Fioriani Stitch and Wash Applique

>> Saturday, July 24, 2010

Necessity is the mother of invention? How about desperation?

Lately I've been frustrated with my applique. When I've worked on more challenging patterns (with very small pieces or tight curves) I haven't been satisfied with the results. So I've tried different methods, combined methods and made up methods! I hate to think of all the fabric I've wasted!

But I've finally come up with a system that works for me and thought I'd share it with you in case it might be helpful.

First I start with Floriani Stitch N Wash Fusible. You can get it at Red Rock Threads and other places. This is a wonder product.

I first learned of it through Kelly at Don't Look Now. She used Floriani with a glue stick to make orange peel blocks. She ironed shapes cut from the Floriani on the back of fabric and then used a glue stick to turn the seam allowance. I found my orange peel blocks looked best if I finger pressed the pieces before applying the glue. While I enjoyed having the pieces already "turned", I didn't like the mess of the glue. I also didn't like the inaccuracy and time consuming process of tracing patterns on the Floriani.

After brainstorming I discovered a solution to both issues.

First I start with an 8.5x11 inch piece of Floriani. I like to use my rotary cutter and the template Soft Expressions sells to cut out my pieces . I found I can cut as many as three at time.

I iron an 8.5x11 inch piece of freezer paper on the non-glue side of the Floriani. The glue side is somewhat shiny as the photo shows. Iron on a hard surface that will not absorb the glue. I use a piece of tile. Only iron the freezer paper  a few seconds, long enough to stick to the paper lightly.

Now I can run the Floriani through my printer with the ink printing on the glue side.  I know this sounds backwards, but stick with me. (If you need to reverse your pattern, do so before printing)

Then I carefully peel the freezer paper off the Floriani. It should easily peel off. This freezer paper can be reused several times. You should now have your pattern printed on the glue side of the Floriani.

Cut out your pieces and iron the Floriani to the back of your fabric. That means the printed side/glue side will be in contact the back of your fabric. Be careful,  it's not easy removing the Floriani from your hot iron (ask me how I know).  Now you can cut out the pieces adding your seam allowance.

At this point I attach the pieces to my background and needle turn the seam allowances over the Floriani edges. Works like a charm. The Floriani is light weight and most of it washes out with hot water and soap. When I compare pieces that used Floriani and those that didn't I really can't tell a difference. And that's before washing. There is no stiffness and when the piece is held to a light there is no difference. I really love this product.

I have a confession to make that may sound loony. Instead of using little applique pins to secure a piece to the background I use a staple! It holds the piece tightly, there is no shifting and they are easily removed. They also don't catch your thread. A stapler obviously wouldn't work with a fabric like silk but it's worked well with my cottons.

Have fun trying something new!


Birdhouse Stitching

>> Thursday, July 22, 2010

Good Afternoon!

I've been working on Block 1 from Leanne Beasley's Down in the Garden. I made it last week and wasn't happy with it. The fabrics that came with the kit were somewhat drab and weren't the same fabrics Leanne used in her quilt.  So I tried some other fabrics and I still wasn't satisfied. The fabrics were too "busy" and the stitching wasn't my best work.  I was in too much of a hurry. I tend to rush through projects because I'm excited and also thinking about other projects I want to do. I need to slow down and enjoy the process. Here's a photo of "Draft 2". (It wasn't even worthy of ironing!)

I started again, (I'm nothing if not stubborn) with a new set of fabrics. Purples, yellows and greens. Bright and cheery. (still having problems with my photos-ignore the green hue)

The pattern has you make the blocks first and then add the stitching. I found that stretched the stitching of the blocks and was awkward. So now I'm doing the stitching pattern on a large piece of fabric, then cutting it to size and sewing it into the block.

I'm taking my time, not trying to finish quickly but trying to enjoy the process. My stitching was much improved and I'm happy with the work. Here's the first "sub-block".

I used Cosmos threads. The scrolly area around the birdhouse was made with purple (#556) back stitch that was wrapped with gold (#575) thread. I'm very pleased with those results. The pattern called for small chain stitching in both the scroll area and the birdhouse. I used a wrapped back stitch in the birdhouse also, all the same color (#554). I did a simple back stitch for the leaves and vine (#924), and satin stitch for the flower buds (#556). the pattern suggested back stitch for the flowers but I found the flowers were so small the back stitches didn't work well. I substituted chain stitch (#556) in dark purple that I filled with straight stitches (#575) in a lighter purple and a french knot (#575) of gold in the center.

I need to get to work on my hand piecing project and my Simple Sampler. So much stitching and so little time!

Have a great day!


Down in the Garden by Leanne Beasley!

>> Wednesday, July 14, 2010

I have held my breath waiting for my pattern and kit from Leanne's House. The pattern is Down in the Garden and it's a BOM. I just adore this pattern and have lusted after it since it came out. I finally decided to purchase it and enjoy myself.

Here is what the entire quilt will look like

Here is what Block One will look like when I'm finished (I hope!)

Here is the kit I received from Buggy Barn

Guess what I'll be doing the rest of this rainy afternoon?!


Simple Sampler Blocks 7 & 8

>> Monday, July 12, 2010

Hope you all had a nice weekend!

I've finished blocks 7 and 8 for the Simple Sampler Quilt Along. I really enjoyed the Log Cabin (7). I think I'll have to make a quilt of Log Cabins. Here they are:



 Here are all of the blocks so far: (this is the best reproduction of their true colors)

 I'm also taking an online hand piecing class through Quilt University from Susan Purney-Mark. I really enjoy hand work. Here's what I've pieced so far:

 I'm waiting for instruction on how to attach seamed pieces. These three blocks will be sewn together to make a small table runner.

Have a great afternoon!


Stitch by Stitch

>> Friday, July 9, 2010


Hope each of you is doing well. Welcome readers from Simple Sampler Quilt-Along! I've been enjoying your sweet comments!

It's a bit embarrassing, it's almost 11 AM here and I'm still in my pajamas! But I haven't been a total lump (just a slob!). I finished the blocks for week three of Amy's "Simple Sampler Quilt-Along". They were easy and turned out well.

Block 5:

Block 6:

I've also been playing around with a Dresden Plate/Orange Peel quilt. Here is my first Dresden block. The Dresden blades are 2 1/4" long and the widest area is 3/4". The entire dresden is 6 3/4" across. I really like the blue against the green background. I tried to do a turquoise/brown combo but couldn't find the right brown. This one is "tamer" but beautiful.

Here is the Orange Peel block. I used a template from June Taylor's orange peel set. That made it a cinch. Each petal is 3 3/4".  The center is not perfect, but close enough for a first try. I expect to get better at matching the points. (you can click the photos for a closer view)

I have a special friend that has been diagnosed with liver cancer. She wants to make a last quilt and has asked for my help. It is quite bittersweet. If any of you are prayer warriors, please pray for Nancy.

Thank you and have a nice day!


Honoring America

>> Saturday, July 3, 2010

Tomorrow we celebrate Independence Day here in the States. It is a special day celebrating our many blessings and freedoms.

We have these many freedoms because of the men and women that have died for us. 

The above flag rested on my father-in-law's coffin this last February. He was a Marine in World War II, Korea and Viet Nam. He received the Silver Star, Bronze Star and two purple hearts.

When the flag was lifted from the coffin it was folded very carefully thirteen times by two young Marines and given to my husband. Each of the thirteen folds is symbolic and I thought you might enjoy knowing the history of the folds. It kind of represents who we are as Americans. 

First Fold: Symbol of Life
Second Fold: Symbol of our belief in eternal life
Third Fold: Honor and remembrance of the veterans who gave a portion of their lives for the defence of our country and to attain peace throughout the world
Fourth Fold: Trust in God in times of peace and war for His divine guidance
Fifth Fold: Tribute to our country, for in the words of Stephen Decatur "Our Country, in dealing with other countries may she always be right; but it is still our country, right or wrong"
Sixth Fold: With our hearts we pledge allegiance to America
Seventh Fold: Tribute to our Armed Forces
Eighth Fold: Tribute to  those that have entered the valley of the shadow of death
Ninth Fold: Tribute to womanhood through their faith, love, loyalty and devotion the character of our country has been molded
Tenth Fold: Tribute to fathers
Eleventh Fold: Represents the lower portion of the seal of King David and King Solomon's and glorifies the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.
Twelfth Fold: Represents God the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit
Thirteenth Fold: The uppermost stars reminds us of our Nation's motto "In God We Trust". 

After the flag is folded is takes on the appearance of a cocked hat, reminding us of the soldiers who served under General George Washington and the Sailors and Marines who served under Captain John Paul Jones.

Happy Independence Day!


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