Block 3 is a block that has a lot of “stuff” going on in it. Leaves, vines, more vines, birds parts and circles. Oh! And some adorable acorns! I am sure the question that is on your mind is “Where do I begin?”.
First of all, I want you to look at every piece on this block. Look at the leaves, look at the tail feathers, look at the circles and acorns. There is not one shape in this whole block that I would consider “difficult”. Every shape is easy or “doable”. I think this block looks a little intimidating because there are a fair amount of pieces, and there is also a fair amount of layering.
When it comes to layering, you need to be able to look at a section, and be able to figure out which piece to place on the background first. When I look at this block, a few things come to mind….every leaf is covered up with a vine, so the leaves need to go on the background first, before the vine. The bird/branch section is a completely separate unit than the vines/leaves. So, you can do the vine and leaves first, or you can do the bird and branch section first, it is up to you.
I chose to do the leaves and vines first. So the first thing I did is I prepped all of the leaves. These larger leaves are super-simple with nice gentle curves. I do a minimal amount of clipping (just one clip in each dip). I always clip with my scissors pointed perpendicular to the edge of the template and never (ever!) on an angle. I also leave a good 1/8″ between the template and the tip of my scissors. Sorry for the fuzzy photos. My camera was out of batteries, so I had to use my phone for the first few pictures.
I glued the first batch of leaves in place. Notice that all of these leaves are “free-standing” and have nothing underneath them. Also, notice that I clipped the stems on an angle, so they will be completely hidden by the stem. One more thing to notice is that these leaves are attached to the brown vine.
Here is a perfect example of layering. If you look at the pattern, you will see that the pink berry peeks out from underneath the larger leaf, so that has to go on the background first.
The smaller leaf is tucked underneath the larger leaf, so it goes on the background next.
Now, I can put the larger leaf on top! Easy Peasy!
The vines are a little tricky, you just have to have your wits about you:) By the way, I used my Clover 1/4″ bias maker to make the vines. Can you see that there are two vines, a brown one and a green one? The brown vine is a perfect circle, and the green vine weaves over and under the brown one. To save my sanity, I drew a dotted line inside the brown vine on the background, so I could tell which vine was which. The best way to tackle this part of the block is “one section at a time”. You can see that I added another leaf section in the bottom left corner. Notice that I stopped and started both vines so that a leaf or berry will be placed on top of the join.
So I am ready to attach the brown vine under the leaf. However, the brown vine will go under the green vine, so I have not glued the green vine in place…yet.
You may get so caught up with figuring out if the brown vines goes under or over the green one that you may forget to add a leaf or two. I did! Relax. Just take your stiletto and gently lift the vine and stick the leaf under. There is something to be said for gluing most of the pieces in place before stitching them down!
I used the same technique when I wanted to lift the brown vine so I could re-connect the green vine.
And here we go! I stitched everything in place before I continued with the rest of the block.
Well, that a lot of information for you to digest, so I will continue this post in a day or two! And here are out first three blocks!
Til next time…..
23 thoughts on “Block 3 – Where Do I Start?”
I just love your tutorials!! Thanks for encouraging all of us to try Applique!!
Thanks so much!
The blocks are beautiful & your instructions are so well written…..Dot M.
Sent from my iPad
What a lovely block and how well did you execute it. I love the flowing lines in this block and the colors that you used. Thank you for sharing it with us.
Greetings from The Netherlands,
Well thank you for the wonderful comment:) My best memory of our trip to Amsterdam earlier this year was a trip to Den Haan & Wagenmakers B.V. Hope to go back one day:)
Beautiful. Great directions. I’m not doing the blocks but you’re tips can be used on all appliqué.
I love these blocks. I love how they are densely appliqued, the fabrics you choose and the mood you struck. I follow a similar method for applique except, after ironing the freezer paper template to the fabric, i starch and iron the edges over with my mini iron. I then pull out the paper and glue down the applique piece. I use elmer’s glue to glue down my pieces. You are an exquisite appliquer!
Thanks Pam. I also take the freezer paper out before I glue and stitch the piece in place. A great method!
I agree with you. I hope the tips are useful to all appliquers:)
Your work always amazes me. It’s just beautiful! 😊
Is this a bom that is avaIlable for purchase through your website? Your work in lovely. I enjoy your blog and all of the pictures and “how to” information, have learn a lot. Thanks
HI Bette: I will be offering this BOM again in a few more months. Quite a few people would like to participate but missed the sign-up deadline:) Watch the blog for more details.
thats just beautiful!
Thanks Jayne! Glad you like it:)
I just about panicked when I saw this block (!!) but your pictures and narratives are just wonderful and really help in doing this block. Great post!!
Well it is a pretty intimidating block. Hope you enjoy making this block!
That’s so nice! I wonder if you stick many applique pieces to your background fabric at a time before stitching, or just a few pieces at a time?
Hi Angela: Usually I glue a few pieces in place and then I stitch them down. Rarely do I prep an entire block before I stitch:)
Thanks for the explanation. I live in Toronto. Really like your work and would like to know if you are offering classes around the GTA?
Thank you so much for the detailed instructions on how to tackle this beautiful block. So helpful!
You are welcome Kimberley. Hope you are enjoying the new BOM!