Friday, October 21, 2016

Block 3 - A Little Birdie Told Me - Be My Neighbor

Applique can add beauty, or a bit of whimsey to a quilting project that piecing or creative quilting design cannot match.

Of all the the techniques that I have taught over the years, applique seems to stir fear in the hearts of my quilting students.  Never have really understood why.  Maybe it's the four-letter word - "hand." Applique is best known to be done by hand, but can also be achieved by machine.

Block 3 in our Neighborhood Sew Along has a sweet little bird sitting atop the roof singing a tune, I'm sure.  To encourage you to give applique a try, I have a couple tips and will show a couple ways to achieve success.

Option 1 - Finished Edge Fusible Applique

You will need Lightweight Fusible Interfacing and a pen or fine tipped marker. Trace the needed shapes on to fusible.

Next roughly cut apart pieces, placing them with coordinating fabric.  Leave at least a 1/4" margin around all pieces

With right sides together (right side of fabric and bumpy-fusible side of interfacing) sew interfacing to fabric following drawn lines.  Cut out shapes leaving a narrow 1/8" margin.

Cut  small slit in the center of interfacing being careful not to cut fabric as well.  Sharp, pointed scissors are best.  

Using that wonderful chopstick (we talked about in previous post) carefully turn the pieces right side out.  Use the chopstick to aid in turning and pushing out tight corners.

Since you cannot apply a hot iron at this point,  use the flat edge of chopstick and the heat from your fingers to press edges flat.

Here are two pieces of the bird.  You would next place the pieces on the block and fuse them in place according to interfacing instructions.  Then tack in place by hand or machine.

Because the edges are finished or turned, it gives more of the appearance of being "hand" finished.  It also gives "lift" or a 3-dimensional look to your work.

But we have some really tiny pieces with this project, so not all can be accomplished with this method.  The tiny beak is just too small to turn.

So let's look at my favorite method.....

Option 2 - Raw Edge Applique

This method requires a double sided fusible - like Heat N Bond or Steam A Seam Lite (I carry both).  Again trace pattern pieces on the paper side of fusible.

These fusibles have a paper and a fusible side.  When you fuse it to the backside of fabric, allow to cool, you can remove the paper backing to reveal a second fusible side.  This fusible side is slightly tacky (like a Post-It Note) and helps with placement.

 Roughly cut pieces apart, leaving margins and place on the back side of appropriate fabric.

Take pieces and fusible to ironing board and fuse to backside of fabrics.  Allow to cool and then cut shapes on drawn lines.  Remove (peel) paper backing off.  If you are having trouble removing, bend a corner back or pop up with the point of a pin.

Next apply pieces to your block. When happy with placement, iron in place.  Pieces CANNOT be moved or removed easily so be sure you have it where you want.  Use that chopstick again to move or place small pieces.

Pieces can be secured with machine stitching.  Work on a sample scrap trying different stitches on your sewing machine and don't forget to adjust both stitch length and width. You may choose a tight narrow zig-zag, a blanket or blind stitch, or a simple narrow topstitch.  Choose whatever you find pleasing.  I choose a blindstitch.

 Here's a little BlueBird for my block.  I didn't add a eye yet.  Maybe a button or bead when the quilt is finished.

Happy Sewing!

Friday, October 7, 2016

Block Two - Be My Neighbor

Are you having fun?  I have loved diving into my scraps, pulling out a bit of fabric and remembering when and where I used this fabric, friends I may have been with, or the lucky recipient of something made with love.  Brings warm and fuzzy feelings to be using the last bits.

Building Permits for Block Two went out early this morning. So let's get started.

Cut all your pieces according to pattern instructions.  And then piece together in sections.  There are two distinct buildings, so it is easier, I find, to build one at a time.

Two roofs which require those pesky Flying Geese.  The silo has a chimney - a neat little twist.

Have both my roof sections completed here.

And then there's all those HST's (Half Square Triangles).  They can be a bit tricky if your seam size strays North of a quarter-inch.

But there's a solution....

If you find that your HSTs aren't quite measuring up to size, cut your squares a little larger.  Draw the diagonal line and sew either side of line like normal.

Cut apart and press open.

Get out that square-up ruler.  Align the diagonal line on the ruler with the seam of the square as pictured.  Align with the measurements of square required and trim away excess.

Making your HSTs over-sized assures that you will have perfectly sized HSTs.
And that's it for this week.  Wasn't that fun?

Happy Sewing!

P.S. Don't forget to SHARE your pics!

Monday, October 3, 2016

Five Weeks Til Christmas

Block One is out today.

This quilt was inspired by a pattern by Kate Spain called Solstice for Moda Fabrics.  I have adapted it for another Moda fabric line from Sandy Gervais called Very Merry.  I have added different borders and prepared instructions for multiple sizes.
You are welcome to use your own color / fabric adaptations.  If you wish to use our fabrics, Kits will be available at our website - KK's Quilt Studio.   

For Block One.  If you would like to make:

Bed Runner (34 x 106 inches) - Make one Block
Throw/Lap Size (70 x 70 inches) - Make one Block
Queen Size (88 x 106 inches) - Make six Blocks
King - (106 x 106 inches) - Make five Blocks

There are several Flying Geese in this block.  I HATE all those extra little triangles that usually get trimmed away.  Just a waste.  So I am all about the No Waste Method of making Flying Geese.  It may even make you love making Flying Geese.  I used to avoid them - passing on patterns that had them.

First cut one large square (geese) and four smaller squares (sky).  Measurements depend on finished size.  I have a handy chart I saved from somewhere - can't see to find where - but Dani Fisk - this is yours, Thank you.
Right Click on picture to save.

Moving along.  Draw a line corner to corner on all your smaller sky pieces.

Place two sky pieces on larger goose as shown below and sew a scant 1/4 inch away from line - both sides.

Cut apart on drawn line.  Press open.  Yes, they look like little kitties!

Place last two squares on these "kitties!"
Repeat sewing either side of line and cut apart.  Trim away all those little dog ear corners.

You are almost there.  Press open again and voila!  Four Flying Geese almost like magic before your eyes!  And virtually pain free!

That's all for today.

Happy Sewing!