Thursday, April 1, 2010
Spiderweb Quilt Tutorial (for selvages)
I've had so many requests for how I made the selvage spiderweb quilt, I thought I'd do a quick tutorial of how I adapted Bonnie's Quiltville spiderweb tutorial to make my quilt. I'm not going to repeat Bonnie's instructions for how to make the template. You can find her instructions on the Quiltville site.
So let's get started. Using Bonnie's instructions you will make your kite templates and cut your paper foundations. You will need just a touch of glue. I use Elmer's washable glue stick. I recycle paper from my printer to use as foundations.
Here's how I trace my templates. I cut a 6" wide strip of fabric and trace the template alternated facing up and down butted against each other. I can get 13 kites from one width of fabric strip.
Next, you'll need selvages...lots of them.
Not all selvages are created equal. You will need at least 1/4" of fabric above the actual selvage for this quilt. You can make smaller ones work, but that 1/4" of fabric will make your life easier as you make this quilt. I also like to include peeks of the fabric when I use selvages so for me it's more like a 1/2" to an inch of fabric above the selvage.
For the outer ring on my spiderweb blocks I decided to include a significant amount of fabric in addition to the selvage. I wanted the quilt to be colorful and I wanted to showcase some of my favorite fabrics that I've used in quilts. The outer ring selvages ranged in size from about 2 1/2" to as small as an inch. You will need to trim your selvages so the top edge is straight and even.
Place your kite on your foundation triangle with a tish of glue as in the picture below. Now it's time to start placing selvages.
I lay the selvage face down lining up the raw edge with the edge of the kite to trim my selvage to right length. I let it extend past the foundation on each side just a bit.
Sew the first selvage with a 1/4" seam allowance. Be sure to set a small stitch length so that you'll be able to easily remove the paper later on. I set mine at 1.25 on my machine.
Flip the selvage and press. Here's where I adapt Bonnie's method. With normal fabric you would continue the stitch and flip method of the first strip. With selvages it's a little bit different.
The second selvage will be placed 1/4" UNDER the first selvage as in the picture below.
With the second selvage slipped under the first, you'll sew on top of the first selvage just a tish from the finished edge. This will secure the second selvage. I run the inside edge of my 1/4" foot along the edge of the selvage when I sew.
Continue this process all the way down the paper foundation until you have about an inch or so of paper still showing.
On this piece I added one more narrow selvage. Try to keep the last pieced added to be at least one inch wide. This will help to reduce bulk as you join the wedges together to form the spiderweb.
The last piece should extend just to the tip of the paper with 1/4" slipped under the selvage above.
Repeat the entire process on the opposite side of the paper foundation and it should look something like this.
Flip over the section and get ready to trim.
Use the edge of the foundation to line up your ruler and use your rotary cutter to trim off the selvage ends that extend past the foundation.
You can remove the paper now or wait until you have a bunch completed. The paper should tear away easily if you use a nice small stitch length. Be careful not to stretch or distort the block as you remove the paper.
A completed section looks like this.
I join the sections together differently than in Bonnie's tutorial. If you join sections like Bonnie does you will create a straight setting. Your webs will line up across your quilt. If you join them like I do here, your webs will be offset. Place two sections right sides together and sew along the long edge. I line up the kite points and pin there. You may want to pin more.
I highly recommend that you press your seams open. This will greatly reduce bulk and make your assembly much easier and your quilt will lay nice and flat. Pressing seams with selvages open can be a challenge, but I learned to start in the center (where the points of the kite come together) and work to the edge when you're pressing. Open the center with your fingers, use the tip of your iron and open the seam as you float just above the fabric moving to the outer edge. Just touch the fabric enough to open the seam. Then press. Repeat for the other half, starting at the center and working to the other edge. If you try to go from one end to the other you'll be working against the selvages. Be sure to press again from the right side. Don't forget to trim those little triangles that extend on the corners. Again, it will help reduce bulk if you get rid of them.
It will take 4 of these blocks or 8 sections to form your first full spiderweb. It's time consuming, but you'll find a rhythm and you'll have a quilt in no time. Have a great weekend and don't forget to check out Quilting Month on Sew Mama Sew...some really cute quilts are being showcased!