Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Family Secrets

Time to share family secrets! my family.  Anna's family.  She has family members who make amazing, detailed, perfect snowflakes out of tissue paper.  She sent me a declassified pattern to try as an applique.  Here's what came in the mail. It's just like the snowflakes that we probably all made as children, with the main difference being starting with a circle.
I decided that I wanted to make a flake for a big throw pillow (22").  This is how I adapted her directions

I decided to make a pattern for 1/2 of a flake, so I could see how the snips that I planned would look, before I committed to the fabric.  I made a centering crease on a 11x17 piece of paper, then lined up my hexagon ruler to mark the angle.
Then I lengthened the lines with a long ruler.
And folded along the lines.  At this point, I realized that the directions were starting from a circle.
So I went back and trimmed the paper to make a 1/2 circle with all the folding lines. 
   Then cut out notches on both sides.

Open it up and decide if you like it.   I considered making the snips bigger so it would look lacier, but then decided that I wanted to quilt facets into the final, so left it a little chunkier.
I took an 18" square of white fabric and folded it the same way, ironing and starching with each fold.
I did find that it was helpful to make the folds accordion style rather than  always folded toward the center.
Next, I lined up the paper template and made the cuts with a rotary cutting tool.  Use your big blade - there are many layers to cut through.  You will have to press hard!
The inside corners need scissors to finish the cuts. 

The folding process means that the cutouts on the inner layers of fabric will be smaller than the ones on the outside.  I went back and trimmed these to size with small scissors.
Then I pinned it in place with short pins
And basted it in place.  My friend Michelle, would insist on spray-baste for this step, but I find that hand-basting is fast (and free).
Then I did needle turn applique.

Oh, and if you are curious about the color scheme....I first headed to the blue bin.  Then realized that I emptied that stash and didn't have anything that really worked.  I considered a dark green - like snowflakes in a forest. The ah-ha came as I was digging through the green box.  My Christmas decorations changed to lime and raspberry the year that I couldn't resist the Magenta Metallic fake tree.  I could put out lime green snowflake pillows with the Christmas decorations, and not feel bad about leaving them out well into Spring.

No comments: