Building Mountains

Yesterday I spent a little time getting reorganized from the Birthday Bash-A-Bration of the previous day. Once I had that finished, I spent the rest of the day in the sewing room working on my latest stained glass applique project, Yukon Sanctuary.

I learned quite a bit while working on the daffodil project, and it made this project much faster and easier. (You can click on that link to see my little tutorial about how this is done.) Still, I learned a few things working on this project as well, which should make the next one even easier. This is a great technique, and I love the results. I only wish there were more patterns available. It's okay, however, because there are still plenty of quilts to make from this book:

So here's how Sunday's effort went. I started with the trees:

Once you have the "leading" cut out for the stained glass, the piece is like working with wet strands of spaghetti. I've found that working from one side to the other (or top to bottom) is the best way to go. As you add more pieces, it gains more "structural integrity" and it's easier to work with. So, I continued on with the water and a few of the hills.

It's important to use a pressing sheet with these projects. Recall from the daffodil project that you are doing most of your work from the back side of the project, thus:

A mini craft iron works best for this. 

When you have completed the pieces from one side to the other, you can flip the project to the right side, and then use your regular iron to give it a good pressing, which will help fuse it more completely than you can with a craft iron. There will be gaps in the fusible, however, and so a pressing sheet is necessary to prevent fusing the project to your ironing board cover. If you use a teflon pressing sheet, you can simply peel it off the sheet and continue on without damaging the fusing medium. This is the one I have:

You may remember that I was considering using a white or a gray for the middle mountain to give it a snow-covered mountain appearance. With that in mind, I left that piece open for last so that I could audition different fabrics.

After doing that, I was pretty sure I wanted to stick with green. Just to be sure, I called in Mike, the resident design consultant, and he agreed with me. Green it is.

And here's how I ended my sewing day yesterday.

During this process, I learned that it is best not to try to work with pieces that are too big. Adjacent pieces of the same color can be cut as one piece. Still, when I did the water, I did it in five pieces simply because it was going to end up being an odd shape if I tried to do all the adjacent pieces as one. It was easier to draw and cut if I broke them up a little.

Then, when I did the sky, I did it in three pieces...the lower light blue section was cut in one large piece from one side of the whole to the other. Then I did the middle, darker section as one, and the upper lighter section as one. Doing them as a whole made it more difficult to get the "leading" flat and straight. If I were going to do this again, I could have made them half as wide and done each section in at least two pieces. (I hope that makes sense.)

After I had it all pressed and fused down, I realized that one of the pieces was a little short in the lower right hand corner and there was a gap between the colored fabric and the "leading". The "leading" had become a little distorted in the process, and I wasn't able to straighten it or stretch the colored fabric enough to close the gap. Enter 606 spray.

I haven't used this stuff much, but it is a lifesaver when you need to rescue a piece of applique. For this project, I simply peeled up one side of the colored fabric, then hit the "leading" with a little 606. It is a spray-on fusing medium, but it can restore the fusibility to a fabric for these kinds of emergency repairs, and it worked great in this case. 

This is not a technique for neatniks. At least...not the way I do it. In paper-piecing fashion, I find myself tossing things over my shoulder as I use them, try them, finish with them...and the sewing room ends up looking as if it's been ransacked.

I suppose it's possible to be a tidier worker, but apparently not for me. I did manage to get through the entire process while maintaining a firm grip on my scissors and my tweezers. I suggest a lanyard for both, and I'm only partly joking.

So today I'll give my project a one-inch border all around, and then it will be ready for top-stitching. The top-stitching works great for the quilting, and so I'll get it all sandwiched and ready to go. Then, it's anybody's guess whether I'll continue on with the top-stitching or switch back to quilting the "We are the World" quilt. I'm kind of anxious to get going again on the quilting, but it would be fun to finish up the Yukon Sanctuary quilt as well.

I'm going to change the name of Yukon Sanctuary to "A World Apart". The name comes from this poem by the Chinese poet, Li Bai. His poem goes like this:

You ask me why I dwell in the green moun­tain;
I smile and make no reply for my heart is free of care.
As the peach-blossom flows down stream and is gone into the unknown,
I have a world apart that is not among men.
I liked this project originally because it reminds me of the mountain view we see from our home:

That is often how it feels to me when I return from the hustle bustle of running errands...like a world apart.

13 comments from clever and witty friends:

WoolenSails said...

I love how that is coming out and seeing your process. I always thought you did the colors, then added the black lines, this makes more sense.


PaisleyArtMachine said...

Cool stained glass quilt!

BillieBee (billiemick) said...

Lovely stained glass!

Julianne said...

Oh I really love it, beautiful!

Vroomans' Quilts said...

A lovely project with great meaning to treasure.

Brown Family said...

Beautiful. I have never used 606. I may have to find some and try it. I am so wanting to try this process

Dana Gaffney said...

When I do applique that's exactly what my tables look like. Creativity is messy. It all looks wonderful though.

Junebug613 said...

It looks beautiful! My space is usually a frightful mess, when I'm working on a project. I totally get the lanyards for the scissors and a tweezers. Mine always seem to get buried, even though I try to keep them in their designated place.

Tami C said...

I really liked your stained glass daffodil when you did it earlier this year and I like the mountains as well. This technique is on my To Do List!

Gina said...

I love this. Definitely worth all the mess xx

Nancy Elliott said...

Love the work you have done on this one. You are quite an enabler to me. I had to jump right in and purchase this book and a few more just like it when I saw it the first time. I also like make stencils and painting on the black work, just what I like to do. I do paint a lot on my quilts and thought if you wanted to add a little snow or white glitter on your mountain why not give it a try. You can always remove it before you heat set it. Love your blog and all your kitties

quiltzyx said...

Ooooh!! This coming gorgeous! I really like the browny-green you used for the middle & lower mountain areas. FAB

Kate said...

Beautifully done! You make it look so easy.