Cloud Catastrophe: Sewing in the Clutch Averts Disaster

I left my camera in my brother’s car for a few days and wasn’t able to post any photos of progress on my art quilt.

Of course, the other reason I wasn’t able to post is because I hit a huge impediment. Part of my design includes 19 clouds–to represent the 19 victims of the January 8 shooting who survived; the clouds will each be cut out of my quilt top using reverse applique. Last weekend, I cut out my first cloud, and used satin stitch around the reverse applique:

OMG. Yuck. I was so disappointed. It was just to hard for me to roll up my quilt top and maneuver it through my machine to keep the satin stitch smooth, instead the stitch was all jerky. This cloud will not do; it’s just unacceptable. I needed a solution.

So….as so often is the case, when one applique fails….apply another applique on top to cover it up. I drew another cloud around my failed cloud…

…and pinned some fabric to the back and cut out that cloud shape, neatly disposing of the failed cloud. 😦

I needed a new method of cover up the seam of my new cloud. What to do. I thought of trying free-motion zig-zag, but then I thought I’d try out my new Juki and used free-motion straight-stitch to sew circles and curls over the seam, which will keep it from fraying.

I cut out a sample cloud with same sample paper-laminated fabric for the inside and some hand-dyed yellow cotton on the outsdie. The laminated fabric is from a photo I took of the Vietnam War memorial on the National Mall.

Here’s a closeup. I liked the way it looked.

So I used the technique on my new cloud; here it is, fresh off the machine and still in it’s embroidery hoop.

Here’s a close-up:

One cloud down, 18 more to go!!