I stitch hand applique and other hand embroidery or sewing for about 15 minutes, two or three times a day. Any more than that and I end up with sore hands, arm, and shoulder! I usually stick to small blocks or simple blocks. I find applique prep to be really messy for my sewing room…bits of fabric to be flung and found, templates drawn or printed, glue, scissors, starch, light box, pencils, oh my! So I tend to do my applique prep in as big bunches as I can, so I have a basket of sewing ready to go when I am.
I’m just about finished the 13th block of a Whimsical Quilt Garden, designed by the ladies of Piece O Cake Designs. This was a really simple block! Also, a picture of the blocks sewn and complete with sashing; these blocks are designed so that some parts overhang onto the sashing, a couple of blocks even have parts that overhang past the sashing to the next block. You’ll see that the middle block of the second row have parts that remain to be sewn.
I’m making this quilt as a block of the month; it seems about the only way I can really stick with an applique quilt is to be handed the fabric on a monthly basis so I will sew it! Homestead Hearth offered an option where the quilter gets to pick their background fabric, and the store sends the monthly block fabrics and completer fabrics; although, I have gone ahead and picked my own sashing fabrics. I’m also using a bit of wool on most blocks, just to give a bit of a different look.
Another block of the month I’m working on is called Antique Sampler, by Sue Daley, offered at Quilters Paradise (California). Here are the blocks I’ve made so far.
Each block has a reverse applique centre, with a very small applique on top. Here’s the prep for the reverse applique. I used a double layer of freezer paper for the circle template, and I find a small olfa cutting mat just fine for a hard and kinda sticky surface for tracing templates.
Then, I have the most recent block from Val Laird‘s Consider the Lilies b.o.m. This is where my new wonder stuff really makes stitching life wonderful! Sulky’s Sticky Solvy! It’s not cheap, so I am careful to use every last scrap…and to me, it so worth the purchase.
I found this product when I was researching transfer-eze, and I think it might be similar. You can print on it from your printer, or trace out your design on to it. Cut it out, and it sticks Sticks really really well. But, it comes off just as easy when you’re done appliqueing, or it washes out when you’re done embroidering.
So for this little block, I used it in two places…for the pumpkin applique and itsembroidery embellishment, and for the embroidery directly on the block itself.
And, I’m almost embarrassed to say, I’m working on a third block of the month, a Dear Jane, which happens to be my third attempt at Dear Jane! Tomorrow, more about my adventures with preparing some of those blocks.