Saturday, May 31, 2014

May's Green Wonky Star

I don't know if it is the time of year or my age, but I sure don't get as much done as I used to.  But, I am proud that I made the deadline and got my last block for RSC2014 completed.  This wonky star block is  quite simple and fun to make.

I am looking forward to what color June will bring and love how these blocks are looking when I lay them out together.  If you have some scraps that are begging to become a quilt, make sure you head on over to RSC2014

Monday, May 19, 2014

Quilter's Blog Festival

Amy over at Amy's Creative Side is hosting the annual Blogger's Quilt Festival.  If you have never visited, you are missing an opportunity to see some great quilts in all kinds categories. It is a great opportunity to enter a favorite quilt and possibly win a prize.  There is a category for everyone.

I have decided to enter Christmas Story this year in the  Applique Category.  Christmas Journey is a very special quilt as I purchased the fabric at different quilt shops during a journey home to see my Husband's parents in December of 2011.  In February of 2012, my father in law passed away and soon after I started the quilt.  When it came to hand quilting it in the winter of 2013, my mind would wander back to that Christmas and the great times we had had over the years.  So I dedicated this quilt to his loving memory.

Current and Coxcomb Block

My first attempt at designing my own block

Oak leaves and acorns

Cotton Bolls

Pineapple block

Bird Block

Prairie Flower

Center Medallion

Close up of Pineapple with trapunto feathers.
So, I hope you will hop over and enter a quilt and take some time to vote for your favorite in each category.

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Backbasting Applique

I find when doing applique, it is a good idea to learn several techniques.  I think one of the best ways to learn needleturn applique is to start with learning a technique that is called backbasting.

With backbasting the shape you want to make is drawn on the back side of the fabric.  Then a piece of fabric cut large enough to cover this area plus a generous seam allowance  is place right side up on the right side of the block and pinned in place.  Then from the back side you baste on the drawn lines.  I like using hand quilting thread and a larger needle.  The holes formed by the needle and thread will later act very similar to perforated paper and assist you with the needle turn process.

After the basting is done, I like to wait till the next day to actually start the needleturn applique.  The needleturn process starts with clipping the basting on the front side and removing a couple of stitches.  Then use your needle to turn under the seam allowance.  You will find that the fabric will want to naturally turn where the thread and needle have perforated the fabric.

I love this technique on larger pieces of applique, as it really helps keep them from shifting.  It is also great on stems when they are not one uniform size.  I also find it works great on curved handles, so you don't have to fight with bias strips to get them to lay flat. As you can see on this block, I used it only on  three of the many stems as they flared out on the end..

This shows the basting on the backside of the block

This is the front side after I trimmed it leaving a scant 1/4 inch seam allowance.

This photo shows the flare at the bottom of the stem.
There are a lot of You Tube videos on back basting, so if you haven't  tried it may I suggest you  give it a try.  You never know when you might run into a situation on a block that it may come in very handy.

Saturday, May 17, 2014

Green Pickledish!

Rainy days make for great quilting time!  We had a slow drizzle for two days, so I took advantage to spend some time in the sewing room to get my RSC2014 blocks made.  This month’s color is green.  I have to say, green is definitely my favorite color.  As I was stitching them, I kept thinking about how last months blocks might look next to my new green blocks.  I had vowed not to lay them out together till the end of the year, but my love of color took over.  Soon I was looking for the box that is holding all my blocks.  So I proceeded to lay them out on my sewing room floor. 
What a pleasant surprise!  All those wonderful colors, it’s as if I am out in my flower garden.  I am not to proud about my lack of self control, but it did make me realize I need to think about making sure I have an equal amount of each kind of block.  There are blocks that have color in the square and some that have black and white in the square.  So when those squares come together in the quilt I want to have two of each coming together. 

I now wish I had a big design wall to put them on. But then I might spend too much time just staring at them.  I know I am already dreaming about a border!  Now on to the wonky star block and I can pat myself on my back for meeting my goal again this month.

Sunday, May 4, 2014

Is that slow stitching or no stitching!

I have really struggled for the last few weeks with my stitching.  This time of year I am always torn between the outdoors and my stitching.  The weather has warmed up nicely and I have been busy in my garden, but now that it is planted you would think I could get back to my stitching.  That doesn't seem to be the case.
I can't seem to stay inside, I find myself sneaking outside and soon I am weeding or just enjoying the roses or hosta garden.

Hosta garden
Knock out rose
Buds on my New Dawn climbing rose on the trellis above the garden gate.

White azalea
Chives with some coreopsis
Yellow knock out tree rose, faded

 With all the lovely rain this spring the roses are really doing great. My only regret is that the yellow rose wouldn't fade out so quickly, but they are still lovely.  I am however making a little progress on Block #18 Hopefully I can finish stitching the two flowers and add the yellow center, than only the buds will be left to add.

Saturday, May 3, 2014

Pulling out the Greens!

I thought I would get a jump start on this months RSC.  I guess it wasn't meant to be.  I did head to the supply closet to pull out some fabrics.  I even got my paper pieces printed off and than realized I have misplaced the polka dot melon centers that I precut at the beginning of the year.  I have been using them as the center for my pickle dish blocks.

I have been taking care of some projects around the house so it has been over a week since I have been in the sewing room.  So I guess Monday morning I need to take some time to straighten and put away and see if I can find them. I am sure they will show up and there is plenty of time to get my blocks made.  If your scraps are getting out of hand, or you want to bust thru some of your stash you really need to head over to RSC2014.  It's never too late to start and there is so much inspiration if your not sure what to do with your scraps.