Solar Flare Eclipse – The Process: Appli-piecing

So in one morning I cut out all the pieces and put together my art quilt.  Was a learning experience I can tell you!

The way the original technique worked was to use washable glue to turn under one of the seam allowances and then glue basting to the adjoining piece.  What I learned part way through this was that the glue basted seam allowance is a pain in my butt!  Can’t readjust easily and can’t get the nice smooth curves I want just perfect. Yes, I have OCD or something. LOL  So I’ve gone back to my tried and true method of 30 years using spray or liquid starch on the seam and turning under then ironing to set the seam.  Fabric is much more forgiving on curves and if I need to tweak, I just dampen the spot to adjust and reset. 🙂

Maybe this will help you understand the process. 🙂

Here you can see two sections of the templates to go together. With pieces cut, ironed to fabric on the right side, you would notch the seam allowance for curves on only one side of the pieced fabric to be matched up.   Notice I have tic marks, made before I cut them apart, so that I can perfectly match up the seams.  HUGE help!

Using the washable glue, I folded over the one seam and ironed to set the glue as shown here. This is what I changed up part way through.  I gave a light misting of liquid starch instead of using the glue.

Glue basting seamsUse tiny dots of glue on the opposite seam (left open not turned under), and place that folded over seam on top of the adjoining piece with the flat open seam. (right sides up),   Carefully match up the tic marks and iron to dry and set the seam. In the picture I show below, this is shown just a tad away from the seam so you can see where I’m joining.  This would of course be butted up paper to paper as shown on the seam above.  Triple check all your tic marks before you set with an iron! Appli-piecing seams

The hardest part at all about this process is deciding which pieces to fold under and how to work sections. You have to put a little thought into how it will all fit together. Good example is this section below.  I cut the freezer paper template out as a section.  Pieced all this together first, then the next section above this, before adjoining the two sections.  Reason is that curled flame between them.  All those pieces needed to be together to join smoothly along the entire edge of the curled flame.  And this large section even has smaller sections… I don’t cut apart any of the template until I’m ready to work on that part… would be way too confusing to put that puzzle back together! LOL I did end up adding numbers too before cutting apart to help me keep them in order.

NOTE:  I got excited and removed some of freezer paper to reveal the design.  Note how I left the paper on where I still needed to match up seams.


Just keep working around adding pieces and groups of pieced sections to complete.  Then I added the sun and eclipsed pieces after background was completed.  This was a bad photo as I was holding my camera way above my head and at an angle so it’s deceiving to look at. LOL It’s a lot more square than this in real life. 😉

And here is the finished piece all basted and ready to sew.  I won’t square it up till after I’ve completed all the thread sketching and quilting. This was much easier than I anticipated and has taken a LOT of mystery out of some the awesome art quilts I have seen out there!  I think I’m in love with the process! It has really sparked some ideas I have for future art quilts.  Think I see a stellar series coming!  I have wanted to make some art quilts of my brother’s Astro Photography for a long time now and this was just the technique I needed to make that happen!

Solar Flares

Hmmm… See all those tiny confetti looking scraps from notching out the seams to the bottom right of this photo?  The black is actually my large ironing board I made… As I sit here writing this, it has given me an idea…  I could put tiny triangle scraps into a black background for distant stars!  Yes… my brain sees things like that and put it into my digital note book with this image for future! LOL  I think that may also work for making a complex Nebula… ok, mind is racing now.  Need to finish this up so I can start another one with these ideas. LOL  And you wonder why I haven’t found time to blog?  There’s the reason! LOL

Off to get this quilted and then add a nice black binding for a frame.  🙂


    • Nicky on September 25, 2015 at 12:37 pm
    • Reply

    Ahh, I miss the way you think!! This is gorgeous 🙂 i am so afraid of curves.

    1. OH don’t be Nicky! They all look harder than they are! There are several ways to do curves and this is just one way for a semi-complex piece. My next one is very complex pieces so I am doing it with a fusible web for some.

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