12/15/18

Blocks by the Batch

Here is a quick picture tutorial on making applique blocks in batches. When I received the pattern for the Dec 2018 block of the Triplett Sisters’ BOM I saw there were two blocks of the same design in the original quilt. There is also a third block that is very similar with the only variation being two leaves. Normally I would really like that quirky difference. This time, however, I decided to make three identical blocks (Tripletts?) so I could show you how I work in batches.

First off, here is the completed block. Lily with Flat Leaves.

Lily with Flat Leaves

Let’s make a batch of blocks! With Back Basting Applique we always start by drawing the complete pattern on the wrong side of the background block.

Study the block and determine which pieces are in the first layer – they will be pieces that either tuck under another piece or stand alone.

Since I was making three blocks at the same time I back basted (by machine- you know it’s my favorite method!) everything for layer one on all three blocks.  I feel like it saves time in the long run if I can iron and cut from one or two pieces of fabric for multiple blocks in one sitting.

Three blocks with layer one basted and trimmed.

Trim leaving a seam allowance. I’m most comfortable with a generous 1/8″ seam allowance – use what works best for you.

There! I have three partial blocks, all basted and ready for needle turn. This is now very portable. All I need to grab is my thread, needle, small scissors, plus a seam ripper (because I basted on the machine and prefer to remove machine basting with a seam ripper.)

Here is my set of blocks with the first layer completed.

Layer 1 is completed

Next back baste and trim all of the Layer 2 motifs on all three blocks.

Applique Layer 2.

Here is my trio with Layer 2 completed.

Three blocks with Layer 2 appliqued.

Continue in this fashion back basting each successive layer on all three blocks.

Back Baste Layer 3

Layer 3 is completed

With each layer the blocks become more complete until finally there is only one layer remaining. I think adding gold at this point really brightened these blocks up.

Back baste the final layer

All three blocks are now completed

Finally, comes the best part, press your completed blocks and check three more blocks off your to do list!

Lily with Flat Leaves. Done.

For more info about the Triplett Sisters’ Huguenot Friendship Quilt Block of the Month click here.

To order a copy of Back Basting Applique Step by Step click here.

To see all the posts for the Huguenot Friendship Quilt click here.

To join the BOM facebook group click here.

11/15/18

Two-Tone Bud with Reverse Applique Tutorial

As I stitch each block in the Triplett Sisters’ Block of the Month I keep an eye out for opportunities to share back basting applique tutorials. Welcome to the November 2018 block: Large Tulip with Bud!  This block has a bud that I found worthy of a little tutorial:  Two-tone bud with reverse applique! In my examples I have completed the basting step by machine but either machine basting or hand basting will work.

Trace the full pattern to the wrong side of the background fabric. Remember to reverse your drawing or the finished block will be a mirror image. On the right side place a piece of yellow fabric, right side up, so it covers the inside shape of the bud with a little extra all the way around. A light box helps with placement. Machine stitch or hand baste on the outside of the line. Turn the block over to the right side. Trim away the excess fabric trimming close to the basting. On the right side place a piece of red fabric right side up covering the shape and making sure there is excess on all sides. Baste on the line where the red fabric overlaps the yellow fabric. Baste just outside the drawn line on the opposite edge. (Red thread in the picture.)Trim, leaving a scant 1/8″ seam allowance where the red overlaps the yellow. Trim the red fabric close to the stitching on the outside edge. Remove the basting on the edge where the red overlaps the yellow and use your needle to turn the seam allowance under. Applique in place.On the right side, position the green fabric, right side up, so it covers the bud and stem with excess fabric on all edges. Baste on both the inside line and the outside line. (Green thread in the picture.)Turn right side up and trim the outside of the bud leaving a scant 1/8″ seam allowance all the way around the bud and stem.Use the tip of a seam ripper to make a small opening in the center of the bud. Be careful to slit only the green fabric. Insert the tips of small scissors into the opening made with the seam ripper. Trim away the inside of the bud leaving a seam allowance a scant 1/8″ away from the basting. Remove the basting and needle turn applique the inside of the bud first, then remove the basting and needle turn applique the outside edges to complete the bud.Applique the remainder of the Large Tulip with Bud Block then stand back and admire your two-tone bud!

For more about the Triplett Sisters’ Block of the Month program click here.

For more about Back Basting Applique click here.

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

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!

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.

 

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.

09/1/17

30s Sampler BOM Month 3

Presenting the third installment of my 10 month Block of the Month. Starting today, Sept 1, 2017, the patterns for four blocks will be free for one month after which they will got into my online store where they are available for $5.

Blocks for Month 3

You may wonder how I selected the order of the blocks.  There is absolutely no rhyme or reason to how the four blocks are grouped each month.

I just started sewing blocks.

When a block was finished I put it on my design wall so I could monitor fabric placement – my goal being that participants could make the quilt with a fat quarter bundle of Vintage 30s Ruby’s Treasures (plus background fabric). I didn’t want to use up one fabric too early in the process leaving none for later blocks.

Since I am alternating my pieced blocks with the appliqued Ruby’s Farm Life and Ruby’s Flower Garden panel blocks I noticed that the green fabrics were dominating so I became more selective about which pieced blocks included green.

Once a block was tested I sent the rough draft directions to a graphic artist (my very own daughter Sarah!) and they got numbered in the order I sent them.

That’s why a group of four blocks has no specific connection.

I’m sewing my blocks together in numerical order but, of course, you may sew your blocks in any order you’d like.

If you have been collecting patterns but haven’t begun to sew yet this might be the perfect month to start because the patterns are relatively simple.

Before you head over to get this month’s patterns read this:

Note: The system for downloading the patterns has been updated. Effective this month when you click on the link you will be directed to my online store. Simply click on the item to put the patterns in your shopping cart then check out following the prompts. Since it’s free payment information will not be collected. Once completed a page will pop up with a link to download the pattern. Click on that link and your pattern should download automatically. You will also receive an email with the same link.

The reason for the change is that I found it was taking me a long time to get the patterns posted due to having to go back to previous social media postings to change the links once the free month was over. This way I will be able to change it in one place which means you will get the patterns on time.

To download 30s Sampler BOM Month 3 patterns click here.

To download the general information about the program click here.

If you missed the patterns for Month 1 you may purchase them here.

If you missed the patterns for Month 2 you may purchase them here.

 

08/1/17

30’s Sampler BOM – Month 2

It’s time for the second installment of my 30’s Sampler BOM. The next set of four blocks is now available to download – free for the month of August 2017.

30’s Sampler blocks for Month 2.

I hope you have fun sewing with Vintage 30’s Ruby’s Treasures while trying out several techniques.

Download the Month 2 patterns here (free for the month of August)

If you missed the first month of patterns they are available in my online shop. Click here to shop.

Click here for last month’s post.