Sunday, September 15, 2013

Quick, Potentially Modern, Double-Sided Quiltlet #10 Tutorial

Here's a quick, relaxing, and potentially modern scrap project. It's a quiltlet that works as a bracelet, bookmark, wallhanging, and more. The fewer appliqued squares you put on top, the more modern it will look. (Maximum modernity: one off-kilter orange square on vast sea of blue).

The front side is blue batik fabric with wonky orange batik squares fused on top.

The other side is a solid lavender quilter’s cotton. The squares on the front and back align, back to back.

So how do you line things up on the front and back? The easiest way (IMHO) is with applique and quilting lines, plus a wee bit of acrylic paint. Here are the details, in tutorial form:

Orange Windows Scrappy Potentially Modern Quiltlet #10

  • Featured side background fabric (blue batik), 3.75" x 10.25"
  • Reverse side background fabric (purple solid), a little bigger than the featured strip above
  • Window fabric for front appliques (orange), small scraps or a strip approx. 3" x 9"
  • Paint, acrylic craft or fabric paint (gold). Color should contrast well with your reverse side fabric.
  • Paper-backed fusible web, same amount as window fabric. I like HTC Trans-Web, or Wonder Under. (No financial affiliation)
  • Thin cotton quilt batting strip (I use Warm'n'Natural), 4" x 10.5"
  • Thread to coordinate with the window fabric, and with the fabric/paint color on the back side.
  • Two buttons, one for each side.
1. Cut the featured background fabric (blue) to 3.75" x 10.25"

2. Cut the  reverse-side background fabric (purple) slightly larger than the featured side. (Don't measure - simply lay the featured side on the reverse side, and cut around.)

3.  Apply paper-backed fusible web to the back of  your window fabric (orange), about 9" x 3".

4. Hand-cut squares and rectangles from the window fabric and arrange them as you want on the featured side. Don't measure, wonky is good! Keep them at least 3/4" from the edges. Fuse in place, but don't stitch  yet.

5. Lay the batting on a table, cut slightly larger than the reverse side strip. Place the reverse side on top of the batting, centered and face up. Finally, place the featured side, face DOWN, centered on the reverse side. Pin the three layers together around the edges of the featured side.

6. Working from the back of the featured side, do a straight stitch most of the way around the edges (maintaining a 1/4" seam allowance on the back of the featured side.) Leave a 2.5" unsewn area along one long side. Backstitch for a few stitches at both ends.

7. Remove from machine, trim seam allowances to a scant 1/4" through all three layers, and snip off corners diagonally, but don't cut through threads.

8. Pull the right sides out of the gap. Use a chopstick and/or pin to fully extrude corners. Press. Neatly press the gap area and either stitch it shut with a few hand stitches, or insert a strip of fusible web and carefully press the gap closed.

9. Machine topstitch all the way around the rectangle, using a straight stitch, approximately 1/8" in from the edges.

10. Choose the threads you want to outline the squares, front and back. (I used a sparkly clear holographic thread on top, and gold metallic on the bottom.). Working from the applique side, do a machine zig-zag around each little square.

11. Machine quilt to fill in the areas around the squares. (I used a rectangle-type continuous freemotion design).

12. Turn it over to the reverse side. With acrylic craft paint or fabric paint, and a small brush, carefully paint inside the zig-zag outlined squares. (As you can see, I did the painting before the quilting, but it doesn't matter much either way.)
13. Stitch a buttonhole in the middle of one short end, and sew two matching buttons, back to back, on the opposite ends. 

Although it's usable as a wrist cuff,

I think it's even better as a coffee cup wrap: 
Done on the square instead of as a long rectangle, it would make for excellent coasters/mug rugs. The technique would also be great for small cases and purses. 

So that's the easiest possible way to coordinate fronts and backs. I'd love to hear how  you've done it! 


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