piece in a thick towel to get rid of as much water as possible.Next I basically "block" it by making certain I have it laid out as flat and smooth as possible to dry.Here is the block finished, the Retayne once again seems to have helped in the prevention of any nasty mishaps with one or more fabrics that might have other wise bled. (I have to admit that I am really not a pre-washer) onto the next block in this "My Tweets" BOM series. I plan to do a little tutorial of sorts on this method......but I have some other products to'll just have to wait and see
Copyright Jill Buckley