Hello Quilty Friends,
I hope you are all safe and healthy during these difficult times… It’s a challenge to remain positive with so much happening in our world but it’s critical that we do our part to socially distance physically and stay healthy to help everyone… especially those on the front lines.
Take a minute and go to your happy creative place… it’s ok to take a little time for yourself. We need to feed our spirit and creativity. I’m putting a daily schedule together for myself to help me get through these times… Including: Gratitude, Creativity, Community Giving, Music, Self Care… which is all nurturing my spirit.
Let’s get to our creativity…
If you’re following along with the Dear Son quilt-a-long, Chapter 4 should be in your email as of 3/31 :)
Let Your Soul and Spirit Fly
The words this month were chosen from a Van Morrison song, Into the Mystic… and you’ll be seeing another line or two from that song because it’s special to me and the boy (heart).
And look how nicely it fits in with Chapters 1-3!
I’m very happy with how my quilt is coming along… I will admit that I changed it a couple times before settling on this design and I’m so happy I did. Most of the sewing is straight forward this time around so I figured it was a good opportunity to share a couple tips with you on how I worked my applique.
TIP #1 – PRINTING TEMPLATES ONTO FUSIBLE WITH AN INKJET PRINTER
If you are using steam-a-seam lite 2 as your fusible, you can cut it to 8 1/2 x 11 and use it in your ink jet printer. This will work if you are using the same text as me… you can either simply print that page of the pattern to your ink jet printer OR photocopy it with your ink jet printer, if it has that capability. I don’t believe this will work with a laser printer due to the heat (fyi).
Position the fusible in your printer to print on the correct side… in this case I want it to print on the side with the yellow grid.
No tracing! Gotta love that!! Next I cut my words out individually or as one unit and iron to the WRONG side of my fabric…
TIP #2 – CENTERING TEXT ON BACKGROUND
Now I cut my letters and organize them on my background piece. Because the background piece will shrink with all the applique stitching, my background piece is cut to 4″ x 25″ which is 1/2″ larger in both directions than the required size. This will allow me to square it to the correct size (3 1/2″ x 24 1/2″) after my applique is complete.
I used my ruler to center the applique in between the 24″ finished area of this ‘block’. Notice I have roughly 1/2″ of fabric extending on either side of the 24″ measurement of my ruler… some of that will be trimmed away in when squaring. Simultaneously, I’m centering the applique approximately 3/4 of an inch away from the top and bottom of the fabric.
So as an example, I started by placing the L (on the far left) 3/8″ from the edge of my ruler which is also the beginning of my 24″ measurement.
Then I positioned the Y at the right end, also 3/8″ from the 24″ finished measurement of my block.
With your end letters in place you can now remove all the fusible paper backing, organize all the letters in between and stick them in place (exposed fusible is sticky) before finally fusing them with your iron.
TIP #3 – HOW TO MANAGE APPLIQUE THREAD TAILS
Since I’m using a black thread for applique and a white fabric I want to be sure that any thread tails at the back of my work are under control behind my applique and not showing through the white fabric.
The first important step is to manually crank your needle down and then back up to draw a few inches of both threads (top and bobbin) to the top of your applique… this will avoid that nasty nest of thread that can sometimes occur at the back of your work.
Stitch around the perimeter of your applique and bring your thread tails(all 4 threads) to the back of your work.
Tie the tails off in an overhand knot and thread the tails onto a needle.
I am using a spiral-eye side-threading needle which makes it super easy to thread by simply sliding the threads along the side of the needle.
This is the only self-threading needle I currently have BUT this particular needle is a little fat for the next step – so I would actually recommend selecting a thinner self-threading needle to make this step easiest.
Carefully feed the needle with your thread tails through your applique stitches…
As a side note, I use that spiral needle to bury threads when I’m quilting on my long-arm. Just tie off the threads at the top of your quilt and slide threads onto the needle (no trying to see the eye!) and bury! done!
I hope you enjoyed these tips!!! Take good care…
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