A bit about shrinkage…and stitching a binding!

I let my border dry overnight and this is what I woke up to!  Oh well.  That is why I keep a lint brush handy!

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So once I removed the dog hair, I placed the border (wrong side up) on my ironing board (which has a really thick towel on it) so I could press the border nice and flat.  I used a dry iron and just a bit of Best Press.  I press the blocks and border on the wrong side so that I am actually pressing the background fabric, and not just the applique pieces.

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Next, it was time to trim the border down to the correct size.  I always cut my blocks 2″ larger than the finished size to allow for shrinkage during the applique process.  I actually cut these borders 2″ wider and 6″ longer than the finished size.  You may wonder exactly how much does a block (or border) shrink?  Well, my border shrunk about 2″ in length….yikes!  Which is why I am so happy that this pattern was designed with shrinkage in mind!  More about that in my next post.

Some of you asked if I could show how I stitched the binding on Circle of Tulips.  This is what I did…

First I made sure I could see the line that will eventually be the scallop because that is the line that the bias will be stitched along.

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Next, I started stitching the bias along the marked line.    It is important not to stretch the bias binding….trust me, it wants to stretch!  In fact, you need to ease a little more binding into the quilt.  I like to use my stitch ripper to ease the fabric in place.  Don’t try to ease too much fabric in….
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…..you will get a pucker!  Keep that stitch ripper handy!

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So, when it came to the spot where the scallops come together in a point, I just inserted a pin to let me know where the exact point is.

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I stitched up to the pin, then I pivoted, making sure not to catch the fabric that is bunched up under the presser foot.  (You are allowed to swear at this point.  I did.)

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Those inside points should look something like this.

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This technique works so much better if you lock the cat in the bedroom!  Where did I put that lint brush?

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Once the bias was stitched in place, it was time to trim off the excess fabric.

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But first, I checked the back to make sure there were no pleats or puckers.

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Now it was time to trim the excess fabric!  These are not magic scissors that cut all by themselves!!  It’s just that I can’t operate the scissors and the camera at the same time!!

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I recently  purchased some Wonder Clips designed specifically for binding a quilt.  I love them…love them!

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And, this is what that little pleat looks like.  Sweet!

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Yesterday was our last meeting of The Sunday Afternoon Applique Group until September.  We presented Kathy F. (on the left in the photo) with a quilt we made for her daughter, Karen, who is undergoing cancer treatments.  Each one of our members made a block.  We did not decide on any colour scheme, except the background.  It is lovely how it all came together!  Thanks to Colleen at Elite Quilting for doing such a lovely (and speedy!) job!

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And last, but certainly not least,  if you attended Quilt Canada this month, you will recognize Brenda’s quilt. (Brenda is on the left in the photo).  Brenda is an amazing applique artist (as well as an awesome quilter in general!).  This is Brenda’s version of Aunt Millie’s Garden, although the inner border is her own original design!  Congratulation, Brenda!

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Til next time….

Kerry

 

Surrounded by talent!

Our Sunday Afternoon Applique Group met yesterday and wait til you see the Show and Tell!  This is Christie’s version of Aunt Millie’s Garden.  Spectacular! This materpiece was machine quilted by Carl of Lilac Lanes in Alliston.  This is the fourth (!) Aunt Millie’s Garden  to come out of this group…and we are patiently waithing for one more…stitch, Kathy, stitch!!

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abd block

Next, we have Lynn’s “Woodland Creatures” a quilt designed by Rosemary Makhan, who sadly passed away recently.  The more we looked at the quilt, the more detail we found!  This masterpiece was machine quilted by Ruth at Stitching Impressions.

WOODLAND CREATURES

SPIDER WEB

SNAKE

PINK FLOWER

I spent most of Saturday working on my border of Sue Garman’s “Friends of Baltimore”.

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Before I know it I will be finished!!

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Til next time…

Kerry

A Bit of This and That!

It snowed all day.  Literally, all day.  Which meant I wasn’t going anywhere, except to my sewing room.  I decided to put a pot of chili on and play “catch-up” on a few on-going quilt projects.  First, I started making the sashing for Owen’s quilt.  By stitching 4 simple half-square triangles to the corners of each sashing and adding some cornerstones…

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…..this is what you get!  Magical!

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I must confess, I did not calculate for the half-square triangles for the red stars to continue out into the border.  Oops.  I’ll figure that out tomorrow.

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So, I put Owen’s quilt away and dug out Annabelle.  I finished stitching the leaves and the hexies, so, it was time for a bubble bath (for Annabelle, not for me!)

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While Annabelle was soaking, I decided to go through my fabrics to find a suitable fabric for the 4″ border. To keep myself organized, I am keeping all of the fabrics for Annabelle in a plastic tote (complete with lid) to keep Bruin out.  That plan will only work if I remember to place the lid on the tote!

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Anyway, I auditioned a few fabrics, but nothing caught my eye.  That is, until I saw the fabric I used for the vase.  Hmmmm…

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I thought that the stripes  would make a nifty border.  And the best part?  They were exactly the right size…4 1/2″ wide!  I think the Quilt Gods are trying to tell me something.  Maybe I should listen!
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After I did some serious measuring, I realized I only had 3 stripes long enough  for the borders (28 1/2″).  The fourth stripe was too short….but that wasn’t going to stop me!

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I had a few smaller chunks of the stripe left over, so I thought I would try piecing it.  First, I ironed the edge over on the left over piece, about 1/2″ or so.

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Next, I placed it on the section that was too short and lined it up as best I could.

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I carefully folded it over, (so now the two border pieces are right sides together)  pinned it in place, held my breath and stitched on the folded line.

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I exhaled.  Then, I checked to make sure it matched (it did!).  I trimmed the seam allowance to 1/4″ away from the stitched line.  Finally, I trimmed the border to 28 1/2″.

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Once that drama was over, I stitched all four borders on and added some cornerstones!  Dandy!

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Til next time…

Kerry

Washing my finished block

Once I finished embroidering all the ropes with 2 strands of floss, I was ready to wash my block.  I must mention at this point that I prewash all of my fabric in Synthrapol before I even think of putting it in a quilt.  That way, the fabrics do not run in this washing process.  Why do I wash my blocks?  When I trace my pattern onto the background, I use a Clover water soluble marker and a Frixion marker.  To prep my applique pieces, I use starch and Roxeann’s Glue.  All of that stuff needs to be removed from the block before it can be stitched into a quilt. Oh….and did I mention the cat hair?

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It was in a class with Pearl Pereira at the Applique Academy that I learned about washing blocks.  By the way, have you seen Pearl’s new Block of the Month on her website?  It’s called Forever Blooming and it is free!  I have downloaded my patterns and I am raring to get started!  I am also super excited to be attending this years TESAA!  I will be taking classes with Rita Verroca and Sandra Leichner.  Only 42 more sleeps!

So, this is how I wash my block.  First, I check to make sure all the pieces are stitched down.  You really don’t want this to happen!

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Oops!  Can you see that I did not stitch all of the bias pieces down?  There are bias strips in between the leaves and they are not stitched yet.

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They should look like this.

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You only need a clean sink, some mild soap and a block.

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First, fill the sink with hot water and add a bit of soap.

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Now, place the block in the water.  If this is the first time you are doing this, you are allowed to hold your breath and close your eyes!  I usually let it soak for a couple of hours.  No need to check on it, it’s not going anywhere!

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Next, drain the water and rinse the block with clear water.  Gently press some of the water out.  I like to leave the block fairly wet.

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I place the block out on a thick towel and smooth it out.  From experience, I have found that leaving the block wet means less wrinkles when the block has finished drying.  I like to pin the corners of the block to the towel, just to keep it as flat as possible.

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Once the block is completely dry, I flip it over on the thick towel and press with a hot iron.

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Presto!

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Til next time…

Kerry