Progress and lessons learned

Having uninterrupted time in the studio really is a blessing. So much progress gets made, even with all my indecisive dithering, that I can almost say this top is ready for some stitching!

This piece was always going to be fused, not pieced, so I put fusible on the back of all the fabrics I had selected, except for the sky/land piece.

City Red:Gold 1

Since I’m not great at drawing, I knew I couldn’t just draw my city silhouettes directly on the fabric and cut. I decided to draw them on strips of freezer paper, which I could then iron on to the fabric and cut. Worked like a charm.

City Red:Gold 2

I could have used a ruler to draw the lines, but I didn’t want precision. I wanted an organic look, so rough drawing and rounded corners when cutting.

First lesson learned, and it’s one of those duh! moments–when you cut that skyline from your fabric, you can flip the other half of the strip and use it, too! Really…duh!

City Red:Gold 3 City Red:Gold 4

So, no worries about making a mistake–it’s a twofer. Goody…I can make a second one.

City Red:Gold 5

Second lesson learned: you don’t have to follow the lines too closely when you’re cutting. It really doesn’t matter!

City Red:Gold 6

Third lesson learned: you don’t have to draw a separate strip for every single fabric. As soon as you cut one of the strips, you have two silhouettes available for another strip. And you can even slice them up and rearrange for a different skyline. I did find, though, that if I used the freezer paper twice, it didn’t want to stick well enough to cut out a third strip…which was fine for this one. I had more strips drawn than I needed and was only trying to see how many times I could use each one.

And here’s the lesson I wish I had learned on the very first cut: don’t worry about “wasting” fabric by cutting narrow strips. Put the cutting line in the center of a wider strip. Then you have your two silhouettes and you have enough fabric to vary and increase or decrease the spacing between skylines. This is the piece almost ready for the stitching.

City Red:Gold 7

And these are the strips for the ‘other’ piece–much narrower. If I make this piece as it stands, it will be quite a bit smaller than the one above…My guess right now is that I’ll end up doing something a bit different with this one.

City Red:Gold 8

I have a new set of construction questions and decisions coming up now. Fuse to a foundation fabric? It’s got one layer of fabric and a layer of fusible on every strip and some of the strips overlap so there could be multiple layers of fabric. Then there’s batting and backing. Too many layers? Machine stitching or hand stitching, or a combination of both? Border/no border? Binding, facing, envelope turn, alternate edge finish?

As I’ve said before, I post things in real time, as I do them. I don’t create a completed project and then dole out blog posts a few at a time. So….when I have time to work on this again, I’ll get you all up to date on those decisions! I’m hoping that I get lots of time in the studio over the next few days. I’m having fun working on this one and want to keep at it until it’s done!


6 thoughts on “Progress and lessons learned

    • I don’t always have a picture in my head before I begin, but I did on this one. So far, so good!

      On Tue, May 19, 2015 at 9:39 AM, Quirks Ltd. wrote:



  1. I LOL on your “lessons”! Oh I’m the same way-you just can’t take this too seriously. I’m looking forward to the next post about your progress.


    • Yep–it’s not brain surgery, it’s fabric. Though it often hurts my brain to figure it out as I go along!

      On Mon, May 18, 2015 at 12:34 PM, Quirks Ltd. wrote:



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