Country Cousins

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Kathie Kline Posted: Mon, Feb 21 2011 1:25 PM

Thanks Gini. Looking forward to starting.

 Kathie

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gini replied on Mon, Mar 7 2011 1:06 PM

how about a first day of spring start?    i think 'crossed' hearts will be the easiest to begin with.

i had my book bound in a spiral binding.   also, i had a loose copy of each pattern made.   i am making the patterns the size they are in the book, however,  these patterns can be enlarged.  on page 25,  there is the enlarging percentages for the size block you want to make.  

if you think you will only want to make one block or four, enlarging them makes sense and makes them easier to applique. 

if you get one block done and realize this is not for you.   one block or four, will make a wonderful centerpiece for a pieced quilt. 

if you haven't read susan's book, please look through it.  she does a great job talking about color selection. 

i often don't use the same fabrics throughout a quilt, like she recommmends, but i will pick one or two fabrics that i use in each block to give a little continuity.  for instance, i have already made my stems and they will all be the same fabric.    

speaking of stems,   i like to make them ahead, and roll them on a toilet paper center.  cut these on the bias.  i can't emphasize this more, cut the stems on the bias.  i use the little clover bias tool.   you will need to do samples to get the exact measurement for you tool/ and ruler.   thread the strip into the bias tool,  turn the tool upside down ( it is easier to use this way )  start the iron on the fabric. and steam the strip to death.   leave your iron on it for 20 seconds or more, hottest setting.  each section of the strip will need to be steamed this way, so take your time.  move the iron along the strip, right behind the tool, no gappies, and use your other hand to guide the tool.   don't pull on the tool, if your strip is the perfect width, your iron will be able to push it along.     as soon as you are done ironing the strip, gently but firmly (no stretching) wind it onto the cardboard tube.  leave it on the tube until it is completely cooled.  this will give the fabric memory to stay folded.   make sure them seams meet on the back side or close to meeting and check to make sure there are no wrinkles on the front.   this will give you 1/4 inch stems.   when you go to applique them, after you get the first side stitched down, you can trim the other side and make it even skinnier.   stems bigger than a quarter inch look bulky, even on a larger block.

because you have bias cut your stems,  they will move any which way you want them to without complaining.    if you can, stitch the inside curve first.  sometimes that isn't possible when you have an 's' shaped stem.  

now, having just emphasized that you always cut your stems on the bias, on this and only this block, i cut my stems on the straight of grain.  because, the stems on this block are straight.   i could use the bias stems, but i would have to draw a stitching line to keep it straight. i'm into the 'least effort', which is funny when you think about all the work that goes into an applique block.  

 if you want to get started, cut your background an inch bigger than your unfinished block.    steam a crease in the center both directions and on the diagonal.   the diagonal creases don't need to go all the way to the center.   these will be the guides for placing your pieces and you want them to last a while, so make sure you steam them well.  applique your stems down first, and note that they don't need to go all the way to the center, just as far as the central flower plus a little extra to tuck under.    if  i am  using a lighter fabric that shows seam allowances, i back the applique piece with muslin.  just cut out an extra piece a scant 1/8th inch less than the finished size of the applique, pin it to the wrong side of the applique.    tuck your seam allowance under the muslin.   you can fuss with that backing piece. if you want to brighten a color, use white for backing, if you want to tone it down use a darker unbleached muslin. 

oh kay, i really should be quilting, but here i am procrastinating again.  

any and all questions, i will be happy to answer, or find the answer for you.   gini

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Linny t replied on Mon, Mar 7 2011 5:25 PM

Woo Hoo, Gini!  Finally we start!  I've been looking forward to this since December, I think.

Linny T

 

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Kris replied on Mon, Mar 7 2011 5:38 PM

Thanks for the tips Gini. I'll have to get my book out and prepare. I know last minute as usual. 

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gini replied on Tue, Mar 8 2011 12:54 AM

you can see i have ironed a pretty good crease in  my background

i have finger pressed the applique down the center and you can see how easily it nestles onto the crease, perfectly placed.   i would put the stems on first, and they will go straight up the crease, too.

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gini replied on Tue, Mar 8 2011 1:08 AM

two of my most used tools

this is a little hard to see, but the strip was a little too wide for the bias tool, and there is a fold in the top of this piece.    they are nearly impossible to get out and i won't use this stem.

oops sideways,    these are all the stems i will need.   i will cut off the ends that flare out, and any spots that are too irregular.   sometimes i lik the stems to be a little irregular, but probably not on this quilt.  

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gini replied on Tue, Mar 8 2011 1:13 AM

i forgot to add this tool.  it is my favorite for making circles.   whe you are picking fabrics for circles, if you choose one that has a definite pattern, like a teensy check, it will make the wobbles along your seam disappear and will appear more round.   when you use a solid you see every little bobble along the seam.    this can be found in office supply stores.      gini

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gini replied on Tue, Mar 8 2011 1:16 AM

Kris:

Thanks for the tips Gini. I'll have to get my book out and prepare. I know last minute as usual. 

kris, this isn't a race.   relax and enjoy.   gini

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gini replied on Tue, Mar 8 2011 1:34 AM

i only use one template for each shape and when they templates are only used a few times i make them out of freezer paper.   trace the shapes onto the dull side of the freezer paper , fold it over and iron shiny sides together.    this will make a pretty durable template. 

here, again,  you can see how i use the creases for placement.   

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Martha replied on Tue, Mar 8 2011 9:56 AM

Please add me to the list for this project. Love it! Have the book, the fabric. ready to go. Yeah spring!

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gini replied on Tue, Mar 8 2011 10:19 AM

martha, welcome.   there's no list, you just join in when ever you want.   i'm glad to have you with the group.    gini

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gini replied on Tue, Mar 8 2011 11:31 AM

i forgot to add this last night.    it shows the backing fabric cut.   you put this under the applique, when you have a fabric that the seam allowance shows through. here i have it on top of the applique showing the turn under seam marked with the backing just a scant 1/8 inch smaller.   i just trace around the same template used for the applique,  and cut it out eyeballing the 1/8th inch inside the drawn seam.       gini

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Have my backgroun pieces cut out and creased. Made some steams, not sure if there is enough but at least can get started. Enlarged the pattern 160% to make the templates for the block. Have them cut out  of freezer paper and ironed onto the fabric. Ready for the next step.

 Kathie

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Kris replied on Thu, Mar 10 2011 3:15 PM

WTG Kathie.

I think I have my background and border fabrics set. This weekend I'll round out the rest.

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gini:
i forgot to add this last night.    it shows the backing fabric cut.   you put this under the applique, when you have a fabric that the seam allowance shows through.

Gini, already I can see the benefit of your expertise.  I have been trying to get lots of projects done to kind of clear the slate, at least reduce my "to do" list, so that I can make time to get into this new project.  I was reading your note under the last picture and it didn't make alot of sense... which meant that I had to scroll back to see what I missed.  I now have a much clearer understanding.  It would be helpful to stay current with reading the messages.

I have not bought any new fabric for this project yet, and I have not decided whether I will use muslin for my background.  I guess I have to just  make those decisions and get busy.

I just wanted to thank you for what you have already done.  Once I decide to really get started, it won't take me long to get up to speed.

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