Having given that introduction, perhaps you know my friend Bridget? Bridget is the binding polymer behind the Emergency Pants and Stitching n Junk podcasts. I first found her through the Stitching n Junk podcast when Brye was talking about new crafting podcasts way back on her podcast. As soon as Brye said the words, “some cursing and maybe not suitable for work” I knew I was IN. After I sent Bridget and Jamie an email about my 24 year old cross-stitch project (which I think Allison still remembers hearing being read on the podcast), I soon found Emergency Pants and the rest is history.
Anyway, Bridget has a birthday coming up this month and I wanted to pay homage to her (in)famous phrase “S-M-R-T I am so SMART!” that I sing a lot at work, while sewing, at guild… basically lots of places where I mess stuff up. So I made her this fun little piece to celebrate:
The trick is to lay out the 1″ squares on a piece of lightweight fusible interfacing. Having a gridded ironing surface will help immensely, but isn’t necessary as long as you can keep straight lines as you’re laying out the squares.
I wanted my finished piece to measure 8″x10″, and since there are quarter inch seams, I had to start with a piece of fusible at least twice that (16 squares by 20 squares)
|Once the fused squares are all laid out (and you’ll see from mine that it doesn’t matter if there are slivers of space between the squares or if they overlap a tiny bit, you are ready to sew! I sewed my horizontal seams first. All you do is fold over the first row and stitch it with a quarter inch seam.|
|Continue this until you have all the seams sewn in one direction. It will start to look all jacked up and curly, but fear not – it will smooth out once you press it. So go ahead and press it (I pressed all my seams in the same direction)|
|After pressing, do the same thing on the seams going the other direction. It’s a little trickier here because you are sewing through multiple layers from the previous seams so go slow.
Give it a final press to make it lie flat (well, flat-ish- it’s pretty bumpy). Since I was mounting this in a frame, I sewed some 2″ strips to each side to help mount it; these pieces get wrapped around a piece of cardboard and taped in place, which is hidden by the back of the frame.
This fusible method has been around a while, and it will work on bigger pieces too. I didn’t want to quilt this piece because of the small size of the pieces and bulk of the seams, which is why I thread-painted onto a piece of tulle and put that on top.