Hand-quilting the night away!

What is it about hand-quilting that is so darn relaxing? I am making pretty steady progress on Sue Garman’s “Bouquets For A New Day”. When I sit down to quilt, I am always surprised at how quickly time (and stress!) seem to slip away.

And here is a close-up. I am using a Frixion pen to mark the cross-hatching. There was a bit of a discussion in my Sunday Afternoon Applique Group regarding these pens. I am always careful to test the marker on a scrap of fabric before marking the quilt top.

When my block is finished, I like to give it a warm bath to remove all residue left from the glue, starch and marking pens. Even though I pre-wash all (and I do mean all!) of my fabric in Synthrapol, my heart still skips a beat when I do this!

I am getting ready to start the next block of Sue Garman’s “Friend’s of Baltimore”. My least favorite part of appliquing is the tracing. So here is how I avoid tracing…

First, I scan the patterns and then “reflect” them. Then I print the patterns directly on to freezer paper. When a pattern has lots of layers and pieces, I usually print two or three copies. Here is the original pattern.

And here are the freezer paper copies. If you look closely, you will see that they are printed “backwards”.

The fabric for this block is already pre-washed and has the usual amount of cat hair on it!!

Til next time…



Washing my block

So once my block if completely finished, I figure it deserves a long, hot bubble bath….and so do I!!!

My blocks may not look dirty, but they do need to be cleaned up a bit.  I use starch, glue and marking pens on my blocks.  The blocks may, or may not, have cat hair on them.

I want all that stuff removed before the block is stitched into a quilt.  I do not have to worry about my fabrics running because I have pre-washed everything in hot water and Synthrapol.

This is what I do:

I fill the sink with hot water and add a squirt of liquid soap.  I use either dishwashing soap or whatever hand soap in nearby.

Then I dunk the block in the water.  Do not be nervous!

I usually let it sit for 20 minutes or so.  One time I went out for a couple of hours and forgot about the block soaking in the sink.  It survived.  I am always very surprised (and sometimes a little grossed out) at how grungy and grey the water is.

I let the water out of the sink and rinse the block under warm water until the bubbles are gone. Then I gently press the water out with my hands.  Do not twist the block…it is not a dishcloth!!

Next, I roll the block up in a thick towel and press out any excess water.

Then I lay the block out flat on a dry towel and let it air dry.  I like to put pins in the corners to keep the block flat when it is drying.

And finally, once the block is dry,  I like to turn the block over and give it a final pressing on a thick towel.

And now on to block 7!!  It’s a doozie!!  (See below!)


[doo-zee] verb, doo·zied, doo·zi·ing. Informal noun

Also, doo·zer  [doo-zer]  something that is extraordinary or outstanding of its kind: The storm was a doozie, with winds of fifty miles an hour.