How has your summer been going? Mine has been wonderful . . . and busy. The Academy of Applique has been such a fun and rewarding journey. I finally have the opportunity to combine by business acumen learned over MANY long years as a Finance Director, and my “hobby/obsession” quilting, and specifically, applique. Everyone has been SOOO supportive – there are not words to express my thanks to everyone. Friends and Attendees have helped me distribute literally tens of thousands of marketing postcards. The reception has been terrific. It is fun to watch marketing cards be sent or delivered to a specific area of the country, and within days, multiple sign ups on the website from that area. How exciting. The teachers, too, have been most gracious and sharing of their experiences, thoughts, and time. They truly are an amazing group. I want to send a special THANK YOU to Nancy Kerns and Teresa Jones for helping me through this first year, and letting me bounce ideas off them. You girls ROCK!Continue Reading →
As you can see, I am powering thru Sue Garman’s Sarah’s Revival.
These little papercut blocks are SO much fun and SO addictive. Sometimes we need “mindless” work like this that give us a sense of accomplishment. I did prewash these on hot to remove as much “bleeding” as I could. Being a believer in starch, I starched both the red fabric as well as the background – pretty stiff. Next, I cut out the freezer paper pattern being as careful as possible. When ironing the freezer paper to the selected red fabric, I AM anal, so I used a 6” x 12” ruler to make sure that the pattern was aligned and that the four quadrants of the pattern were perpendicular. I traced around the pattern with a white mechanical pencil then I ironed my background squares in half, then half the opposite way, then diagonally. Aligning the red fabric with the folds ironed into the background fabric came next. Notice, I haven’t cut the piece of red fabric yet. I gently pinned the red fabric to the background, hand-basted, and used the cut-away method to complete the block (cut a little, stitch a little, cut a little, stitch a little).
Here is what I REALLY wanted to Blog about. Nancy Kerns TOTALLY got me into hand basting my blocks. It doesn’t take long, and I think it really makes the blocks lay flatter. This is how I had been powering along – although working full time (which is REALLY cutting into my personal time, Ha Ha), it does take me almost a whole evening to get a block ready to stitch. Then a thought hit me. Why couldn’t I baste the block in a grid formation on my sewing machine? I gently pinned the next block, lengthened my stitch to as long as the machine would allow, loosened my presser foot tension and basted. True, it only took a couple of minutes. But, from my experience . . . WHAT A MISTAKE! As I started my cut-away, there were stitches everywhere I DIDN’T want them to be. I couldn’t get at the pattern edges to cut-away, and spent more time taking stitches out, than stitching. I finally gave up – removed all basting – and went back to my tried and true Nancy Kerns method. When you hand baste, you obviously can place the stitches inside the pattern, where you want them. I also like appliqueing a quadrant, removing the basting stitches, and admiring. Nancy did share that if you keep your “junky” thread available, with needle threaded, for basting , you are more apt to grab the needle and baste. I am convinced.
I may have “strayed” momentarily from a lapse in judgment . . . but I am back on the “straight and narrow” . . . hand basting. I felt like Linus in the musical “You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown,” trying to leave his blanket. For those of you that know the musical, I am now singing . . . “got you back again!” I am totally committed to hand basting! Thank you Nancy.
Business Woman and CFO
Owner academyofapplique.com, business woman, CFO, and active applique fanatic. It's time to bring applique to the next generation of quilters and preserve this art for future enjoyment.