And We’re Off!



Yesterday I was mentally preparing my notes for a talk I was giving this morning to high school students and staff on parenting an Autistic child.  It went very well by the way and I am encouraged by the enthusiasm of these kids and the adults to know more. 

Obviously with Jason on the brain, I could no longer maintain discipline and ignored the stuff I was supposed to do and started Jason’s Pumpkin quilt.  WooHooooo!

Although I have already made my first mistake because I was so excited to get going, I blew past it and am so loving this!  I am preparing my background for the center, which I call “My Easter Egg View” technique.  I eliminate layers of seam and fabric buildup for the background.  I do not want bulky seams under my small leaves etc., from all of the background work.  Not a good look if you ask me. 

Most people don’t realize that my backgrounds are hand pieced, or as I like to call it, “Appli-piecing”.  I don’t bring out the machine for piecing until I get to the outside straight edge borders.


Creating the Easter Egg View Part I

First I have to trace my circle area onto freezer paper.  Because the circle is larger that the width of the freezer paper I used artist’s tape to tape two pieces together.  You could just overlap the two pieces and iron them together.  However, I have found that the paper tends to buckle and distort that way.




Then I trace off the other large overall background area pieces.  This makes it easier to match up and I only have to draw my circle and pieces once.  Yeah!  This is actually where I made my mistake.  I really shouldn’t call it a mistake, because it works.  I just don’t get as neat and seam free background as I would like.




So I had to adjust by doing this:




Now I have all of my center background template(s).  Pretend I removed that top line as shown above.  OK?  I did go back and change the lines after I shot these pictures.  This is why I use a pencil to trace my templates with.  For a habitual blunderer like myself, I need to be able to erase.




I need to cut 2 background pieces the size of the overall background area of the black piece.  This is because I will reverse the black to the sky and it is soooooo much easier to match up properly the horizontal and vertical lines so my circle/view ends up in the right spot. 

 1) sky fabric for inner circle area, and 2) the fabric background that surrounds the Easter Egg view circle (the sky and ground that is the background for the pumpkin).   Same template–same exact circle–they match up.  Savvy?






 After the circle is marked around the template, I will put the black background piece away for now and concentrate on the center circle pieces. 


Next I can start applying the other large background pieces to inner circle area (sky fabric is the base).  Now I can go ahead and cut the separate area pieces from my circle template and use with the appropriate fabrics.  Because they were drawn together and cut from the same template, everything should match up well.  Every time you draw an image, it shifts a little bit because we cannot draw it EXACTLYthe same every time.  By drawing this area template once, It all matches because they share the same lines.  Does that make sense?






This is as far as I got last night. 

A Jason funny:  I asked him how he liked the dirt and his response was to look at it carefully and say, “it looks really dirty”.  I asked him, “is that a good thing?”, “yes”.  OK then , we are good to go.  LOL




all contents ©2009 Sandra Leichner all rights reserved

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About Sandra

I am an Author, Designer, Illustrator and a major international award winning quilt artisan. I love working with fabrics and threads and they have become my medium of choice.

8 thoughts on “And We’re Off!

  1. Your explanation makes perfect sense !
    That is a great idea , to get a perfect match . This looks like a fun project .
    I agree it looks dirty LOL !

  2. There’s nothing wrong with good, clean dirt! It is a good thing too!

    Earlier this year I helped out in a classroom when the class were designing masks. One boy sat for ages doing nothing. Eventually I asked him what the problem was.
    “I don’t know where to start.”
    I asked him if he had a pencil and an eraser. He picked them out of his pencil case, and I told him to draw a line, and if he didn’t like it to rub it out and start again.
    He liked the first and lot’s of lines later he had three designs ready before most of his class mates.
    Isn’t it great that pencil and paper is not permanent? We can all blunder as much as we like!
    Judy B

  3. Interesting. Trying to follow your explanation… I THINK I get it. HA! Looking at that last photo, have you already appliqued that second brown piece down? (I don’t see any pins on that piece any longer…) But not the first piece?

  4. Relooking what you said was a mistake – why? Why did you have to remove that line that would have made a BIG piece of dirt?

  5. Sandra,
    I applaude you for your education of the public on belalf of autistic children. Not only are you a great quilter & mother you have obviously chosen thr role of advocate of autism. I have a nephew with autism and truely understand how his condition affects every aspect of his mom’s thoughts.
    Thank you for being so generous with your talent and life, I KNOW we have never met but I FEEL like I know you from your willingness to share part of your life along with your amazing talent.
    Jason is right it looks great and I can’t wait to see more.
    Thanks ever so much,

  6. Michele, that large area of dirt (the line) I removed would have left a huge layer of unnecessary fabric behind the pumpkin central applique elements. I will try and explain:

    Normally, I would of hand stitched along that entire upper line and beyond a bit to attach the layer of dirt. Then I would cut away the sky fabric hanging loose behind the dirt material. In simple terms, it is the same as sewing two rectangles together on your machine, the sky fabric above and the dirt fabric below, to create the background square. Single thickness of fabric.

    Because the seam line is rippling and irregular, I hand stitch it (applique) instead. I would cut the template on the upper line only, iron it to my rectangle of dirt fabric, mark along that upper line, place on the sky fabric and reverse applique that marked edge. Then cut off the lower portion of the sky fabric.

    So if you were to hold it in your hands you would have one seam, sky fabric above the seam and dirt fabric below.

    Then I would applique the other two pieces of the dirt on.

    Yes, the lower edges of those dirt pieces have been appliqued.

    I know this is clear as mud, I do have an old handout that I will try and put in a PDF and I think it is much clearer. 🙂

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