I’m so happy April is here. Spring has finally arrived in New England and we can get out doors! I’m also pretty excited about the progress of this project. I think it’s going to look amazing when it’s complete!
For the April portion of the QAL we have moved up another branch on the tree.
I’ve repeated some of the same stitches we’ve covered on previous branches. The whipped woven circle on the Dove and the pekinese stitch around the hearts are both stitches we used previously.
Bring your thread up from the back of your work, anywhere along the edge of your applique is fine.
Take a back-stitch about the length you want your knot to be. Mine is roughly 1/4″. Bring your needle out where the thread is coming out.
Take the thread (next to the tip of your needle) and wrap your needle enough times to fill the back-stitch space (estimate). I wrapped mine clockwise about 12 times. Wrap it snug, but not so tight you can’t pull your needle through it.
Now here is the trickiest part… and it’s not really that tricky once you’ve done it.
I use my left (non dominant) hand and place my thumb over the wraps on the needle in the front of my work, and my index finger on the back of my work and hold the wraps in place (pinching it) while I pull the needle through. Once the needle is pulled through it should look like this…
Pull the tail down close to the work so the knot rests along the edge of the applique. You might have to fuss with it slightly till you get the hang of it.
Now you insert your needle again at the base of the knot (where the tail is coming out) and take a stitch so your needle comes out 1/4″ above the top of that knot…
Pull the thread to the front of your work.
Take another back-stitch to repeat the process…
You can use any length stitch and any number of wraps. If you use a lot of wraps and a short stitch the result will be more of a loop. You’ll be hooked in no time!!!
I also used a few fly stitches and French knots. You are probably more familiar with these stitches…
I worked from the left to the right and then back again. To start bring the needle up from the back of your work.
Insert the needle about 1/4″ to the right and angle the stitch to come out in-between the stitches about 1/4″ lower with the thread under the needle.
Pull the thread snug creating the V shape.
Add a french knot here by wrapping the tip of your needle 3 times.
Insert it just below the V… notice (with my left hand) I have tension on the tail so the knot stays snug until I’ve pulled the needle and thread all the way through to the back of my work.
Continue to the right side.
When you get to the edge return to the left with the fly stitch but instead of adding a french knot, just make a stitch at the base of the V.
I will be hosting two Quilt-a-Long Programs this year! One will be a traditional Block of the Month (announcement coming soon) and one will be a Christmas Quilt!
Jul i Scandinavia
Jul i Scandinavia is an applique quilt measuring 32″ x 40″. I will be making my quilt on a red flannel base using primarily white wool for the applique.
Instead of receiving a block each month, you will receive the applique templates for a branch or section of the project. Please be aware that the image shown is a rough draft of the pattern and may change slightly.
I’d love it if you joined in!
This year I will have the BOM patterns listed in two places. You can sign up any time
You will be emailed monthly with the pattern information and templates to date.
IF YOU SIGN UP ON CRAFTSY
I will update the pattern monthly on Craftsy and you will be able to view and download the updated pattern information and templates directly.
Here’s a Q & A to help answer questions ~ If I miss something and you ask a question in the comments I’ll add the answer to this post, so check back.
Will you be posting progress on rebeccamaedesigns.com?
Yes, I will post pictures monthly with my progress.
What will I need for fabric?
I will be providing a supply list in January. The background base I will be using for my sample is red flannel. I will also be using some red wool and decorative ribbon to embellish the base. The applique shapes on my project will be almost entirely white and made of primarily wool with some velvet and cotton accents.
What other supplies will I need?
Your supply list will include some optional embellishment supplies. For example, you might want to have a variety of threads for decorative stitches including perle cotton and embroidery floss. Please note that I will not be including stitch instruction with the pattern, but I will make note of some of the stitches I’m using as part of my monthly posts.
What is the finished size of the quilt?
The size of the finished quilt is 32” x 40”.
When will the program wrap up?
I will deliver the final pattern download in November so that you may finish and enjoy for the 2017 holidays!
Chapter 1 of the Dear Daughter Quilt is available today!
CHAPTER 1 BLOCKS
Thanks so much to everyone who has subscribed, I think it’s going to be such fun! If you missed the original post, this is my new Block of the Month for 2016, but you receive a full Chapter of blocks rather than one block per month. Here is where we begin with Chapter 1…
Templates ~ including entire alphabet to make your own text
Sneak Peek into next month (for the over~achievers in the bunch!)
I’ve organized the Chapter 1 Pattern and Techniques page in a binder, if you’re following along you might want to do this too…
I also included a spot to color in Chapter 1 with your own colors!
Here’s a couple pics I took of a some patchwork blocks in this Chapter…
so fun :)
For the text blocks I used Steam-A-Seam Lite 2 and printed from my computer onto printer ready sheets, but you can trace them as well.
Steam-A-Seam actually has paper on two sides, so after I printed it, I cut out the shape (leaving at least 1/8″ around template lines) and removed one side of the protective paper (non printed side.) Then I ironed it onto the wrong side of my fabric…
cut out each shape on the template lines…
and removed the second layer of paper off the back of the trimmed letters. NOTE ~ What I love is the back of your applique is tacky so you can position all your pieces and they won’t slide around but you can move them if you want to. When you have them in position, just fuse.
You can use the template to cut and piece individual wedges…
Or you can use the complete arc foundation…
I completed two of each and accomplished the same results but cutting and piecing the small wedges is tedious and you have to be very precise in cutting and seam allowance.
I’m going to show you how I~
added the center and corner blocks to each arc
appliqued the “eye”
and some pictures of sewing the curved pieces.
After I got my arc’s complete I left the paper on while I connected the corner square to the arc so I could keep the seam accurate~
Before attaching the second arc to that same corner block I removed the paper from the end wedge and seam so it wouldn’t get in my way~
Now I’m ready to attach the second arc~
Notice the second arc still has the paper on the end ~
After it’s sewn on, I can remove the paper from the end wedge and press the corner. Nice and flat~
I repeat the process or the second corner block. In the next photo I’ve already attached one arc and removed the paper at the end~
Now pinch the ends together ~
It will require a little fussing (and looks awkward) but if you keep the edges together and get it pinned right you’ll be good to go~
The pins I’m using are from clover. I took a piecing class years ago and the teacher provided each student with a box of these pins… If you have a chance to get some they are worth it. They are thin and glide into the fabric without any drag… perfect for piecing! I’m sure there are others out there (look for fine or extra-fine) but these are the ones I use and love! I see them at most quilt shops and you can find them (extra-fine like mine) here on amazon.
So now my arcs are attached and the ends are pressed. I’m still leaving the rest of my paper on so any bias curves don’t get distorted.
You can applique the ‘eye’ any way you like (raw edge, needle turn etc)
Here’s an example of using freezer paper to applique.
Trace the applique shape onto freezer paper and cut out on traced line (no seam allowance). Put a small spot of glue on the paper side of the freezer paper template with a glue stick and press the template on to the wrong side of your fabric (this is optional) so it doesn’t slip around . Cut fabric aprox 1/8″ – 1/4″ outside template. Now with the tip of a hot iron, carefully press the seam allowance over to the shiny side of the freezer paper, working around and pressing toward the center.
The edges temporarily stick to the shiny side and you have a crisp applique to work with.
I left the paper in place and glue-basted the applique using this basting glue…
I added just a few dots of glue away from the edge to hold it in place.
Press down to secure…
Hand applique with the freezer paper in place. And when you are ready you can turn your work to the back and pull out the freezer paper.
Last is the curved piecing. Finger press the corner piece in half to find the center and align with the center wedge on the arc. Pin in place.
Now pin ends which should extend about a 1/4″ into corner blocks~
Stitch and repeat on other side… press and trim! When trimming notice I’ve got my lower right corner block and upper left corner block on the 6 1/2″ lines… this is important when squaring.
The pattern pieces will print for you in reverse, so when you print out the wings, cut them on the red line and place them right side down. Trace around them with an erasable marking tool according to the pattern instructions.
I used a frixion pen to trace my templates. This pen ‘erases’ when ironed. I’m not convinced that it erases permanently so I don’t typically use it ~ but it shows up great on my dark background block and it will be covered by my stitching ~ it’s perfect!
It’s important to mark your template numbers when you get to your patchwork. This will help you tremendously with placement…
When you are ready to applique the body you can use any method of choice. I used this no-melt template plastic to turn mine under before appliqueing it to the wings. If you want to try this method, trace the body onto the template plastic and cut out template shape.
Cut fabric about 1/8″ ~ 1/4″ larger with some notches along curves. Spray some starch or best press in a small container and wet edges of fabric with brush or q-tip.
Use the tip of your iron to press the fabric over the template…
Perfect curves and ready to applique!
This is one of the methods I love when I’m hand appliqueing tricky shapes ~ it makes the edges crisp and so easy to stitch! After your templates are all in place and you are ready to stitch your antennae, use the template to mark your placement.
I used dmc perle cotton to back stitch the antennae right on my line.
I hope you have fun with this block! It’s my new favorite!
If your machine has some fun stitches, this would be a perfect block to show them off!!
Start by cutting out all your wedges… accuracy and consistency are key. I’ve got half mine shown here…
Chain stitch them all according to the pattern…
Chain stitching is a way to ‘speed piece’ on your sewing machine that saves you time (and thread). Sew one piece and then pause, position next piece and feed through. When done cut the ‘chain’ between each piece. I set my machine to a shorter stitch and backstitched once or twice at each fold to secure (the fold will be your point).
Before you turn your points you can clip the seam allowance slightly at the fold to reduce bulk. When I turn my points I use these handy tweezers and hold right at the point…
Then with my left hand I take the tail of the wedge and pull it down and under the tweezers…
It gives me perfect points without poking into the corner and stressing out the seam…
When you are joining your wedges, sew a scant quarter inch as directed and only sew the length of the shortest wedge.
I chose to hand applique my wedges, but you can use your machine to straight stitch, zig zag or blanket stitch…
I hope you have fun with this block! Don’t feel you need to follow my colors, you can switch it up any way you like.
Maybe you want to keep the entire inner and outer circle similar colors…
After posting about the ‘bubbles’ block, I had circles on my mind and a gift in the works for little baby Abby – a sweet pillow!
I used the same ‘bubble’ applique method for the circles on this (soon to be) pillow and machine appliqued the letters on after fusing with heat n bond lite. (note – if you are new to applique I used the same basic method for the letters as seen in the ladybug love post & pdf )
I layered the pillow top over a piece of warm and natural batting and practiced my (wip) free motion flowers…
If you’d like to make your own pillow – find the applique letter templates here…
September is here and so is quilt block of the month number 9! It’s all about the ‘Bubbles’ this month. Sewing curves and circles can be intimidating, but here is a technique you will enjoy and likely use again and again… It allows you to layer without any bulk – because the ‘bulk’ is cut away! Let your imagination go with how you can use this technique with other shapes and projects.
Of course you don’t have to follow my bubble design – you can create your own!
Take it easy this month with an applique block – Fabulous Feathers!
Summer is so busy so I hope you enjoy putting together this easy applique block.
If you’re following along with the block of the month then you’ll want to make up two rectangular ‘blocks’ to work into your rows when all 12 blocks are done. If you’re not following then you can easily make this into a square block.
Welcome February! Today I’m posting the Scrap Happy Sampler Block of the Month for February. But first, I hope you all enjoyed January’s Lone Star Block of the Month. I know those set in seams can be tricky so you might be happy to have that behind you!
February’s block is all about hexagons and english paper piecing. I think these hexagon flowers are so cute! Perfect for the ‘happy’ sampler!
I think you’ll find this method of piecing to be fun and portable! English paper piecing is a technique of basting fabric over a paper foundation to hold and support the fabric pieces while sewing them together. It’s done entirely by hand so you can give your machine a rest this month and sew ‘old school’.
The pattern calls for 28 hexagons and the templates are included in the pattern for you to print and cut yourself. I cut mine using my silhouette cameo!
cutting hexagon templates
It’s very important to have your hexagons cut accurate so they piece together perfectly! I’ve cut 3 extra sets of hexagons to GIVE AWAY! If you would like to win a set, leave a comment below just telling me if you have experience with paper piecing or if this is your first time trying it! I will choose 3 random winners February 3rd and get them in the mail right away! (US residents only please)
The hexi-flower pattern will be available for the entire month of February for free. When February ends, I will list the block pattern on Craftsy for a small fee and the March BOM will be free.
One of the tools that I used to cut my fabric hexagon pieces is an ‘add a quarter’ ruler. This is an optional tool but we will use it again in another paper piecing BOM coming up this year. It will again be optional but it’s a nice tool to have. If you have one that is ‘add a half’ that will work just fine too! What makes this ruler unique is that there is a little ‘lip’ on the underside of the ruler that rests right up against the paper, giving you an accurate cut. You should be able to find these rulers at your local quilt shop or you can find them here at amazon CM Designs Add-A-Quarter Ruler-6″ Yellow
add a quarter ruler
If you’re following along, you will notice that February’s ‘Block’ is actually 2 half-blocks. Not all months will be an actual ‘block’. We will get to placement and design of the quilt top later this year but I think you’ll like the non-traditional look of the completed top! Also, if you’re paying close attention you might notice that my background fabrics are different. I chose to make my background a little scrappy too – using up my white/cream/beige color larger scraps. Anything goes!
This block is also great for fussy cutting fabric if there are words like ‘honey bunch’ or a design in the fabric you want to feature.
fussy cut hello kitty
It’s also fun for an i spy quilt for the kids – just a thought! I added in a little hello kitty hexagon to my block, a remnant to remind me of my kids when they were smaller. And of course I had to use a valentine fabric scrap of hearts – because it is a February block after all!
If you are crafty – you must already know about Craftsy.com! And if you don’t… well… consider yourself informed! I can’t say enough about this fantastic site.
I recently completed Sarah Fielke’s course ‘Big Techniques from Small Scraps’ and wanted to share my feedback and a 50% OFF DEAL with you!!! Before I show you the sample quilt I made from her class you can check out a class preview video by clicking this pic right here:
Craftsy Class Preview Video
There are 10 Lessons in this class that will cover Sarah’s deconstruted piecing method, needle turned applique, wedge ruler designs, a step down piecing quilt lesson, sewing curves and more!
Let’s take a look at my ADORABLE sampler from her class… I needed a baby blanket for a friend so I combined a couple of the MANY techniques she offers in this fabulous class to suit my needs… including blocks from her deconstructed ‘dolly’ quilt (perfect for my baby blanket).
I labeled some of the techniques you can learn in this class so you won’t miss anything!
You’ll be surprised to know that this quilt was almost made entirely without a ruler! I didn’t measure any pieces! It’s quite fun as your not worried about accuracy – it’s all intended to be wonky and FUN!
Sarah also offers a pattern in one of her books for a quilt made with these sweet flowers that I made for my dolly quilt.
I played around with the partial New York Beauty Block in photoshop to show you how you could put together the entire wonky block – As explained and demonstrated in this course.
I tried one of her needle turned applique methods in this quilt row I’m making as part of a row ‘robin’ with my quilt guild!
row robin quilt – row 1
This was the first time I took an online course AND worked along with it . I watched the entire 10 lesson course first and decided what I wanted to make, then I reviewed the parts I wanted to return to – Sew easy on the Craftsy platform!
And last but not least – if you want a sneek peek at how a craftsy class might look, and Sarah’s teaching style ~ Check out Sara’s free tutorial on hand quilting – I was pretty excited to find it~ notice her dolly wall hanging (on table) and flower quilt in background!
Enjoy! And if you have any trouble with the discount link – please comment below and I’ll get right on it!
And a quick News Flash! Check out this Free Craftsy Block of the Month Video Class! If you sign up by January 31, 2013, using this link, you’ll automatically be entered to win a course kit with 11.5 yards of Robert Kaufman fabric, a $100 value – AWESOME!
Yippee!! December 3rd is the start of Giveaway Day! Thanks to Sew Mama Sew for hosting this giveaway! I can’t believe it’s been a year since the last one already??? Giveaway Day is so much fun with so much to see that it now lasts a WEEK! All giveaways start today at 6 a.m. PST and close December 7 at 5 p.m. PST, and winners will be announced by email no later than Sunday, December 9
This year I’m giving away any pattern of your choice from my shop! I just love giveaways! I can’t wait to see all the fun giveaways myself!
Here are just some of the patterns the winner can pick from:
Cool coupon bag…
or a nice cover for your ipad…
or maybe a fun quilted hot water bottle cover… I love this!
maybe a pattern for a cosmetic case?
or a mug rug…
or some fun mittens..
subscribe to rebeccamaedesigns at the bottom of this post
comment that you did and tell me what pattern shown here is your favorite?
Additional entries for following on facebook,twitter or pinterest.
Thanks so much for looking and Good Luck! I know I’ll be checking out all the other fabulous prizes!
Winner will be chosen with the plug-in ‘And the Winner Is’ and notified via email.
You can also enter to win a wool wreath from me ~Enter Here
When you’re done, click here to link back to the giveaways @ Sew Mama Sew…