Thursday, September 18, 2008

The House that Lisa Built

Some times, early in the morning, when I have the music blasting in my ears, the sweat pouring down my face and I am running as fast as I can, I come up with a new idea!

Today, I decided to make my next house in my series of houses on linen to look like this house...
Anyone who has followed my blog for a couple of months knows that I love houses on quilts and I love to look at old houses. I love this one that I spotted while on a drive with Mr. U last week.

So... this is how I built my house...

Firstly, I printed the photo....

and I tried a small sketch nearby to see if I could even draw something that resembled the real thing. Not bad....
So then, I took a fresh piece of paper and drew a pencil sketch about the size that I wanted it to be (each of my houses is on a 10 1/2" square piece of linen). I then traced over the pencil with a black permanent marker...

This way, I can turn over the sketch and reverse the pattern for fusible applique.
I use Heat n Bond Lite (fusible web) to fuse my pieces onto the background with an iron.
I traced each of the pieces of the house separately...

I trimmed a piece of linen slightly larger than I want the finished piece (I find some time that my block magically shrinks after I finish the fusible applique.
Here are some of my windows and shutter pieces...
Then I start auditioning fabrics...
The brick fabric is cool but a little dark and too realistic for me, so I go with the floral.

When I cut out large pieces of fusible web, I usually cut out the center (a suggestion I got from Pat Sloan- she calls it a donut). This way the finished project isn't too stiff with the fusible and layers of fabric.
I trim the pattern and then remove the paper from the fusible web.
And then I start putting the pieces together (WITHOUT fusing with the iron yet!!!) to see if I like the look. Here I ended up changing that little piece of fabric under the roof because I needed more contrast...

Checking out my pattern piece for its size...
For those smaller pieces, I head to one of my scrap bins (see I told you I have a lot of scraps!)...Here, I am auditioning window colors...
My sewing room gets messy very fast when I am working on this kind of project...
I decided to add a tree without sketching out a pattern first. I just added some fusible web on the back of a piece of fabric and started cutting free hand...
Eventually, I have all the pieces of my house fused to the background...
I like the look of straight stitched black thread on the edge of each pattern piece (rather than a traditional blanket stitch or zigzag stitch). I usually use the inside edge of my 1/4" foot..
When I am done sewing a piece of my project down, I like to use my 'easy threading' needles to take the thread to the back of the project and make a small knot with the front thread and the bobbin thread. I hate for my stitches to come undone!
This is what the back of the project looks like when I bring the threads from the front...
And my ever so handy easy threading needles with the notch at the top are indispensible....
And voila! My house is built. I trim the background block to 10 1/2".
and here is what the back looks like! Pretty cool!