Friday, June 7, 2013

Happy and Not-So-Happy Accidents (3D leaf tutorial)

Like most designers, a lot of my best ideas come when I am screwing up. It's just the nature of the art, especially when, like me, you design in your head and see if you can make what you see a reality. I think maybe once things have turned out exactly as planned. Maybe.

Yesterday I was playing with my new toy Phoomph, alternately shaping it into funky flowers and singing "Phoomph.......there it is!" like a 90s throwback geek, and I wanted to add some leaves to my floral applique. I got out my Leaves Galore rulers to cut out some lemon shaped leaves from some fabric backed in Mistyfuse. As Mistyfuse (honestly, not my favorite product for this very reason) is wont to do, especially when warm from the iron, it stuck to itself.

There was some cursing.

Then there was some excitement. Because if a project with Phoomph flowers needs anything, it's some 3D leaves. So I cut a few more leaves and purposefully creased them onto themselves and voila!

How cute is that?

So for those who want to profit from my mistakes, here is how it is done.

3D leaves (or other shapes, I don't care) using Mistyfuse

1. Apply Mistyfuse to the back of the fabric you will be cutting your shape from. If you have never used Mistyfuse, I warn you, you will either love it or hate it. I tend to fall into the latter category, but have to admit that for some things it is really the only answer.

2. Cut out an oval/lemonish leaf shape. I used the small Leaves Galore ruler (Sue Pelland), but any method will do. I am not giving you a template here but you can refer to my photo below if you need clarification of "oval" or "lemonish".

3. Carefully fold the leaf back onto itself, wrong sides together, and pinch it along the "spine" of the leaf. Be sure the pinched part is only about 1/8" to 1/4" wide. Open up the bottom part of the leaf. NOTE: This step only works when the fabric is warm from applying the Mistyfuse. You can rewarm it under the parchment paper if necessary, like if you did this yesterday and today are writing the tutorial.

4. Lay the leaf on your quilt and fuse it around the edges. The pointy ends will look a little raggedy and will stick up. That is okay. We're going to fix that in the next few steps.

5. Push one pointy end to one side. and the other to the other side as shown. If your leaf ends didn't quite line up and there is wrong side showing, well, that just shows you what way to push that end to cover it up. Brilliant.

6. Starting at one end, machine applique to just before the other end. If you can, tuck your stitching into the fold under the pointy ends, leaving the folded over parts of the creases unsewn.

7. Repeat for the other side of the leaf.

8. OMG is that not the cutest????

I haven't finished this project yet, so I haven't tried doing any decorative stitching on the leaves at this time, but that will come. Please feel free to give it a try yourself and let me know how that goes.

As for the not so happy accident of the week, I give you my right thumb.
You try taking a photo of your right thumb with your iphone and do better.

Remember my card catalogue drawer turned quilting tools holder I showed you a few days ago and appears again here? As cute as it is, we can only give it a B+, as that is the kind of blood spilled over its creation.

I bought the drawer like a month ago, all excited because I'd been on the hunt for something to make a quilting tools caddy out of and this was perfect - not too small, not too big, really just right. All it needed was two small pieces of wood as dividers. So I asked my husband to cut me a couple of dividers out of a piece of scrap wood. He said "Sure, put it on my workbench."

You ladies know where this is going. Of course he would argue the jeans he wants me to turn into work shorts have been on my sewing table for 9 months, but still. He HAS shorts. I NEED my caddy thing.

A month later it was still sitting on his workbench. Granted, he is kind of in the middle of this:
Walk out my sliding glass door at your own risk.

but I was over it. I wanted my tool caddy. So armed with safety goggles and the knowledge that I had watched him use the table saw a million times and how hard could it be, I found a piece of scrap wood and cut it into two little squares. Oh, the awesomeness of me!

But sadly, one square was just slightly too fat, and was bowing out the drawer too much when inserted. Clearly we couldn't have that, but it was too small a piece to feed through the table saw again - that much I knew. But lucky for me, I had also seen him use the jointer to shave off tiny pieces and he made it look so easy! Oh lucky day! In my mind I was fluent in two woodworking machines and I would not be stopped.

When Mr. QH uses the jointer, he uses it for large pieces. No one told me they are the ONLY thing you can use it for. So I fed my 2" x 3" piece through and BAM! It came snapping back at me like a boomerang on steriods. My thought process was thus:

1. Well. THAT was weird! And really loud.
2. Why haven't I seen that happen when Mr. QH uses it?
3. Why can't I feel my thumb?
4. OMG OMG OMG I can't look.

Kickback is a beeyotch. It took a few minutes to set in, but pretty soon I was bleeding like a stuck pig. I briefly considered calling a nurse friend to look at it but then I got over myself and used my ex-Girl Scout first aid knowledge to apply pressure and raise it up and really, all was well. In my younger days, I would have gone and had stitches. Instead I took into account that I was unshowered and only had a few hours left before the kids got home and I didn't want to spend them in the ER, so I went with "I'm a fast healer. If I feel faint I'll drink some orange juice and keep the phone handy." It really paled in comparison to the Great Hedge Trimmer Incident of 2001, the incident against which we measure all machinery-related injuries on my part, so I was confident I would live. And live I did - even managed to type my Modern Quilting is Making me Crazy post with a bandaged thumb.

I am no longer allowed to use the machinery unsupervised. It remains debatable as to whether I really was ever allowed to do so to begin with, but I am a firm believer in feigning stupidity and begging forgiveness is quicker than asking permission.

May all your accidents be happy ones!


Anonymous said...

I could show you pictures of my husband's broken arm resulting from a table saw kicking a board back at him, but I'll spare you that. Glad your injury wasn't any worse!


Kelli Fannin Quilts said...

Glad you didn't do yourself in with all of that unsupervised construction work!!! Love your quilting tool caddy, and leaves... and why isn't phoomph there it is one of the labels of this post?! ;)

Jeneta said...

I'm a pass-out-when-I-see-blood kind of person (I gave birth four times with my eyes closed), so I think you are extremely brave and very, very funny!! Your tool caddy is cute (so are the leaves!).

Robin Waggoner, Quilter and Designer said...

Beth: I am glad you are OK crazy girl!! You take care we don't want to loose you.

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