Friday, September 13, 2013

Little Bitty Batty

This week's time in the sewing room started with a few hours of fabric pressing and folding.  A growing pile of prewashed stuff had teetered on the back of an office chair for a couple months, threatening to tumble onto the floor.  It was time to deal with it.

One good thing about the job was getting reacquainted with the stash.  I definitely have some whatever am I going to do with that? pieces.  I'm okay with it; in fact, I find it a fun challenge.  One item was a sort of creepy purple-gray, black, and white print I'd bought on vacation in July (found in the clearance bin, no big surprise).  Then there were the mottled burnt orange and poison green pieces.  Ah, yes, this could be the makings of something spooky and seasonal.

As it happened, I'd found a wicked cute bat applique PDF a few days ago (here).  Instead of putting it on a single fabric background, though, I thought I'd try a string or strip-pieced one.

So I made a strata of strips.  Then I cut four squares by turning my 6.5-inch square ruler so the middle strip would be along the diagonal, like so.
Here they are laid out on the cutting table prior to sewing.  I traced the bat onto freezer paper.

Then I layered four pieces of black print fabric, pressed the freezer paper bat onto the top layer, and carefully cut all four bats out at once, following the pattern.

In hindsight, since the bats were going to be fused onto the background, I should have ironed the fusible web onto the black fabric first.  But I didn't, so there was some more fussy cutting of bat shapes from fusible.

The bitty bats were then fused and machine appliqued around the edges.  Then it was sandwiched and quilted.  It's about 12 inches square, table mat size. 


I have, in the past, had a problem quilting through fusible (and I haven't tried another brand yet, which I intend to).  So the best course was to avoid quilting the bats and just concentrate on the center and outer portions of the mini.


I winged it on the center quilting, just following the lines where the four pieces joined and waving back and forth over the line, east to west, then in reverse to make oval shapes.  Then the same thing, north to south.  That didn't seem like enough quilting, so I did double-size waves east to west and north to south and back again, making double-size ovals.


I did concentric circles in the outside with a walking foot, since the bat wings created such a cool circular shape, and I was thinking of bat sonar too.

Isn't it interesting that the bats are sort of an illusion that you don't necessarily see immediately.  You might notice the center first, and then those curious things that look like green fangs around the outside.  And then...bats!


So that's my creepy-cool little bitty batty mini quilt!



September Finishes

10 comments:

Sharon said...

Wow! You whipped that up fast. Very cute...I like that the bats don't jump out right away, it makes a neat secondary pattern

Sarah Craig said...

P.! That is sheer genius!!! I absolutely totally love it!!! I want to make one of my own - do you mind????

Whoop whoop whoop!!!

Kevin the Quilter said...

That is too sensational! It is almost hard to detect it is seasonal! Ingenious and beautiful work as usual!

Lori R. said...

WOW!
At first I was just going to tell you that I actually own some vintage fabric that looks identical to your gold....... then I scrolled down and saw the gorgeous kaleidoscope that you made with your bats. I almost fell off my rolling office chair. Very nice.

Karen said...

SO creative - and very seasonal. I love seeing how you transformed this. That would be a fabulous quilt block. I feel like I need some candy corn though...so thanks for that. :)

Jen BK said...

Love Love Love it, but I have to say, I have to work hard to see the bats....it just looks like a lovely design of swirls to me. Funny how our brains work.

Shay said...

I must confess I kept thinking where are these bats that you speak of ! And then I finally saw them ...duh.

One of the best spooky Halloween projects I've seen !Girl when you decide to make something you just go for it ..I wish I had your chutzpah!

Mom Wald said...

You just make everything awesome.

Allison said...

That is just AMAZING! I love the effect of the striped background. Everything about this is just SO cool! Way to go!

Elizabeth said...

I LoVE your fabric combinations here! They are such pretty Halloween-ish colors. You do really amazing things with fabric. The bats are super cute. I love Halloween; it's my favorite. The pattern they create kind of reminds me of that image of two silhouettes facing each other and the contrast creates an ornate candlestick in the middle, depending on where you focus. Your quilting is beautiful! I love the ovals you quilted in the center and the fabric you used for your bats is so cool! Beautifully done! Congrats on a great finish and thank you for linking up!

xo -E

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