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Friday, January 21, 2011

Do you know the way to Applique?

Well, the snow is flying like crazy around here.  6.5" the other night and another 2"-6" expected on Sunday.  Too much snow for my liking for sure, and the temps are quite cold too.  Brrrr!  Here's Mayo the Wonder Dog checking out the snow at night.  It's a good thing I've got her on a string to reel her back in when I get too cold!
Can you see the happy faces above her head  (not photo shopped!)
I find myself doing applique the way the project calls for it.  There is no one right way.  You should do it the way that works for you!  And I use all different ways:

For circles, I love Karen Kay Buckley's mylar templates that can be used again and again - and they are just perfect, perfect, perfect circles!  You baste your fabric over them, pull it up like a yo-yo, then press them to put a crease in.  Here's where Mary Ellen's Best Press comes into play for me.  It doesn't leave a residue like starch, but makes a nice stiff crease!  (Not a paid commercial for either product!)
Circles, circles, circles
Sometimes, the applique just calls for a freezer paper template like these leaves I am making for my guild Round Robin.  I press the freezer paper to the wrong side of the fabric, then baste them together.  Most of the time, I don't take them out, but just stitch the applique piece down, and at the last inch or so, I take the freezer paper out.  There's one out already, because I didn't want to make another one.  So it got Mary Ellened and taken out to re-use again!  This is also a good car passenger project to do.
Freezer paper templates
Here is Clyde making sure that I don't forget about the amazing Babes quilt project. He's on the focus fabric which is a Christmas fabric from the Moda line.
Clyde and my selection of background fabrics
Because the central block has big sweeping pieces, I like to back-baste these, so they don't wrinkle and move around a lot. It also make the project much more portable and easy to work on because there are no pins. You mark your fabric on the back, place the applique fabric on the front (right side out), then baste on the line. I trim the extra fabric off, but not to the 1/4" line. When I am ready to applique, I then trim it to the right seam allowance, and needle turn under. I think that the basting stitches that have pierced the applique fabric make it a bit easier to turn - maybe it gives it a little memory?
Back basting

Then, here is the last project that has come out the box.  It's my "birthday quilt" that the Amazing Quilt Babes will be working on for me in February.  That's our gift to each other, sewing time - and my birthday isn't until April, but it will be my official Babe birthday!  LOL!  Oh, I see what's wrong with this picture - it's not applique!  Ha!  A girl has to do some sewing machine time too!

Last applique project
And you know your puppy is growing up when she can't fit in her favorite chair the way she used to! I LOVE THIS DOG!
Mayo the Wonder Dog
Don't worry if you don't hear from me this next week or so on the blog. Hubby is going back to Mayo Clinic (yes in all this snow and cold weather), but all will be well. We're going to get some stuff straightened out for him that will require a stay in the hospital. Mayo will get to go to Leads and Leashes in Byron MN and play the day away, and I'll be coach and "private nurse" while he's in the hospital. During the day, I'll applique then back to the apartment at night to sew on that "not" applique project.

Until later, and show me the way you applique! Or better yet, leave a message directing me to your page of projects. It's great eye candy when I'm away from home!

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

On my way back to Slow Cloth

The health issues that were plaguing our family continued to be problems through the end of the year. Today we are at Mayo Clinic in Rochester MN to see what can be done to get Hubby around the corner and through the woods, so to speak. It's been a rough start to a new year, but there's always hope for the next day, isn't there?

In the meantime, as I was spinning my wheels, getting this house ready for the market I dugout located this antique leaves and vines quilt top from the thirties in a "safe" place in my closet. A friend of mine located this in Shipshewana, IN a few years ago, and I absolutely fell in love. This is something I've always wanted to do, but since I don't do hand applique so much anymore, this will be the surrogate!  
It's king size, which is unusual for that time period.

I want this year to be the year of "slow cloth" as defined by Elaine Lipson. I plan on getting this tiop basted, then start the hand quilting journey with it through this year. Will you join me in slowing down and enjoying the journey? I've put Elaine's list of 10 qualities of Slow Cloth below my signature, but it can apply to just about anything you might "do", and I think it will enrich my daily life!


  • She defined Slow Cloth several years ago on her blog. Read the original post which is beautifully written. (Copyright Elaine Lipson 2007-2010; all rights reserved).
  • Joy
    Slow Cloth has the possibility of joy in the process. In other words, the journey matters as much as the destination.
  • Contemplation
    Slow Cloth offers the quality of meditation or contemplation in the process.
  • Skill
    Slow Cloth involves skill and has the possibility of mastery.
  • Diversity
    Slow Cloth acknowledges the rich diversity and multicultural history of textile art.
  • Teaching
    Slow Cloth honors its teachers and lineage even in its most contemporary expressions.
  • Materials
    Slow Cloth is thoughtful in its use of materials and respects their source.
  • Quality
    Slow Cloth artists, designers, crafters and artisans want to make things that last and are well-made.
  • Beauty
    It's in the eye of the beholder, yes, but it's in our nature to reach for beauty and create it where we can.
  • Community
    Slow Cloth supports community by sharing knowledge and respecting relationships.
  • Expression
    Slow Cloth is expressive of individuals and/or cultures. The human creative force is reflected and evident in the work.