Found At Sea
Guest Judy Mathieson shows how to make maritime quilt pieces.
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Mariner’s Compass, eight-pointed star with perforated freezer paper foundations, has several advantages over regular paper foundations. Here are a few:
- The paper does not need to be torn away as you fold the paper back and stitch along the edge.
- The stitch length does not need to be shortened, as you are not sewing through paper.
- You have control over the direction of the seam allowances.
Now that you know the advantages, here are some instructions to get you started.
Materials and Tools:
fabrics for star points (A), contrasting star background (B), center circle and block
1. Prepare the full size pattern on regular paper. Place the pattern on a single or stack (up to 4 pieces) of freezer paper shiny side up. Use only the tip of a hot iron to temporarily tack the pattern and freezer together in several places (X marks).
2. Remove the thread from the top of the sewing machine. Using a regular needle size and stitch length, "sew" along all of the design lines with the empty needle.
3. Cut along the perforations for the outer circle. Cut along the line between pattern A and pattern B and then cut out the inner circle creating the star ring (figure C). A stack can all be cut out together if they are securely tacked.
4. Separate the patterns into star rings and center circles.
5. Remove some of the shine on the back of the freezer paper star ring by ironing it to the ironing board cover shiny side down. Then pull the papers off. This helps the presser foot travel over the paper more easily.
1. Using the original pattern, make pre-cutting templates by tracing the shapes (figure D) of the star point triangle and star background triangle to freezer paper. Add 1/2 inch all around and cut out the two templates.
2. Iron the template to fabric (figure E) and cut eight pieces each for A and B. A stack of fabrics of fabrics can be used if there is no directional design on the fabric.
1. Use the tip of a hot iron (no steam) to attach the back of Fabric A to the shiny side of the freezer paper at the A area of the foundation (figure F). Be sure that the fabric extends beyond the freezer paper pattern A by at least 1/4 inch on all sides of the foundation triangle. Do not allow the hot iron to come in contact with the shiny side of the freezer paper.
2. Fold the freezer paper back at the perforation to expose the seam line (figure G). Trim fabric to 1/4 inch. Align the right side of Fabric Piece A to the right side of Fabric Piece B (figure H).
3. Stitch along the edge of the folded freezer paper through the two fabrics using a regular stitch length. If your presser foot hangs up on the sticky shiny side of the freezer paper, use a narrow strip of the dull side of freezer paper as a shield. Trim the fabrics to 1/4 inch if necessary.
6. When the entire freezer paper foundation ring has been covered with fabric, pin the two ends of fabric together to complete the circle (figure K). Pull the paper back from one side and sew the two fabric ends together from the end that still has the paper attached. Press and remove the paper star ring by pulling carefully off the stitched fabric (figure L).
Iron the freezer paper foundation for the center circle to the back of the desired fabric. Cut out allowing 1/4-inch seam allowance. Pull the freezer paper off and pin with the shiny side up on the back of the fabric. Use the tip of the iron to press the fabric over the paper circle to "baste" the seam allowance back. Center the basted fabric circle over the star ring and applique with hand or machine stitches (figure M). Pull paper out with stitching is complete.
The star can be appliqued to any background by basting by the seam allowance around the outer circle and applied with hand or machine applique. The star can be pieced in the traditional manner into a square block. Remove the fabric from behind the star before piecing into a block.
If you've ever aspired to make an art quilt but didn't know where to start, this is the project for you. Here is section three...