Sunday, April 11, 2010

Puzzle swap

After visiting this blog, I suggested to my Fiber Arts group that some of us might wish to do a similar swap. Well, surprise, surprise...Fourteen ladies wanted to participate!

We set the first Monday of April as the day of the swap...this was decided back in January.
However, the community center where we meet decided to close that Monday (MLK day) so we will swap these tomorrow...on the 12th of April.

I finished my pieces in March, but needed to keep them secret until now!

Remember when the Carol Duvall Show was on HGTV? She had a variety of guests demonstrating a variety of crafts and usually there was SOMETHING on each show that I enjoyed and wanted to try.

One of these demonstrations was origami using fabric.

The guest, Rebecca Wat, had published a book called Fantastic Fabric Folding and she demonstrated this one little flower. I followed along and folded a flower using a piece of paper.

I have kept it all these years. I decided THAT would be the theme of my puzzle pieces!

The first few flowers I made used the light pink fabric, and I used the iron to set the creases...but I decided the fabric would perform much better if it was starched...and my fingers would appreciate not getting burned! So I mixed up some boiled starch and drenched the remaining fabrics then ironed them flat and stiff.

Then I cut the fabric into squares. I wasn't particular about the size of the squares, making a variety to fit my scraps. After all, there weren't going to be sewn together, so the squares could be different sizes.

I folded the purples, pinks and magenta squares back and forth, just as I had done with the paper 'sample flower' I had saved all these years. It worked in fabric, too!

Next I rounded up some of the blue/green scraps of hand-dyed fabric left over from "Shoulda Putta Frog on it" (a.k.a. the Blue River Quilt) as well as some additional fabrics to use for the background.

Once the flowers were made, I attached the blue and green scraps 'log-cabin style' to the flower center. The object of the game was to get a background large enough to fit the puzzle piece template onto.

I layered these pieces onto some off-white felt and stitched the background...mostly stippling, although I experimented with other stitch patterns at first (the stippling looked best!). Then I used my puzzle template to mark these pieces. I had downloaded the puzzle piece used by this blog and shared it with the other participants in my group. One of the ladies in my group had laminated this and cut the pieces apart to provide each of us with a laminated puzzle piece to use as a template for drawing around...a nice help! Then I cut out the pieces using scissors. More than once I thought how nice a die-cut machine would be!

To give them a nice backing, I used Wonder Under to attach TWO layers of sew-in interfacing, then cut them into squares and painted them with acrylic paint. Once dry, I used the template to mark and cut these into puzzle shapes also. These were them paired with the pieced puzzles...I glue-basted them together, then stitched around the edges with variegated thread.

This is my final product!

I made 17 pieces, although I only needed 14. I wanted to have a few extra in case I messed up!

The hardest part was cutting these out. That is why I cut the top and backing separately...I had tried basting the top to the backing BEFORE cutting on 3 of them and was SO glad that I stopped to test the cutting before sewing them ALL together! It was easier to cut twice as many thinner ones than half as many thicker ones!

I have a variety of colors and flower sizes. The hand-dyed fabrics make nice things! I think I will have to start dying is so much fun to use this stuff!

The tabs don't all interlock, but that is to be expected. Even if they did, once swapped, will mine interlock with those of others? Who knows! I will show you the result of the swap later...check back!


Sew4Fun said...

Patricia, I love this! It's so cool.

pamelac858 said...

For someone who usually 'colors within the lines', you sure bump up against those lines! Great stuff, Trish! REALLY beautiful!


Marilyn said...

And how many of us took a sip of your Kool-Aid?

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