Monday, May 30, 2011

Charms prepared

                             Pairs of charms for butterflies

Robert Kaufman's Kona charm pack provided for challenge

42 gorgeous colors in the charm pack

The next challenge for the Sacramento Modern Quilt Guild is a Kona charm pack challenge. We were provided a collection of beautiful 5” charms by Robert Kaufman. The challenge is to make a quilt in any size, any design, featuring the charms and using no more than two extra fabrics.

Light blue print for the sky background

Fusible fleece ironed to back of background

Charms for main parts of butterfly wings

Sheer placed over "special" pink charm

Fusible web ironed to charms

I’ve been wanting to do a butterfly wallhanging for a while, so that is the theme of my quilt. I bought a cute light blue print for the background representing sky. I cut it to the wallhanging size and applied fusible fleece to the back. I’m thinking about creating one special butterfly with gossamer wings, and I bought a shimmery sheer with tiny clear beads and sprinkles of glitter. I don’t want to do more than one of these butterflies, because I want to be sure that the charm fabrics are the focus, not the sheer.

I found a couple of nice applique butterfly patterns on Electric Quilt 6. The one I like best uses a main fabric, then adds 2 or 3 smaller pieces for extra color. I’ll probably use a total of 2 or 3 fabrics per butterfly wings. I chose 9 pairs of charms and ironed fusible web to the charms in preparation for fusible applique.

Trying out permanent marker (left) and fabric paint (right) on scrap

Fabric paint to make black fabric

Spare charms to be painted

New black fabric from charms

For the body and antennae I wanted to use black. However, there was no black in the charm pack. I had already reached my limit of two other fabrics: the background and the sheer, which I didn't want to give up.  I considered using some of the darker charms to substitute for black, but really wanted them for the butterflies. I’m a huge fan of Project Runway, and I recall several instances where the designers dyed or altered fabric to make it look different than the original. Why couldn’t I do that? I bought some dye, a permanent marker and some fabric paint. I tested on a scrap fabric. The permanent marker left streaks but I liked the coverage of the fabric paint. I didn’t try the dye which seemed like a lot of trouble when the paint would do.

I’ll probably skip the fusible web for the painted fabric and attach it with fabric glue. I don’t know what the combination of heat plus fusible web plus paint is and I’d rather not find out.

Design notes

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