Sunday, January 16, 2011

Applique Process

Snow is still on the ground and now it is in my kitchen, too.  I finished this little wall hanging yesterday.  Its featured in the BH&G American Patchwork and Quilting 2011 Calendar for January.  I make wall hangings to hide the fuse box cover in my kitchen and had leave off one of the borders to get it to fit in the space.
Today, my daughter and her family came over for lunch after church and I caught this picture of our newest family member, Taralyn, who celebrated birthday #1 in November. Typical of one year olds, she is not still for long and typical of this Granny, I don't take pictures very fast, so she is in this rather awkward pose reaching for a ball she was plying with.  My daughter made her outfit - isn't she a doll!

Conntinuing the pledge to show process on my blog, I thought I would show how I finished prepping my applique block.  In the prior post, I showed how I apply the freezer paper and fold the piece edges over the paper and iron in place.   

I also cut bias strips for the stems, pressed with the seam open on the outside, such that when I pin it is place, the seam is not seen. 

I found this to be too bulky and had to trim the seam to keep the raw edge from showing from under the applique.  Not good.

So I decided to just cut the seam out all together.  (I have got to remember to redo my nails BEFORE I do these closeups!)

I cut the seam away such that approximately 1/8 inch was left of the folded over edge.

This has worked out great to remove the bulk from under the applique.

The white lines you see in the background are chalk lines I drew diagonally across the block for stem placement.
The next step was to remove the freezer paper from the flowers and leaves.  Now this is a another new step for me, as I usually leave the paper in, cut a slit in the background fabric after the piece is appliqued down and pull the paper out through the slit. 

I decided to try something different by removing the paper first, then basting the pieces in place prior to doing the needle turn applique.  By first pressing the pieces on the freezer paper, my folds are set and this should make the needle turn process so much easier - at least that is my thinking at this point.  We'll see how it goes.
And here is the  block, read for applique with all pieces basted in place. 

My mom used to tell me to always baste my pieces in place when doing blanket stitch applique, using thread that matched the applique and to leave the basting stitches in to strengthen the applique.  Of course your basting stitches had to be smaller and neater than mine in this piece.

I have used this concept, but I will be removing these stitches once the needle turn is complete. Therefore I made bigger stitches and used a contrast thread color. 

So there you have my progress on this block.  I just love this pattern (see prior post) and am looking forward to doing a little needle turn applique on this block.

Hope your Sunday was a relaxing one and thank you for stopping by,

Monday, January 10, 2011

Snow Day Fun...

So what did you do today in the snow?  Go walking and shake the snow off trees like we did as kids, take pictures of the snow, make snowmen or snowangels or maybe go sledding?  NOT ME - I enjoy the snow from the window.  I took advantage of a snow day from work to prep an applique project I have been wanting to get started.  I think I watched 5 episodes of Golden Girls after I got tired of the weather reports over and over again. 

So here is what I accomplished:

This is my pattern - Cottage Grove by the Quilt Company.  I am using the Fancy Hill Farm fabric by Robyn Randolph in reds and greens for my quilt.  I did have to add a few greens to get enough for the leaves, but for the most part, all the fabric will be from this collection.

I prep my applique pieces with freezer paper.  Cutting each shape out of the paper, and then placing the paper on the back side of the fabric with the shiny side up. Using a mini iron, I fold the fabric over the paper, ironing it down so it sticks.  Here is the finished leaf, all edges neatly turned under and ready to applique down.  The pattern calls for these to be fused down, but I prefer needle turned so no raw edges.

This is the block I will work on first.  The pieces are just lying against the background fabric.  I also made a bunch of 1/2 inch bias strips to use as the stems and and vines in the borders.

For the quilt, I had to prep 80 leaves, 8 big flowers, 2 small flowers, 8 rosebuds and circles for all.  It took me all morning, but was so much fun working on this while watching the snow falling outside my window.

This project will go with me to retreat on Thursday.  I can't wait!!!!

Hope you have had a good day,

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Lazy cats

We are under a winter storm watch and just the thought of snow and ice makes me want to curl up in my favorite chair and read or quilt or nap - anything but go out in the cold.  Apparently my cats have the same idea....

Here's Felicia in one of her favorite perches - a top the cable box.  I guess she likes a warm bed, but you would think she would want a soft one, too.

Felicia is deaf and rules the house.

 And then there is Topsy, Felicia's daughter.  She prefers to curl up in front of the heating vents - but at least the carpet is softer than the cable box.  Topsy used to have a grey smudge on top of her head that looked like she had been playing in the fireplace. 

Topsy is going blind.  She is the sweetest most humble cat I believe I have ever known.
Then we have Leah, aka Leo.  Now she has the right idea - lying on top of a soft pillow, on a bed covered by one of my mom's applique quilts - right where she knows she is NOT supposed to be.

Leah is a big cat, and is the most aggravating of them all.  She is also the baby of the three and is not related and therefore treated as an outcast by Felicia and Topsy.  She "followed" my son home from church one day (approx 3 miles walk).    He later confessed that he might have carried her part of the way. She did look pitiful when he brought her home and he had found her on the side of the road.  I wonder if she would "follow" him home now to his house?

These cats will probably outlive me!

Hope you have a nice Sunday,

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Old projects....

I have not been blogging much lately, but have been keeping up todate in my blog reading.  I have seen all kinds of new years resolutions, posts with lists of ufo's and resolutions to complete projects before starting new projects.  I just can't bring myself to list my ufo's or resolve not to start anything new.  I wish you all much success in keeping your resolutions and I can't wait to see all the projects you finish up. 

My resolution this year is to enjoy what I do and not rush through it.  This is a good thing as the projects I have going right now are all handwork, and that always takes me longer to get done. 

I have been working away on my hexies.   I have five rows made so far on my "Granny's Posies" quilt and am having the best time making these little darlings.

I did finish a table runner made form the Jenny Beyer fabric I purchased in the fall. 

Here's a close up of the center...I just love this fabric! 

Note the pretty candle holders?  those are a Christmas gift from my good friend Darlene - thank you, I love them!  I think I saw a large crystal bluebird at Hobby Lobby that would look so pretty setting on this runner.

And yes, I have started a new project.  This is a Double Wedding Ring table runner that I will be making with my quilt club - Stitchin' Friends.  We met today and talked about fabrics, and I gave them their homework assignment to purchase their fabrics, and cut the strips.  Here is my homework sheet.

I shopped at Mary Jo's, QBee Quilts and Hobby Lobby, looking for the perfect fabric.  Just wasn't satisfied with anything I found.  Since it is going to be a table runner for the dining room, I got one of my dishes, went through my stash, and found the perfect FQ's for this project.  Better yet - it was a FQ pack I won a couple of years ago!

Here's wishing you all a wonderful new year. Fill your hours with projects you enjoy and save the others for another time...when you will enjoy them again.