To Fray or Not to Fray

Some cats are sweet. Some are just annoying. Some stand in front of the computer screen while you’re trying to watch Walking Dead and iron at the same time, and if you move them, they squawk and jump back up, and then try to stand on your fabric AND your Wonder Under all at the same time.

I want you to guess what kind of cat this is.

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I decided at some point last night to just jump in and start ironing fabrics with the upholstery samples…I mean, I have to start somewhere. It may make me nervous, because it’s outside my normal practice, but it’s going to make me nervous no matter what. So get on with it.

I needed a variety of shades of one color to do the whole human body. The only color I had enough variation in was an off-white color.

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But I didn’t have enough of each texture in that shade for the two largest pieces in the quilt, so I had to piece them…and I had to piece a couple different types of texture together to make it work. They were about the same shade, though, so I think it will work.

I know they look different on the back, but that’s because some of the fabrics have a lining-type backing on them. The other fabrics have a sort of rubbery backing that comes off a little when I iron. Does that worry me? A little.

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Sewing them together was an issue, which yes, does in fact worry me. I didn’t rip on this one, but cut the seam right off and tried again, because the stitches were too damn small and buried in the texture. And then I lengthened the stitch as well.

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Here’s the piecing I did for the other large piece…

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All the other pieces were much smaller, so I put together a run of medium to dark values, just like I normally do…

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I finished all the body parts except for eyeballs, lips, nails, and hair.

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So there are a couple of things I’m thinking about…first of all, I think these are going to fray like crazy. I’m hoping the Wonder Under will help a little with that, plus the backing on those that have it. Otherwise, I think that will just be part of the piece. I’m thinking of embellishing the seams and some of the pieces with stitching, a la crazy quilting. I’m also considering painting over this, but I haven’t decided for sure. I think stitching through the whole mess is going to be a disaster. I might have some issues with the weight and strength of the rayon thread I usually use, and my machine might balk at the coatings on the backs and the general thickness. That’s why I’m thinking I need a cotton background…like one if Mariah’s leftover pieces? Or a random tablecloth. There’s always a trip to the thrift shop. I have some old sheets too.

Tonight, I’m hoping to get the rest ironed to fabric and start on the second one. Or maybe cut these out. Who knows? I need to grade papers too, so it’s not a free night. They never are…

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