04/16/18

30s Sampler Month 10

Here is the final installment of the 30s Sampler Block of the Month. I hope you have enjoyed following along and collecting the patterns for this special quilt. Just so you know, the patterns will be free for the month of April 2018 (and May too, since my post is coming to you a couple weeks late).

Month 10, final 5 blocks

Get your patterns by clicking here.

At the end of May, 2018 all of the individual monthly patterns will be removed from my website. Later in the summer (once I have printed patterns in stock) the pattern will go back in the store for sell as a complete pattern. What that means is this is the last chance you have to get any months you are missing. Going forward the only way to get the patterns will be as a complete set. (Sorry, no exceptions.)

If you have been sewing along you might be nearly finished with your quilt. I would dearly love to see a picture of your project so I have started a new Facebook page. It’s a place just for Block of the Month news and pictures. You may request to join here.

Have fun sewing the final 5 blocks!

My quilt is being quilted at the moment. Photos and finishing up tips coming soon!

Barb

03/1/18

30s Sampler Month 9

The patterns for the Month 9 blocks of the 30s Sampler are ready to download. They will be available for free on my website until April 1, 2018.

Month 9 blocks

We are nearing the end of this block of the month program – next month is the last set of patterns! You can expect the patterns to remain on my website until May 1, 2018. At that time the individual monthly patterns will be removed and later in the summer the complete pattern set will be made available for purchase as a printed pattern. So take a few minutes to look through your patterns to make sure you have what you need.

Click here for Month 9 patterns.

Do you have all your embroidered or appliqued blocks finished?

Keep on stitchin!

Barb

02/26/18

Fancy Work Applique

Each month I receive an email with the next pattern in the block of the month quilt I’m stitching with Lori Triplett and her sister Kay Triplett. Lori is using pre-fused, laser cut appliques and adding touches of hand painting to her blocks. Kay is using needle turn applique with freezer paper on top. And I’m using back basting applique with my Waddington Road Primitives fabrics.

A favorite recent block was a gorgeous cutwork pattern that the sisters call Fancy Work. I studied the pattern and decided there was enough space between elements that I could successfully back baste it using one piece of tan fabric. I started by tracing the full pattern to the wrong side of the fabric. Next I placed a single piece of fabric on the front stacked with both fabrics right side up. I like to complete the basting step by machine so I dropped my feed dogs and from the back I basted on all the drawn lines.

Basted on wrong side

For this tutorial I intentionally used black thread in the bobbin – so you would be able to see the basting on the front. That was a good thing because then I was also able to see it!!

Front side of the basted design

At this point I paused for a reality check. Did I really want to work with those tiny seam allowances? Reviewing the image of the original quilt I noted that this block is repeated three times and each version looks a little different than the other two blocks. I took that as my sign and decided it really didn’t matter how close to the original my block turned out. I set to work and trimmed the entire block.Some appliquers prefer to cut as they stitch but I like to get all the excess fabric out of the way so I can see exactly where I need to needle turn.

The stitching went fine as long as I didn’t try to rush. I just turned a bit and stitched a bit until the entire design was appliqued. I stitched the circles last so I could shape them to fit the open space between the other motifs. At one point I felt disappointed that they had become so much smaller than the original drawing and considered cutting new, larger circles and covering them. But if I had done that I wouldn’t be able to say it was cut from one piece of cloth, and besides, I had already coached myself that it didn’t really matter.

Finished 8″ x 8″ block

The reverse applique was the scary part. All the rest of the stitching was already completed when I took my small sharp scissors and cut a slit. I almost couldn’t breathe. It was a month’s worth of applique work resting on the tips of those scissors. But cut I did! Over the next four evenings I completed one reverse applique slit per night. Slow and steady – each stitch was carefully placed.

I marvel to think how the original quiltmaker got such narrow reverse applique slits in her work, but I’ve decided to concede the small seam allowance prize to her. If you are making this quilt too and are feeling challenged by the small seam allowances relax a little and resist the urge to compare to the original. I like my finished block just fine and I’ll like the other two versions even better because they aren’t quite as fancy!

Here are my first nine completed blocks. I think my Fancy Work block looks nice with the group.

The first nine blocks of the Triplett Sisters BOM

To see the original quilt and learn more about this BOM click here.

01/31/18

30s Sampler Month 8

I have something to show you – a picture of my 30s Sampler! It’s not finished yet because of course this is only month 8 of 10, but I thought you’d enjoy seeing how it’s coming along. Remember, I’ve been making my sample with the panels completed in Back Basting Applique. I’ve used one Farm Life Panel and one Flower Garden panel. But you could use two the same if you wanted to.

30s Sampler, Months 1-8 with alternating applique blocks.

Isn’t that fun?

If you are just tuning in this Block of the Month has custom sized blocks to fit alternating with the pre-printed blocks designed in the 1930s by Ruby Short McKim. The blocks were reproduced in 2016 pre-printed on fabric by Paintbrush Studio Fabrics. If you missed out, I still have some in inventory. Click here. Choose one of many options for completing your animal or flower blocks. For example, applique them, like I did. Or, embroider them, or tint them with crayon first, them embroider them. Or paint them.

If you’d like to try Back Basting Applique check out my book on the subject here. If you order the book from my website I will include one free Farm or Flower block so you can try back basting without the worry of using up one of the blocks from your panel. Just put a note in the order so I know you want the free block.  (The block design will be a random selection, sorry, no choosing.)

But I know what you really want, the patterns for Month 8! Here are the blocks for Month 8. Don’t let that green and lavender block intimidate you. It’s looks hard but I think you’ll find it easy enough.To get your patterns for Month 8 click here.

Keep on stitchin’!

Barb

01/1/18

30s Sampler BOM – month 7

Happy 2018 and welcome to month 7 of the 30’s Sampler BOM.

The pdf patterns are now ready for you to download at Barb’s Favorites.

This month’s installment includes blocks 25, 26, 27 and 28. That means we are getting closer and closer to 41 which will complete this BOM.

Month 7 blocks

Click here to go to the Block of the Month page and follow the directions to get the patterns.

Do you have a quilting goal for 2018? This BOM concludes with month 10 in April. That will still give you plenty of time in 2018 to finish your quilt! Go for it!

12/1/17

30s Sampler Block of the Month #6

The new set of 30s Sampler Blocks are ready for you to hop over and pick up in my online store.

Month 6 Blocks

This month you’ll notice that one of the blocks is paper pieced (Block 21 in the upper left corner).

You may use any method you’d like to paper piece or foundation piece the block but if you feel the same way I do about ripping all that paper out you may want to try Freezer Paper Foundation Piecing.  It’s the only way I paper piece!

I’ve included a link on the Block of the Month page on my website to a pdf with instructions. I plan to post a tutorial later in the month but I’m out of the office for the next two weeks while helping my mom after knee replacement surgery). But I got your patterns ready before leaving town!

Click here for Month 6 patterns.

Happy Stitching! Or happy pattern collecting, whichever the case may be for you!!

11/1/17

30s Sampler BOM Month 5

Month 5 marks the halfway point of the 30s Sampler BOM! To celebrate all previous patterns are half off for the month of November only. So stock up on any of the patterns you’ve missed!

The four new patterns for November are posted and ready for you to download. Click here to get the patterns. This time there is a sheet of templates. Make sure you turn the scaling off on your printer so they print accurately.

30s Sampler Month 5

Just tuning in to the 30s Sampler BOM? Get all the details and see previous blocks here.

10/29/17

Applique Pressing Tip

Have you ever had problems pressing your completed applique blocks? I’ve been sewing along with the Triplett sisters on their current block of the month. We are making 8″ blocks with a lot of applique detail. Since they are smallish blocks it’s sometimes challenging to press the block without leaving iron shine on the appliques.

In this first photo the applique is completed. As you can see it’s been crumpled and stuffed in my sewing bag and needs a good pressing.

Birds and Daises

I like to press with a hot iron and steam. Here the block has been pressed but I’m not satisfied with the bubbles that remain in between the appliques. If I were to press again with more emphasis on those areas I might end up with iron shine on some of the thicker pieces, especially the bird’s beak.Here’s my trick: Spread a terry cloth towel on the ironing surface. Place the completed block right side down on the towel. Press using a hot iron and steam. You don’t have to press the living daylights out of it. Just pressing across it once is usually all it takes.Here’s my finished block after pressing it on the towel. Really, I promise you, I only pressed it once on the towel!

Bird and Daisies Block

When I was a teenager my aunt taught me to press my completed embroidered blocks with this same method so it’s nothing new! Try it the next time you have an applique block that needs a little extra attention.

 

10/1/17

30s Sampler Month 4

Another set of four blocks of the 30s Sampler are ready for download at Barb’s Favorites. The patterns will be free for the first month (Oct 2017) after which they will be $5.

30s Sampler Month 4 Blocks 13-16

Click here to go to the Block of the Month page on my website where you can download the patterns.

09/18/17

Bigger Berries Tutorial

I’m sewing along with sisters Lori and Kay Triplet on their appliqued Block of the Month project. Here is my August block: Grapes.

Grapes Block

Earlier I posted a picture tutorial about back basting the tiny berries on the Pokeberry block. They were itty bitty berries! See the post here. Next came the Grapes block with more circles to applique. Normally I may have groaned when I saw all those grapes but having just tackled many more berries that were much smaller in the earlier block I almost cheered to see bigger berries.

Kay posted a tutorial on Facebook showing how she was making her pokeberries using her grandmother’s thimble and a button. You can see it here. Look for the Aug 3, 2017 post.

I often use a similar method using Karen Kay Buckley’s Perfect Circle makers – and I was perfectly happy cutting all those circles by hand until I figured out a way to cut them in bulk – with a die cutter. Ah yes, die cut circles, that’s what I’m talking about! Let’s take a look.

You will notice in the photos that I have cut green circles and red circles. The Grape Block is one of the few blocks that repeats in this BOM so I figured I might as well make all the grapes at the same time.

The 1″ circle is a good size die to own because it can be used for many of the smaller sizes in Karen’s circle maker set.

I use my die cutter for other things but even if I didn’t I would be happy to have it just for cutting circles!

Cut the fabric approximately the same size as the die. I stacked the red and green fabrics to cut multiple layers at once. Crank the handle and run that puppy through the machine (follow the manufacturer’s instructions for the die cutting machine).

Viola! Circles galore!Hand stitch a running stitch close to the edge. Tips: Start with a back stitch! Leave a tail. Use hand quilting thread or another strong thread.

Find the circle maker in the size you want. Karen’s original set has four of each size. I lost one of them in the size used in this tutorial so my photos show making the grapes three at a time (but I’d rather make them four at a time!)Pull the thread tail gathering the fabric around the teflon disc. Give it a spritz of spray starch or magic sizing. Pull the tail again tightening the gathers.

Gather the fabric around the circle maker

Spritz

Tighten the gathers

Press from the wrong side with a hot, dry iron. Flip the circles over and press again from the right side. Let them cool. Think cookies: if you touch them too soon after taking them out of the oven you will burn your fingers!Loosen a stitch across from the tail. It helps to use a straight pin to slide under the stitch. Pop the teflon disc out and pull the tail to snug up the gathers and smooth the circle. It may be tempting to press again at this point but I find that if I leave them alone I get rounder finished berries/grapes.

If you aren’t quite ready to applique, string the berries onto a thread. Just put a knot in the thread and string them on, sort of like stringing popcorn for the Christmas tree. Leave a long tail so they don’t fall off the thread.

Position in place using the pattern as a guide. Hand applique using matching thread. I have a friend who does the basting step with matching applique thread leaving a long enough tail to thread into her needle with when she’s ready to sew.

Here’s my completed red grape version.

Grapes in Red

And here are the blocks I’ve completed so far.

For more information about the Triplet Sister’s Block of the Month check out their website here.