Sunday, June 29, 2014

Slow Stitching Sunday

I am linking with Kathy for Slow Stitching Sunday.  I have the center section complete now for "Alma's Winter Garden" which is a pattern in Jan Patek's "Garden Dance" book.  It still needs a pieced border and then an applique border.  The center should measure 36 inches square.
Kathy is having a fabric give-away on today's post.
Back to slow stitching.

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Small Applique Quilt In the Works

I saw a picture of a quilt pattern that had been in a magazine but was never able to find out what magazine.  Nor who the designer was.  I drew my own pattern.  The central part of the wall quilt is done and I have a triangle border in the works.  There will be more applique border after the triangles.  
If you happen to know what magazine the design was in, please let me know.  I saw a quilt picture in a Gwen Marston book that used the same block or at least it appeared to be the same.  The quilt she showed was not done by Gwen.  The maker had been inspired by an antique quilt.  I could not track down a quilt pattern made by this person or by Gwen Marston.

Time to stitch!

Friday, June 27, 2014

Test Results of Three Applique Methods

Do you watch You Tube quilting technique videos?  A host of valuable information and like attending a mini class at no charge.  I was searching for different applique techniques to create a list of You Tube videos for a Yahoo prim group.  I decided to test some of them.  I ordered some products recommended on the videos and got busy.

My first try was using Wash Away Applique Sheets put out by C&T Publishing.  These were recommended by a friend.  Your shapes have to be in reverse because this product has a fusible side that adheres to the back of your piece.
I already had some basket shapes cut out of fabric and marked for needle turn.  I cut out the same shape minus the seam allowance from the wash-away sheet and ironed it to the back of my fabric.  I stitched one using the sewing machine threaded with Sulky clear poly thread.  I used the recommended machine settings and quickly was able to stitch the basket to the background fabric.  The only thing I did not do that was recommended is to use unwashed background fabric.  Almost all of my stash of fabric has been pre-washed.  The idea was to use pre-washed fabric for the applique shapes and non washed background fabric.  The shrinkage of the background fabric would pull the edges of the applique shape inward and the nylon thread would be less visible.  I did not care for the feel of the nylon thread on the edges of the basket.I forgot to take a picture of that block.   Next I decided to try doing a needle turn technique by hand and the same wash-away product.  Here is the block I stitched.
The wash-away product gives an edge to turn against.  I need more practice with the in side curves but the result was pretty good.  This block has been soaked in water and is fairly soft.  The product is supposed to soften more as you wash your quilt.  It gives the applique the feel of having a very thin batting behind them and not a stuffed trapunto effect.  Here is a photo of the back of the block after washing.

I then decided to iron some of the product on the back of two basket blocks.  These gave me some additional practice and went well.

The next experiment was to try the product Cut-Rite Heavy Duty Freezer Paper.  It is the weight of a file card.  If you have trouble seeing your shapes through the product for tracing, you can use a light box.  I reversed the pattern shapes before tracing as I was going to iron the freezer paper to the back of the fabric.  I then used the spray starch method where you use a little paint brush and spread the starch on the seam allowance.  Then use an iron to press the seam allowance over the freezer paper.  The paper is removed before stitching.  I was expecting a stiff edge that would be harder to hand stitch but was pleasantly surprised how easy it was.

 Here is the block I did.  

The last two blocks shown above are from the book "Inspired By Tradition" and Kay Mackenzie is the designer.

Next up was a product shown in a You Tube video by Cristy Fincher.  She is Sharon Schamber's daughter.  She called the product "Sharon's Secret".  The first video is here.  Here is a picture of the product.

It just looks like an interfacing but Cristy says it washes away.  You have to glue the back of your shape to the back of your fabric with a wash-away glue such as Elmer's School Glue.  Cristy demonstrates gluing the seam allowances over to the back and then using a zig-zag sewing machine stitch with invisible poly thread.  I I did not care for the process.  It was hard to get the edges to slide into the proper position if I applied the glue too lightly.  I used quite a bit of glue and had it all over my fingers.  I did not want to do it with invisible thread but hand stitch instead.  The glued edges were too stiff for pleasant hand stitching.  I chose block one of Benjamin Biggs to test this method.  Here is my block.

Here is the back of the block after about a 45 minute soak in water.
The product is softer but still stiff.  The background fabric feels a bit stiff too so I am thinking the glue migrated into it during the soak.  Whether it would soften more during a wash, I don't know.  I don't know if I will continue using this product.

A couple of the applique technique videos recommended Karen K. Buckley scissors because of the one blade that is serrated.  I purchased two sizes and am pleased with them.  I ordered them through Amazon at a good price.

I have been doing a lot of applique and have more to share but will do it another day.  

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Collector Series Flimsy Done

Hurray!  Another flimsy done and again a long time in the making of it.  I finished Jan Patek and Linda Brannock's "Collector Series" quilt top.
I have to say that this was not the easiest quilt top to make.  I definitely would not recommend the pattern to a beginner quilter.  The blocks with the hearts surrounding a house, the basket, and the pot of flowers were difficult.  I finally drew my own heart block very similar to the original, made paper templates to stitch and then used the pattern applique designs.  There were some other blocks that I used freezer paper for paper piecing and I am certainly not the best at that.  And many, many partial seams to sew this together.  No directions on how to accomplish what needed to be done.  But I do like the end result and I am glad I stuck with it.

Generous friends played a role in my being able to make this quilt.  I was given the patterns and some of the  fabric kits.  I was given a wonderful notebook to store the patterns in (see pictures below).  And given encouragement.  Two blocks that I really like are the wide basket block in the upper right area and the tall basket on the lower left.  I happened to have a piece of the same basket fabric used in the original quilt  for the wide basket and I was pleased with the result.  I used lots of plaids in making the blocks with a scattering of print fabrics.  Below you can see pictures of my favorite baskets.

Here is a picture of the notebook given to me by a friend.  It had belonged to a very close friend of hers that passed away.
And a view of the inside.
I plan on keeping the patterns as there are additional designs using the block patterns and I may utilize some of those at a future date.

Happy Dance!

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Whig Rose Flimsy

Jo's Whig Rose flimsy is done....just a few minutes ago.  I couldn't wait to take a picture and share it with you.  I like the end result.
I mentioned in a previous post that I was able to find the same border fabric Jo Morton had used in her quilt.   It is called Broderie Perse and was by Kathy Hall. But that was quite some time ago.  I think a multi- color floral or paisley that makes you happy would work.  I had my doubts about the border fabric.  Not all the colors Jo used for her applique pieces were in the floral fabric.  I thought maybe there was more than one colorway of the floral printed but I could never find evidence of that.  I studied the picture of the quilt best as I could.  The pattern was also published in a Quilt Mania magazine which I had.  In those photos, every thing looked much lighter than in the pictures in Jo's book "Traditions".  I decided to just use what I wanted to get a similar applique look.

I managed to sew one border set of triangles all the wrong direction and had to un-sew and re-sew.  The quilt top is about 60 inches square.  Blocks are 18 inches finished.

Happy Dance!

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Whig Rose Part Two

Two more completed Whig Rose blocks.  A total of four and all that is needed for the quilt.  Next comes the piecing.  You can see the first two blocks in the previous post.

I have started experimenting with a product new to me in doing applique.  The blocks are drying now so I can't take pictures just yet.  I will share the results in my next post.  It is fun to try new things.

Friday, June 6, 2014

Noah and Matilda Part 2 and More

I completed more Noah and Matilda blocks.  I am not doing them in any particular order.  Just what I pick up at the time.  The patterns are available through Dawn of Collector With A Needle.  She is releasing four blocks per month and the price is very reasonable. My fabric selection has come from stash thus far but I may need to shop for some more green.

Next up are two more of the "Loch Lomond" blocks.

I like the one red fabric that has little sheep on it.  A Primitive Gatherings fabric.  As I mentioned in my last post, the pattern was designed by Geoff's Mom.  It was inspired by a trip she took to Scotland.

And last up are two blocks I have completed using Jo Morton's Whig Rose pattern.

I have had the border fabric saved for a long time to make this quilt.  I should have taken a picture of it and will for a future post.  It is the same one Jo used in her quilt.  She wrote that she wanted to show that you could use any of her fabrics in making this quilt and used pieces from different lines.  Well, I wanted the same look as the original with purples, pinks, and reds but I did not have fabrics from Jo's lines in those colors.  Not enough to have much variety anyhow.  I just felt like I could not pull it together using only her fabrics.  I ran across the border fabric last week while looking for another piece of fabric.  I decided it was time to do something with it or pass it on.  I started pulling fabric from the shelves and chose not to limit myself to using only Jo's fabrics.  I should have done that a long time ago.  I pulled pieces out of stash that were mainly reproduction fabrics or had a look that would blend in.  It takes me stitching over two days to complete a block.  I have a third one started and one more to go after that.

I have been watching applique tutorial videos on You Tube.  Such a variety to select from.  It is like getting a free class when I watch one.  I want to try another method of applique and have ordered some supplies to try the freezer paper and starch method and another with a wash away stabilizer.  I will let you know the results.

Time for lunch and then back to stitching.