Friday, September 15, 2017

Crazy Quilt ATC Tutorial Part 1 - Piecing

Have you heard about the 2018 ATC (Artist Trading Card) Swap hosted by Crazy Quilt Quarterly Magazine? 

If not, I encourage you to read about it here at Kitty and Me Designs. Please note, due to postage expenses it is only open to participants within the USA.

As ATCs are only 2 1/2" x 3 1/2", some friends have asked how to go about making such a small crazy quilt. It is my hope that this 3 part tutorial will help answer that question. You may click on any image for a larger view.

CQ ATC Tutorial Part 1 will cover piecing the block.
CQ ATC Tutorial Part 2 will cover embellishing  the block.
CQ ATC Tutorial Part 3 will cover finishing the ATC.

Supplies you will need:

Sewing machine (or you may hand sew your fabrics)
Sewing machine needle (I use the size recommended for denim on my machine.)
Iron and ironing board
Rotary cutter, cutting mat & ruler
Fabric-safe marker or pencil (I use a Pigma Micron 05)
Download of instructions, ATC backing, and envelope - link below
8 1/2" x 11" Cardstock (you need 1 sheet for each ATC)
Scraps of fabric
Timtex or Peltex
Embroidery needle(s)
Embroidery floss
Optional: ribbon, lace, flat buttons (no shank buttons), ric rac, trims, seed beads, sequins.

Step 1: Print Instructions, ATC Back, and ATC Envelope

1. Download the PDF file here at Kitty and Me Designs.
2. Print page 1 of the PDF on regular paper.
3. Print page 2 of the PDF onto cardstock.
Note: If you do not have a printer, you may be able to save the PDF to a flash drive and take it to a business that provides printing services to have them print it for you. Remember page 2 needs to be on cardstock and you need a copy for each ATC you make.

How to print?
A. Open the "ATC-Challenge" PDF File.
B. Click the printer icon in the upper-right corner. (If you do not see this, move your mouse over the page, it should appear.)
C. Under "Pages", you will see "All" is automatically selected. Click the button beneath "All".
D. Type 1 in the box beneath "All".
E. With regular paper in your printer, click "Print".
F. Click the printer icon in the upper-right corner again.
G. Put 8 1/2" x 11" cardstock in the printer.
H. Under "Pages" click the button beneath "All".
I. Type 2 in the box beneath "All."
J. Do NOT check the "Fit to Page" box. It may affect the size of your envelope and ATC backing.
H. Click "Print".

Note: If you are making more than one ATC card, you may print the cardstock for them at the same time. For example, if you are making 3 ATCs, put 3 sheets of cardstock in the printer at step G. Before you click "Print" change the number following "Copies" to 3. All 3 copies should print.

Step 2: Select Your Fabrics

1. Muslin for the foundation. 
2. 4 to 5 coordinating fabric scraps. 
3. Optional: ribbon, lace or fabric trims.

For this tutorial, I pieced a basic block and shared step-by-step instructions. I also pieced a landscape block and a block using a fussy-cut fabric to provide more ideas. These are the fabrics I pulled for each:

Black fabrics and a pink ribbon for a basic CQ block.

I prefer mostly solids or light prints that let my stitching shine. You may prefer bolder prints.

Greens and blues for a landscape block.

For a coffee-themed block, I pulled two prints and fabrics that go well with them. There is also a piece of gold ribbon.

If using a print, remember it needs to be relatively small to fit your ATC.

Lay the fabrics next to one another to be sure the colors go well with one another and do not clash.

Step 3: Piece the Block

This may be done a number of ways. Some stitchers like to use the flip-and-sew method to cover a larger foundation piece. Afterward, they cut sections of that to embellish. I tend to mark the back of my foundation and piece each block individually, using the flip-and-sew method. 

Before piecing your block, there are a few things to consider:
1. Will you be using a hoop? If so, make sure you cut the foundation strip wide enough to fit your hoop. (I cut mine 6" wide, and wish I had made it 7".)
2. Some embroidery stitches will pull your fabric, causing "shrinkage" in size. I always recommend piecing fabric to extend at least 1/2" beyond your block outline.
3. Although we will be marking on the back of the foundation, some inks run when wet. I recommend using light pencil marks or a fabric safe marker. Personally, I like to use a Pigma Micron marker because the ink sets permanently with the heat of an iron.

I followed these steps to piece my ATCs:

1. Cut a strip of muslin. (I cut mine 6"-wide. Be sure yours wide enough to fit your hoop.)

2. Using a ruler and a pencil or fabric safe marker, draw a rectangle that is 2 1/2" x 3 1/2". If making more than one ATC, you may choose to put them on the same strip of muslin. I marked 3 rectangles, leaving 2 inches between each one. 

3. Place the muslin so the rectangles do not show. They are the back of the foundation.

4. Cut one fabric into a triangular shape.

5. Select a second fabric that extends the full length of one edge of the triangle.

6. Place the triangle and the 2nd fabric on the muslin. 
Tip 1: Hold it to the light to be sure the triangle fits within in the rectangle on the back of the muslin.
Tip 2: Fabrics on the edge of your ATC outline should extend 1/4" to 1/2" beyond your outline, as seen in this photo. (It is frustrating to piece your block and then realize part of the foundation was not covered.)

7. Place the two fabrics right-sides-together on the right side of your muslin. Once they are where you want them, sew in place with a 1/4" seam. 
Note: Do not sew the full length of the longer edge. Only sew along the edge of the two fabrics, as seen with the blue line in the photo.
8. Iron the fabrics flat. 
Tip 1: Do not skip this step. Every time you add a fabric, you will need to iron it flat to avoid a bumpy block.
Tip 2: To avoid damaging some fabrics, you may need to place another piece of fabric over your block before ironing. I used cotton fabrics, so this was only a concern when adding ribbons.

9. Trim the fabric. This part can be tricky, because you do not want to cut the foundation by mistake. You will trim the new fabric, following the lines of the triangle, as seen with the blue lines in the photo. (Just pretend my blue lines are straight!)

A. Put the block on your cutting mat so the fabrics lay flat and the back of the muslin is facing you. 
B. Fold the muslin out of the way and line your ruler along one edge of your triangle. 
C. Look to be sure your muslin is safely tucked away (as in this photo) and trim the fabric.

D. Repeat with the other edge of the triangle.

10. Select a 3rd fabric to sew along an edge of the triangle.
Tip 1: Think about what the size the new fabric will be after you sew it and trim it. 
Tip 2: Use a piece of fabric large enough to extend over the edge of your outline and that extends the length of the triangle seam. 

11. Place the fabrics right-side-together and sew with a 1/4" seam. 

12. Iron flat.

13. Trim as you did in step 9. 

14. If your fabrics extend beyond the edge of your foundation, place the piece on your cutting mat, right-side-down. Fold the foundation fabric back about an inch away from the outline for your block. Place the ruler so that it covers the edge of your foundation (so you cannot cut it in error.) And trim the excess fabric with your rotary cutter.

15. Select a 4th fabric to sew along the next edge of your triangle. I added a ribbon along this seam, too.

16. If using ribbon, place it right-side down, lining it up along the edge of the fabric on your block. Place the 4th fabric over this, lining it up along the same edge. 

17. Sew together with a 1/4" seam.

18. Iron flat.
NOTE: I placed a cloth between my iron and my ribbon to avoid damaging the ribbon.

19. Trim excess fabric.

20. If necessary, add another fabric following the same steps: check the placement, sew it on, iron and trim. 

For this ATC, 4 fabrics filled the outline on my foundation.

Step 4: Baste the Outline

1. Place the block right-side-down. You should be looking at the outline you drew.

2. If necessary, pin the foundation to the fabric outside of the rectangle to hold it flat.

3. Set your sewing machine to a long stitch length to make the basted stitches easier to remove when finishing the ATC.

4. Sew along the outline drawn on the back of your foundation.

5. This allows you to see the outer edges of your ATC.

All embellishing should be within those lines. Any stitching outside those lines will be cut and your stitching may unravel.

Any beads, sequins, etc. within 1/4" of those lines may interfere with finishing your card.

This landscape ATC block was pieced in the same manner, beginning with the blue triangle.

For the coffee ATC, I found a printed section of fabric that would fit within the outline and still leave room for other fabrics.

I started with the "Good Coffee" (from the Have a Latte fabric line Clothworks released in 2015) and worked out from there. 

Note: I made sure the print was at least 1/8" away from the edge of the outline. (This will be important with finishing.) 

If you have any questions, or any of my steps are unclear, please leave a comment and let me know. I reply to every comment. If you do not receive an emailed reply from me, you may be a no-reply blogger. If that is the case, my reply will be left in the comments to this post.

I do hope you will consider making an ATC for this swap! It should be fun. :)

I will take photographs as I embellish my black ATC to share in the 2nd part of this tutorial. 

Thank you for stopping by!

Updated September 18th to include the following links:
Crazy Quilt ATC Tutorial Part 2 - Embellishing
Crazy Quilt ATC Tutorial Part 3 - Finishing


Createology said...

Renee thank you so very much for this wonderful tutorial. I understand everything you have shared and now I feel I will be able to actually make a CQ ATC. Of course I still need to find and unpack some sewing supplies. Thank you Thank You Thank you. I am excited to participate in this fun CQ ATC swap. Creative CQ ATC Bliss...<3

Magpie's Mumblings said...

Great tutorial Renee! Thank you for doing this - I know it took a lot of time and consideration about how to present it clearly. Well done!!

Queeniepatch said...

You are the BEST!
What a great tutorial, and I hope there will be many who participate.

Anonymous said...

Cool, but I'm not doing this one. I am barely holding my head above water in school. LOL. Maybe that will get better in another week or two and I'll rethink. I liked your tutorial, though, as it seemed so complete and had such wonderful pictures. Thank you!

Pamela Kellogg said...

Thank you Renee! This a wonderful and perfectly presented tutorial!!!


Renee said...

Thank you, Pam!

FlashinScissors said...

Great tutorial, Renee!
I'm not joining in as I'm in the UK and we are not invited, but it looks like a lot of fun!
I just might make one for myself sometime.
Barbara x