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.

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.