Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Today I Faced My Procrastination Demons.....and Beat The Crap Out Of Them

Either the Wonder Under Fairies dropped in on their way to West Palm or yours truly was busy last night. All the fusible needed for the first block of Fiesta was cut and waiting this morning.

Having learned my lesson while trying to quilt the woven mess created earlier this month, I cut the centers out of most of my pieces...the less plastic, fusible, stiffy mess, the better This quilt is going on my bed when it's done, and I don't really want to feel like we're sleeping under newspapers and cardboard.

So, the big excitement of the morning came when I looked outside and realized that even though it was a telework day, there was also a 2-hour delay tacked onto that (we don't do ice very well outside the Nation's Capital), so I now had two carefree hours to spend in the studio (gee....not too long ago I'd have been excited to have those two hours to catch up some laundry, or scrub some floors....my, how our priorities change as we get older.)

Let's press those little Wonder Under buggers to fabric...oh wait...aren't those supposed to be ironed to the WRONG side of the fabric?  Rewind!

Learning from our mistakes (considering that it might be a little tough to cut the pieces out of the fabric without any good dark pencil lines to cut along), I cut these a little larger, rather than cutting them on the lines.

 And once that was done, I again cut out the centers.

And pressed them to the right (wrong) side of the fabric this time.

And then, a few pieces later, I got carried away and AGAIN ironed to the wrong (in this case, right) side of the fabric. Oopsies!! So much for learning from our mistakes.

But eventually, everything was fused and cut and waiting to come together...all 55 pieces.

So now, we need to cut and tape together our 18.5" block template.

And I didn't take an applique class for nothing (though if I recall, it was one that was the morning after a particularly raucous Happy Night with the neighborhood ladies, so it's a wonder I remembered anything at all from that class. The art quilt from that class...a poppy wallhanging...is pretty much taking up shelf space in the closet, and likely will continue to do so.)

Now, here's the acid test. We all know that Wonder Under and I are like oil and water, so I'm totally expecting that this paper isn't going to just peel off. I'm going to have to use some combination of pin pricks, tweezers, re-ironing, swearing, scraping.

Miraculously, the paper peels away and we can start to adhere the fused pieces to the non-stick pressing sheet.

I figured that all this fusing was a job for the cheapie little Rowenta travel iron. No sense gumming up the Oliso, because we just know that at some point I'm going to iron one to the iron instead of the non-stick sheet. It's a given.

The gods must be crazy, or I have been a very, very good girl lately, because the Wonder Under was being it's submissive little self for me today, and was nothing but cooperative.
 One piece down, so we now lay on the next piece that overlaps the red heart ever so slightly.

And we cross our fingers and press--only the parts we want to adhere to each other--makes it easier to peel up if it's not all pressed to the sheet.

After it's cooled, we can carefully peel it away from the pressing sheet.

A quick check to be sure it's all stuck together like it should be.

 Wah La! Perfecto! Moving on.

Save the sections with LOTS of pieces for last. It's good to practice creating the larger motifs with fewer pieces before you tackle the more difficult ones.

 But they do all come together in the end.

If you take your backing fabric and fold it every which way and iron in some creases, if you've got a great pattern (and Sindy Rodenmayer does great patterns), it will have those fold lines on it so it makes an easy guide for laying your motifs out on the block. A little measuring, a little eyeballing, a little backing up and viewing from 5 feet away, and you'll eventually wind up with this:

After which, you should seriously consider telling the hubs he's taking you out to Rio Grande for dinner and a celebratory margarita (rocks/salt).

All we need to do now is figure out stitch and thread to be used to further secure the motifs to the backing and we can file this one away until 2012, when the rest of the project is complete.

It's not too late to jump on this project yourself. You can get all the info you need if you click the Fiesta icon at the top of my left sidebar. I'd love for you to join me.


  1. That is just awesome. I love the colours you are using.

  2. Oh....you are so evil today...I am sooooo loving that block...lots of quilty goodness going on over there....

  3. Really, really pretty. I love the black background.

  4. Question for you: What is the name of the sheet you are ironing everything on to line things up? Ya know, before you actually put everything on the fabric? Is that a plastic sheet of some sort? Does everything easily come back off of that and adhere to the fabric after you remove the backing to the fusible and iron it down?

    I cannot start this quilt yet but I am saving the blocks to start later this year. I really love the bold colors!

  5. That is so beautiful. I love all of your pictures. I wish I could start this but I have so many already. I can't wait to see it finished!

  6. Wow this looks good and thanks for the blow by blow account.

  7. Susan you did GREAT! And I love your color choices.

  8. This is going to be absolutely stunning! (and no way will I be brave enough to tackle a project like that in the foreseeable future) .. I quilt vicariously through your adventures!
    Thanks!! :)

  9. Lookin really good. ah gee - you're not the only one that irons the Wonder Under or Steam a Seam 2 on the right side of the fabric!!! I like working on the pretty side too.

  10. I like to iron my fusible web to my ironing board. It's an art of itself.

    I've read this post about 4 times now. Thanks so much for sharing this. I've learned so much, and every time I read through it I pick up something I missed. Your block looks fabulous. Almost makes me want to tackle this project. Maybe I'll finally have the confidence after i read this again!

    I'd like more information about the pressing sheet also. Are you going to stitch around every piece of fabric? For instance, you fused the red heart to the yellow (um...)thingie. Are you going to stitch around the red heart also, or just the yellow thingie?

    I can't wait to see which stitch you choose and how you do it! Thanks!


I appreciate and look forward to your comments. Thanks for reading. Happy quilting!