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.
Yes, 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.
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. Mirrors – round 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! 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 & 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.