Sunday, January 31, 2016

Design Dilemma!

I have actually created this centre medallion for my quilt twice. My first prototype turned out lovely, but has some issues in the area of ease of replication. The first Dresden plate had 26 wedges, which made it tricky for placing the other elements in the design, all of which were divisible by 4. It took me a long time to make all my other design elements fit, requiring a lot of adjusting and fussing with my appliqué pieces. Not ideal for a project  when you want to create a pattern ! I will still use my first medallion for my mother's quilt, but for my pattern design, I have started a new version. As you can see, I added a couple layers of appliqué to my Dresden centre in my original design. Initially I prepared all my appliqués using a method of invisible machine appliqué in which you cut a fusible template out of either freezer paper or C&T wash away appliqué material, fuse it to your fabric on the wrong side, then turn your edges under and glue them with a wash away glue stick. This method has been around for a while, and I have used it successfully in the past. The preparation of the appliqué pieces takes a little time, but you save a lot of time being able to machine sew the appliqués to the background.

First Version of Centre Medallion

My new Dresden plate has 20 wedges, divisible by the number 4. In a perfect world my Dresden Plate would have 24 wedges, ( a 15 degree wedge).  However, I am also determined to use my new toy, my Sizzix die cutter, so that means a slight compromise, as they do not have a 15 degree wedge die available at this date. I also don't own a fifteen degree ruler anyway. 

I had completed my Dresden Plate to this stage last post, and here is my promised follow up  regarding my next phase in construction:

My first plate had a navy blue appliqué layer on top of the pale green centre. I used another Sizzix die, Flower Layers to cut the template for the appliqué. However, I ended up trying a new construction method that reduced my green circle by 1/2 inch in diameter. I really liked the "stitch and flip" method of appliqué, as it results in  the shapes being "iron-on".  At first, I decided to try the stitch and flip on the navy appliqué. However, the sharp curves and angles did not lend themselves to being turned right side out properly. The gluing method resulted in the navy appliqué being too large for the smaller dresden centre.
Sizzix Flower Layers Die. I am using several of the shapes in my quilt.

The paper tears and seams fray too much. The inside corners wrinkle.

The glue method results in too large an appliqué. Back to the drawing board!

I decided to rethink the design, and cut the navy appliqué a different shape. The quilt die has a few different flower layers, so I selected a different shape and cut the navy and fusible layers together. I was able to use the stitch and flip method to prepare the piece. I sewed the seam allowance with a 1/8 inch seam, clipped to the stitching on the inside grooves, and turned it with ease!

Stitched appliqué ready for turning.

However, once I turned it and tried it out for size it seemed a bit too small. I decided to layer a pink 6 inch die cut circle underneath it. Even though the pink design in the centre will be concealed by the navy appliqué, I could not resist fussy cutting it anyway! I used the stitch and flip technique for the pink circle as well. That did the trick! I even like it better than the original design.

Audition of pink layer. By itself, not enough contrast in value.

Audition with the navy on top!

Finally, I added a fussy cut 2 5/8 inch circle to the navy centre, and finished my Dresden Plate. All appliqués were stitched down with Invisafil thread to blend with a tiny zig-zag stitch. The back layers were trimmed after each addition to reduce bulk.

Dresden Plate Completed!

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