Applique the Linda Cantrell Way….

I so enjoyed the Linda Cantrell lecture and was really excited about attending her workshop the next day.   The workshop was called “Self Portrait Quilts” and I wasn’t all that excited about it, thinking that it was going to involve a lot of drawing.  However, she provided patterns for our applique and the workshop was really about various applique techniques.

She talked about fusing quilts and told us that she is currently trying a new technique to stop the fraying.   She is using June Taylor’s “Fray Block”, and painting it on with a small paintbrush……


….AFTER she has fused it to the background piece.  

She also suggested using a Size 60 Machine needle which makes tiny holes and helps prevent fraying.

Now, onto her hand applique lessons…..

She first cuts her pattern out of freezer paper, sometimes ironing two pieces together to make a stiffer pattern.  The pattern is not reversed when it is drawn on which makes it much easier to do.

She then puts the freezer paper pattern on the back of the fabric, placing the dull side to the fabric and the shiny side up. 

Next step is to iron the seam allowance onto the shiny side of the freezer paper.  The edges stick beautifully, making for a neat applique piece…..


On the larger pieces, she goes back and cut’s out the center of the pattern so that only the ironed edges remain…..


The final step is to put all of the pieces together using a fine bead of Elmer’s glue……


She had a great suggestion for using the glue.   First, she takes the cap off of a bottle of glue and cuts of the “Eiffel Tower” on the bottle.  She also trims off the top of the orange tip.  She then takes the tip end off of a  mechanical pencil and inserts it into the orange tip.   The smaller opening from the mechanical pencil allows for a VERY fine bead of glue to be spread……. DSC00844

Linda was AMAZING to watch as she ironed around a 1/4 inch circle…..DSC00875DSC00878

We asked how she kept from getting pointy edges along her curves and she said that she only irons the edge of the seam allowance first and then goes back and presses the rest of the seam allowance down after the fact.

It was great fun to learn yet another way to applique!!!!

Discharging the day….


First of all, I need to jump ahead to a post that I haven’t written yet…..

Last week, I took a class from Linda Cantrell and I still haven’t blogged about it, but I want to jump forward to something that she showed and tell how it relates to what I did today.

She showed us two small quilts that she has made…..




She then showed us how she uses  a Clorox Bleach Pen…..


… make the shadings in her vase.  Working with a shape similar to her vase, she uses the small tipped end of the pen to draw onto the fabric.   After a few minutes, the bleach discharges the color in the fabric, leaving a wonderful design (see the brown design on the left)……


Now, let’s fast forward to this afternoon.   I have been looking for another project to try more hand applique and thought that one of these types of wallhangings would be fun to work on and doable to finish.

I started out by searching my computer and the internet for photos of sunflowers, stems and leaves, coming up with these (among others)….











My plan is to make a vase that holds a single sunflower, along with several leaves.  

Next I started looking for vase pictures…..I know that I could draw one pretty easily but always feel more comfortable with having something to look at.   I found this one…


I used my copier and played with all of the patterns until I got it the size that I wanted it.

THEN, I started thinking about Linda’s technique of using the Clorox Bleach pen so, after a quick run to the store, I was ready to give it a try. 

After looking at this design, I decided to try to replicate it by cutting it out as a stencil and using the bleach to take the color out of the fabric.

First step was to cut the template out of freezer paper and carefully iron it onto the fabric.  In this photo, the fabric looks blue, but it is really a deep purple….  DSC01019

I then squeezed out a puddle of bleach and started going over my stencil with a small paintbrush.   The results were instantaneous!!!!DSC01020

I quickly realized that the color would never discharge completely, so I took of the paper and washed the fabric.   Here is the result…..


You can see that I did a bit of bleach doodling around the edges as well!!!

It didn’t look like much until I put the vase outline over it…..



My original thought was to use colored markers to fill in the spaces, but finally decided to simply use a black Pigma pen to add some outlines.   I also added a little bit of color in the flower centers.  Finally, I realized that the contour lines at the top of the vase had spread and gotten too big, so I used another marker to make them slimmer and to add a bit of shadowing…..


The final step was to prepare it for appliqueing, this time using Linda Cantrell’s method of preparation….I will blog about that later….



I am REALLY excited about this result.  Now I guess that I need to go back and finish designing the wallhanging, but in any event, I had a GREAT afternoon!!!

The hilarity associated with Linda Cantrell


This past week, Linda Cantrell visited my guild and gave a 45 minute talk about her wonderful, comic approach to quilting. 

I first noticed Linda’s quilts MANY years ago at the Houston Quilt Festival when this quilt caught my attention….


I remember spend 15 minutes looking at this quilt, taking in all of the details and enjoying the humorous aspects of the quilt.

As she showed her many quilts, I was truly amazed at the details that she included in each quilt.  Have a look at this one…..


…and then check out some of the details…..DSC00835

One of my favorite pieces was a story quilt of Sunbonnet Sue, starting with her shotgun wedding to Overall Sam, and ending with a true “Cliff Hanger” where she falls off of a cliff and is holding onto a tree branch as a UFO targets her….DSC00818

The story continues in the next quilt where you see Sue sleeping on a park bench under a stack of newspapers (bottom right)!!!DSC00819

This quilt looked into a local diner and pictured the occupants of one booth throughout the hours of the day……DSC00823

As wonderful as her quilts were, her delivery was even better.   We interrupted her several times with applause and all came away with a happy, content feeling about the art of quilting!!!

If you ever have the chance to attend one of her lectures, DO NOT MISS IT!!!!