A Stained Glass Couch Throw
By Allie Aller
This is a beginner class, though very enjoyable by quilters at all skill levels. Eight-inch blocks are quickly composed of curved appliquéd strips glued into place on a muslin foundation. They are then sewn down with a narrow zigzag. "Leading" is created from a black cotton solid that has been prepared with fusible web and rotary cut into thin bias strips. The seams between the fabrics within each block are covered by this stained glass–style black leading, fused on, and then sewn down, also in a zigzag. The blocks are squared up and assembled into a small quilt top, with the seams between the blocks then covered with leading as well.
It is GREAT FUN to use and choose many fabrics for the blocks, and then watch them come alive with the addition of the black leading. There is lots of fabric play, and the sewing is easy with stunning results.
The project for this class is the Windy Sunshine Alternate Colorway Variation on p. 59.
Techniques: glue appliqué block construction, iron-on fusible leading
One full day, to learn the glue appliqué method in the morning and the iron-on leading in the afternoon
Class Supply List:
Required Text: Allie Aller's Stained Glass Quilts Reimagined: Fresh Techniques and Design
For a 47˝ x 62˝ quilt
- 3 ¼ yards 37/38˝ muslin for the block foundations
- 4 yards total fabrics for the appliqué (a wide assortment of fat quarters can be selected at the shop, or many 1/8 yard cuts purchased at the store, before class day)
- 1 yard black cotton solid fabric
- 3 yards backing fabric
- 2 yards lightweight fusible web for the back of the black cotton
- Roxanne Glue Baste-It in the 1 oz. EZ-Squeeze bottle (the squeeze bottle is really essential, so have some for sale at the store)
- Temporary fabric marking pen
- Clear monofilament thread, lightweight neutral bobbin thread
- Small quilt batting
- Rotary cutter, 24˝ ruler, and medium to large mat (encourage students to purchase a new blade; it helps so much when cutting the leading strips)
- Very sharp embroidery scissors
- Fabric scissors
- Sewing machine
- Iron and ironing surface
TIP: The Clover Wedge Iron is perfect for these techniques. Students should have the opportunity to purchase them because they truly make such a difference. They are lightweight, articulate, and they don't cause muscle fatigue with all the ironing in this class. For an ironing surface, a folded piece of wool or a small portable ironing surface is fine.
Each student would ideally have their own 6-foot table for an ironing surface, cutting mat, gluing station, power outlet, and sewing machine. Please see Chapter 4, p. 52 for a worktable diagram. Setting up this way is very satisfying and ensures success. If students must share a 6-foot table, set it up for cutting, gluing, and sewing the appliqué in the morning, then for cutting, leading, and ironing in the afternoon.
1. Blocks are composed and constructed according to the glue appliqué method on p. 55. Using the block diagrams as a reference, students can freeform cut their fabrics and assemble them onto their muslin foundation in a somewhat improvisational fashion.
2. The iron-on bias leading technique is explained on pp. 36–42. As the teacher, you should familiarize yourself with this technique by practicing and set a teacher's table up for demonstrations.
3. Students should cut a large number of leading strips as illustrated on p. 22. I call this “making piles of black spaghetti." Cutting 1/8˝, 1/4˝, and 3/8˝ widths, which are then used randomly, adds dynamism to the blocks.
4. Once the blocks are sewn, the leading is applied and sewn down.
5. Blocks are squared up and assembled into a top. Leading is then added in between the rows of blocks.
6. The quilt can then be sandwiched, quilted, and bound.
I advise you to create 9 to 12 blocks in the morning and add the leading in the afternoon.