The Free Motion Quilting Project: My Cup Runneth Over - Part 4

Friday, February 19, 2010

My Cup Runneth Over - Part 4

Houston....We have a problem....

So this wonderful little quilt who has so far moved along perfectly for more than half of the piecing is now stalled.

The reason?

I'm calling it "The Ultimate Piecing Disaster of 2010!" Ha!

free motion quilting | Leah DayHere's what happened:

I've been using Sharon Schamber's piec-lique technique for this whole quilt and it's worked marvelously well.

But the water section is made up of very tiny and very meticulous pieces. The lines must match both ways and I really think the Piec-lique method would have continued to work if the pieces were just a bit bigger.

free motion quilting | Leah DayAs you can see, the lines were matching up one direction, but definitely not the other!

I worked on this piece all day yesterday and finally gave it up at 10 pm last night. I was just tired, frustrated, and ready to throw the whole quilt in the trash.

Instead I took a hot shower and went to bed. It's best not to do anything rash when experiencing a piecing disaster.

Of course, instead of sleeping I instead laid awake pondering how the heck I'm going to get this water to come out the way I want it to.

I went to yoga and my yoga instructor asked if I could change the design or be more open to the mismatching seams. inner perfectionist, type A personality literally SCREAMS when it sees mismatching seams. It just won't work.

I've said it before many times that the right teacher will step into my path right when I need her. For some reason this has happened like magic through my whole quilting experience.

And just luckily my new book Free Expression by Robbi Joy Eklow just arrived in the mail!

This book teaches fusible applique, a method I've known, but never really tried on a quilt.

After looking at the pages, I realized that this could work! Raw edge, fused applique is just what I need to get these little pieces in place perfectly with no bulky seams or complicated techniques.

Yes, this area will end up firmer and flatter than I had planned, but it's going to have the stuffing quilted out of it anyway so what does it matter?

So with a new direction and method in mind, I'm off to start fusing these little water pieces together.

You never know, I might just start fusing all of my quilts after this!

Let's go quilt!

Leah Day


  1. I'd recommend you experiement with different fusables first, some can be much thicker than others. Personally I like steam a seam lite. You might like to check out how Pat Sloan fuses too :) Glad you found a way forward :)

  2. I'm no expert on piecing, but I might also recommend looking into Cynthia England's "picture pieceing" method.

  3. try it like do you do a dahlia quilt or paper piecing quilt pattern

  4. might i suggest you make a sample fused piece and then quilt it to see if you like the effect? i personally do not like quilting through fused quilts but many wonderful quilters (like Robbie) have no problem with it.

    it's going to be a stunning quilt!

  5. I haven't tried this yet, but I've heard that "Misty Fuse" is the lightest-weight fusible, and that it doesn't gum up your needle when you quilt it. It comes in black & white. Keep your spirits up - this quilt will be great when you finish!

  6. glad you found something to work, I would have suggested to paper piece it, cut apart each section with seam allowance and see how it goes. (assuming you can make copies of the water part to practice on) keep up the good work

  7. Misty Fuse is a very light fusable. And it's so true that the teacher will come when the student needs him/her too!!! You are doing great on this project, even with this little challange!! And look at you - it certainly has not stopped you has it!! Nope, it just got the fire burning brighter and you are off and running again.

  8. Do a sample first of the fusible. I use Steam-a-Seam Lite and it's great, but it isn't a substitute for piecing, espcially if part of your project is appliqued the traditional way. It is a technique all it's own, and when they say "raw edge" applique, they mean it. Paper piecing would be a really good solution too, might want to try that as well. Either way I'm sure it will be beautiful.

  9. Have you tried Caryl Fallert's Applipiecing method? She is one of hte most meticulous quilts and her quilts have great precision.

  10. I agree with you on wanting to line up the seams. What if you approached if vertically instead of the horizontal. If that doesn't work, take a look at Barbara Olsen's Cosmic Spiral work. It might spark a solution for you. The only thing I didn't like about her method was using iron on facing without being able to iron it. I would use another foundation instead.

  11. To make the fused pieces soft and not stiff, cut a window out of the middle of the piece before fusing it to the applique fabric. In other words, trace the piece, rough cut outside the traced line, cut out a piece all the way around the inside of the shape about 1/4" away from the traced line. Then fuse to the applique fabric, then cut on the traced line. Easy peasy, much softer result since you only have the fusible about 1/4" in from the edges.

  12. The other thing you can do as your pieces get a bit larger is to cut away the center of the fusible web, leaving about 1/4 inch around the edges. That will eliminate some of the stiffness and bulk.

    It's going to be amazing!

  13. Paper-piecing or foundation piecing would be the method I'd use for such a design. I mostly do fusible myself.


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