Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Goat Cay, Goop Craft

Greetings from the Berry Islands! We are anchored near a tiny island called Goat Cay (pronounced "key") and waiting for the wind to die down before we move again. Our next passage will be across very deep water, where high winds make big waves, so waiting is prudent. It's also too windy to sew out on deck, alas.

Sitting at anchor with no place to go ashore (the islands around us are all private) means plenty of time for relaxing and sewing. I've been working on a couple of scrappy projects, including my RSC2018 (Rainbow Scrap Challenge) blocks. March's color is bright green.



I've made four green string blocks,



and two green spiral blocks.



In addition, I've added to my clowder of rainbow crafted applique cats. These blocks are 12"x15" and use the RSC color as the background. Last month, I used 3.5" purple squares for the background, and this month I used 3.5" green strips. The cats are the opposite color on the color wheel and I am deliberately choosing the loudest, wildest fabrics I have in my stash. So flowered and fiesta-ed yellow cats on the purple.



And groovy pink and paisley red cats on the spring green. The colors are brighter than these photos show. I really like the swirly red fabric up close, but the hot pink floral looks better from a distance, I think.


A couple people asked me about my experience with the crafted applique, so here's a little bit of the process. I have a simple paper template of the cats that I just lay on the backside of the fabric. This big, easy shape is held in place with my hand, no pins or sticky stuff. If the shape was smaller, I'd probably use freezer paper ironed in place.

 

I lightly trace around the cat with a pencil.


Then I daub the magic Modge Podge goop* roughly on the pencil line using a foam brush. I would estimate that this is about a teaspoon of goop, total, spread over the perimeter of the cat. The book recommends putting plastic on your work space, but I just did it right on my cutting mat since the goop isn't very close to the edges of the fabric. It doesn't soak through to the front, either. It's also water soluble before it dries, so theoretically I could sponge off any spills.

*There are several formulas in the Crafted Applique book and I don't want to steal the author's intellectual property, so I'll use the term "goop." You should buy the book if you want to use this method. She does not show step by step photos of the gooping process, though, so I think I'm in the clear sharing this tutorial.


Then I spread the goop out thinner using the brush so that there were no thick spots that would dry as lumps. It's pretty easy to see the pencil through the goop. It doesn't need to cover the entire cat shape since its purpose is to seal the cut edges and hold them in place for applique. But it does need to cover the entire pencil line and about an inch inside, so I just roughly aimed for that. (The seam down the middle is just because I didn't have a big enough piece of the paisley fabric. Turns out that I should have moved the cat outline a bit left or right so the seam didn't end up right along the edge of the ear, but it worked out OK.)


After the goop dries in about 45 minutes, it is very clear and shiny. The pencil line is easy for me to see (although hard to photograph), and I cut right along it with my good scissors. It feels a bit tacky/rubbery but didn't leave any residue on the scissors. Now the edges of the cat are ready to be ironed onto the background, where they adhere quite nicely. I used a pressing cloth to protect the iron from any extra goop on the cut edges, although nothing stuck to the pressing cloth, so it probably wasn't necessary.

As the final step, I used my machine to straight stitch just inside the cat outline, a simple edge stitch next to the raw edge. Sorry no close up photo of this part! There was no shifting of the applique and the needle didn't get gummy or feel any different than going through 2-3 layers of fabric as normal. The goop is supposed to seal the edges so they don't fray. I won't know if that is true until I make enough cats to sew up a quilt. Stay tuned.

22 comments:

Debbie said...

Sounds like a cool spot to hide out till you get fair winds and calm seas. I love your cats and the tutorial of your version of using the goop. I have the book and had used it before. I want to try it on a floral collage, so thanks for the inspiration. I am pinning your version.

Fiona said...

well there you go... I didn't know a group of cats was called a clowder and I didn't know you could use Modge Podge to do the applique like that.... your bright and breezy clowder of cats is just so fun.....
Hugz

Kate said...

Love your bright and festive kitties! Hope you have lots of relaxing time while you wait for the winds to die down a bit.

Janice Holton said...

Oh my goodness, those cat blocks! That looks like so much fun! I love projects that show off big bold prints like that. Hope you're enjoying the Berry Islands!

LIttle Penguin Quilts said...

All your blocks look great - I especially love the spiral ones! Thanks for telling us about your applique method, too. I've always wondered about it, and should really buy her book! I'm enjoying your sailing stories, too! Always have to go look up where you are on the map!

piecefulwendy said...

Who knew a group of cats was a clowder?! Now I've learned something today! I love your clowder of cats! It will be fun to see them in a quilt. Your goop method is interesting, and if it keeps them from fraying, all the better! Deep waters -- that makes me just shudder. Hope you have calm waters when you move!

Val's Quilting Studio said...

I too am totally inspired by your cat project! Love your idea of just pulling the "wildest" fabrics from your stash. This is going to make a great quilt!! Also inspired to start my own rainbow of strip pieces....I have a big basket to bust through. Continue to enjoy your sewing as you sit anchored:)

Val's Quilting Studio said...

Louise, How big are each of your strip squares??

Vicki in MN said...

So how high do the waves get before You feel uncomfortable while sailing? I would want super super small waves, LOL Great too see you are still getting some sewing time.

Needled Mom said...

Your pieced blocks look great. I love strip blocks. The Crafted Applique technique is my go to technique for raw edge applique too.

djquilting said...

Love your green blocks. I have that book and have planned to try this but ever gotten around to it. You have inspired me to get it out and try it. Happy boating. May your waters always be calm.

PaulaB quilts said...

Your clowder of cats is really physcidelic (remember when?). And as the Irish blessing says, May the wind be always at your back. Of course you are not sailing, but the blessing comes from the heart.

JanineMarie said...

Thanks for sharing how this worked for you, Louise. I’ve had the book and materials for the longest time but hadn’t yet worked up the nerve. Doing this with just sealing the edges might be the trick for me. My front door is crying out for a spring quilt, so this would be a quick way to quiet it. Have fun with your clowder (love that word even though my phone wants to change it to chowder. Ha!)

Janie said...

Great color and subject. Cats like to play with string don't they?
The tropical vibe is beautiful.
Good luck on your adventure.

Dar said...

I like your Mod Podge cats too. Good idea about putting the opposite colors on the color wheel together on the blocks. This will make a great quilt.

Lynn said...

Really like your green blocks and those riotous cats look like great fun. Safe travels

Mystic Quilter said...

Lovely cats Louise and your two green blocks designs have a great collection of lime fabrics.

Sarah said...

I love the photo of your boat draped in quilts. Cute kitty blocks and great fabric!

Pamela Arbour said...

Your cats are just darling. I am wondering who you got to take a picture of the quilts on the boat. Were you just close to land?

Cathy said...

LOVE, LOVE, LOVE those cat blocks - cute, clever, crazy cat blocks!
Safe travels...

Lynette said...

The cats are turning out really fun - which is a norm for your quilts. I love visiting your blog every time! I had a good time looking up the Berry Islands. Were you able to get a BBQ ordered to Nassau to pick up?

Sandy said...

I like all your RSC blocks. Couldn't you make up your mind which one to focus on? LOL Just kidding! The crafted applique seems like a great idea. I'm curious to hear about the fraying. ( Or, rather, the not fraying!)