A tale of two blocks this week – one a complete failure and one that I really dig. Let’s take a look at the success first.
I made a remembrall complete with red smoke – in the machine! If you’re curious, here’s how it comes together.
To stitch out the top of the remembrall, I created a tulle sandwich. I used a layer of super sulky water soluble stabilizer on the top and bottom then put two pieces of tulle between them. If you look closely at your tulle you’ll see that if you stack it in the same direction, the double layers line up almost too perfectly. I turned one piece of tulle in one direction and the other 90 degrees in an effort to keep it from looking “too regular”.
I removed the top from the hoop, removed the large pieces of excess stabilizer and soaked out the rest. Once the thread and tulle dried I went ahead and added the crystals. Used 4mm Swarovski hot fix crystals. I knew the crystals wouldn’t adhere to the tulle (open weave) like it does cotton. I thought if I melt the glue with enough determination, the glue might wrap itself into the open weave and be stable. To make it work, I sandwiched the design with the crystals in place between two pieces of silicone. After I melted really well from the top with a very hot dry iron, I turned it over and melted it from the back as well. The glue did in fact seep into the open weave and while I can’t prove it, I suspect these crystals will be attached to this tulle long after the quilt has tattered and fallen apart.
Next I appliqued a piece of tulle to my background fabric with a regular weight cut away stabilizer.
Danger! This is really crazy! I pinched four small pieces of red tulle (roughly 1″ x 1.5″) and pinned them in place from the back with small applique pins. If I pinned them from the front, they would get sewn into the ball and I wouldn’t be able to remove them. This is the dangerous part – the pins will be floating just above the needle plate on the back side of the fabric. If I put pressure on the fabric in the wrong places while sewing on the top layer, I could push a pin right into a really bad place and cause some actual damage to the machine, needle, or bobbin housing. Since I was acutely aware of what I was doing and I knew the dangers, I wasn’t too worried about and would do it again. Just fair warning if you follow behind me – stay aware at this crazy step!
Next, I layered my previously stitched top right over the red tulle and used two small applique pins to hold it in the right place for a basting. I manipulated the top layer with my fingers as it stitched in the basting stitch. Remember! This is dangerous! Lots of things could go wrong! Fingers could get caught, the aforementioned issue with the pins on the back, or I could fail to get in just the right spot. I slowed my machine down as much as possible and hoped for the best.
With the basting stitch in place, I trimmed the tulle to the stitch and removed all those pins! The final stitch around is a tighter stay stitch and a finishing satin stitch. I found that I could push around the red tulle to play the with smoke. The varying layers and thicknesses really sells it. I wish you could all see it in person, it is way cooler! Take a look from the side and you’ll see how it pops right off the quilt.
I told you this week was a tale of two blocks. This one was supposed to be inspired by the Jennifer’s week 6. I had intended to put a bottle of skele-gro in there because I love the idea AND look of the skele-gro potion. Let me just tell you – I should have known it was a bad idea when I couldn’t for the life of me figure out a way to make skele-gro. Usually when I start something like this, I have a genearal idea of what I want to do then I think about it a few days, make a few edits, draw it out and go. I had a million “sort of” good ideas and tried several of them, but never had any that I thought were good from the beginning. This is as good as it ever got:
Yikes!!! There’s no amount of paint and creative fabric that is going to fix that! I’m not positive that I’ve given up on skele-gro, but I’m grateful that I quit pushing it. Sometimes when things aren’t going anywhere it helps to step away for a while, let the idea fester a bit. Maybe it goes somewhere, maybe it isn’t a good fit.
Another spot of trouble
The remembrall is pretty small and leaves a lot of negative space above it. I needed to either turn books on their side or put something else above the remembrall. Since I’m using the books on their sides just a few shelves down on the same side, I thought I would try tilting the book. Whoa. I don’t know why my brain would not work with me other than it was late and I was frustrated, but it took forever to draft the pattern with all of the right spots, I took out the seams several times as evidenced by all the loose threads in the picture, and I still missed the placement by a 1/4″ on the bottom! Oh well, quilting will help fix it up a bit and what it doesn’t – hey – it’s magic!
The embroidery files
If you’d like your own risky remembrall, Jinxes for the Jinxed, or Important Modern Magical Discoveries, you can get them in this in this zip file (.pes, .jef, .vp3 included). Have fun!
See all of the blocks and download various embroidery files and patterns using the Harry Potter project of Doom Index post.