Unfolding (Block)

Unfolding (Block)

The Unfolding block turned out to be both a great surprise and a lot of fun.

Initially, the Confetti Pictures were just meant to be a method of using up very small fabric scraps left over from all other Scrap Management recycling stages. But sticking small pieces of fabric together without having to worry about seam allowances can actually be quite liberating. So this block is aptly named: New creative potential is slowly unfolding in front of a horizon that recedes as quickly as we are willing to approach our imagined or self-imposed limitations and cross boundaries into new lands of creation and imagination…

Techniques

  • Confetti Pictures
  • Machine embroidery
  • Optional: Beading

Difficulty

Intermediate to Advanced

Materials needed

  • Fabric scraps in different and contrasting colours (we grouped our scraps into groups of cool colours and warm colours)
  • A piece of foundation fabric: any piece of cotton fabric will do as the fabric will not show
  • Double sided fusible interfacing
  • Sheer fabric in white or in a colour that matches the scraps
  • Different kinds of thread or yarn (knitting yarn, felt cord, embroidery floss etc.)
  • Machine embroidery thread
  • Optional: beads in different sizes, shapes and colours for embellishing the Unfolding plants

Other tools and notions needed

  • rotary cutter, cutting mat, ruler
  • iron and ironing board
  • a piece of baking parchment or a Teflon sheet
  • sewing machine
  • soft pencil
  • optional: pins

Finished size of the block

variable

Cutting

As the size of the Unfolding block is variable, you can cut the piece of foundation fabric any size you wish. We made two versions of this block in two different sizes. The smaller block which we used for a book cover measures 5 ½” by 7”(ca. 14 cm by 18 cm). Therefore we cut the piece of fabric foundation approximately 6 ½” by 8” (ca. 16.5 cm by 20 cm). The larger block which was framed in a shop bought frame was adjusted to the size of the frame’s mat.

Assembly

  • Read the general introduction to Confetti Pictures carefully and follow the individual steps, taking into account the following (additional) instructions.
  • With a soft pencil, draw a line resembling a slanting horizon on the foundation fabric. The line serves as a guideline and separating line between warm and cool colours in your Unfolding block.
  • You can use the “horizon” either as clear dividing line or merely as a guideline. See in the pictures below what difference this makes in the overall effect:

Dividing Horizon   Horizon as clear dividing line or…

Guideline  … or as a mere guideline.

  • For machine embroidery, we used a motif that resembles reed for the cool colours and small circles for the warm colours. Cover the entire surface.

Cool Colours   Warm Colours

  • Take several different kinds of thread and/or embroidery thread long enough to form the Unfolding plants. Twist the threads slightly to make a loose piece of cord. Make a knot at one end of the cord.
  • As a test, place the cord on your Confetti Picture forming a spiral in the warm colour area and ending as a slightly curved stem in the cool colour area. Cut the cord to the desired length. If you want to have leaves in your Unfolding block, make a trial Unfolding plant before cutting the cord.
  • Still with the embroidery foot and the feed dog down, change your machine to a zigzag setting.
  • Start with the knotted end. If necessary, pin it to the surface. Secure it with several zigzag stitches. Then SLOWLY and CAREFULLY stitch the twisted cord to the surface. If necessary, make one stitch at a time.

Start Plant

  • Turn the block as you form the cord into a spiral.

Spiral

  • When your spiral is large enough, stop sewing at its lowest point and let the cord swing into a curved stem towards the area of cool colours.

Stem

  • Provided that your block is large enough, you can form the cord into one or two leaves:

Leaves

  • When you have reached the edge of the Confetti Picture, secure the end of the cord with a few stitches and trim.
  • Repeat for the second Unfolding plant.
  • Optional: Embellish the Unfolding plants as desired with different kinds of beads. We chose small seed beads in blue, turquoise, green, and gold. If you do not have any beads at home, we suggest that you buy an assortment. You are limited to the beads contained in these boxes but they give you a fairly good selection at a moderate price.

Beading

  • Whenever you decide that the plants are embellished enough, your Unfolding block is finished.