Life is good, all the time! Spring has sprung, the flowers are blooming, the leaves are in full foliage, it is not too hot (yet), and we are enjoying Spring showers. What a perfect time to stitch! About six weeks ago I challenged all of those interested, to complete a Sue Garman quilt or block to be displayed at the 2018 Academy of Applique as our homage to Sue – a talented quilter, designer, and teacher. Sue will be sorely missed, and I would like her family to know how far her “reach” was, and how many quilters she touched and inspired. I was recently asked if this includes pieced quilts. OF COURSE! Anything, and everything, Sue Garman is welcomed and encouraged.
As promised, I have been feverishly working on my “Ladies of the Sea.” Here are a couple of pictures to show my progress. I decided to do all of the appliqué first, then the embroidery.
My friend Sharon printed papers for me, so I could paper piece the 300 or so half square triangles that are needed for (2) borders. Thanks Sharon, this will help TONS! I don’t know why I was so intimidated to start this quilt. I found a method that allows me to finish (at least the appliqué portion of the block), from start to finish in about (3) days. Here is my schedule:
Day 1 – Tape the pattern together for one block
Copy the block onto transparency film
Copy the block onto freezer paper
Cut out all pattern pieces from the freezer paper
Iron onto corresponding fabric
Trace around pattern pieces
Cut out pieces adding a seam allowance (I prefer the needle turn method)
Iron the background fabric, ironing in registration lines both vertical and horizontal
If there is a “stem wreath,” assemble the paper pattern with background fabric on top of the light box – glue the stem wreath down – remove from light box.
Scotch tape the transparency on top of the background fabric, and using this as a guide, glue ALL pieces down (I just put a couple of dots of Roxanne’s glue down the center of each piece. This way, if I need to “move” it out of the way to stitch another piece beneath it, I can just fold it out of the way.) Gluing ALL pieces at once stabilizes the block and eliminates unnecessary stitching, as it is easy to see where one piece might fit under another piece.
This whole process, for me, takes about (2) hours; the same amount of time as any old Doris Day or Debbie Reynolds movie. You can listen to the movie, and don’t need to watch intently. Right? You know the plot. The boy gets the girl. Sometimes I listen to books on “tape.” I also enjoy this when I hand quilt in my frame.
The other “trick” that I use comes from doing a lot of counted cross stitch in years past. I thread several needles with all of the required thread colors to work my way up one side of the block. That way I can stitch the vine until I come to a leaf, “park” my vine needle while I stitch the leaf, then continue on with the vine. This saves tons of time threading and rethreading the needle.
It takes me about (2) days to stitch the block. Voile! 16 ship blocks and (4) over the top borders, and the top will be complete. It really is going fast!!!
Please send pictures of your progress (this means you Susan, ha ha) and I will post them.
For now, keep stitchin’
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