Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Favorite Book Challenge, Part 2, with Facing

Hi all -

I've finished the quilt I was making for the favorite book challenge, so now I can share the rest of what I did. In the last post I had created the background for the main image.

I wanted to add a solid fabric border to the main image to frame the piece, but wanted a curved edge for the main image. I had created an approximate pattern for this shape using freezer paper before I started so that I would know where to put the background fabrics. Now I just took that freezer paper pattern and ironed it on top of the background.

I then stitched around the perimeter of the pattern. I wanted to stitch around the edge before cutting to make sure that the fabric pieces on the edges were secure and wouldn't fall out. I had decided that I wanted to sew around the edge using a zigzag after fusing, so I used the same thread for this stitching so that the stitching would be disguised by the zigzag stitching.

This gave me an easily visible line so I could cut just outside the line to give me the main background.

Now it was time to prepare the border. The easiest way to do this would be to sew the main background onto the border fabric like a large, raw-edge applique. Since the main background was so heavy with the heavyweight stabilizer, all of the fabric pieces, the tulle and all of the thread, I also needed to stabilize the border fabric so I ironed some more of the heavyweight fusible stabilizer onto the back of the fabric. I used temporary basting spray to attach the main background to the border and then sewed around the edge of the background piece with a wide zigzag stitch. I wanted the background and the border to kind of merge together so I didn't want a satin stitch, but instead wanted something looser.

When all of this was together, I added my murtle (that's what they call this creature on the moon if you read the book) using fusible applique.

Here's how it all looked at this point:

The next thing I needed to think about was how to add the murtle's foot and tail tracks in the snow. These were an important part of the image in my head. I wanted the tracks to extend out into the border because I love it when quilts have features that do that and I haven't done that myself before. My first thought was to create the tracks with more fusible applique, but when I tried to picture that in my head it just looked too heavy. Then it dawned on me that I could add them using thread.

And while I was adding thread, I went ahead and secured the murtle fabric and added some detail to the shell:

That's all of the detail that I wanted to put in this, so it was time to quilt it. Since there was already a lot of thread on the top, I didn't want the quilting to compete. So I used a clear monofilament thread for the quilting in the main image and tried to follow the thread lines that were already there as much as possible. For the border, I used the smoky monofilament and just quilted free-hand straight lines radiating out from the center.

To finish this off, I decided to use a facing rather than a binding. I'd never done a facing before but wanted to learn how to do it and this seemed like the perfect quilt for it. I mostly followed Philippa Naylor's instructions in her new book, with some slight modifications of my own. I trimmed the quilt down to the finished size that looked best to me. One thing I forgot to take into account when trimming was that I needed to trim the quilt larger than the desired finished size because of the seam allowance that would be turned to the back in the facing. When adding a binding, the quilt ends up being slightly larger than the size that you trim it since the binding goes over the edge, so that's what was in my head when trimming. Not a big deal, but something important to think about the next time.

The first step of doing the facing was to cut strips of the facing fabric that are the desired width of the facing and slightly shorter than the lengths of the sides of the quilt. I cut my strips 4" wide so that they would end up being about 3 1/4" wide when finished, accounting for the seam allowance around the perimeter and the width of the turned under edge in the center. The strips should be slightly shorter than the sides of the quilts so that the facing will pull the quilt edges to the back so the facing won't show on the front.

I then folded over 1/2" along one of the long sides on each facing piece. These are the edges that would end up towards the inside of the back of the quilt.

Next I laid the strips out right side up, exactly as they would appear on the back of the quilt. I overlapped the corners so that each strip was on top on one side and on the bottom on the other. I don't know if this is important, but it's what Philippa did in her pictures and I thought that was as good a way to do it as any other.

I pinned each corner to hold the pieces together, making sure that the folded edge that was on top was loose:

The folded edge was left loose so that I could glue it in place for sewing:

Any time I use glue, I press it with the iron to set it. Then I took out the pins and folded the top layer back so that I could sew just inside the fold:

(You get a quick, first glimpse of my new sewing machine in this picture. I'll post pictures of the machine once my new table arrives.) Once the folds were sewn, I trimmed the extra fabric:

Obviously, you have to be very careful to sew and trim the correct seams. That's why I was so careful to lay everything out as it would look on the back to keep everything straight.

The facing was now ready to attach to the quilt. I laid the facing on top of the quilt, right sides together, pinned it in place and sewed around the edge. I used a 1/4" seam allowance since I hadn't allowed for seam allowance when I trimmed the quilt. If I had been thinking, I would have allowed for a 1/2" seam allowance to give the edge of the quilt more stability, but you do what you can do.

Before turning the facing, I pulled out any quilting in the corners and pulled the fabric away from the batting:

and then trimmed the batting away at the corners to reduce bulk:

(I'm not sure why my thumb looks so fat in this picture. It really doesn't look that fat in real life. My fingers are the only non-fat part of my body so I really needed to point this out....) Anyway, now I could fold the facing to the back, press the edges in the right position and stitch in place by hand. I think it was really important to use the iron when folding the edges and pinning the facing in place to make sure that the facing couldn't be seen from the front. That'll be really important for another piece if the facing doesn't match the fabrics on the edge of the front.

Finally, I added buttons for my murtle's eyes:

I know the eyes look kind of dopey, but if you look back at the illustration of the murtle from the book that I put in my last post, you'll see that these eyes match the drawing. So, these eyes really finish the picture in my head.

Here is the finished quilt:

I really like how it turned out and I'm going to show it in the county fair, just for fun. I've been wanting to put something in the county fair for a while now, so I decided to submit this wallhanging and my Inspired by Libby challenge quilt.



  1. Nancy,
    Love the quilt
    Please add the 'follow by email' button to your blog. That way I will be able to receive an email each time you publish. And, I do want to follow you!

    1. Thanks! I'll see if I can figure that out tonight. Got to go quilt now.... ;)

    2. I think I got it now. Let me know if it doesn't work. Thanks for the suggestion! I'm still new to blogspot and haven't really explored the design of the blog yet. I keep thinking I'll do that, then decide to quilt instead. You know how it is!

    3. It is showing, I have entered my email, and confirmed my subscription. Now I just need to wait for your next post, and I will comment so you know it's working