I just made a watercolor quilt for Alyssa Lichner as part of the Hoop-la-la Swap on Flickr. What is a swap, you ask? It’s an exchange of handmade items, taking place between strangers. This is the first time I’ve participated in something like this – I think it’s so cool that it’s completely organized online! I saw folks talking about the swap on Twitter, joined the Flickr group, completed a questionnaire, and made a photo mosaic of styles I like (to help my partner).
After I got notification that my partner was Alyssa Lichner, I visited her blog Pile O’ Fabric for inspiration. Wow, what a beautiful site! After reading a little about her, turns out that she is a web designer…makes total sense. And what do you know, her web design logo is a circle shape – perfect for a decorative hoop! I printed out her logo, added some gridlines to it, and got to work.
Here’s the front view, in a 12″ hoop.
And here’s the back. I couldn’t bring myself to cover those cute little seams in the back.
The cut squares are tiny. One inch, folks! I used the fuse, fold, and stitch method from the book Quick Watercolor Quilts. It’s SOOO much easier than it looks. The most time-consuming part is fussy-cutting the fabric squares. The book gives you some great tips to easily spot the shapes you need. I used those tips, along with figuring out some of my own 🙂
You only need two fabrics for this watercolor quilt technique. For the floral fabric, I used the grass color of the Jennifer Paganelli’s Carrie print in her Girl’s World Vibe fabric collection. For the solid, I went to my local quilt shop Quilt Expressions, and purchased some Robert Kaufman Kona Cotton that matched the green background.
Sewing this together really was not that difficult. Using my Mark-B-Gone Pen (check out My Tools page) I marked 1-inch gridlines onto TP971F Pellon interfacing, pinned the squares in place on my ironing board, and fused the squares on. I stitched with a 1/8-inch seam allowance, using the blue marked lines as a guide. I stitched all the vertical lines, clipped a tiny 1/8-inch notch at each seam intersection, then stitched all the horizontal lines, finger-pressing the seams in opposite directions as I went along. Using a wooden skewer was super-helpful in sewing these tiny seams. Here’s to finger protection!
I like to share my work in progess on Instagram, and since this was supposed to be a surprise for my secret swap partner, here’s the sneak peek I posted. Alyssa told me she loves it and will be hanging it on her studio wall 🙂