Sunday, July 22, 2012

The Joy of Quilting

I have finally made time to get back to the 2011 Block of the Month from, Ruffled Roses, designed by Sue Garman.  The last I took time to work on it was March 2011.  Adding the swag border would take some time, and as it was tax season, I let it go for "awhile".  Last week I jumped back in and got that swag border done and can move on--this quilt makes me happy!

The applique' method I'm using is new to me--I call it turned-edge machine applique'.  While I can do very nice hand applique', it takes me a while--the last applique' quilt I made took 7 years!  So I decided to try this method.  The prep time is lengthy, but the sewing time is a very fast. 

Here are my tools:

The Wash-Away Applique' Sheets from C&T Publishing are the secret to this method.  They have fusible stuff on one side and can be easily run through an ink-jet printer.  Since the patterns are downloaded from website to my computer, it is a snap to print the patterns directly onto the sheets.  No hand-copying necessary.  Here are the steps I used after printing the patterns:

1. Carefully cut out the pattern pieces directly on the line
2. Fuse the pattern pieces to the reverse side of the fabrics
3. Carefully cut out the fabric pieces, using about a 3/8" seam allowance
4. Using a washable glue stick and a stiletto or other tool, turn the fabric edges over the paper.  I found the best tool for this step was "That Purple Thang", a plastic pointy tool I've had for years.  For a clean work surface, I ironed freezer paper on an ironing mat.  When it got sticky, I replaced it.
5. When the shapes were nicely turned, I pressed them, glue side down, on a washcloth, to dry the glue and make a very nice piece. 
6. Now you could hand applique' but I wanted to machine applique'.  I used a very narrow, short zig-zag stitch.  The thread was Superior's Masterpiece 50/2 color # 132, a gray-green that blended well.  In the bobbin I used a light beige, same thread.  Some people use mon-poly in the top thread, I was more successful and happy with the cotton thread.  I used that same color on all the pieces, purple flowers, yellow centers, green swags, etc.  The stitching goes fast!
7.  The applique' sheet will stay in the quilt until it's completely finished.  Then I will gently wash it and the sheet goes away.  The package says "Sheets disintegrate into tiny fibers that leave no residue".  I tested it using the same fabrics and found this to be true--the test piece has a soft hand and will quilt beautifully.

Here is a PITCH: is the best investment I make with my quilting dollars.  Every 2 weeks there is a new show and I always learn something, even if it's not from the featured guest--there are tips each show.  The most recent show has an art-sy focus but Alex had a segment on how to draw feathered cables for either hand or machine quilting.  There is a block of the month each year, free for just being a member.  That is the source of Ruffled Roses above.  To buy these 12 patterns costs $80-100 but are free for members for the year they are featured.  There are classes on all kinds of things.  There is a wonderful forum where I have gotten to know many quilters, from around the world, and have been able to meet up with some in Houston.  Consider this your online-quilt guild!

Why you should join right now--there is a special deal, $39.95 for a year (a $3 discount) and from now until September 30, 2012, the C&T video of Sally Collins' Precision Piecing is available FREE!  This is a 75- minute video that shows how to improve your piecing.  Sally is one of the most professional teachers I've ever had the pleasure of taking a class from and now you can learn from her in your own home.  I've taught beginners how to quilt for 25 years--the tips Sally provides here would be so valuable to them.  If your work isn't as precise as you'd like, watch this and find out why.  I've watched twice this month and will watch it at least once more--learning tips that make me a better teacher as well as quilter.

So I guess you can tell, I'm a huge fan of, with Ricky Tims and Alex Anderson--no relation, just a very satisfied customer.  Check out all the things on the website--some are free for non-members too, and then give it a try.  I don't think you'll be disappointed. 

Let's quilt!


1 comment:

  1. Love your swags! This quilt is such a WOW! I'm working on mine too and I know exactly how you feel about the preparation for that applique!!