Today my fiber arts students finished up classes for the year. I can hardly believe that I taught children a fiber arts project every week for eight months! In the end, I feel that I gained just about as much as I gave. While the students tell me that they learned a lot and had fun, I also learned much about making things with fiber in the process of developing lesson plans. Our last class was the wrap-up on string quilt samplers. The quilt tops made in previous weeks had backings added, were quilted, and bound off. Here are some images at the end of today’s work:
I love that the designs are all so different from each other. Some of the students incorporated the fabrics that they color washed. It took a lot of patience and perseverance for them to finish these quilt samplers. I’m very proud of their accomplishments.
After five days of baby care and two days of travel, I have insufficient creative energy to start something new. So it’s a good time to finish up the works in progress. Primarily on my mind is the string quilts that my students are working on. It is my practice to have a good example of a finished work for my students, both to inspire and instruct. As I previously posted, I had finished the top. Today I completed the backing, quilting and binding of this sample. Here is the piece squared-off with the backing fitted and pressed. This piece will be self-bound by folding over the backing.
I decided to use as many different (beginner) quilting techniques as possible, so that the students could see the possibilities. The image below shows the piece after quilting is done. I used hand quilting and some machine quilting.
Quilting techniques include knot-quilting, buttons, running stitch, and contour quilting by hand; and stitch-in-the-ditch and parallel lines by machine. And here is the finished sampler with binding blind-stitched. I used folded corners, since I consider mitered corners to be a more advanced technique.
Okay, it’s time for me to admit the obvious. I really can’t complete a fiber object each and every day. That isn’t to say I don’t work with fiber every day. That part is true. The issue is finishing, photographing, writing and posting daily. So far, not possible. So here is a little taste of the crocheted posies I have been working on, and a brief anecdote from my fiber arts students today.
As you, my dear readers may recall, today the fiber kids were beginning to make string-pieced quilt tops. It is a stretch goal, but the students got busy, working away. Sometimes one of them sewed a seam backward or cut the fabric too short. I wanted to reassure them that mistakes were okay, just part of the learning process. I said, “Remember, we are experimenting. You know about scientists, and how they often perform experiments. What do you think they do when an experiment doesn’t work out right?” One of the boys said, ” Things get blown up?” A girl student said, “You are such a boy!” Fortunately for us, none of the quilt tops detonated.
Be back tomorrow with the latest in fiber. – Laura Kate
I’m teaching myself to quilt, so that I can teach my older fiber arts students to quilt. So there is some time pressure here. While perusing The Encyclopedia of Quilting Techniques by Katharine Guerrier, I learned that the string quilt is one of the simplest of techniques. So that is what I shall make today. This method was developed to use up long strips of fabric, such as leftovers from dressmaking, and pieces of worn-out clothing and blankets. The sample I am making uses 3 inch wide strips cut or sew together from fabric fragments in order to span the width of the piece. I’m excited to be using one of the heliographed fabrics from Monday’s work.
First I sewed the shorter pieces into the length of strips that I need. (14 in.)
Next I position two strips, right sides together onto the upper half of the batting, and sew in place. The seam allowance is finger-pressed to one side.
I’m liking what I see. Once I got into the flow, the sewing was easy and fun. I hope that this piece will inspire my students. Next week I will add the backing fabric, top stitch the quilt and sew up the edges.