Suddenly I have a vision! Before I add the bell tower parts to the surface of my commission quilt, I’d better make an alignment pattern. This pattern is traced from the original pattern onto tracing paper. The alignment pattern helps me place the many parts of the bell tower onto the background fabrics. So glad I had that vision!
I place the alignment pattern on the base of the bell tower. Like a shadowy ghost, it tells me where the top of the bell tower sits. Yikes! Another vision! (Those skinny legs will be added later.)
A dark area of the silk fabric is chosen for the top of the bell tower. After I cut it out, it is fuse-tacked onto the quilt top. See how the alignment pattern helps with the placement? Tomorrow we’ll add more parts using this same tracing. I know you can hardly wait!
This is the gorgeous hand-dyed silk jacquard fabric chosen for the bell tower of my commission quilt. Silk has a wonderful glow. The jacquard weave also has patterned and glossy spaces across the surface that contrast nicely with the cotton background fabrics. Silk catches your eye. And is a perfect fabric for the long skinny legs of the bell tower.
Here’s a tip: always remove the release paper from fused fabric before cutting. If you leave the paper on the fabric and cut out a shape, you can fray the edges of the fabric shape when it’s time to take the paper off.
Here’s another tip: When cutting long skinny fabrics, cut them on the bias. A bias fabric doesn’t fray. Here you see the silk for the long skinny legs being cut on the bias. It is fused and the release paper removed. Non-fused edges of the fabric are trimmed off.
Then the silk is folded in half (glue side out) and placed on the cutting mat. It’s folded so the bias edges line up. A set of 1/2 inch and 1/4 inch strips are cut from that bias edge to make the skinny legs and other bell tower parts. Sure hope this works!
A small fabric sketch for the design.
And now back to our program…..The focal point for my Chicago College of Osteopathic Medicine commission quilt is the campus landmark, a bell tower. In this fabric sketch of the design you see that the bell tower has really long skinny legs.
The idea of stitching between those skinny legs was more than I could handle. So the large sky background is machine quilted before adding the bell tower. (Allow me to pat myself on the back for thinking of that.)
Fusing 14 mm silk with Wonder Under #805.
Now it’s time to use my hand-dyed silk fabric to begin construction of the bell tower. First step: fuse the fabric with Wonder Under #805 fusible web. The fabric is a 14 mm jacquard silk, a heavier weight that works well with #805. Tomorrow I’ll show how to make skinny silky legs. Oh my!