Thursday, August 30, 2012

Scrappy Fall Wall Hanging

Yikes! The end of the month again, and we are just finally getting our next Scrappy Quilt-A-Long Project up! Well, the good news is this project comes together super fast -- in just a few hours, as a matter of fact :)


This simple wall hanging is a perfect example of using a few bold, modern fabrics to make something seemingly traditional – like subtle cream-on-cream prints – look so fresh and fun.  The bright leaves seem to dance across a brick wall, blowing in a crisp fall breeze.  What a great way to use up a few miscellaneous scraps that just don’t seem to fit with anything else!


Finished size:    28 ½” x 18 ½”

What You’ll Need:
  • Assortment of creams and off-whites
  • 6-8 different bold, bright scraps (florals, geometrics, etc.) - depending on how many leaves you want
  • Fusible appliqué paper
  • Brown fabric for backing and binding (or piece various dark scraps together to create a one-of-a-kind backing or binding) 




Begin by cutting your cream scraps into (59) 4 ½” x 2 ½” strips and (8) 2 ½” x 2 ½” squares– use as many or as few different fabrics as you like, depending on how scrappy you want the background to look. 


Lay out the strips, alternating five rows of seven long strips (4 ½” x 2 ½”), and four rows of six long strips with a 2 ½” x 2 ½” square on each end.  This will give you the staggered effects of a brick wall (plus, no matching seams….bonus!).  Once you have all the bricks how you like them, stitch them together into long rows, and then sew all the rows together. 



Using the templates here, trace the leaves onto your fusible appliqué paper.  Then follow the manufacturer’s instructions to fuse the leaves to the “bricks” in a random pattern.  Arrange the leaves on the background in a fashion that looks like leaves blowing in the wind.  This is a great place to personalize your project – use as many or as few leaves as you like, have different numbers of each leaf, arrange them however you want.  You may even want to draw your own leaves! We spent a lot of time moving the leaves around and changing the layout to decide on the mood we wanted to evoke.  Let your creativity fly here – make this project your own! 



Once you have arranged everything just how you want it, it’s time to appliqué the leaves. While you can certainly use a traditional appliqué stitch, we decided to use a “scribble” stitch – we liked the more free approach, and thought it added some motion to the project.  We then used a straight free-motion stitch to make the leaf veins.  Here’s a before and after: 


                                              


For those who may not have done a scribble stitch, attach your free motion foot to your sewing machine, and using a dark thread, begin to make small, tight loops along the edge of the leaf.  You won’t actually get soft loops – instead, the machine will move in a jerky fashion, giving you the look of a pencil scribble.   Watch this video tutorial to see how it is done:
video


We noticed that we didn’t immediately like the scribble stitch on the first leaf, but we kept going and are glad we did.  Your first leaf might feel a little messy or harsh, but trust us – that’s the way it should be.  Once we finished all the leaves, we loved the end result.  

After you have completed the appliqué, add the backing and quilt as desired.  We quilted ours using the same dark brown thread that we used in the appliqué process, stitching first around each leaf edge and then changing to a lighter thread, we lightly quilted the remainder, outlining a few bricks here and there.  If you prefer, you can omit the leaf veins during the appliqué step and add them now during quilting, to create a different feel for your wall hanging.   This project doesn’t require a lot of quilting, since it is a wall hanging.  If you think you might be washing this a lot, then go ahead and do a little more quilting, just to keep all the batting in place.


After quilting, trim the quilt up and bind it – we used a dark brown fabric with small specks that made us think of tree bark, but you should use whatever fabric you like.  Bindings are a great place to do scrappy finishes that are totally unique!

6 comments:

  1. Great tutorial and I love hearing your voice for the first time! Love it! I will have to try a scribble stitch.

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  2. Thanks Melissa - nice to hear from you! Send us photos of your scribble stitch work!

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  3. Thanks so much for this tutorial! I love fall so I love fall projects also!!

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  4. Do you lower your feed dogs when doing this stitch? Thanks for the tutorial.

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  5. Do you lower your feed dogs when doing this stitch? Thanks for the tutorial.

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