Friday, July 1, 2011

Top 5 Techniques that Look like Fun (but I haven't tried yet...)

I've said it before and I'll say it again...I'm hopeless addicted to the wild, weird world of quilting. Heck, if that's not apparent all ready, then perhaps I've been understating things (though, really not something I'll ever be accused of doing...ask my family/friends, I'm a spaz!). So while I've been piecing and appliqueing and quilting to my little heart's content, I've seen some other techniques that I really want to try...but haven't (yet). So, here they are (in no particular order of course):

Top 5 Techniques that Look like Fun (but I haven't tried yet...)

5. English Paper Piecing
I've all ready tried regular paper piecing, but this English Paper Piecing thing keeps rearing its head. Every now and then at the shop, someone will come in looking for english paper piecing supplies, and as a matter of fact, yesterday Loretta Orsborn was in our shop teaching a class, and she showed Mom and I an English Paper Piecing project she was working on and let me tell ' was cool! It made me want to try it, maybe not on the larger scale she was doing it at, but maybe a wall hanging? For a hand-sewing method, a wall hanging is probably all my attention span can handle. But it looks like a really simple technique and I really love how precise it is without seeming to be overly complicated. It looks like the prep actually takes the longest!

4. Ice Dyeing
I flipped right out when I saw can dye your own fabric, pretty much mess free if you do it correctly, with the ice cubes in your freezer and powder dyes. What the heck?! I love the results! It's similar to tye-dye but without being overly ... tye-dye-ish, if that makes sense. This is a lot less planned. With tie-dye, you can make certain designs based on how to fold or twist the fabric and tie with rubber bands, and you apply the color directly where you want it - with the exception of the twist of the fabric, you pretty much know where the colors will be and how they will interact (since the dye is liquid, you see how it'll blend right away). With Ice Dyeing, the dye is a powder and rests on top of the fabric and dissolves and falls where it will as the ice melts - you can kind of guess where you want a particular color to be but ultimately it just goes where it goes and there is no "planned" pattern to it. It doesn't lend itself to the twisting and tying that tie-die does, because you need the looser folds to allow the powder the seep through.  I couldn't find a video tutorial for this, but if you click on the "Ice Dyeing" link, that is the best tutorial I have seen for it.

3. Hand Embroidery
Okay, so this one isn't ENTIRELY true. I have tried it. All I've done is a back stitch and an absolutely pathetic stem stitch (gotta work on that!). But have a looksie at the above link and check out these video flippin' cool?! Embroidery is always a nice touch when embellishing a quilt - it can be whatever you want it to be and while it can look very modern with clean lines, it gives just a hint of the traditional which is really quite nice. I think the coolest part about embroidery is the fact that it has been done for literally thousands of years - we do it now, the Victorians did it, the ancient Chinese and ancient Egyptians did it, the medieval cultures did it and there is even evidence that early man had the ability to do it as well. Plus, there is no denying that hand embroidery can be absolutely elegant or wonderfully simple, so it caters to all skill levels.

4. Set-In Seams
Fine, fine. This one isn't all the way true either. I've tried this and you should have heard the fit I had. This is just the most ridiculous thing, it really is (okay, fine, so I'm still a little bitter). Set-In seams and Y-seams are pretty much the same thing far as I can tell, and using this technique can yield some pretty incredible results.. The thing I want to do with this, actually, is my mother's specialty - the Lone Star Quilt. She can practically do these in her sleep, Set-In Seams and all and have it turn out practically perfect. It comes with experience (and *groan* paaaaatience) I think. I'me working on the experience thing, but I think the patience with myself and with my projects is something that I'll forever lack. Anyway, maybe once my bitterness and rage (Hyperbolic much? Geez.) subside with these stupid seams I'll give it another go and make a sweet Lone Star!

5. Reverse Applique
Oh my goodness, have you ever seen a quilt all done up using this technique? It can range from cutesy to complicated and can be used as the focus technique or as embellishment. No matter which way you cut it, it's neat! I remember in Miss Parker's 7th grade art class, we had to do this technique using paper and an X-Acto knife to emulate (what is probably the most famous example of reverse applique) the Molas made by the Kuna people of Panama and Colombia. Their work is absolutely amazing. It's bright, it's intricate ...often imitated but never equalled. Aside from the Molas, this is just a funt hing to try and I think I (eventually) will!


  1. Lauren! I want to do the ice dying thing with you! Plz! ;) but seriously that sounds so cool!!!
    Also I need you to teach me how to do applique! It sounds so cool! Maybe you could teach me on something smaller like a wall hanging, or a table runner? But I do know you're busy! We do need to hang out again, miss you too. I always feel so at ease and comfortable with you :)

  2. <3 you big! :D
    Yeah I can teach you applique :-) Let the next 2 weeks get throuhg, because we're slammed at the shop (so that means I am too) but after that should be okay.


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