Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Press N Seal...Great for Quilting

I'm working away on my Nolting Fun Quilter...or as she prefers to be called...Marta. I wanted to name our female Bernese Mountain Dog, Marta, but no one in the family would agree with me and since we knew we were getting a male at some point we went with Jenny and Forrest from Gump fame. But I really like that name for a means lady of the house. Marta Fun Quilter.

Machine quilting...I hardly know where to begin! I don't have the precision like I do with piecing but my eye always likes the end result so I try very hard to get past the part where lines intersect...and not always nicely.

  I am a turner when it comes to working on borders...some folks like to do it all in one pass. Not me. I really enjoy the opportunity to review the quilting about half way through and sometimes I make additions...sometimes I  rip out entire sections! It also gives me a chance to check for tension issues on the backside. But mostly it's a chance to see the quilting without the stretch of the frame and in it's entirety instead of just 18-inch widths.

Lots of fun areas to fill in my quilt design and I thought I would talk about using Press 'N Seal.

First off...I don't draw too well...but I can trace! I wanted a couple of butterflies to add to my quilt so I turned to an internet search for "butterfly clip art free." I found two that I really liked

. It's as easy as it looks. Rip off a piece of Press'N Seal and lay it on the art work, sticky side down. Trace with a Sharpie. I use a fine line Sharpie. I have used the thicker Sharpies which are great for seeing the design but I had a hard time seeing my thread stitched on top of it leaving me frustrated with intersecting lines that didn't match up so well when I pulled the Press'N Seal away. 

Position the Press'N Seal sheet on your quilt top, sticky side down. It's not very sticky at all but it adheres just fine for stitching. Stitch the design. I use very small stitches for maximum perforation and better if making small loops.

Since I wanted to stitch loops around my butterfly I stop with my needle down after stitching the butterfly and ripped the Press'N Seal away. Start from the outside edges and work in when pulling it off the top. 

The final version. I had to do 14 of this particular butterfly so this method enables me some consistency in my design.

Here's the second butterfly. I have four of in each corner.

Things I have learned...sometimes the hard way.
Remove the Press'N Seal from your top as soon as you have stitched it in place. Sometimes the Sharpie ink does leave a residue (very faint) when stitched through...removing the Press'N Seal right away really helps avoid that problem. If you are using a light background go with the lighter color marker than black. I used a blue marker today...on my lavender background I can see no ink residue. 

I usually make the impressions I need as I need them. One time I made 3 dozen ahead of time and it took me another couple of days to get back to the project. I left the impressions stuck to my cutting table took a lot of rubbing alcohol to remove the stickiness from my cutting table top when I finally pulled them up...not a problem at all when used as soon as they are made. 

I also tried gold paper...horrible for completely ripped and disintegrated when stitched to the point of not being able to follow the design after a few stitches. It's expensive and I'm sorry I spent the money on it. I have used regular tissue paper with fine results. It's a little awkward to pin it to the top but it works. 

I work primarily with batiks and some are more tightly woven than others. I have had trouble with skipped stitches when using the Press'N Seal. If this happens go to a bigger needle, smaller stitches and loosen the tautness of the top in the frame. I also slow down. I have just started using titanium needles in Marta and my Bernina...they are like butter when working with batiks!

Time to get back to quilting with Marta.

No comments: