I was prepared as I was ever going to be. I held on to that podium for dear life, adjusted my reading glasses and before I knew it, it was all over. It still isn't easy speaking to a group of people about yourself and what you do. Now it seems that I find myself thinking that I wouldn't mind doing this again. Scratch that.
The sample has been completed and then I was inspired to do another ~ a set of leaf portraits, as it were. The maple leaves were machine appliqued while I decided that the dogwood leaves would be pieced. Once I learned the Ruth B. McDowell technique of drawing a piecing pattern, I have abandoned ye ole applique technique. Although the initial drawing and pattern making is much more involved, the sewing goes much more quickly. I realized this as I worked on the applique sample for my presentation. Although my Thistles quilt was done with mostly machine applique using the same process as the Maples, and I enjoyed making each petal and piece , I find that the pattern making and piecing has a more appeal.
Let me pause to give a bit of credit where credit is due, the artists who have inspired me through their instruction books. I have found that I learn more easily in my own space and in my own time by using the quilting and art quilting books that are available. I have a rather large library of those. The main artists that have inspired me to design and create several of my award winning quilts include: Ruth B McDowell, Barbara Olson, Katie Pasquini Masopust, Carol Taylor, and Vikki Pignatelli. Of course there are so many other quilt and textile artists that I admire, but these ladies have provided excellent sources of inspiration in their books as well as their art. I don't know that I would have ever figured it all out on my own, had I not bought their books and spent countless hours studying and drooling over every page. They empowered me to give it a go and develop my own style and technique. I suggest that you check out these websites as well as their books. There are much more instructive than I.
So enough rambling. Now on to the completion of the maple leaf sample. Once all the pattern pieces have been cut out, ironed onto the fabrics and pinned onto the cartoon, it is time to glue.
I usually begin with the background pieces. Looking to see which pieces will be mostly covered by the others, I select one and check to see which edges need to be turned under. First I will clip any curves that need to be clipped, then using a mini iron,
I press the seam allowance that over the edge of the freezer paper, and let cool a bit. Then gently lifting the freezer paper, I use Elmer's Glue Stick and lightly touch the edges to be turned under. Next, turn under that seam allowance and press to dry the glue.
Choose the adjoining piece, matching the registration marks and slide it into place with the folded edge covering the raw edge. Add a touch of glue to secure the pieces into place, fold the freezer paper back onto both pieces and lightly iron down.
I continue in this manner until I have several applique pieces glued together. Lay them onto the Sulky Totally Stable cartoon and press in place, checking to be certain that all the proper seam allowances are folded under and glued together. At this time I go ahead and machine applique some of the pieces in place.
Once all of the pieces are in place on the Sulky foundation, I will finish the machine applique. Next I will gently tear the Sulky from the back of the piece. I don't worry about removing every bit of the Sulky, because I don't want to stress the seams.
Here is the dogwood leaves under construction, showing my piecing pattern.
And the pair ~ still waiting to be quilted.