NOTE: I have a few openings in my Santa Rosa SWAS class this Saturday. If you want to learn this technique, join me-it’s a really fun, loose class!
I need step-outs and lots of samples for my upcoming The Quilt Show taping. One segment will be on “Start With a Square” (SWAS). When I teach this, I bring along stitched out samples of over 30 motifs. You choose which you are interested in to use on your piece. Since I began offering this late last year, it has become very popular and the guilds are raving about it! So I am excited to be talking about SWAS on The Quilt Show (TQS).
This is my most used SWAS sample, but I wanted to make a few others and experiment with variations. You do need to start with a large scale print, but your shape does not actually have to be a square–it could be a rectangle if you wanted.
In this case I started with a fun Tula Pink piece-her fabric has lots of shapes to work with! I don’t always draw my shapes in but I was feeling it that day, so I did. If you do this, do NOT fester about replicating the shapes from the fabric exactly. This is a loose, fun process and you’re just looking to continue the feel of the fabric’s theme throughout the piece.
I consider this to be a morph between a project- and process-oriented class, it’s both. There are many variations. When I teach this we fuse the square, no piecing. This saves a lot of class time for more useful skills. The point of this class is to learn new motifs, learn to combine them in pleasing ways and create your own style.
I’m working on tension here. I started out with Aurifil 50/2 in the bobbin. I’m always making bizarre thread pairings so I have gotten really good at tension! I’m experimenting in the margins with tension.
Sometimes tension will surprise you. In this case the Aurifil just would not tension well on this fabric. I’ve got thread pop on the top…
and on the bobbin side. The thread popped on BOTH sides! Okay, time for Plan B. I wanted to use Superior’s King Tut, a beefy 40 wt 3-ply. There was no way I could put a skinny thread in the bobbin like I normally do.
The only way it would work was to put Tut in the bobbin. I don’t think I have ever put Tut in the bobbin before. You can have real problems putting a fat thread in the bobbin. But in this case with Tut both top and bobbin, it worked. Hurray!
Once the motifs were stitched with King Tut, I auditioned background threads. I choose one thread for the background to keep the piece cohesive. It’s important that you nail the background thread-too light and you don’t see it at all. But even worse, too dark and it goes all spider-webby on you.
Oh, I’m liking this!
A little ruler work and some feathers plus 5 motifs and it’s a wrap! I kinda like this one. I’m still prepping for my Quilt Show appearance, so much to do still. I’ll be linking up with Nina-Marie’s Off the Wall Friday where there are always good links!
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