Sunday, September 15, 2013

Scrabble Jack

At Black Bag Saturday (Aug. 2013) I picked up this awesome pattern by Happy Hollows Design for a pumpkin wall hanging, the pumpkins teeth read "Happy Fall Y'all". 

This project brought a new element into my quilting because it used fusible grid paper. And let me start off by saying how awesome this stuff is!! It makes your piecing look so precise when really you don't have to do much. 

For the pattern your working with 1 7/8th inch squares. Over 200 of them! So the start of this quilt for me was a huge cutting session. I had about 12 fat quarters in orange hues, 4 in black, 3 in brown, and one in green. After I cut what seemed like a billion squares I laid out my fusible grid and got to work.  

The great thing about the grid is you can lay everything out and play with placement to make sure where you like items before you commit to sewing or even fusing the items in place. For me once I laid everything out I actually did my first ironing on my dining room table (don't tell the husband please!). I did put batting under the grid to protect the table. This allowed me to move the whole piece to the ironing board for a true press. 

When pressing you're adhering 1 7/8th inch squares to 2 inch fusible grid so there is some exposed glue. Because of this the ladies at my new favorite quilting store introduced me to an appliqué pressing sheet. You place it over the quilt squares and iron right on top so it gets the glue, not your iron. 

Once all your squares are fused you fold the grid paper row by row and sew across horizontally. Then once all the horizontal rows are complete you move on to vertical rows. However there is a step in the middle. You need to go through and snip at the seam allowance between squares to help the grid paper fold and sew vertically. Once this is done you can move on to the vertical row sewing. 

Once your pieces are sewn to the fusible grid you cut out your shape and lay your backing on top, RIGHT SIDES TOGETHER-- I emphasis this because I did it wrong sides together and spent an hour seam ripping later. Once your pumpkin and backing are right sides together your batting is place over the backing. Then you sew your 1/4 inch seam around the outside of your pumpkin, leaving an area for turning it inside out at the bottom. 
Once sewn you cut off the excess backing and batting and clip the corners. Then turn inside out. Once inside out you will use a point turner to refine the corners and then finally see the bottom opening closed. 

The original pattern has a set of decorations that can be purchased including the scrabble teeth, raffia, and button eyes. It ran about $20 but I still bought it. Because I had so much fabric left I actually made a second Scrabble Jack and for it I found similar items to the buttons and raffia at Hobby Lobby and used them.

The end result was fantastic and those I know who quilt were impressed with my piecing accuracy! I let them in on the fusible grid secret and they loved it. I truly look forward to getting to hang these year after year now.

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