Sunday, August 24, 2014

Frosty Jolly Wall Hanging

August means time for Holiday quilting! Two weeks ago I completed the "What did you call me?" Witch Appliqué Wall Hanging. This weekend I decided to take a go at Frosty Jolly a pattern by Happy Hollow Designs. I actually picked it up last year during a Black Bag Saturday, along with the about 15 fat quarters it requires, but being pregnant and tired I just never got around to completing it. 

My quilting happens when C naps, so today's project time was from noon to 2pm. I did get a jump start at 6am while playing in C's room, he played with some toys while I read the pattern and noted the count of how many of each color of squares would be needed. 

For this pattern the squares are 1 7/8th inch each, and there are about 300 squares! Don't worry it's an easy assembly line process for cutting and for sewing. Fusible grid paper makes this project manageable and beautiful! 

To start the project I began cutting out all of my squares. I am very lucky to have just recently purchased a fiskar 6" x 24" slide cutter. This ruler and cutter combined is able to cut through up to eight sheets of fabric at a time.
Since I needed to make  1 7/8 inch squares I took my fat quarters and cut them in piles by color. Each fat quarter I cut two rows from the 21 inch long side. This enabled me to get a bout 10 perfect 1 7/8 inch squares from each row. 

After getting all my squares cut out, I took time to change piece my half square triangles which are the only other shapes and the pattern. There were three orange/ white, seven black/white, 20 purple/green. 

After these were chain pieced I cut the half off that was not needed, then took them to the ironing board to be pressed. As I have learned From the great Jenny down of Missouri star quilt company, I pressed all my pieces to the dark. This ensures any white pieces will not have the dark fabric coming through on the back of the seam. 

Once my half square triangles were complete I begin the process of setting up my fusible grid paper to build the project on. 

The instructions call for the fusible grid to be done in two pieces, one being the snowman's hat, the other being the snowman's face and earmuffs. I decided to start on the face and earmuffs first since it is the larger piece.

For the layout of the face and earmuffs I chose to begin by marking up my fusible grid paper. The version I have by Pellon has gold grid lines which to me is a bit hard to see. So I took my pink Frixion highlighter which disappears when heated and I sketched out the center grid and the earmuffs and locations of the HST's.

 With these in place I moved forward in laying out the squares. First all my half square triangles.

Next, all of the purple earmuffs!
You may be wondering, "Katie, why are you not placing the right next to each other, there are little gaps." Have no fear, it's supposed to be that way! Remember I cut squares 1 7/8th inches? Well that 1/7th of an inch missing is the gap you see and once we sew the fusible grid those gaps will disappear. Here's a sneak preview:

Now that I've given you a preview of the magic I'm going to show you how I got there.

With all the pieces laid out, it is time to iron them to the fusible grid paper!

First step is laying down the appliqué pressing Matt, I put the packaging on the ironing board as well to show you which one I have. I have link to it in the beginning of the blog if you're interested in getting one for yourself.
The next step is ironing on top of your pressing Mat to secure the squares to the fusible grid paper. I am lucky enough to have an Oliso iTouch iron, so when I place my iron on my ironing board if my hand is not on it it has little feet that pop up so that nothing can get scorched.

As you can see some of the squares are not fitting on the ironing board, so after I secure the top rows I move the fusible grid paper up on the ironing board so that I can secure the bottom rows. Diffusible grid paper works sort of like batting does the grid squares usually can help keep the fabric on the paper even if you haven't been able to iron it down yet.

The look above is all of the pieces fuse down to the grid. 
 The next step requires The excess feasible grid to be cut away. You can see below that I cut off every extra piece of feasible grid including the sides of the corners.
Now that this step is done it's time to sew! The directions said just sewing horizontally on the gridlines first, switching back-and-forth which side you start with. That's too much thinking for me to switch back-and-forth, so I always do the horizontal first but always start on the same end of the grid paper. 
Here is what the first line sewn looks like. Nothing too fancy, a quarter-inch stitch right next to the grid line.
When you open up the line you can see that there is no longer a gap between the two rows that have the same line. 
It is important to check in between each row in case one of your squares did not fuse properly and is not so all the way into the seam line. If that happens you will need to use a seem ripper and re-sew that small section.   If that happens to you, don't worry it happens to the best of us. I have great example pictures to show below.
Since this square didn't get sewn into the same line, as you will see in the picture below I removed the stitches with my seem ripper and then place the square back in the right spot and sewed the gap shut. Which fixed the issue.

Thankfully I only had to deal with this twice during the process of doing the snowmans face and earmuffs, below is a picture after the horizontal lines were completed.
The next step requires clipping between the vertical seam lines, for this I used my rag quilt clipping scissors. However a standard pair of sewing scissors can be used as well.

Clipping the vertical lines allows you to then fold the grid paper vertically to so the next set of seam lines.

Their directions for this pattern tell you how to get the already sewn seam lines to fold in the correct direction when you are pushing through your sewing machine. I have never been able to figure out how to get that to happen so I just charge forward and my back of my grid paper is a bit bulkier than it should be, but it has never cause me a problem and completing the project.

Seriously, the best part of this paper is that all of the squares match so perfectly. If you have ever tried to so to half square triangles together and get them to match perfectly you know it is not an easy feat. As you can see between the picture above this, and below this diffusible grid paper makes the nose for the snowman come together beautifully.
After all the vertical lines are so here is what the snowman looked like.
The next step was to move on into creating the snowman's hat. So I already had the squares cut out all I needed to do was prepped the fusible grid paper,  lay out my squares, and get to sewing.

This part is still a work in progress but I will continue to update in a new post to show how the two pieces come together, in addition to adding the back in and batting to complete the project.

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