Wednesday, May 30, 2018

Wonderland Quilt Along Block #9: The Cheshire

Hello fellow Wonderland Quilt Alongers! It's been so much fun seeing what everyone is making in the Facebook group and on IG. This time around, we'll be pulling both machine appliqué and paper-piecing techniques overviewed from previous blocks.

Go ahead and grab your paper-piecing pattern and appliqué templates. Make your paper-pieced units. Don't forget to cut the filler pieces for the side of the cat. I cut off the paw unit in this photo since I placed it upside down originally and don't want to lead you astray. Check with the diagram. Do as I say, not as I do.

If you will be placing light fabrics above darker or patterned fabrics within your appliqué work, it is advisable to fuse an extra layer of solid white underneath each shape to prevent shadowing. I apply a section of fusible to the white that is larger than the shape. I peel off the paper backing and fuse it to the wrong side of the intended fabric, grouping shapes by color as you see below. (Both the teeth and eyeballs are together.) I fuse my outlined and bubble cut fusible shapes to the white fabric before cutting out on the line. Confession: Those dark green pupils didn't need lined with the white, as they are darker than the solid white eyeballs. I just got carried away.

I use Steam-A-Seam II Lite by The Warm Company since it is slightly tacky, but completely re-positionable until fused.

Don't forget stabilizer. I like an iron-on tear away. Get it out of there before sandwiching your quilt or it will be crunchy. For harder to remove places, gently scratch the back with a seam ripper. Don't get carried away and jab a hole through. Confession: I did this on the card suits. If you do this, touch up with Fray Check on a cheap watercolor brush. Patch the hole on the wrong side of the block with white fabric that has fusible applied.

I used a fabric marker to draw the teeth lines. As another option, striped fabric may be able to do the work for you.

50 wt Aurifil threads are my choice for the appliqué. Any smaller number for the weight is thicker than you need and will pile on itself when you have such a short stitch length. My chosen beauties are Light Emerald 2860, White 2024, and Light Blush 2420 (Formerly known as Fleshy Pink. However, I will no longer be using this term, with the exception of the Zombie Collection. For the record, I have not secured official endorsement of the aforementioned product.)  Matching the bobbin thread prevents any peeks of a different color from pulling to the top in case the tension isn't perfect. It's also better to have the top thread pull a bit to the back, rather than the other way around.

And there you have it. If you want a curved stripe like my original cat, cut a square 10" x 10" or bigger. Cut a curve across the middle with a Quick Curve Ruler or other specialized equipment (aka dinner plate).  Cut an arc about 3" wide out of the fabric you want to use for the stripe with the same curved instrument. Piece in the stripe. Then use this as if it were a solid fabric for the first piece of the body unit (C) when paper piecing. Make sure the stripe isn't aligned all cattywampus. (You make cheer for my clever little pun. Or groan. Whatever.)

And now...I bring you a clever photo beauty trick. If you don't want me to spoil the magic and leave you a sentiment of disillusionment, this is your warning. Click an affiliate link above and go buy something instead of sticking around to have your world rocked by the deliberate fakeness of my lovely oak backgrounds.

So you're still here, eh? Even after my bad pun. Whoa! In that case, pick out some enticing backgrounds from Dollar Tree. You'll need Con-Tact shelf liner (2 rolls per desired pattern) and Foam Board. Peel the paper backing from one corner of the shelf liner. Start at one corner of the foam board, align the two sides of the liner with the foam board, and adhere the Con-Tact shelf liner. Gently alternate unpeeling, smoothing out any air bubbles, and checking edge alignment. If things get wacky, pull the liner back a little, and try again. It's very repositionable.

Cut a skinny rectangle to fill the space, making sure the pattern goes the same direction. Use a gentle curve to blend in the new piece. Eyes are drawn to straight lines more than curved ones. At least, that's my theory. Peel and apply.

You'll have some overhang (not like my post-pregnancy kind, so don't panic). Flip the board over and cut it off with your rotary cutter.

Now use this as your photo background. Fool everyone into thinking you have well-lit wooden floors, or marble. Except me, that is. And everyone who didn't run off to get some pretty Aurifil threads. Now you can't even look at the following picture the same way, can you? Well, don't say I didn't warn you.

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  1. Great trick. I used some similar scrapbook paper when I was taking pictures of rulers for a quilt guild presentation.

  2. Your Cheshire Cat and all attendant puns made my morning. Smiles are on the face, and I'm ready to tackle the day. Simone and I were using her desk the other day, a white-plank oak done similarly. You clever gals!

  3. I love your Cheshire Cat, what an awesome face and expression.

  4. I love reading your blogs! If we lived close we would be good friends. 😉

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