Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Getting Scorched or Stitching Fire

Brain dead this week.  Finishing a quilt always seems to take forever and the Phoenix is living up to its reputation.  It is having an awfully hard time rising out of those ashes.  Under the bird in the lower third of the quilt I have set several small fires.  When I looked at them I had to ask myself, "How many fires have you seen that have a round bottom and look like a rootless tree?"  I went on to other parts of the quilting, but those red and yellow "trees" remained on the periphery and I had to wonder what they were doing there.  Scorched!

Out came my most useful tool...
Seam Ripper
...and off I went reverse sewing the faux fire thread painting. Fortunately all the sewing had been done with a straight stitch and it was easy to slip the ripper under several threads and cut them at the same time.  It took time, but the two main campfires are out, one has been replaced (and looks soooooooo much better).  I don't know yet whether I will redo one more, but we'll see.  I am only redoing one at a time.

I found an interesting way to arrange flames so they look like a fire:

Potential fire
I cut several pieces of freezer paper of variable sizes and graceful shapes, freehand with paper scissors, and laid them on the quilt top until I liked the way they looked.  This example was done quickly for the camera and is not the final arrangement.  The pieces could be ironed down, but I choose not to do that because there is water soluble thread on the back and I don't want to heat it as it seems to lose its solubility.  Note to self:  I need to run an experiment on that.  Anyhow, I will pin my design down loosely and draw around it with my Sew-line white marker.  Then I will stitch the outline with red thread and get busy filling it with thread painting.

I know now that it was worth the hours of ripping to get it right.

TIP:  Sometimes you have to go backwards in order go forward.  If there is a boulder in the trail you may have to retrace your steps to find a way around it.

Sew a happy seam this week.


  1. A seam ripper is a girls best friend. Yours looks a lovely one.

    1. My wonderful seam ripper was handmade by my daughter and/or her husband. It is the best one I ever had!

  2. Nice flame... should look great on the quilt.

  3. Well said! Yes, sometimes you have to go backward in order to go forward in the right direction!