Monday, June 27, 2011

Star Bright (using foil)...

I finished another small quilt this past week.  But as it was a gift for someone, I couldn't share pictures until after she'd received it (which she has).  This was another project for the group I'm in called The Twelve of Us.  The gist of it is that every couple of months someone chooses a new technique/theme and we make each other something with it.  I have to say this one has been the most challenging (so far).  The challenge was "to make a project using fabric foils from Laura Murray designs".

I'll admit I've never done anything like this and had no idea where to start.  I perused Laura Murray's website and ordered supplies and then scratched my head.  She has some beautiful pieces as examples, but I couldn't just copy one of hers.  That would defeat the whole purpose of trying something new, wouldn't it?  Without knowing what the end project would be, I decided to just try foiling some fabric.  If any of it turned out, I'd figure out something to make with it. 

Step 1 of foiling involves applying some type of adhesive to your fabric.  I used the glue that she sells on her website and some rubber stamps I bought from JoAnn's.  I brushed the glue onto the stamp using a foam brush and then pressed it onto my fabric.  It took a number of tries to figure out what the right amount of glue was.

Fabric stamped with glue
The glue looks a lot like Elmer's School Glue in that it's white and dries clear.  It's difficult to see it on the fabric when it's wet and pretty much impossible when it's dry.  You have to let your glue dry completely before moving on to the next step.  I waited overnight on these pieces.

Step 2 is the actual foiling process.  You lay the foil over the glue and then burnish it with a back and forth motion using a hot, dry iron.  This step involves a little bit of elbow grease to get the foil to adhere well.  After it's cooled, you can peel back the foil and see what's happened.  If it didn't stick well enough, no biggie, just put it back down and try again.  The foil will only stick where the glue is and you can even try to apply multiply layers or colors.

Applying blue foil to my fabric
I didn't have quite enough of the blue foil, so I had to keep repositioning it to cover my fabric.  I ended up 'decorating' 3 pieces of fabric.  I finally decided to use this fabric for a paper-piecing project.  I got my pattern from Carol Doak's Mariner's Compass Stars book.  I made #23, Sweden.

Fabric cut out and ready for paper piecing
I pieced the star block and added a border to make it a little larger.  The whole piece finishes at 17" square.

Star Bright - 17" Square
I'll admit that until I completed the block, I never thought I'd use this technique again.  It wasn't a lot of fun and was kind of messy.  But once I saw the block, I changed my mind.  Granted, it's not something I'll do frequently, but it's a great effect and I could see using it again some day.

Star Bright
At first I was just going to stitch in the ditch to quilt this.  But then I considered what a great opportunity it was to practice some free motion quilting.  I traced the basic shape of the quilt onto some Golden Thread's Quilting Paper and started doodling...

Ideas for quilting
I didn't follow the drawing exactly when I quilted it, but it gave me a good idea of what I wanted to do.  It easily took me as long to quilt this small quilt than it did to piece it!

Back of Star Bright
In the end, I'm glad I put the extra time into the quilting.  It adds a lot more to the piece than just stitching in the ditch would have.

Close up of quilting
Here are the stats for this small quilt:
  • Size: 17" square
  • Fabrics: Mostly batiks - from stash
  • Batting: Warm &White
  • Thread: Aurifil (piecing), Bunch of different ones for quilting
  • Pattern: Sweden from Mariner's Compass Stars by Carol Doak
  • Quilting: Custom
  • Started: May 2011
  • Completed: June 2011
  • Recipient: Lynn - The Twelve of Us
Now on to the next project - which happens to be a Stained Glass quilt.  I've actually been really interested in trying this.  I'll have to put my thinking cap back on to come up with an idea though.

Until later...

It is in Christ that we find out who we are and what we are living for … part of the overall purpose he is working out in everything and everyone.”  
Ephesians 1:11 (MSG)


  1. What a beautiful quilt! I love the idea of making small quilts using new techniques. And by joining a group, you're accountable to actually finish them. It sounds like a good way to push yourself.

  2. OMGoodness! That is COOL and AMAZING!!!