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!!