Tricks of the Challenge

Tonight I’ll be giving my first “Challenge Quilts” Lecture.  I’m really excited to go more in depth on how I tackle a challenge and share with the group some of my secrets/tricks to creating a quilt with just a little extra “Wow!” factor.

Because it’s next to impossible to put all the links to all my favorites on a sheet of paper I thought I could make this blog post for the group to refer to if they want any of the things I share and I figure it can’t hurt you all either.  So here are a few things I like to have at my finger tips while I’m working on a challenge.

Books

6773487840_6f0c34ab38_zYes, I own a lot of quilting/crafting/art books.  But I LOVE them!  They’re always good for inspiration and techniques.  Here are a few I refer to frequently …

Burke, Alisa. Sew Wild: Creating with Stitch and Mixed Media: Interweave Press LLC, 2011. Print.
Day, Leah. 365 Free Motion Quilting Designs: Leah C Day, 2012. Print
Gilman, Rayna. Create your own free-form quilts: C&T Publishing, 2011. Print.
Hunter, Sam. Quilt Talk: Paper-Pieced Alphabet with Symbols & Numbers 12 Chatty Projects: C&T Publishing, 2014. Print.
Kirsch, Chris Lynn. Compass Capers: Chris Lynn Kirsch, 2012. Print.
Pink, Tula. Quilts from the House of Tula Pink: Krause Publication, 2012. Print.
Tims, Ricky. Ricky Tims’ Convergence Quilts: C&T Publishing, 2003. Print.
Walters, Angela. Free-Motion Quilting with Angela Walters: Stash Books, 2012. Print.

 

Supplies

fabric

Fabric – I have LOTS and LOTS of fabric.  Some may even say I have too much fabric.  I rarely buy fabric knowing a specific project I’m going to use it for.  I buy fabric because it speaks to me – I run my hands down a wall of fabric and it sort of tells me that I should buy it (and yes  … I’m still married).  By shopping for fabric this way I can almost always find what I need, when I need it for whatever project I’m working on. 

Acrylic Paints – these are great for helping modify a piece of fabric to work for a project I need.  Yes!  You can paint fabric! Make sure to put a sheet of parchment paper down between your paper fabric and your iron when you press it.  Pressing it with a hot iron can heat set the paint or else feel through to throw the dried piece in a hot dryer to set.  (I wouldn’t put clothes with it … just in case).

Foam Brushes – I like using these when I paint my fabric.  I can never have too many of these!

Inktense Colored Pencils – These are great when I want to do some more detailed work on a piece … like paint an elephant ..

Fluid Medium – sets the Inktense colors onto fabric

Paint Brushes – I use these to  put the medium on the inktense colored pencils.  These could also be used to paint onto fabric.

Yarns – I couch these onto my quilts quite often using a simple zig zag stitch.  They are a great way to add movement and texture.  The best way to get a decent collection of these is to find a knitter/crocheter and collect all there “ends”.  You don’t typically need much for a quilt so those shorter ends are just perfect for you to use up!

Rik Rak – I need to use this more … I adore it! And if you look around there are some super cool rik raks out there!

Angelina Fibers – these are pure awesomeness!  I bought a rather large sample pack of about 20 colors years ago and I still have plenty left … just a little goes a long way to add  sparkle, movement and dimension to a piece.

Buttons – I personally prefer to use glass, ceramic, handmade or vintage beads on my quilts … that being said, there is a time and a place for those big plastic ones. 

photo by Karmen Lindner Photography

Mirrorsround or square!  I glue mirrors on my quilts more often than I realized!

Fabric Glue (dritz unique stitch) – This is what I use to attach my mirrors/beads/sequins … whatever.  It seems to work great for me.  I do yank on everything before I send it to a show to make sure it’s all staying in place nicely.

Beads – just collect these.  If they “talk” to you like a piece of fabric – get it!  Someday you’ll be happy you did and you’ll use it to make your piece amazing!

Random Cabachons – these are the half beads without holes that can be put on ring bases … and they can totally be glued to your quilt tops!

photo by Friends in Photography

Zippers – they’re not just for pockets or closures!  Twist them around, sew them down, add them to a binding … have fun!

Sequins/rhinestones/crystals – seriously – anything sparkly is always good

Glitter Glue – This is a great way to add a little glitter to your project or help cover up some coloring issues you may be having.

Shiva Oil Paintstiks – This is another great way to manipulate fabrics.

Vegetable Peeler – you’ll need this to shave off your paintstiks before you use them each time.

Rubbing Plates – combine these with the paintstiks for some great textures on your fabric

decofoil on a quilt

DecoFoil & DecoFoil Hot Melt Adhesive – I’ve been playing with these on my quilts and other fabric creations a lot lately.  It is such an easy way to add some shine and uniqueness to your piece.  They are easy to use – you just have to be patient.  Let your fabric/foil COOL DOWN between each step … that is the key to the beauty of DecoFOIL.  If you’re patient you will be so happy with this product!

Fusible – I’m a huge fan of Heat N Bond.  Fusible helps your projects be limitless!  If you can’t piece it … you can always fuse it!

Anything you can imagine! Seriously!  Have fun with it!  There are no rules that say you can’t put chicken wire on your quilts (trust me – I’ve done it).  There are really no rules that you can’t put whatever you want on your quilts.  The only thing I would recommend is thinking about what the quilt is going to be used for … is it on a wall?  Anything goes!  On a bed and will be washed a lot … you may want to stick with the more traditional route and have everything sewn securely on.

6 comments:

  1. Thanks for sharing your resources. I love rick rack

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  2. What wonderful fun! Thanks for the inspiration!

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  3. My mind can follow everything you listed and understand the creative touches for some projects! Ha! Amazing you have put thoughts onto words! Thanks!

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  4. Wow - great ideas. I'd gotten as far as "maybe some upholstery fabrics". Ha! Maybe I should borrow my friend's 6 year old daughter and we can glue/staple/dab stuff all over. With glitter.

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