I Am The Vine . . . continued
Although life keeps trying to get in the way, I have managed to make some headway on my latest quilt, “I Am the Vine . . . You Are the Branches.” I managed to complete the fusing a couple of days ago which is always bittersweet because I am ending a large part of the design process — and although I have degenerative problems in my thumbs from so much cutting, I miss when I have to put the scissors down.
At this point, I’m going to perform magic and change the background to black. I don’t start with black because I don’t want black shading my fabrics any darker than they all ready are — so I fuse to white and then add black. In this case, I’m going to reverse applique the tree to black fabric. This is where I take a leap and break a few rules.
First, I take the vinyl off the front of the tree. Then I put water soluble thread in the top and black thread in the bobbin of my sewing machine. Keeping an eye on where I want things to be, I free-motion stitch around the tree.
Then I take a piece of black sateen (which I love if I can find it) and place it face down on my cutting / design table. I clamp it and/or tape it down so that it is perfectly flat. Then I lay the tree on it wrong side up, flattening it out. At this point, I add anchoring pins around the outline of the tree with some pins in the tree. This is very similar to pinning the quilt sandwich, but I am only anchoring the black to the front of the tree.
Back at the sewing machine, I load black thread in the top and bobbin and sew on the black lines I created on the first pass. Then I lay the entire piece black side up on the cutting table and cut away the black from the inside where the tree pieces have been laid.
When I am done cutting, I have cleaned up all of my outside edges and the tree really comes to life.
The outside of the tree has rough edges that are only held down with a single line of stitching. The very next thing that I do will be to cover those edges with a tight zigzag. Then I will go about covering all of the applique edges inside the tree. I usually use a matching thread, but I have been thinking about a piece at Houston done a couple of years ago in which the artist used contrasting thread for all of his machine applique. I have a day or so to decide, but I may do it that way.