Saturday, September 11, 2010

What's Black and Red and Blindly Flops Around in Circles?

Why a one-winged, headless ladybug trying to fly of course...

Like I've mentioned before, a very sick sense of humor - sorry...

This how the flying ladybugs were constructed.  First, small squares of the green batiks were sewn to three corners of the black ladybug body squares.  The seams were trimmed and blocks were pressed (you can see what a hasty pressing job I did too - check out the top block *blushing*).

Then the same process was done using one green batik square and each red/orange wing rectangle, then one wing was sewn to each body (creating the one-winged, headless ladybug).

Ladybug heads:  This is where the applique' comes in. Before I started these blocks I had gone to the local quilt shop to find out what fusible web would be best to use (since this is my first applique' project).  They recommended Lite Steam-A-Seam2 and let me tell you what - my inexperienced opinion is that this is a great product.  The fusible web is sandwiched between two layers of freezer paperish stuff.  One side peels off fairly easily and the fusible web is more stuck to the other side.  Plastic templates were made for the two different ladybug heads by tracing the shapes from the pattern onto the template plastic, and then cutting them out.

Once the templates were done, the black fabric was washed and dried to remove any sizing and then pressed.  I tested pulling back the outer freezer paperish layers to see which one peeled off easily (but didn't peel the layer off), then traced the fourty-four ladybug heads onto the other paper side that was more stuck to the fusible web.  Then the layer that easily peeled away was removed and the fusbile web side was put down onto the black fabric.  Since it is quite sticky (but can still be repositioned if necessary), it is great to work with.  Then the forty-four ladybug heads were created by cutting on the lines traced from the templates.  A rotary cutter was used for the straight sides and very sharp small scissors for the rounded edge.

The heads were then placed fusible web side down on the green batik after peeling the paper off .  They were pressed according to the fusible web instructions.  I was a bit worried about the web fusing to batiks that had not been washed because there often is some waxy residue on them, but this stuff worked like a charm. 

So, I ran around the curved edge of ladybug heads with an open overlock machine stitch.  Then the blocks were assembled by sewing the heads to the left over wing blocks, and then joining them to the other side of the one-winged, headless ladybug blocks.  Unfortunately, the instructions tell you to sew the blocks together with the seams pressed in directions that are impossible to achieve.  Don't you just love it when you get to the instructions to assemble the LAST blocks and the instructions suck?  I am so aggravated because I'm going to have to clip the seams in half of the blocks in order to assemble them with the seams in the proper position.  I laid the blocks out on my bed just to get a peek though...

Okay - so crappy instructions aside, I like it :)


  1. Sounds like a lot of work, but well worth it.

  2. EEK!!!!!!!! I LOVE IT! This is going to be WELL worth the work - crappy instructions or not! Mary this is just gorgeous. I'm loving the fabrics you've used.
    I've never tried Steam A Seam, in all the years I've been doing applique I've only tried Heat N'Bond. I'm going to have to get some!