Thursday, March 26, 2015

It's All in the Flap

Many years ago, Piece O'Cake Designs invented the overlay system for applique.  It involves 12 gauge upholstery vinyl and eliminates the need to trace the applique pattern onto the background fabric.  Yea!  Thanks, Becky and Linda!

But sometimes patterns do not come with an entire block layout, which means it is difficult (if not impossible) to make an overlay for placement.  So here's what I do.

I have long been a fan of Country Threads' designs.  Last year, I acquired this pattern and wanted to make it.

Pattern pieces only.  Luckily, I had worked on a much larger piece several years ago so I knew the drill!

After cutting out the appropriate fabrics for each piece, I started laying them in their designated spots according to the pattern front.  Once you get them arranged "just right", you don't want to have to remove them and applique just a few at a time--because the next additions will be slightly different than you originally had.

The candles themselves were not a problem, as they did not cross each other.  The "halos" and flames were a different story.  After arranging them, I pinned them in place (the pins are gone in these pictures).  Notice where the circles overlap?  That's where the flap comes in.

You can see in this pic that I basted so that I did not catch the layers underneath.  Now all my applique pieces are basted in place and this becomes a portable project, with no pieces to get lost!

Here you can see that the circle and flame on the left have been appliqued.  The next piece to be appliqued is the circle on candle #3.  The flap on circle #2 has been pinned back.

And the flap on circle #4 is also pinned back.  Notice that the bottom of the flame on circle #3 is pinned up to allow full access to the circle!  The circle will be appliqued all the way around, the flame unpinned and appliqued next.  See the plan?  Too cool right?
At this point I can applique circle/flame #2, or I can do circle/flame #5, then finish with #2 and #4.  We always applique the pieces farthest away from us first.

Because I had used batiks for all but the background, the look was a bit more stained glass than country.  So I eliminated the applique on the corners and opted for a bit different finish.

For those of you who are designing things as you go, this is a fabulous technique, as you can keep adding things, as long as you remember to leave flaps for easy sewing access.

So that's what all the flap is about!

Blissful hugs,

P.S.  We had another inch or two of snow today.  And while I was sitting in the parlor this afternoon, two deer came up to the window!

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

A Bit of Catching Up

Last Saturday, five women joined me for another skill-builder class at Patchwork Plus in Marcellus.  We worked on the Handy Andy block, with lots of points and quarter- and half-square triangles.  These points are so sharp you could cut yourself on them!  From left to right:  Susan M., Sharon N., Gale, Alice, Pat A.  Great job, ladies!  It was a great day!

The Thursday before that Judy D. brought in her completely finished Monthly Bliss 3 quilt.  It is so beautiful.  Blocks were hand pieced, and the top was set by machine.  Truly lovely!

For those in the Featherweight class on Sunday (and for anyone having a Featherweight), there is a great book showing how to use the attachments on this and several other machines.  It is The Sewing Machine Attachment Handbook by Charlene Phillips.  People are often asking me if I use the attachments, and honestly I don't!  I go backwards and forwards very happily!  The pictures in this book are first-rate and you will be able to use those attachments.

I had only heard about them, but I finally found them!  LED lights for the Featherweight.  Now before you go rushing off to order one, read the pages carefully; there are different bulbs for different machines, and not just the Featherweight.  Here's the link:

I have not forgotten the applique tip.  Just needed to get a bit of this stuff out there first.

Blissful hugs,

P.S.  I have listened to Private Vegas by James Patterson, Flesh and Blood by Patricia Cornwell, Deadline by John Sandford.  And I have read (in the last two weeks) Crossfire by Dick and Felix Francis, The Blood of an Englishman by M.C. Beaton, and Night Ride Home by Barbara Esstman.

And...for those of you that I've told about the horses at St. Mark's--I've ordered the book, so be prepared!

P.P.S.  Helen, it was so good to see you--you give the best hugs, girl!

Monday, March 9, 2015

With a Little Help From My Friend

A week or so ago, I was laying out my 32 point Mariner's Compass, trying to get the big pies arranged just right.  I turned away for a second, and ....

You will  notice how nicely Dickens folds under his front paws, the better not to claw the material!  Those scowling eyes mean he's in it to win it.  I would have thought the pins would have been a deterrent, but I guess not!

What's a quilt without a bit of cat hair?

If anyone reading this has emailed me in the last week and not received an answer, please try again.  I had trouble receiving email, but I think it is fixed now.  Talk about scary!

I've been working on a new hand piecing sample, and I put binding on a small wallhanging today.  I haven't been letting the grass grow under my feet!  (In rereading this, I had to laugh--we still have FEET of snow on the ground, much less grass!)

Hope you are all well and enjoying the tropical heatwave we are having.  I have a really cool applique tip to share in the next post--stay tuned!

Blissful hugs,

P.S.  I am listening to Inferno by Dan Brown.