Building a Better Pine Cone

When I mentioned in my last post about “off-block construction” a few of you asked if I would do a tutorial on that subject.  So…here it is!!

I would normally use my Applique Pressing sheet for this tutorial, but, sadly I cannot find it.  A few  weeks ago, I spent a couple of hours organizing my quilting stuff.  I guess I have put my pressing sheet away in a really secure spot.  I am sure I will some across it one day!  But that’s ok….because maybe you don’t own a pressing sheet.  So, let me show you what you can use instead of an Applique Pressing Sheet.

I used a piece of freezer paper (shiny side up).  First I traced the pine cone on the shiny side of the freezer paper with a Sharpie marker.  I have found that a Sharpie marker is about the only thing that leaves a permanent mark of the shiny surface.

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Note:  If I was using my Applique Pressing Sheet, I would simply pin it to the pattern, and build the pine cone on it, like I did with these flowers.

First, I made my templates using 2 layers of freezer paper.  Yes, they are a little on the small side!

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Then I chose my fabrics…light, medium and dark brown.

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Whenever I have a unit that has a lot of pieces in it (and those pieces need to line up) I take the time and do this next step.  Once the piece is prepped, I take out the template and place it on top of the finished piece.  The template has to have the shiny side up.  Next, I take a very sharp marking pen (I like to use a Clover water soluble fine marker for light fabrics and a white chalk marker for dark fabrics) and mark the remaining seam allowance.  You will be very happy you did this!!

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So….next, I start to glue the pieces in place.  The glue will not stick permanently to the shiny surface of the freezer paper (or the pressing sheet), but it will hold temporarily.

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Once all of the pieces are glued in place (and you have made peace with the fact you will have to make 7 more pine cones) you can lift the entire piece off the the freezer paper (or applique pressing sheet) and simply put it in place on the background.  If you are working on a unit that has fewer pieces (or larger pieces) you can actually stitch it before you place it on the background.  I thought this piece would be easier to stitch while it is on the background.  Lots of options!

Til next time….

Kerry

 

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Put the hexies down and walk away!!

Even though I am OHOH (Officially Hooked On Hexies), I still have some projects that are needing my attention.  As of this moment, I have 3 (how did that happen?) hexie projects on the go.  First, my brown-ish-neutralish kind of scrappy collection.

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Then, there is my bright-cutesy could be a baby quilt collection.

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And last, but certainly not least, it the first block of a Hexie Quilt Along (Value Proposition Quilt Along) that I found on an amazing blog by Karen at Faeries and Fibres.  If you want to know anything about hexies (I mean anything!) and English paper piecing in general, this is a blog you must visit!  But make yourself a cup of tea first, you may be there a while!

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Last night, I took the time to trace the second border of  Sue Garman’s Friends of Baltimore.  I would really (I mean, really!) like to have this quilt finished by the end of this year.  You know, one more thing to cross off the bucket list!   Yikes!  Do I see ferns??

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I thought I would show how I assembled the hummingbird block, the latest block of “To Everything There Is A Season”.  Looks complicated, but really it isn’t!

First, I traced the pattern on to my background.  Next, I added the leaves and the blue flowers.

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Now, I have a dilemma…the leaves have covered up some of the traced lines, and I cannot see where to put the flower petals.  Here is my solution.  I “build” the flowers on an applique pressing sheet.

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Then I pick the flower up in one piece and glue it in place.  Easy peasy!

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Here is how I stitched the hummingbird.  Don’t forget that the “underneath” wing goes on the background before the feathers. I forgot,  so I had to un-stitch the feathers and insert the wing underneath.

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Next, the head, the underbody and the tail feathers…

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…and the top body and a beak.  He just needs an eye!

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Til next time….

Kerry