Search This Blog

Tuesday, January 09, 2018

My Applique Routine



Hello there! With the kick off of the Gnome for the Holidays block of the month, I have gotten a lot of questions about how I put something like this together. This is by no means intended to be a lesson or how to. Just sharing the method behind the madness here!

Oh before I begin to babble, this is the 2018 BoM from FatCat Patterns. You can find the downloads here
http://www.fatcatpatterns.com/bom2.html
Blocks are free for the month they are posted.
You can follow along with the Facebook group and chat about your progress.
I do not send out personal emails, or download updates. You will have to visit the site yourself once a month.





I start off just like you, having to print out the pattern pages. Which I quickly separate by block. Each blocks pages get folded in half making a neat little packet. Then I begin tracing the patches onto my Heat Bond Lite. This is normally done on a TV tray in the evenings. As I trace I make any needed notations on the patches. Trim them to size, then slide them between the pages of their block.
The packets as I call them, are then stacked up in an empty box or basket to keep everything safe from pets. Or me tripping over them. Traced templates are not safe until they are securely ironed to their fabrics, lol. If the pattern has a LOT of patches per block I use gallon zip bags to store the pages and traced patches in.

Here in the apartment, I have this lovely island for the next bit. Although for years I have made do with using my ironing board for this. Each packet gets the fabrics that will be used stuffed into it :) I tend to pull from my stash and use scraps for almost everything. Once the fabrics are all chosen, everything gets stacked back into the box. Another evening with the TV tray and the ironing mat will have all the patches fused to their fabrics. Scraps and odds and ends are put into another zip baggy in case I lose a patch and have to make another. Sometimes I find I just plain forgot to trace something!
 Now the hard part for me. Cutting all the patches out! I like to use Ginger 8" Featherweight Shears. They are the best I have found for my arthritis. Still, I end up taking many breaks and a few Aleve.
The part I enjoy the most is assembling the patches onto the base blocks. I pre-assemble as many patches as possible using a Teflon baking sheet. Especially the little stuff! So why the pressing sheet? Well, if you make a mistake it is easy to fix. Just let it cool then peel it back apart. Want to make sure you overlapped the edges enough? Flip it over and look. I am a huge fan of Teflon sheets. You can buy these at the local quilt shop, Joann's and even most grocery stores. Mine is from Aldi and cost 5 dollars. man, I really do miss Aldi. Maybe one day they will come to Colorado.




Now with this block as an example. The gnome was pre-assembled. The blocks with letters were pre-assembled. And the entire Christmas tree with lights was pre-assembled. I folded my base block into quarters and ironed a good crease into it. Then I was able to use the placement guides (page 3 in the instruction package) to tell where each patch would sit. Sometimes your patches are not exactly as expected. Our hands shake while cutting or tracing (at least mine do). So some of the placement settings are personal judgment, making it look good to Your eye. If you look closely you can see that I cut a wee bit too much off of the blue block for letter L.

The stitching takes me awhile also. On this project, I am using my Brother 400 and a mock buttonhole stitch. Changing thread color to match the bright fabrics. Sewing slowly. Lots of pivoting. Minor swearing when the bobbin runs out. You would think by now somebody would have made a sewing machine with an economy-sized bobbin! At least the Brother is polite enough to warn me that it is running low.
 I do my stitching assembly row style. Start with block one, sew everything red, move on to the next block and do the same. Get to the end of the stack of blocks, flip them over and start another thread color.
 After that, it is pressing, squaring up. Then sew the top together. :) I am not quite there yet so that picture will have to wait.

 Here are some pictures of my blocks before stitching.









Thursday, October 19, 2017

October in Denver


So much has happened since I last sat down here to visit.
We sadly had to have my cat put to sleep :(  That is an experience I choose not to dwell on. The only silver lining in the whole thing, was the Kids were able to bring Wally up here and give him back when they visited. So we are still a two pet household, just chihuahuas now.

 Changes keep getting made to the apartment also. I used heavy canvas drop cloths (from Home Depot) and made curtains for most of the windows. Used clip rings. And only had to make a quick hem on each. Total investment was under 100 dollars for three windows and a sliding door.  They really help with the morning sun and afternoon privacy :) I can open the blinds and still get an abundant amount of sunshine.



I am still working on what I have dubbed "The Colorado Beast".
This is going to be a larger than king sized quilt for our queen size bed, lol. Jon wished to have enough drop on each side that neither would pull the cover off of the other. And long enough on top and bottom to tuck under the mattress at the foot, and go over his "pillow fort" at the head. I am having to make it in two sections then will join them by hand. My poor machine just can't handle something this big. The kitchen island is just PERFECT for pin basting! The pictures shows one section. It was very nice NOT to have to crawl around on the floor. And there is a picture of one half laid across the bed. I will not be able to wash this here at the apartment either. Will have to find a laundromat.





Tuesday, August 22, 2017

The Move!

I have decided I am not very good at this Blogging stuff, lol.
There have been a lot of changes since my last post. Jon accepted a relocation to Colorado and we made the move in May. It will not be a permanent move, as Texas is home. We decided not to sell the house in Texas, instead our oldest and his wife moved into it. Jon and I downsized and have chosen to live in an apartment. I have to admit, it is nice not having to do yard work, and to be able to call maintenance when there is a problem. We moved with only the necessities. I gave a lot of my fabric stash to Jamie. And left many of my crafting supplies for the girls to do with as they wish. Three of my sewing machines made the move. Even though the movers managed to drop one of the 401's out of its cabinet (!!!) all of them arrived safely.

My new sewing area is our bedroom :) Jon has been very supportive of this. So instead of dressers, one wall is taken up with my work bench and work station. Another wall is taken up with my full sized sewing table. Totes of fabric are hidden behind the bedroom door. One tote has been emptied, as I cut it ALL up into 2 1/2 inch strips for a jelly roll race quilt for the bed.
  You might have noticed a slight design flaw in our apartment floor plan. There is a direct line of sight from the bathroom to the bedroom window! As you can guess that was a very rude discovery :)
The dining area has been turned into my office space and is housing the second 401 in its cabinet, along with my computer desk. Have I mentioned how very supportive Jon has been, lol! In a perfect world we would have chosen a two bedroom apartment. Unfortunately there is quite a housing shortage here in the Denver area. Prices are outrageous! All in all, we are very happy with the new digs. We are adapting well to seeing each other every day instead of just on weekends. I do miss the kids horribly. But I am very blessed in that they ALL call, text and video chat with me A LOT!







Sunday, January 31, 2016

2015?

So what happened and where did I disappear to in 2015?
It was a tremendously hectic year here. Jon went in for a hernia repair on Jan 7th 2015, was suppose to be a day surgery. He finally came home 2 months later. It was May before all his various tubes, hoses and accessories were gone. In May I began building a paver stone patio to help work out my worries and frustrations. June brought the announcement that I was going to gain a new daughter in law in October. In July I began to have trouble with my gallbladder. August saw me in the hospital getting that removed. September I had recovered enough (in my mind) to expand the patio to accommodate the number of wedding guests expected. My Sister helped me acquire a new puppy. The October wedding was beautiful! We lost my Father the end of October. Add in a couple of road trips back and forth to Springfield Mo. Then the holidays hit me right in the face :) Despite that Jamie and I switched rooms and I set my sewing room up for a second time. In December for some reason I cannot remember now, I decided to make all immediate family members new Christmas stockings.

So here I am in 2016.
Gave away the Bad Cat that kept biting and attacking me. Sadly two weeks later we had to put Teddy (age 16) to sleep. For the first time in decades we are a one cat household. And I am STILL trying to housebreak the puppy. Keep your fingers crossed that this is a quieter year!