Which Piece Goes Where??

One of the most challenging things about applique is determining which order to glue (and stitch) pieces to the background.   Some blocks are easier than others to figure out.  This block was not one of them!  Here is how I tackled the “Xebec” block from Sue Garman’s “Ladies of the Sea”…

Since the seam allowances on the black part of the hull were going to be completely covered by other pieces, there was no need to prep the edges.  But I did draw the seam allowance on the front of the piece, just to make sure everything was going to line up.


I also took the time to baste it to the background just inside the seam allowance.DSCN5513

Next, I added the brown top piece.  Notice that the left hand edge is not prepped, but all of the other edges are.


This next skinny piece is going to go on top those raw edges, but it is going to go under the top brown piece…..


…but at the same time, this little gold piece gets tucked under the top piece.  The edge that is not prepped will go under the top piece and the rest will stick out.


Needless to say, I had my thinking cap on!


So, this is what it  looks like so far.



As you can see, this skinny brown piece is actually smaller than the seam allowance, so I had to trim just a tiny bit of the black piece before I could stitch it in place.  Dicey business!


Next, it was time to add the main sail.  I stitched the bottom and side edge, and then I basted the raw edge that is going to be covered up….



…by this.



Til next time…



Stitching the Night Away

Most evenings you will find me on the couch, hand-quilting the night away.  Once my needle hits the fabric, all the stress and tension of the day just seems to melt away.  Here is the latest block of Sue Garman’s “Bouquets For A New Day”.  So, now  I have 6 blocks quilted, and 6 more to go…oh… and a border.  (Heavy Sigh)

hand quilting

I have started working on the next block of Civil War Bride.  It can be tricky to figure out what order to place the stems on the background.  If the raw edge of “Stem A” is going to be covered with “Stem B”, then “Stem A” needs to be glued in place first.  (It’s easier than it sounds!!)

First, I put a few dabs of glue along the traced line, rather than putting glue on the actual stems. This will be “Stem A”. You can see that this stem will be covered by another stem.

cwb 3

Next, I carefully placed the stem on the line.  Because the stems are cut on the bias, they are easy to curve along the line.

cwb 4

Then,  I used the line that the next bias strip will be placed on as a guide to trim the stem to the correct length.  I have added a few dabs of glue to hold the next stem in place.

cwb 5

Now, another stem is in place….This is also a “Stem A”.


And, finally, the longer stem that covers these shorter stems is glued in place.  This is “Stem B”.

cwb 6

So…here are a bunch of “Stem A’s”, waiting to be covered by one long “Stem B”.


large stem

And, finally…all the stems are in place!

all stems in place

I thought this block needed a really special vase!   So I fussy-cut this fabric…

fabric 1

…and ended up with this vase!  Spiffy!

vase 4

Next, I added some buds….


…and leaves and flowers!

buds leaves and flowers

Til next time…


The Luxury of Time

I am fortunate to have a large family and every year we take turns hosting major holidays like Thanksgiving and Christmas.  Not only does this mean cooking a turkey with all the trimmings, it also means making the house presentable!  And that means using up precious time that could be spent quilting!  Lucky for me, this year was not my turn!  So I had lots of time this weekend to finish the last block of Sue Garman’s “Bouquets For a New Day.

I glued the stars and circles on the basket.

Next,  I added the ribbons…

…and finally, a bow!  All 12 blocks are Officially Finished!

The ribbon ends have very deep inner curves, which can be a little intimidating.

Here are a few tips….

First of all, I make 3 cuts at the base of the curve.  The first one is at the centre of the curve and about 1\8″ away from the freezer paper.  The 2nd and 3rd cuts are  on either side of the first cut.  Anytime I clip a curve, my scissors are always perpendicular to the freezer paper.

Using a stiletto and mini-iron, I fold the seam allowance over the freezer paper, just until I get to the first clip.

Then I put the stiletto down, and fold the freezer paper towards myself so I can use the very tip of the iron to get into the curve.

Next, I return the freezer paper to its original position and continue folding the seam allowance over.  There will be very little seam allowance around the curve.  Don’t panic.

Once the complete shape is prepared, I put a dab of Roxanne’s Glue at the base of the curve just to give it a bit of stability.  Once the glue dries, I remove the freezer paper template.

Since I wasn’t cooking a turkey, I took the time to stitch the blocks together and add the 1″ inner border.  So far, so good!

Til next time…..