I receive multiple emails everyday tempting me with offers for discounts on fabric, patterns, classes, etc. Most often I open the messages, browse their content then file them in the recycle bin.
Every once and awhile I visit the website, drop a few items in the shopping basket, ponder their purchase then close the site without buying anything.
Not This Time –
On rare occasions the offer is just to good to ignore. The opportunity I’m about to share with you was too inviting to pass up. The tempting kit was for the 2016 Craftsy Block of the Month by Lynette Jensen. One look at the quilt photo and I was smitten.
The block of the month, which I thought would last twelve months, only goes until June. I did have to think twice about the cost. Then I reminded myself that the fee included all of the fabric as well as the online classes.
Decisions, Decisions –
Keeping that in mind I figured it was actually a pretty good deal. Aside from the fact I had aready made a vow to work on Smashing My Stash, without looking, I took a leap and jumped with both feet.
Arriving not to long ago was this box
with these beautiful fabrics
Getting Started –
I’ve already started viewing the introduction to the class along with downloading two of their documents. I’m looking forward to adding this to my stash. As I make progress I will provide updates.
In our last visit I shared that I had watched the teaser for Craftsy‘s class Strip Your Stash. In the first lesson the teacher shares how she has organized her stash into coordinated groupings. I had begun doing that with my own collection during a recent quest to reorganize my studio.
If you don’t feel you have the knack for coordinating fabrics the teacher has a simple solution. Rather than studying the theory of color she suggests using photos, wrapping paper, paintings, postcards, anything that has color combinations you like as your inspiration.
Part of my goal to Smash My Stash is to use up the piles of fabrics and scraps I have accumulated. This class should help me get a great start on that goal and perhaps even make a huge dent in my supply.
I am a follower of Craftsy. In one of their recent emails they shared a discount they were offering on a class called Strip Your Stash. I watched the video introduction and found the teacher’s philosophy reflecting that of my own. I’ve declared 2016 to be the first year of the rest of my life. As part of my new beginning I’ve decided to trim down my piles of unfinished/untouched projects.
To implement this new plan my first task is to take inventory of the many projects I have acquired. Once my list is prepared I will map out a plan to finish at least one item per month. Of course that is my minimum goal. Anything above and beyond that would be a bonus.
At the end of 2015 I said I would be updating you on a weekly basis with my progress on smashing my inventory. This is the first post in that journey. I am calling it Smash My Stash!
Just because I am a quilter doesn’t mean it is the only thing I like to do. I’ve been a student of several Craftsy Classes. One of my all-time favorites is Stitch & Slashby Carol Ann Waugh. To-date I have successfully used the knowledge I gained to make two wall hangings. I will share one of them with you today.
Choosing The Fabrics
Part of the fun of creating a Stitch & Slash item is selecting the fabrics. Carol Ann does a wonderful job of presenting the color theory behind the thought process. She walks you through the analysis one must consider when not only choosing the colors and patterns of your fabrics but also the order in which they will be stacked.
For my project I chose four different fat quarters. I typically gravitate toward lively, vibrant colors so the four I chose definitely fit that trait. The most audacious of all was the loud blue, lime and black floral print showcased on a white background. Using this fabric as the jumping-off-point I selected colors to coordinate.
In What Order
With my four fabrics chosen it was time to decide in which order they would be stacked. One by one I auditioned each one as the main or bottom piece. After much consideration I arrived at the conclusion that the liveliest of them all would be the base. Next to be placed was a blue batik then a blue and white striped piece and the icing on the cake was a noisy lime green.
Choosing A Design
Long before contemplating my fabric selections I began visualizing both in my mind and on paper the stitch pattern I would use to secure my four layers together. The lines stitched, with my machine, would be like that of strokes made by the bristles of a brush. Designs from simple wavy lines to elaborate floral patterns were explored. My mind meandered through a trail that eventually came to rest on a simple combination of wavy lines and elongated circles. Having settled on a design it was time to sew my fabric sandwich together.
The Stitch & Slash technique utilizes two different stitches; structural and textural. The structural stitches are sewed on the backside of your fabric sandwich. The bonus of stitching from the back is that you can pre-mark your stitching lines/design using whatever marker you prefer and nobody will ever see them. The drawback or important thing to remember is that because you sew these lines from the backside your bobbin thread is what will be seen on the front. Make certain your bobbin thread is the color you would like to see and that your thread tension is adjusted properly.
Once my structural stitching was complete my piece was ready for slashing, decorative stitching and embellishments. If you would like to learn the steps and techniques used to complete those tasks you can purchase the class from Craftsy.
Decorating my projects, with embellishments, is one of my favorite things to do. I added decorative stitching, ricrac and buttons to mine. I also added stuffing in key areas to add a three-dimensional aspect.
Any type of stuffing can be used. Being a long-arm quilter I just happen to have a huge inventory of batting scraps. I use those as my stuffing. To add the stuffing I made a small slit on the backside, in the area where it would be placed. Next I gently coaxed the stuffing in between the stitched rows using a chop stick.
Time To Add A Binding
Once my stuffing was squeezed into place my project was ready for binding. I made binding from 2 1/2″ bias strips of fabric. I cut them on the bias because my piece had lots of curvy edges. Fabric cut on the bias is much more easily persuaded to form around those curves. Last to be added was a sleeve on the back to facilitate the hanging of my art piece.
My Finished Project
Well, there you have it. My finished Stitch & Slash masterpiece! I’m quite proud of the final outcome. I’ve named it Flowers In the Garden.