Posts Tagged ‘hand applique’

Hello my lovelies. I hope you’ve all been enjoying a fabulous summer. We, here in my little corner of the northeast of England, have had loads of yuck weather during the month of July. It’s been a soggy dull mess. I’m hoping that things will perk up a bit before the kids go back to school next month. No matter what, I’m going to try to make the most of this holiday season.

I started off the year full of good intentions. I was going to work on UFOs and try my best to make progress on said projects but life has a way of happening and derailing my best efforts. I have not been lazy, I have simply committed to resolving family matters. Yes, if you’re reading between the lines your assumptions are correct. However, we have started moving forward after seventeen months of uphill struggle.

I generally plan my days via a To-Do List. I recently read somewhere that in addition to a To-Do List you can also have a To-Be List. So here is my list which I presume will grow over time …..












I’ve done quite a lot of sorting in the garden. Here’s a little peek at the planter we planted up a while ago. It’s done very well …..


I recently tried needle felting at my Burnopfield Belles group. Annette lead the session and did an excellent job sorting out kits and guiding us thru the process of making a ladybird (in UK lingo) or ladybug (in North American lingo). The whole process was thoroughly therapeutic. Learning something new as a group is always more fun than on your own. The action of stabbing something with a very sharp needle is the perfect outlet for all those pent-up emotions. Voodoo dolls come to mind. I purchased a few key needle felting supplies a few years ago and only barely touched them. Now I have more confidence and will be sure to have a go in order to incorporate the woolly pieces in my projects.


In between the chores and the mundane everyday stuff I did some sewing …..



Yesterday, I started gathering more ideas to build a vision board  representing my goals, hopes and dreams for the future.



Life has turned into a learning curve for me. The past years have taught me quite a lot. Not least that when your gut speaks listen to it.

Gut feeling

So, for this evening, this very happy and super ambitious happy quilt maker will be doing some EPP. I hope you all have a super cosy evening doing some that makes you super happy. 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 …..


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 …..

vine tubes

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

heathers quilt 3

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 …..

foundation paper piecing

foundation paper piecing 2

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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Yes the day has finally arrived. And everyone survived the first session. The first section of the mystery project was revealed this morning. It really was a ta-dah moment for me….

First Section Mystery Whimsy

I’ve worked every hour I possibly could in designing and stitching the different sections of the Mystery Whimsical Applique & Stitchery Project for several weeks. Today I revealed just the first part. There are three other parts to come yet. I am now working on stitching the fourth part. Stitchin’ Heaven was the convivial setting for today’s class. Our next meeting is on September 19 and I’m really looking forward to seeing the progress my ladies will make. I’m so looking forward to joining the second section to the first…… This project was inspired by very simple shapes and easy techniques. Today we used freezer paper, we tested applique pins, we experienced fine hand applique stitching with 100wt thread and we learned how to keep the iron gunge free. I’d say we’ve had a very good day.  Did I mention that Barbara brought some lovely freshly baked chocolate cupcakes? I didn’t have one but they looked delicious.

Barbara & Susan


Looking over Sue's shoulder



Christine's Heart Block





I mentioned that we had been testing applique pins earlier today. I can report that I love applique pins. Until recently I just simply used regular straight pins to work on my hand applique projects but the shorter applique pins work much better. My dad always told me that it was worth investing in good tools. And because I do a fair bit of applique work, these shorter applique pins are definitely worth the investment.

Clover Applique Pins

And of course I didn’t escape without purchasing a wee bit of fabric. I bought these 4 fat quarters to make a table runner for my new look living room.

Today's purchase

And I saw these two sweet fat quarters and I couldn’t leave without them. At first I thought I could make a baby quilt but I think these lovely cheerful prints would look nice in something I can use. I fancy turning these fabrics into a bucket bag, basket or a project drawstring bag. I may add a bit of purple or orange to keep it lively. So watch this space for a progress report.

Today's purchase 2

So that was my day. What have you been doing today? Have you had a ta-dah moment today? So far this week has been really busy. And the quilt that’s currently loaded in my longarm quilting system is going to have to wait at least another day before I start quilting it. I had planned to work on it tomorrow but one or two things have cropped up over the past week or so that need taking care of. So tomorrow is going to be taken up with cropped up things. My longarm quilting list seems to have doubled over the last two weeks. I think everyone is really keen to get there quilts longarm quilted ready for different occasions including Christmas. I didn’t realise until yesterday that this is a bank holiday weekend. So I guess I will take advantage of the day off on Monday like millions of others. I fancy another morning walk on the beach. Perhaps I can squeeze a visit to the beach on Saturday morning. We’ll have to see if the weather permits.

So for this evening, this very happy longarm quilter will be possibly be working with freezer paper and applique pins again. I’m on a roll now….. I hope you enjoy whatever you decide to do this evening. Until you read me again,

Happy stitching. ♥ ♥

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The last few days have been so lovely. I keep waiting for the cold weather to return. The sunshine gives me strength and energy to get on with things. I must admit that I’m not ready to run a marathon but I have done a few chores and I managed to finish longarm quilting Jayne’s quilt today. Have a little peek at this one.

Jaynes Quilt 1

Jaynes Quilt 2

Jaynes Quilt 3

I think this particular quilt pattern can be pieced using a Jelly Roll. In any case I think it was a fun one to make. Jayne left the choice of quilting design and thread colour up to me. So I chose the Kashmir quilting design by Hermione Agee and red thread. It looks really nice.

Freezer Paper App 2

Yesterday I promised a few more tips on Freezer Paper applique. So in order to help anyone who is new to hand applique  and would like to join in “A” is for Applique, here we go. First of all, depending on where in the world you live, Freezer Paper is readily available in the supermarkets but here in the UK you will only find it in crafts shops and patchwork supply stores. I got my latest roll at one of the quilt shows. If you’ve gone to my previous How-To you already know the basics of freezer paper applique but here’s a little tip when it comes to concave curves like in this heart shape. In the “V” at the top of the heart you need to clip the fabric. And the same goes for the concave curve near the point at the bottom. The places you need to clip are marked with arrows in the photo.

Freezer Paper App 5

Clipping is very simple. You basically just cut a slit from the edge of the fabric almost to the edge of the paper. This helps you fold the fabric to the shape of the Freezer Paper. It helps you get good curves. If you look carefully you can probably see where I have clipped in this next photo.

Freezer Paper App 6

Freezer Paper App 7

Freezer Paper App 8

So that’s my tip for today. It’s really easy to get great shapes by doing this. I hope to post more tips on how to actually sew the heart to the background. So watch for that.

So that’s my little report for today. Tomorrow I will be loading the next quilt into the longarm quilting system. The next quilt is Helen’s very first sampler quilt. There’s a whole lot of new quilt makers joining us seasoned quilt makers just now. It’s so nice to see other enthusiastic ladies joining the ranks. I wonder how long it will take for these newbies to build up a pile of UFOs….

So for this evening, this very happy longarm quilter will most likely be knitting. Whatever you may be doing this evening, I hope the sunshine’s been good for you. Until you read me again,

Happy stitching. ♥ ♥

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As I am doing some hand appliqué using the freezer paper method I thought I would do a little step by step on how to use the freezer paper for the benefit of the beginners who read this blog. Now I must stress that this is how I approach the task. There may be other ways to do it but this is the way I find the easiest.

Step 1 – I like to use templates. You can also trace the shape onto your freezer paper but my preference is tracing around a template. Once you have traced your shape onto the freezer paper cut the shape out on the line.

Step 2 – Place the freezer paper shape with the waxy side down onto the wrong side of the fabric. Using a dry iron press the shape onto the fabric.

Step 3 – Trim the fabric around the shape leaving approx. ¼” fabric allowance.

Step 4 – Fold the fabric allowance onto the freezer paper and tack in place. Press.

Step 5 – Remove the tacking stitches and press again in order to keep the creases crisp.

Step 6 – Pin the appliqué shape in your chosen place on your background fabric and tack. Now you are ready to sew the shape using the smallest, finest stitches that disappear. I like using silk thread for the fine stitching.

Now if you look at my Dresden Plate progress report from yesterday, you will see the tacking stitches are still in place. Once the fine hand sewing is done I will remove the tacking. I do a fair bit of appliqué and this method works rather well for me. There are other methods; needle turn, machine appliqué just to name a couple. And I have tried some of them but I always come back to hand appliqué using freezer paper. I find hand appliqué is a gentle art. I love all things wonky and although hand appliqué generally gives the work a smooth finish, you can give it a wonky twist which is what I’m aiming for in my current project.

Today is Mother’s Day in the UK. I had decided to lounge about today but that didn’t work out. I loaded the next quilt into the longarm quilting system; I did a little tidying up and started sorting thru quilts that I am willing to dispose of. I didn’t get very far with the quilt sorting because I’m finding it very hard to part with anything but I have managed to settle on an initial six. Of these six a couple of these quilts will be adopted out and the rest will be listed on eBay sometime next month. I realise that my home will never be a museum of minimalism but I am determined to try to decrease the inventory somehow.

My Sarah disappeared this afternoon for an hour and while she was gone I did some hand sewing. The sun was shining brightly and everything was lovely and calm. I think it must have been the quiet before the storm. This coming week is going to be rather busy. I have lots of deadlines to meet and the deadlines are coming very soon. I have a few secret projects in the works and they need wrapping up. I think there will be some exciting times ahead for all of us.

For this evening, this happy longarm quilter will be working on the appliqué part of my Dresden Plate project. Once the appliqué is done I can add another round of blocks. Whatever you may be doing this evening, I hope it’s something cheerful. Until you read me again,

Happy stitching.

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But how long will it last! I managed to load a quilt in the longarm quilting system for stitching later. This next quilt is a Turning Twenty pieced using Japanese print fabrics. I will be stitching a water lily design which I think will be rather nice with the fabrics.

I did a bit more work on the Mystery Quilt yesterday. The block I worked on is foundation pieced. It should be interesting for those of you who have never done foundation pieced work, the best part of it is how accurate the technique makes your block. I look forward to launching the 3rd quarter of the Mystery Quilt the third week in August. So watch this space for a tutorial on how foundation piecing works next month.

For some time now I have been itching to work on a Round Robin project. So this morning I kicked it off. I started by selecting some fat quarters from my stash.

I knew exactly what I wanted to make to get this Round Robin started. It’s not a very difficult block but it is quite effective.

I have tacked all the patches down and will be hand appliquéing them to the background using silk thread which I believe does a very  good job. I have yet to add the centre circle that covers the raw edges.

I’m not quite sure yet if I will add more patches to my block; I may add something in the corners. When the centre block is finished I will hand it over to the next participant to add something around what I have started and the next person will carry on and so it goes until the quilt top is finished.

In order to give my Round Robin block plenty of variety I cut into 5 different fat quarters which leaves me with plenty of scraps
so I will use these scraps for my mug rug(s). I think I feel some Meshwork coming on! My To-Do List isn’t getting any smaller.  Watch this space.

So for this evening, this ambitious happy quilter will be working on appliquéing the Round Robin patches to its background fabric. At a guess I would say it will take a few evenings to get the job done. Whatever you may be doing, I hope it’s something interesting. Until you read me again,

Happy stitching.


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