Saturday, March 14, 2015

Inspired by Libby, Part 3

Hi all -

I've made some progress on my Inspired by Libby quilt this week. I'm getting pretty excited about it! If you remember, last time I had the background finished and had added some seaweed using thread work. Now it was time to add some animals using Libby's reverse applique technique.

To start, I looked around on the Web for underwater coloring book images. I'm not confident in my drawing skills so I needed a place to start:

I found a lot of fun images to play with! I picked a simple fish to start with and traced the elements of the fish onto freezer paper. I added areas of overlap where one piece covers another. I figured the easiest way to do this would be to put the fins behind the fish body:

Since I needed to start with the fins, I used the fish body pattern to place the fins, tacking things in place with touches of the iron:

Then I removed the fish body pattern and ironed the fin patterns firmly in place:

I put the fin fabric behind the piece, making sure that there was plenty of extra fabric around each edge and that the fabric was right-side up. I pinned around the pattern to hold everything in place:

 And checked the back to make sure that there was plenty of fabric around the edges:

I sewed around the edges of the pattern pieces using my darning foot with the feed dogs down and removed the freezer paper patterns:

I cut just the quilt front around the inside of the stitches to reveal the underlying fabric:

and trimmed the excess on the back, leaving plenty of fabric to keep the piece stable:

That went pretty well! Now it was time to add the fish body. I did this in the exact same way and came up with this:

Looking good so far! Now it was time to add the satin stitching. I was really worried about how this would look around such detailed edges. To start, I pinned some tear-away water-soluable stabilizer on the back. Then stitched around the fins in a matching color using satin stitch:

And here is the back with the stabilizer:

Then I satin stitched around the fish body:

I was very pleased with how this turned out! So I added a few more appliques:

The fish eye is drawn on with a washable Crayola marker so I'll know where to put a button or something when I'm finished with the quilting. I also added stitched lines on the clam to define the shape better. I did this now because I might want to leave it unquilted so that it pops up from the background better when I'm finished. I also sewed the satin stitching twice over the seaweed fronds because the seaweed thread was peeking out a bit. This should also help secure that thread better.

I added another seaweed frond in front of the first fish, and here's what I have so far:

I'm really liking it! The spacing of the animals is a little uniform, but I didn't have much room to play with so I think it'll be okay.

The next step is to try adding a jellyfish in the upper right-hand corner. I want to try Libby's method of working with shears for that. I'm getting closer!!



  1. Replies
    1. Thank you so much! I'm liking it better with each addition. It's outside my comfort zone, so a bit scary!