Wednesday, March 24, 2010

How big are those termite pieces?

Some people commented that they had a hard time figuring out how big the bits are in my various termite art projects, so here are some pictures with scale.

In part 1 of the post, I talked about making 2 1/2-inch squares of scraps.  I would sew four of them together (4x4-inch finished) and then put a narrow border around each set.  I would trim the blocks using my 6x6-inch measuring square, so the blocks finished to a bit larger than 5 inches.

In part 2 I talked about using selvages.  Of course the width of a selvage varies by the manufacturer and by the enthusiasm of the person slicing them away from the edge of the fabric.  Occasionally I would have a selvage that was 3/4-inch wide, but usually they were about 1/2 inch.  For the wider strips I might use two lines of stitching, but generally I had just one line of stitching down the center.

In this detail shot you can see how I would change colors.  I would draw the outline of the design on the top of my quilt sandwich, then stitch one selvage across the quilt till I approached the line.  Then I would cut off the selvage at the correct angle, cut the new selvage at the same angle, butt the two edges together and stitch straight across the join. 

In part 3 I talked about using tiny squares arranged in a grid.  The squares are a bit less than 1/2 inch.

I made a half-inch grid with a Sharpie, putting very dark dots on a large sheet of graph paper.  I held the graph paper underneath the white quilt top, the dots showed through and I marked them in pencil on the quilt top.  Then after I had positioned the fabric bits, I ran one line of horizontal and one line of vertical stitching generally through the center of the bits.  This stitching went through all three layers, holding top, batting and backing together at the same time that it permanently attached the little fabric bits.


  1. These are wonderful pieces.....more , more, we want more!

  2. These 2 inch squares are fabulous! And I thought that I was putting little scraps together, wow, little did I know that I should be sewing together the tinest bits. Your blog is very inspiring to me

  3. Hi Kathleen, I have just found your blog and want to say that I am enjoying it very much - I can relate to many things you mention, and you also raise much that is thought-provoking!