June 19, 2019

Trying Reverse Applique - Island Batik June Challenge

Note, the fabric and batting for this project were given to me by Island Batik and their industry partners as part of the Island Batik ambassador program.

This month the Island Batik ambassador challenge is to try something new. As soon as I saw the list of challenges for the year, I decided that I'd do reverse applique this month, with bright colours behind black and probably with a word cut out. I thought maybe I'd use a word like create or dream.

I can remember as a kid I'd colour with bright coloured crayons all over my paper, then cover over it with black crayon and then scratch away the black to reveal the bright colours underneath. I also seem to remember being banished outside to do this after Mom got tired of all the black crayon shavings all over the house, lol. I planned my challenge quilt in an attempt to re-create the scratch art in fabric form.
reverse applique mini quilt | DevotedQuilter.com
A few years ago, when I started running, I read about a woman who loved running because it allowed her to realize she can do hard things. That resonated with me because I had been feeling the same thing, but hadn't yet put it into words. It's a very powerful feeling to set out for a hard run and actually accomplish it (even if you felt like you might die in the middle of it, lol).

Since then, I've reminded myself more than once on a run that I can do hard things and I've tried to put it into practice when it comes to growing my quilt design business, too. I'm not always successful, though, and many times I've put off things I thought would be hard. Usually, when I do finally tackle the hard things, I find they're not nearly as hard as I thought they would be. When Laura, at Slice of Pi Quilts, made a "LET'S DO THIS" mini quilt, it inspired me to use "I can do hard things" on my reverse applique quilt. Over the months since then, though, I realized that I didn't really need the reminder that I can do the hard things so much as the push to DO them.
reverse applique mini quilt | DevotedQuilter.com
I used Island Batik's solid black as my top layer. It's a rich, deep black, perfect for showing off the bright colours of the Ditty line that I used for my under layer. I have a 2 ½" strip pack of the Ditty line, but that seemed like it would be too wide so I cut the strips in half along the length to give me 1 ¼" strips. Much better. This also worked out because I was planning to make two matching quilts so I could give one to Laura to go with her mini. Now one strip would be enough for both of my mini quilts.

I sewed the strips together into two strip sets that were big enough for the words. I used the same fabrics, but I varied the order so they wouldn't be completely identical. I added black at the top and bottom since I didn't want to waste any of my pretty colours where they wouldn't be seen.
reverse applique strip set | DevotedQuilter.com
I printed out my words and traced them onto HeatnBond Lite, which I fused to the black fabric. I thought about trying to cut out the letters with scissors, but that seemed a bit too fiddly. Paul had this utility knife in the workshop and it worked well for cutting everything out. I also (very briefly) thought about turning under the edges for a finished edge, but that was way, way too fiddly with all of the somewhat intricate letters, so I decided to leave all of the edges raw. The centers of the D's, the O, the A and the R are all appliqued in place. I added the paisley shapes to the negative space to show off some more of the gorgeous fabrics, especially since some of the strips don't show because they're positioned between the lines of letters.
reverse applique mini quilt | DevotedQuilter.com
 While I was cutting out the letters, Nathan sat at the table watching me for a while. Then he said, "But what if the hard thing is the wrong thing to do and the easy thing would be the right thing?" He was taking my phrase to mean that whenever you have two choices, you should always choose the harder one, even if it's not actually the better choice. Isn't it funny how kids interpret things sometimes?

I loved how it looked when I laid it on top of the coloured strips!
reverse applique mini quilt | DevotedQuilter.com
I used Hobb's black batting, which was also something new for me. I was worried it would dull the bright colours, but it doesn't at all, and with black batting there are no white fluffy bits all over the solid black fabric! That might be a small thing, but it's also a wonderful thing. I've been known to use tape to get all those white fluffy bits of batting off of black quilts before and it was nice to not have them at all. I'll definitely be wanting black batting for all of my black quilts from now on 😊
reverse applique mini quilt | DevotedQuilter.com
I used Aurifil 2692, black, for all of the quilting. First I went around each letter and paisley shape, right at the edge to secure everything down and then again about ⅛" away. Emphasis on the "about" since it's not at all consistent, but it's close enough.
micro stippling fmq | DevotedQuilter.com
I really wanted the reverse applique to be the star, so I went with micro stippling for the whole background. When the quilt is only about 12" x 13", I don't worry about telling myself to quilt big, lol, and I can just embrace my love for tiny quilting. And just look how it sparkles when you hold it up in front of a bright window 😊
reverse applique mini quilt | DevotedQuilter.com
Isn't the back gorgeous (if I do say so myself)? Island Batik solid black and Aurifil 2692 again and I love how the letters stand out. I used squares folded in half diagonally to make hanging triangles in the top corners and stitched my label in one bottom corner.
free motion quilting | DevotedQuilter.com
free motion quilting | DevotedQuilter.com
free motion quilting | DevotedQuilter.com
To finish the mini quilts, I chose to use another new-to-me skill - flange binding, which I first tried just a couple of weeks ago. I chose purple for one and teal for the other. Aurifil 5006 to stitch down the teal one and 2600 for the purple, since I don't have a pale purple Aurifil. The 2600 blends in beautifully, though.
reverse applique mini quilt | DevotedQuilter.com
reverse applique mini quilt | DevotedQuilter.com
reverse applique mini quilt | DevotedQuilter.com
I had a lot of fun making these two minis! Laura's is on its way to her now and mine is going to hang in my laundry room on my mini quilt wall where it can remind me to tackle even the things that seem like they might be hard.

What phrase would you put on a texty quilt?


I'm linking this week with Needle and Thread ThursdayPut Your Foot Down, Can I Get a Whoop Whoop and TGIFF

15 comments:

  1. I love how you revealed the hidden colors.

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  2. These are amazing, Leanne!! I love the close-up photo of the back showing the texture of the quilting! All the heart eyes!! I'm still in awe that one is headed my way! Now let's go do the hard things!!

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  3. Sometimes the hard thing is starting.

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  4. I remember doing that with crayons too; it was messy, but fun! Clever idea for a mini and reverse applique. It's a good word of encouragement. I usually talk myself out of something, so this would be a great idea for me to make for my mini quilt wall.

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  5. Love it! I love that you pieced the underneath layer for the reverse applique. The flange binding looks fantastic!

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  6. Beautifully done, Leanne, and that flange is the perfect pop to frame your artwork.

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  7. This is SO cool! This is a technique I haven't tried yet either so maybe I need to put it on my list!

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  8. I really like this and found your post to be helpful because this is something I would love to do in the future. Love it.

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  9. First let me say thank you for linking up with me today. Second but certainly not least, this is a fabulous finish and I loved your post. I love your idea of cutting and sewing strips together, it gives such an interesting effect. Laura is so lucky to be receiving such a generous gift.

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  10. Very clever to piece strips together, it gives a nice effect to the words. Great project and reminder!

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  11. This is just wonderful Leanne! I saw it on IG on IB's feed first and then got the post in my inbox... ahhh! A beautiful mini and a very wise phrase to have nearby. i find it's just the getting started that seems to stall me. That IB black really allows the fabrics to be the star they deserve to be, and 100% agree on everything you said about the black batting.

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  12. It's beautiful. I really need this on my wall - I tend to procrastinate on the hard things...
    Love the quilting and the pieced hidden layer.

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  13. These are brilliant Leanne, what a lovely motivator to have on your wall :)

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  14. What pretty little quilts. Excellent work.

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