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Thread: Will this work? (strange new-to-me idea)

  1. #1
    Senior Member JenelTX's Avatar
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    Will this work? (strange new-to-me idea)

    I want to create two side-by-side applique'd wall hangings of an underwater scene. I've never done applique before, so it will be a fun challenge. For the underwater background, I found a great fat quarter bundle of Caribbean blue batiks, going from dark to light. What I'd like to do is cut the fat quarters into different width strips, put right sides together, sew together in a wavy line, and then cut away the additional fabric beyond the 1/4-inch seam allowance. Is there any reason this will not work? Are there any special tricks for pressing a curved seam?
    Jenel Looney
    Assistant to Susan Mallery
    New York Times bestselling author

  2. #2
    Super Member DebraK's Avatar
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    why not try a small sample with scraps to see if you get the result you are looking for?
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  3. #3
    MTS
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    It won't open to lie flat as you'd have a concave sewn to a concave curve, and a convex to a convex.

    Ask me how I know this.
    And after I did it I just sat there and laughed at myself.
    It was one of those "moments."

    You need to cut them with wide seam allowances overlapping, RIGHT sides up on both pieces (I know they're batiks but it has to be the final UP side).

    Then you can put RIGHT sides together and sew them after you've cut the curves.

    As long as it's a nice gentle curve, you won't need a template.
    Just work slowly as sew the strips together, don't get ahead of yourself, keep making sure the convex and concave are mostly lining up, and you should be able to press the strip set flat.

    Also, cut the strips wide enough so you have room for the curves on both sides.
    I work in pairs, then sew the pairs together, then quads together, etc.

    You won't need pins or a special foot.

    You can square the whole thing up when you're done.
    Last edited by MTS; 10-06-2012 at 05:34 AM.

  4. #4
    Senior Member JenelTX's Avatar
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    Thanks. Yes, I've been thinking the same thing, that I need to play with scraps. I just thought I'd also tap into the expertise here on the board.

    Love your avatar, Debra! Really interesting shapes and colors.
    Jenel Looney
    Assistant to Susan Mallery
    New York Times bestselling author

  5. #5
    Senior Member Tashana's Avatar
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    Here is a technique I learned but did not practice.
    Lay two pieces of fabric that you want to have a curved seam face up and overlap them by about an inch or so. Using your rotary cutter free hand cut the curve in the overlapped fabric. Flip the fabric so the right sides are facing each other. You will have a very mismatched curves. Start stitching them together by lining the edged of the mismatched curves. You may need to work slowly in the beginning. Press well. This technique was explained in one of Rayna Gilman's books. That woman is a genius.

  6. #6
    Power Poster QuiltE's Avatar
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    When you do the overlap if you have excess on both pieces ... you can match the two pairs and save on the off cuts and waste.

    For me I'd start with the FQs as is and lay on top of each other. both facing up. Then take the top left and bottom right as a pair to sew ... and the top right and bottom left as another pair. Then move onwards to another FQ set. And then eventually match up sets that are sewn already for a second wave and a new set of colours mixed/

    Tedious ... but it can be very effective!
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  7. #7
    MTS
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    Here's a Round Robin I participated in back in 2003(?).

    I did the outer ombre wavy border.

    I made strata of over 20+ fabrics; my strips were thin because of the effect I wanted and the length of the space I had to do it.
    I cross cut the strata into the widths I need for the border, and then attached those to the navy using the method I mentioned upthread.

    I do remember it was a &#*@! to match up those miter corners.

    But since you're going straight across, it will be a much cleaner process.


    Not one pin was used during the whole process. ;-)

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  8. #8
    Power Poster QuiltE's Avatar
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    Beautiful and oh so effective, MTS!
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    Sew many ideas ... just sew little time!!
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

  9. #9
    MTS
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    Quote Originally Posted by QuiltE View Post
    Beautiful and oh so effective, MTS!
    Thanks. In hindsight I probably should have curved the inner side as well but I was petrified of ruining the piece.
    Doesn't matter anyway because the person who came after me screwed the whole aesthetic up - just slapped on a horrible border.
    Yeah, I know, kumbaya and all that.
    Too bad.

    But you can see how a straight piano keys border, while still (would that be whilst?) having the ombre effect, would have been kinda boring.

    It was incredibly easy to do once I got going.

    @Jenel -
    I think it's has a great idea of curving your underwater backgrounds.

    Here's a quick tutorial - there are plenty more. Using "free form" gets you more than "freestyle" in your Google search.
    http://www.sewn.net.au/TipsTools/Tut...edPiecing.aspx
    Last edited by MTS; 10-06-2012 at 06:43 AM.

  10. #10
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    I think I would go with applique. Since they are batiks and they fray very little, I would draw a curvy line on a narrow stip of wonder under. I would iron it to the back of one section and then cut the wavy line. I would peel off the paper and lay it over the next colour and fuse it in place. I would either do a straight stitch about 1/8 of an inch inside the wave to secure it or a fancy stitch if it wouldn't interfer with what I wanted to put over top it. Are you other shapes going to be fused applique or needle turn? The line of fusible would not be any bulkier than two 1/4 inch seam line to me but if you were worried you could use mistyfuse for a softer feel.
    You could just stitch down the background strip without fusible. If I did it that way, I would stitch down the line I wanted and then carefully trim close to the stitching line with my duck billed applique scissors. I look forward to seeing what your underwater scenes look like.

  11. #11
    Power Poster QuiltE's Avatar
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    MTS ... ITA that a regular piano key border just would have been so boooooooring! Your curved piano keys set the pace in the first place. Then the effect of the straight edge vs. wave as the straight line frames the centre stark straight appearance. That wave pulls the centre curly-q right into action!

    As for that following person and their non-enthusiasm for imagination in the final border ... argghhhh!!!!
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  12. #12
    Senior Member JenelTX's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MTS View Post
    It won't open to lie flat as you'd have a concave sewn to a concave curve, and a convex to a convex.
    I'm so glad I asked! I see what you mean. Guess I will have to do some advance planning on the curves, after all. I really appreciate the specific instructions.
    Jenel Looney
    Assistant to Susan Mallery
    New York Times bestselling author

  13. #13
    Senior Member JenelTX's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by QuiltE View Post
    Tedious ... but it can be very effective!
    I'm okay with tedious. It's only fun if it's difficult!
    Jenel Looney
    Assistant to Susan Mallery
    New York Times bestselling author

  14. #14
    Super Member GrannieAnnie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JenelTX View Post
    I want to create two side-by-side applique'd wall hangings of an underwater scene. I've never done applique before, so it will be a fun challenge. For the underwater background, I found a great fat quarter bundle of Caribbean blue batiks, going from dark to light. What I'd like to do is cut the fat quarters into different width strips, put right sides together, sew together in a wavy line, and then cut away the additional fabric beyond the 1/4-inch seam allowance. Is there any reason this will not work? Are there any special tricks for pressing a curved seam?

    Won't work because you fabric will never lay flat if you sew face to face.

    What you can do is lay one face up on another and then sew wavy lines (tiny stitches) and then trim as close to the seam as possible--top only. You will have raw edges. OR if you're really ambitious, cut the edges 3/8" or so and then tuck under and sew a sort of hem on the top one.
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    Super Member Deborahlees's Avatar
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    I did a wall hanging, early this year, for a School Raffel Fund Raiser, it was called "Under the Sea". It turned out so cute. It had a 'sand' bottom and then the sea in blue layers, and yes I used batiks, even found some with sea creatures in it, think they were whales, gentle curve can be sewn then trimed and clip heavy. my pattern added
    little pieces of added seaweed on the bottom. I'm sorry I can't share of pic with you of what I did...a computer virus ate all my pictures from the last ten years
    Yes that is a real picture of my hometown Temecula, California. We feature premiere Wineries, World Class Golf Courses, Pechanga Indian Casino and Hot Air Balloons

  16. #16
    Power Poster Prism99's Avatar
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    Another way to do this is to first draw your applique piece on freezer paper, including the wavy lines going across. Number your piece in some way, and you may want to make a copy so you can put the pieces back exactly as drawn. Cut the freezer paper along the wavy lines. Iron the pieces to the wrong side of fabrics. Rough cut, leaving up to 1 inch extra around the freezer paper. Start reassembling the pieces. What you want to do is turn under the seam allowance on a top piece and then machine applique this to an underneath piece. For the top piece, you probably want to trim the seam allowance to 1/4" and turn under with a glue stick.

    Sharon Malec describes this technique better than I have in some of her books. Here is a link to her website:
    http://www.malec-designs.com/

  17. #17
    Super Member nanna-up-north's Avatar
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    There is a quilt called 'day at the lake' that is a look into a cross section of a lake..... applique in blocks that are then sewn together. I did this quilt several years ago (don't have a picture on my computer or would show you) and used darker blues as I got to the bottom of the lake, just like a real lake. Anyway, I google searched it and it came right up. Check this out..... http://www.quiltknit.com/PT2028-Day-...e_p_12429.html

  18. #18
    Senior Member JenelTX's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MTS View Post
    I did the outer ombre wavy border.
    WOW!!!! That is gorgeous!!! I love the wavy border effect. Thank you for sharing your technique.
    Jenel Looney
    Assistant to Susan Mallery
    New York Times bestselling author

  19. #19
    Senior Member JenelTX's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tartan View Post
    Are you other shapes going to be fused applique or needle turn?
    I don't know. I've never done applique before, so I'm going to have to figure that out. LOL
    Jenel Looney
    Assistant to Susan Mallery
    New York Times bestselling author

  20. #20
    Senior Member JenelTX's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Deborahlees View Post
    a computer virus ate all my pictures from the last ten years
    Oh, NO!!! That's TERRIBLE! I'm so sorry. Your underwater scene sounds wonderful. I would've loved to have seen it.
    Jenel Looney
    Assistant to Susan Mallery
    New York Times bestselling author

  21. #21
    Senior Member JenelTX's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nanna-up-north View Post
    There is a quilt called 'day at the lake' ...
    Oh, that is wonderful!!! I hadn't thought of showing something on the surface. That could be really interesting. Fun idea to play with!
    Jenel Looney
    Assistant to Susan Mallery
    New York Times bestselling author

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    Super Member blahel's Avatar
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    this is a great thread as I have also thought of doing wavy lines but obviously it isnt as easy as it was in my head and more research is needed before i dive in...lol..thanks to everyone who has responded and now to research..
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  23. #23
    Super Member Sierra's Avatar
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    I hope this will make sense (and I'm sorry, but I can't post pictures... simply cannot follow directions for pushing this key or that when I don't have anything on my screen or keyboard with that word; wish we had a simple "add photo" place! I've been told "thousands do it so there is no problem").

    A couple of years ago I made my sister a swirl quilt (using colors from one of her paintings). It had a round center and different batik fabrics "unwrapped from that center" and as each piece moved away from the center circle they got larger.

    The method I used was to lay out the fabrics around the center in a series of color, decided on the curves I wanted (all in my head at this point) and moving the "next" piece out of the way, cut the curve I wanted out of piece #1. Then I folded over the edges of #1, clipped it from raw edge to 1/8" of the folded edge, ironed it down smooth.

    Then I took piece #2 and laid #1 on top of it, as near the edge of the fabric as I was comfortable with (forget 1/4" seam!), made sure it was flat, no tweeks, and sewed the folded onto the second piece very near the edge with a simple straight stitch.

    After stitching I turned the the pieces over and clipped away at the second piece to about 1/2" of the edge.

    On to piece #3. This is not a thrifty way to do it, but my time is worth something too! And the scraps can be used in many, many ways.

    I am going to try to change my avatar to that quilt so you will have a hint of what it looked like (well that didn't work, I can't figure that out either!). If some one wants to, they can send me their regular email address and I'll send a picture of it to them and they can post it. I haven't a clue as to how to do it. Sorry. The swirl quilt sure got a lot of compliments at the 50th anniversary party and my sister loves it. It is lap robe size (she keeps it on her couch and uses it in the evenings to keep warm).

  24. #24
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    If you appliqued your batik to the background with a very narrow stitch, maybe even as narrow as a straight stitch, and used a metallic thread, would it visually read as sunlight glinting off of the water? Or as sunlight seen through the water? I think that perhaps the difference in how it would read between the two effects of sunlight would depend upon the angle of stitching. Sunlight through the water would have to be stitched from top to bottom and your fabric applied like that. Sunlight glinting off the water would be horizontal to the surface of the water and would most likely go from side to side. Just a suggestion as it might add a further detail to your wall hanging and would eliminate the curve problem.

  25. #25
    Super Member lpsewing's Avatar
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    Amazing !!
    Love the colors,very nicely done.
    lp

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