Friday, September 06, 2013

Quilted French Memo Board

I was putting up all my art up last week in my sewing room and came across a few mementos I decided I wanted to hang up. A french memo board seemed the best way to display them, but I only have one and it's in use in another room. I thought briefly about buying one, then said "screw it" and decided to whip one up.

Materials Needed:

--Fabric panel or pieced fabric
--Piece of mid to heavy weight, iron-on interfacing, 1/2 inch smaller than your fabric panel
--Piece of low loft batting 2 inches bigger than fabric panel
--Piece of backing fabric the same size as the batting (it can be crappy fabric, it's not going to be seen)
--Spray Baste (if you don't use this, you're gonna have a bad time, and it's gonna suck, and then I'm gonna do my "I told you so" dance)
--Approximately 3 yards of ribbon, bias tape, whatever you want to create the french memo part. Wink 3 yards was exactly perfect for my 19 inch square project, if your panel is bigger you'll need more ribbon
--Contrasting strips of material for binding, 2 1/2 inches wide and enough to equal the perimeter of your fabric panel plus about 12 inches.

1.) Trim your panel to a square size. Mine is 19 inches. Take the slightly smaller iron-on interfacing (mine is 18 1/2 inches square) and iron carefully to the wrong size of your fabric panel. I'm using an awesome Laura Gunn panel. I have one more too!

2.) Place your backing fabric, which is 21 inches square in my project (slightly bigger than the panel fabric) right side down on your surface. (you may want to cover surface with newspaper first, since spray baste can be messy). Place the 21 inch square piece of low loft batting on top of the backing fabric and line up carefully. Pull the top half of the batting backwards and fold it halfway, exposing half of the backing fabric. Spray the backing fabric carefully and lightly with Basting Spray. Fold the batting back into place, smoothing out from the middle to the sides. Rotate and baste the second half of the backing fabric.

3.) Place your panel fabric, right side facing down, in front of you. Place the batting/backing on top of it, centering carefully (remember we have a couple extra inches now). Fold back halfway as before and spray baste, smooth carefully, then rotate and complete second half in same way.

Congratulations, you've basted the quilt sandwich! Now we're going to quilt in a wavy, crisscrossing lines pattern. It's easy and you don't need to use a special foot or drop the feed dogs or anything.

4.) Beginning in the middle top of your fabric panel, begin stitching while using one hand on each side of the quilt sandwich to "drive" the fabric back and forth. As you wiggle and turn the fabric, you'll quilt a wavy line down the middle. When you get to the end, cut your threads and start back at the top, about an inch to the right. Continue quilting, moving to the right until you get to the end. Turn your quilt around so the bottom is now the top, and begin quilting your wavy lines again, moving each line an inch to the right and frequently cutting your threads so they don't make a big mess.

(oops I seem to be missing this picture. The next picture is slightly in progress, the middle is criss crossed but the sides are still just parallel wavy lines)

5.) You can stop there, or you can now make another set of lines, crisscrossing the ones you already made. This time, start just to the left or right of a line (about 1/4 to 1/2 an inch) and make even bigger wiggles and turns so with each wiggle you're crossing back and forth over two of the lines you just created. Keep moving right, crossing over two lines. Sometimes I cross over three lines, or go back and do an extra line if it looks like it needs to be filled in a little more. Play with it and have fun! When you get to the edge, flip it around and work on the other half.

6.) Using a ruler and rotary cutter, trim off the excess backing and batting.

7.) Take the ribbon or bias tape and spread a piece out, diagonally corner to corner. I'm using some vintage polka dot bias tape. Trim so it overhangs the corner just a little bit. Pin in place. Do the same with the other corner. At each corner, stitch down and back stitch. Also stich in the center over the top of where the ribbon overlaps itself.

After stitching the corners, trim the excess ribbon carefully, so it won't be a problem later when we bind the memo board.

8.) Now fold the quilt in half and mark the mid points at top and bottom with a disappearing marking pen. Fold the opposite way and do the same thing. The mid point of each side should now be marked.

Take your ribbon and lay it from the top midpoint to the right midpoint. Pin in place. Continue around the memo board, putting a total of 4 pieces of ribbon on and pinning carefully, especially where it overlaps the diagonal ribbon we already stitched on. Make sure that the ribbon sticks out over the edge a tiny bit.

Stitch these pieces of ribbon down at the edges and every place they overlap the diagonal ribbons.

9.) Bind your memo board in whichever way you like best, or use my machine binding tutorial

10.) If you like, sew buttons or something else decorative over the intersecting ribbon to cover up your stitching. I was going to but I got too excited and hung it up.

11.) Hang your memo board using pushpins and add your pictures or mementos!