I confess – I have not been quilting and it’s hard to write a quilting blog when I’m not quilting. Yes, I did remember my password. That’s not why I’ve gone AWOL.
But who knew that a whole 2 months would go by? There was a LOT of snow and a lot of accounting done during that 2 months, but now both of those things are in the past. Kind of – it snowed yesterday after a 67 degree teaser on Tuesday. Never count out Indiana weather to be spazzy in the Spring.
But, just like Punxsutawney Phil, I’ve stuck my nose out above the snowdrifts to see if I can still see a shadow from my sewing machine. Yikes.
And, after my feeble attempt at humor a month ago (DH wanted to know who Mike and Jim are, so the humor may have been a bit lost even though I thought it was HILARIOUS), I need to stick to my strengths and talk about quilts.
She requested that only solids be used and provided a HUGE bag of wonderful options. Her center appliqued square is the inspiration for the project, and you can see that the other participants added some really interesting elements.
As it hung on my flannel wall for week(s), I kept circling back to the smaller leaf shapes in Meghan’s center block. I am not hugely into applique and tend to avoid it at all costs, but that leafy shape just stuck with me.
Here is the top after my round:I’m telling you, I love it. The leafy shape seemed to corral all the elements and link them together with color and the zig zaggy layout kind of echoes the French braid chevrons.
So here’s a quickie tutorial on simple applique shapes. It is not of my creation – tell me that much of any quilting ideas are new anymore? – and it will be fairly picture heavy, not so many words.
You will need freezer paper and lightweight fusible interfacing to applique using this method.
I drew half of a simple leaf shape onto freezer paper, using a pencil and a plate, then folded the freezer paper in half and cut out a leafy shape. I then ironed it shiny side down onto the wrong side of a scrap of fabric. I used the same single freezer paper shape for all 32 blocks.The plastic on the back of the freezer paper will melt slightly and stick to the fabric.
Cut a similar sized piece of fusible interfacing and place it right side up. The little bumpy nubs are the “right” side of the interfacing.Sew around the shape sandwich (interfacing, fabric scrap, leaf template) right up against the edge of the freezer paper.Remove the freezer paper template and set aside. Trim close to the edges of the stitching.Cut away the fabric close to any points and snip curves if necessary. (I started by clipping all the curves, then realized if I just trimmed the seam allowance close that I didn’t need to clip. If you have tighter curves you will want to clip them to allow them to lie flat when you turn it inside out.)Slit the interfacing ONLY (be careful not to cut the fabric) and trim the interfacing back a bit.
Now, turn the shape inside out so that the finished stitched edge is nice and smooth.Finger press the shape well, pulling all the edges out to the stitching. Using a Teflon ironing mat or a piece of parchment paper (I use an oven liner that I got from Wally World), press the shape INTERFACING SIDE DOWN so that you have a little pillow. (If you touch the iron directly to the interfacing nubbies, you’ll want to Google “how to clean my iron.”)Press this shape into position on your background. The edge of fusible interfacing will hold the shape in place for topstitching.Topstitch into place.Now, flip the block over and CAREFULLY cut away the BACKING ONLY. The backing should be free from the interfacing since you cut out the middle. Carefully trim the layers. Here’s what the back of the block looks like:If you’re REALLY a good girl and love to harken back to your fondly remembered 4-H days, you will grade the seams so that there isn’t a ridge where all three fabric edges stack up. I, however, did not do so. But I should have.
So there you go. Basically the only quilting related stuff I’ve done in the past 2 months – but it turned out so pretty that I’m looking forward to starting back up again!
All the best -