Saturday, May 23, 2015

Off the edge quilting green

This months color over at the rainbow scrap challenge is green. My challenge to myself is to make at least one off the edge quilting mini quilt each month with my scraps. I thought I would try not only a green square but a green background as well. I wasn't happy with the darker background but here it is with what I learned.


In case you haven't seen my off the edge quilting on my last posts - first I cut a 6" square of a decorator fabric scrap that has fusible web on the back and iron it onto a plain fabric background. Usually I put it right in the middle but tried a corner this time. Then with a pencil I draw images on the background continuing the motifs from the 6" square where they left off when cut. Since I had a nice big empty space with the square on the corner, I traced a hummingbird on it. I then free motion quilt over the pencil drawings with a dark thread. Then the background is filled in with a simple meander.

I I like to use inktense watercolor pencils to color in the motifs. If you've never used a watercolor pencil before - they are a colored pencil that when you add water or something wet to them they turn into a vibrant watercolor paint. Above is the pencils dry with no water yet.

And here it is after I took a paintbrush with aloe gel instead of water to wet the penciled areas. Aloe gel is thicker and easier to control than water. Hair gel also works.


The trouble is that the paint soaked in to much and ended up looking drab. Now I don't know if it was the fact it is darker fabric or the type of fabric but always before when I use a white or off white fabric no problem with soaking in. It could very well be the color green just muddied everything up.


So I added some bling with thick copper metallic thread. A bit of gold thread around the hummingbird helps.


The drabness still bothered me so never one to give up, I went at it with colored sharpies.

Better :-)


Not sure if the paint was built up enough to not soak in or the sharpie doesn't absorb but this seems to look ok after drying so called it done. Added a bead for a hummingbird eyeball and a dark green binding.

I learned not to use a dark or even medium color for a background.

These are so fun to do - a way to hone your free motion quilting skills and play with your art supplies.

What could be better than that!

Check out all the green scrap blocks at so scrappy.



  1. I love your step by step explanation. You did a wonderful rescue job and solved all the concerns as they came up. Looks good!

  2. Beautifully done! I'm glad you didn't give up when it wasn't working at the start.

  3. That is really wonderful. Thank you for walking us through the process. It takes great presence of mind to remember to photograph each step along the way.

  4. Thanks for sharing your technique and your lessons learned. I'd like to try this someday.

  5. Beautiful block, dear. A piece of art.

  6. What a great experiment in technique. Lessons learned is all part of the process. Such a beautiful piece in the end.

  7. Wonderful work. This is on my list of things to do in quilting at some point. Not sure when though however I definitely need to give it a try after seeing yours.

  8. Thanks so much for sharing the interim steps! I enjoyed seeing more of your process and would really like to give your technique a try.