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Posts Tagged ‘Applique Work’

Hello my lovelies. I hope you’re all having an enjoyable summer. We’ve been having the best summer ever. The weather has been rather kind to us. We’ve been able to spend some time outside in the garden; mostly sorting the things and making the garden more manageable. Everything takes time but we’re getting there.

I’ve spent quite a lot of time sorting some legal aspects of my family life. I’m juggling three different kinds of lawyers all at once. I can understand why it takes so long and so much effort to qualify as a lawyer. I think I’ll stick to what I do best.

On the creative side of life ….. I have been designing now blocks for a project. At the moment, I’m doing the prep work to bring those blocks to life. The best part of designing is seeing your drawings come to together. The most difficult part is choosing the fabric. Here’s a little sneaky peek at one of my blocks …..

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It’s the perfect day for flashing up the Barbeque. We’re going to enjoy a few sausages cooked on the barbie. We’re thoroughly enjoying doing all the things everyday people do. Somehow, I’ve managed to simplify life back to the basics. Simple is really good.

It’s a while since I posted here but only because I’ve had quite a lot on my plate lately but I’m surviving. I make up a To-Do List every week and try to get thru all the tasks on it. Somehow, I get thru each week having completed my tasks but wondering how the heck I did it. I guess I must be a strong determined woman. I hope to bring you more project progress soon.

So, for this evening, this very happy a super ambitious quilt maker will be doing some English Paper Piecing. I hope you all have super cosy evening doing something you truly enjoy doing. Until you read me again,

Happy stitching

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Hello my lovelies. I hope you’ve all been enjoying the bright and breezy sunshine. It’s been brilliant day in happy quilt maker land. I spent some productive time in my sewing room.

I decided to make a banner for the upcoming Quilts for Comfort event for a display table that the Burnopfield Belles will be adorning with some of their fine handy work. I kicked off the process by producing the required letters yesterday. I applied them to the background fabric and added a simple border. And I decided to longarm quilt it, so I loaded it into my system. I couldn’t wait to flash up this morning to get started. I quite enjoyed my little bit of freemotion quilting this morning. I sat quietly this afternoon and hand finished the binding. All that’s left to do is add the label and it will be ready in good time for the big event.

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My sewing machine has been well used this week. I’ve done quite a lot of hand sewing lately but my sewing machine has been ignored for a while. I decided to make a start on making a craft bag …..

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I wanted a simple sewing fix so as you can see there’s not a lot of piecing being done but I did use a couple of the fancy stitches on my machine. I’m looking forward to turning this fabric in a bag. Watch this space.

I recently embarked on an adventure of hand piecing a few dozen 6” blocks. Here’s one of four Churn Dash blocks I produced. I absolutely love hand piecing these small simple blocks ….

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I can’t believe we’re already into March. We’ve had a few sunny days; they haven’t been warm but they have been good and bright. I’m itching to get out into the garden to tidy up but I think I should wait a couple of weeks until the danger of frost has passed. I have a few shrubs that need pruning which need protection from frost. I can already see some of the shrubs coming into bud. Spring must be just around the corner.

I’m looking forward to tomorrow. I’m meeting a friend for coffee and I’m attending an art exhibition. New artists produce such interesting work. I hope to come away inspired. I have taken to leaving a notebook by my bed just in case I find a little inspiration in my bedtime reading. I have been drawing new blocks from which I am producing blocks for my latest projects. It’s magic seeing a project go from paper to coming to life.

So, for this evening, this very happy and super ambitious quilt maker will be prepping appliqué blocks. I hope you all have a super cosy evening doing something you truly enjoy doing. Until you read me again,

Happy stitching ♥ ♥

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Hello my lovelies. I hope you’ve all be keeping busy and are well on your way to be ready for Christmas. I’ve been getting plenty done and I’m almost there. I have been concentrating on nothing but Christmas for weeks. I’m getting really excited about it.

I’ve done very little sewing lately. I have fallen in love with knitting socks. I’ve lost count of how many pairs I have knitted but it’s quite a few more than I thought I could ever knit. My lovely friend Lynne has taken me under her wing and pointed me in the right direction as to where to purchase nice sock wool. And she has introduced me to carbon fibre double pointed needles. I think these new-to-me needles are the bee’s knees and the cat’s meow all wrapped in one. They feel comfortable to work with because they don’t feel cold like metal ones. And the metal tips stay sharp unlike bamboo needles. So, if you haven’t tried these carbon fibre double pointed needles, I can confirm that they work for me.

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Once again, as in previous years I am doing a low-key Christmas. I have put just a few decorations up, a few twinkling fairy lights, a tiny Christmas tree, a bit of tinsel garland, a wreath or two and I’ll be making paper chains to give it all a vintage look. I like vintage. And I love candles; candles add warmth and atmosphere to any room.

As 2016 draws to a close, I ponder the past year. Most of you who have been reading my blog posts for a while will know that my family life has changed somewhat since the turn of the year. I am now a single parent waiting for all the legalities to be sorted out. When all this kicked off just after the turn of the year I thought it was the end of the world as I knew it. I have since lived and learned that life doesn’t end when your husband decides he doesn’t want you anymore. In fact, I have learned that life has so much more to offer than I ever realised. I lived a very sheltered and isolated life for decades. During the months since separating from my husband I have experienced things I could never imagine existed. I’ve had good days and bad days from which I bounced back stronger and wiser. I truly believe that everything happens for a reason. My brand new shiny life is waiting for me whenever I’m ready to get started. 2017 doesn’t seem to be such a scary place to be going  to anymore.

I mentioned earlier that I haven’t done much sewing lately. Well here’s a little peek at the latest project I started …..

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As you know I love appliqué work and earlier this autumn I went to a Quilts for Comfort volunteer meeting where my friend Sandra taught a fab session of quirky raw edge appliqué. This flower design is her creation which I resized smaller and added to my current project. Inspiration comes from so many different places but none more often than directly from creative friends. So, thank you Sandra for inspiring me to push on with this little project. I love this flower and I so wanted to add it to something. I have other ideas of how to use this beautiful little flower on other projects. I hope to come back in the new year with photos of this current finished piece.

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I have received several messages from concerned readers in the last few days. So today I thought it was important that I post something to reassure you that Sarah and I are fine and we’re both really looking forward to Christmas. Life can be a scary place sometimes but I have grown as a person over the months and realised that the most important part of life is family, reasonable health and finding joy wherever possible. The past is in the past and dwelling on it doesn’t do anybody any good. It’s time to move forward and enjoy life to the best of our ability. 2017 will put us all on the right path again. I wanted to thank everyone who has been thinking about Sarah and I. Your good wishes and kind thoughts have been greatly appreciated. And should I be silent for too long again, please feel free to contact me and I’ll be happy to email you with news.

So, for this evening, this very happy and super ambitious quilt maker will possibly draw some new blocks for my newest quilt design. I hope you have a super cosy evening doing something Christmassy. I wish you all plenty of joy during this festive season. Until you read me again,

Happy stitching

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Hello my lovelies. I hope you’ve all had a great week. Autumn is in full swing here in my little corner of the northeast of England. I’m keeping up with collecting and disposing of the fallen leaves. I love this time of year. I love closing the blinds and settling in for the evening. I don’t quite go into hibernation but I think if I had the chance I would!!!

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I was hoping to finish all the info on my Moving Forward block but I had a little mishap yesterday which prevented me from the finishing the job. However, today I will reveal some of my favourite supplies that I use which give me really good results. So, let’s start with how I secure the patches in place. For this part of the process I use the finest thread I can find. In years gone by I used 100wt Silk thread spun by YLI. It can be a wee bit tricky to find in shops but there are plenty of vendors on the internet. In the last four years or so I have been experimenting with 100wt Invisifil by Wonderfil.

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I’m very happy to report that the Invisifil works really well for me so I am happy to recommend it. This thread is so fine that your stitches just melt into the fabric giving you invisible stitches which is exactly what you want. Along with the Invisifil I use Bohin appliqué needles, size works really well for me. Between the fine thread and the fine needle, I am able to make small stitches by taking a tiniest bite of the edge of the appliqué patch and the tiniest bite of the background fabric. This is why my stitches are obvious.

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It hard to believe that some 22 years ago when I first started quilt making I stayed away from appliqué work. I couldn’t face the fine stitching. Nowadays I think nothing of design my own appliqué projects and thoroughly enjoy the whole process from start to finish. I believe it’s good to experiment with different tools and supplies. Sometimes we crossover using tools meant for other techniques that work really well. So, have a go and if you find something that works well for you share it with us so we can benefit too.

I have a little tip for you today. Now and again there will be a little fabric fraying on your appliqué patches. You know those pesky loose threads that can be difficult to tuck in under while you doing the fine hand sewing??? Well if you find yourself with 3 or 6 loose threads you will need a cocktail stick and your trusty fabric glue pen. Tease away a tiny little bit of glue from your glue pen onto you cocktail stick. A little glue goes a long way to taming the loose threads. All you need to do is running the gluey cocktail stick along the loose threads while directing them under and between the layers of fabric. Once the threads are hidden press it down with your finger and continue sewing the area. Fabric glue is water soluble so when you wash the quilt there will be no traces of it.

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At this point, I must stress that this is the method I use for appliqué. I’m sure there are other ways to approach this task. I choose the more relaxed approach. I shall return next week to show you how to make really good circles. And hopefully I will be able to collate all the info in one printable document to help you along.

After my little taste of knitting over the last few weeks and thoroughly enjoying myself, I added knitting socks to my To-Do List. I ordered some sock yarn and go started …..

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My knitting needles are a size 2.5mm. When I saw how fine the needles are I thought I would be at it for ages but what you see is what I produced in a couple of hours one evening!!! I am enjoying this fine knitting. I hate to say it but I might be hooked. It looks like a few different people will be getting socks for Christmas.

It’s been a good week in my little world. Winter is just around the corner and I’m enjoying autumn. The quilts and the woollies are definitely coming in handy now. There’s nothing nicer than snuggling under a handmade quilt while stitching something else.

So, for this evening, this very happy and super ambitious quilt maker will be doing some fine hand appliqué with my favourite tools and supplies. I hope you have a super cosy evening doing what makes you happy. Surround yourself with people who appreciate and love you and make the most of everyday you have with them. Until you read me again,

Happy stitching

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Hello my lovelies. I’m back! Yes I had a few days off and I’ve accomplished a few things that I can tell you about so I thought I would pop in and show you a little progress.

The last few days have been glorious in my little corner of the northeast of England. The sun has been shining and the temperature has been rising. The trees are in bud and even the grass has started growing. I’m very lucky that I have no grass anymore so there will be no lawn mowing for me!

As well as enjoying some glorious sunshine I was cheered up by a couple of other things today. One thing that made me happy was that when I stepped out with my Sarah this morning to run a couple of errands we stopped for coffee and my coffee was free. So that was my bargain of the day! And the second that made me happy is that I was hunting for some fabric to finish off my hexagon quilt. So I got in touch with Jan of The Cotton Tree where I originally bought the fabric ages ago and she just happen to have the exact fabric and in the quantity I asked for. I was so surprised when Jan said that she had some of my fabric in stock. My hexie quilt has been on the go for quite some time and it does look nice so I thought I ought to make the effort to match the fabric properly to get the job finished. I will collect the fabric next week.

I haven’t done much longarm quilting this week. I have moved into the slow lane and enjoyed the scenery. I think I needed a bit of time to breathe. However that doesn’t mean I haven’t been keeping busy. While my little Maisie has been keeping me company …..

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I worked on adding borders to my appliqué block …..

Applique block preview

I added these squares …..

Adding borders

And now it looks like this …..

Progress applique hand quilting sample

I will be adding some appliqué to the large outer border. So I made this bias strip to turn into vines …..

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I’m looking forward to getting stuck into this project again. It’s quite a simple quilt which I will be hand quilting as sample for a hand quilting class which I will be teaching this summer. I will be designing the quilting designs myself and while I’m doing working out the designs and marking I will be taking notes regarding how I did it. I would really like to see more ladies hand quilting their quilt tops. So watch this space.

Last week I decided that I wanted to step outside the ¼” seam allowance box. I wanted to play with scraps and throw caution to the wind and produce something unusual. Well I didn’t get very far yet. Here is the simple progress I have made …..

Stepping out of the quarter inch seam allowance box

I pulled a few scraps out and anchored them to a layer of wadding and backing fabric. I decided to make a small sample to start with. I do have one or two ideas about how I will proceed from here on but I’m not going to reveal those ideas until I’m sure what I’m doing.

On Easter Monday I did an emergency longarm quilting job. This is Heather’s quilt and with the help of her friends the quilt top was finished and handed over to me and I quilted. It’s a lovely cheerful quilt. I decided on a quilting design called Tropical Deco by Patricia Ritter and a purple thread which blends in perfectly with the fabrics. I love the quilting design and I love the finished quilt.

Heathers quilt 1

Heathers quilt 2

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So now we come to the last thing I will report on until next week. I worked on a sample of Foundation Paper Piecing. I used to use this method regularly back in the day. It gives such good accurate results. And I think everyone should learn how to do this. Even if it’s only used for one project. So this is my sample …..

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I chose a simple block which my ladies will be able to produce four of in one session and turn into something useful. This one is called the double Tulip. I will be adding a couple of borders on my sample and it will be used as a table topper. As you can see from this photo the sun was definitely shining thru my sewing room window this afternoon. Oh what a beautiful day. I’m hoping this is a preview of the weather we will have this summer.

So although I was on a break I still managed to get quite a lot of sewing done at a slow and measured pace. And I can’t tell you how much paper work I have done over the past week. Writing instructions and printing info packs always takes longer than I imagine it will. I have changed the format of my info packs for my larger projects making them more eco-friendly. Trying to work all that out has been a bit of a chore but I’m getting there. Tomorrow I will be spending the day in the company of like-minded ladies who want to learn how the Cathedral Window technique works. So it will be a busy day that I’m sure will zoom by.

Cathedral Window cushion

So for this evening, this very happy longarm quilter will be working on hexies or hand quilting. I hope you have a super cosy evening doing something that makes you happy. Until you read me again,

Happy stitching. ♥ ♥

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