Sunday, March 14, 2010

Sunday Stash Report & Joseph's Coat Update

Wonder if anyone missed me last week??? I was out of town helping my daughter so I missed out doing my stash report last Sunday. It's OK though, because nothing has really changed in regards to the stash in the past 2 weeks anyway! I didn't even have time to work on any hand sewing while I was away. I was so exhausted when I got home that it has taken almost all week to recover. I guess my body is telling me that I can't do the things I once could.


Used this week: 0 M
Used Year to Date: 14 M
Added this week: 0 M
Added Year to Date: 7.9 M
Net used for 2010: 6.1 M


It seems that I was avoiding preparing more blocks for appliqué. I decided that I needed to find a simpler and more accurate way to accomplish the prep work of laying the pieces out and attaching them to the background fabric. I am just using freezer paper for the appliqués on this project so I need to remove the paper. Here is the method I have come up with that works for me.

1. Prepare the melon shapes by ironing the freezer paper shape to the wrong side of the fabric and cutting around the shape adding a quarter-inch seam allowance all around. I don't cut it skinnier towards the points. 

With the freezer paper side up, use a small brush to apply liquid starch to the seam allowance all around the piece. Using an iron (I use my small Clover iron), work around the shape turning the seam allowance under.


 I do my points a bit differently as well. This is what works for me. I turn both edges of seam allowance under and that leaves a bit of a 'flag' sticking out by the point.

I fold this bit back, hold it with my fingernail and wet it again with a bit of starch then carefully apply heat with the little iron.

This folds the fabric under the point and gives a nice sharp point on the applique piece that doesn't fray out so easily. If the 'flag' is a bit large, I sometimes need to make a second fold... think of a little 'Z' in the fabric right under the point.

2. Applying the shapes to the background.

First, fold the background square in half and finger press a mark on both edges. I use these marks to center the fabric over my template so that everything will be centered  on the background. Use a water soluble marker and make a dot where each set of melons meets. This is for placement.

 Lay out the melons arranging until they look good. Slide each piece back a bit so that they are still in the correct orientation but away from the center of the block.

I use Roxanne's Glue Baste to attach the pieces to the background. I apply little dots to one whole side and just one at either end of the other side of the center pieces. Line the melons up with the dots made earlier and press in place.

Voilà - no pins required. Doing it this way allows me to stitch down the one side that is held in place, turn the corner and then remove the freezer paper. I then add a few drops of glue to the turned under edge to hold it in place after removing the paper. Let it dry a few minutes and finish stitching the final side. Because I am using all different colors, I change thread to match each melon color.

For the shapes on the outer edge of the circle, only put glue on the inner edge of the melon. I am leaving the freezer paper in the edge pieces until the blocks are joined to keep them stable.

I can lay out the blocks much faster and get more accurate placement using the glue over pins. Also, there are no pins to poke me or to loose in my chair... The added bonus is that the pieces can't shift while you are stitching so my point intersections are much better!

I have completed 8 blocks so far and have another 3 ready to stitch. I'm hoping that I will now be able to prepare and finish enough blocks for at least the first two rows of the quilt within the next week. Sounds like it should be doable...


  1. I noticed that you weren't around.
    Glad you are back!
    Thanks for the tips on applique. I have been having trouble with points. I have just started getting into the technique, and I am loving it (I see lots more applique in my future!). I use the glue baste too, it is much easier than pins.

  2. That's a great tutorial. Thanks. I have a BOM that's all applique so I'll have to remember all your tips. And when you are done that quilt it's going to be really beautiful. I can't wait to see it.

  3. Thanks for joining in Edna! Maybe you will win the Stitch &Wash and you can then toss th frezer paper into the breeze!
    Your blocks are looking great!

  4. As I have a "hell of a time" getting sharp points, I will try the method you are using folding the corners. I have also started to use Roxanne's Glue as I had quite a mess on my hands with the regular glue stick..... Thanks so much for your excellent tutorial. Best regards from Singapore, Vreni


  5. I also am going to try to do the points as you have suggested to see if mine will improve.

  6. Great tips .... I'm having problems with my tips meeting and will have to try your method. Thanks for sharing!

  7. Beautifully done tutorial!
    Don't think I have ever seen a "Joseph's Coat"
    Certainly looks like it will be gorgeous!!!!!


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