Saturday, February 22, 2014

Redbird and Berries Mini Quilt - Mask and Beak Tutorial

Hi everyone - those that are working on the "Redbird and Berries" Mini Quilt in cotton (Recipe published at the Moda Bake Shop) and now available as a free download on My Craftsy Store,  I've put together a little tutorial to help position the Redbird mask and beak.  I hope you find it helpful.   
If you are new to needle turn applique please be sure to review "Teardrops of Love - a needle turn applique tutorial" under my blog header or by clicking here.  The 4 Part tutorial shares tools, steps, tips and tricks for basic needle turn applique.

First up:  Using template plastic, cut out the full bird template with face, mask and beak intact.  Additionally, cut out separate mask and beak templates as shown on the pattern.  (Pattern found on the last page of the Printer Friendly PDF at the Moda Bake Shop recipe - click here.)

As outlined in Teardrops of Love Part 2: Marking, Cutting and Basting Shapes, using the template plastic, trace the outline of the redbird on the fabric of your choice.

Place tick lines/marks on your fabric where the top and the bottom of the mask will border the red face of the cardinal.   This will help with mask alignment in a later step.  Be sure to mark the lines on the INSIDE of the face (the outside edge will be trimmed away).

As outlined in Teardrops of Love Part 1: Tools -- I used a Sewline Fabric Lead in Pink to trace the  redbird on the grunge fabric, skipping over the area where the mask and beak will be positioned.
After tracing around the perimeter of the template for your redbird, mask and beak, cut around the traced lines leaving appx 1/4 inch allowance to turn under.  Don't worry if you leave more than that, you can always trim as you go.
Next, as called out in Teardrops of Love Part 2: Marking, Cutting and Basting Shapes, baste the Redbird to the background fabric. I started stitching just above the upper tick mark and worked my way around the Redbird to the bottom tick mark.
When you get to the bottom tick mark for the mask you'll want to trim the excess fabric that is nearby the mask location.  There is no need to turn this fabric under - -the mask will be positioned here for a finished edge.

I used a running stitch to travel along the raw edge that will not be turned under.  This helps keep the fabric stable when you stitch the next layer over it.

Don't travel too close to the edge as you will be turning the black mask fabric under here and you don't want your running stitch in the way of that.
Now, grab that template, position it over the redbird, and align it with the traced lines on the mask to aid in positioning the mask. You can see from the image below that it fits fairly well -- just be sure it also aligns with the tick marks under the black fabric.  The turn or traced line on the mask should be resting on the tick mark you made on the redbird.
Once you find the right position for the mask, use applique pins to secure it for stitching.

The mask should include markings where the beak will be positioned.
Before you begin to sew the mask, trim excess fabric so you have a scant 1/4 inch (or less) to turn under.  There is a fine line between leaving too much bulk to turn under or having too little fabric to turn -- you will find your comfort zone after stitching for a while.  I'm confident that over time your comfort zone will change -- allowing you to leave a smaller seam allowance.

You can see I used black thread for sewing the mask.  Rule of thumb: Try to match thread to the color of the applique piece you're stitching, not the color of the background.
 
OK, before you begin to sew the mask, check once again to ensure that the inside mark on the mask aligns with the tick mark you put on the redbird.  I goofed my first time around and it was not aligned correctly.  That old seam ripper comes in handy at times ;)   When positioned correctly, needle turn it in place like you would any other applique piece.
Stitch around the perimeter of the mask, trimming and turning as you go.  In this case, because the beak area is so small, I decided to needle turn the entire mask. (I did not leave a raw edge where the beak will be positioned).
Once the entire mask is sewn on, then finish off the black thread on the back of the background fabric as described in Teardrops of Love Part 3: Long Edges and Easy Turns
Next up -- get that beak sewn on!!  Before you begin to stitch give yourself a little jump start and finger press the bottom edge of the beak (see below).  This makes it a bit easier to start turning and sewing the beak on.
Referring to the redbird template, position the beak such that that top of the beak is somewhat flush with the top outer edge of the mask - and the bottom of the beak is buried within the mask area (see below).

Pin in place. 

You may notice that I broke the Rule of Thumb when sewing the beak -- I did not have any thread the correct color so I stuck with the black (which really wasn't so smart).  Best to try to match the color of the applique piece - and if you can't exactly match go darker (but not as dark as black (?What was I thinking ?)).
You're almost done, now sew around the perimeter of the beak, bury and tie off your thread on the backside of the background and Admire Your Work !!   Don't be hard on yourself - it doesn't have to be perfect.  It will look beautiful when you're done.... Woohoo!

That's a wrap!!  If you have any questions please leave them in the comments section or send me an email - I will do my best to answer them.  Also remember, if you have pictures of quilts made from Moda Bake Shop Recipes you can share them at the Moda Bake Shop Flickr group.

Also remember you can download the PDF version of Redbird and Berries is available as a free download from My Craftsy Store.

Now be sure to stay tuned for the 100th post milestone giveaway!  I'm getting my thoughts, and some prizes together to share with you!!  Thanks for being loyal followers - it's so much fun... 

Have a wonderful weekend all -- I need to get some rest as we're sledding with the grandchildren tomorrow (oops - today - oh my!!).

Hugs,
Karen

22 comments:

  1. Hi Karen: Thank you for the lovely tutorial. So clear. I love that pattern, too. It's very striking.

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    1. Thank you Prairie Stitcher -- it was fun to make. I hope you get a chance to try it one day - please let me know if you have any questions at all. Thanks for stopping by. Karen

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  2. Terrific tutorial! Thank you. I purchased my fabric to make this lovely wallhanging, but it will have to be one of my summertime projects. I look forward to sitting on the deck looking out over the water and stitching!

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    1. Woohoo Karen how exciting is that ? You let me know this summer if you run into any trouble with it ok ? And be sure to post a picture of the completed quilt on the Moda Bake Shop Flickr group too! Yippee!!

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  3. You make it look so easy, Karen, thank you for that.

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    1. Awe thank you Kate - it's fun to break it down into "do-able" pieces. Sometimes I get overwhelmed with my work and my hobbies and cutting it into sections helps. I appreciate your kind words. Hugs, Karen

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  4. Thank you for the tutorial. It is great. Have fun sledding! Hugs,

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    1. Thanks Sandi -- we did have fun sledding -- gosh those kids have ton of energy. Have a great weekend now - hugs, Karen

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  5. WOW!! That was an incredible tutorial!! Thanks for taking the time to do that, Karen! We really appreciate it!
    P

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    1. Thank you Paulette - and thanks for sharing all the wonderful pictures and tours and eye candy quilts on your blog my lady !! I live my Quilt traveling world through your eyes! Hugs, Karen

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  6. I saw this quilt online Fashion. He is perfect!

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    1. Thank you Kalinka - he was so much fun. He doesn't much compare to all that beautiful stitching work you do!! I appreciate your stopping by. Karen

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  7. I so love the way you designed this. The brilliant red with all the white is stunning. Your quilting in the background sets off the figures wonderfully!!!!

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    1. Awe thanks so much my friend. I do love designing things and then making them come to life. And also find, as YOU well know, that the quilting can make them come to life!! I love to quilt -- if I could just get someone to do all of the sewing for me ;) Hugs, Karen

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  8. Thank you for the lovely tutorial. So clear. I love that pattern, too. It's very striking.
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  9. Thanks for the great tutorial and the fabulous step-by-step photographs.

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    1. Awe you're welcome Karen - it's alot of fun to share especially when it helps someone through the process. Thanks for stopping by and commenting -- I appreciate it. Hugs, Karen

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  10. Thanks for the great tutorial.You make it so easy.Fabulous design!

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    1. Thank you Rosa - I appreciate your stopping by and commenting. I hope you have a chance to make him one day. Hugs, Karen

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  11. Karen, I absolutely love this design and your tutorials are wonderful!! I just wish I had had the time to sew along with you - hopefully though this will be one of this year's projects for me!!!

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    1. HI Raewyn! I miss hearing from you -- thanks for stopping by and for your nice words! I just spent a few minutes touring your 365 photos -- they are so beautiful - - I'll be following. Hugs, Karen

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Thank you for your Sweet comments!