Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Sharp Appliqué Points!

Don't let sharp appliqué points scare you away from any quilt that has them! I will give you a few pointers so you won't hesitate a bit the next time you come across a sharp appliqué point. With a little practice, you will have it down pat quickly.

This method is how I tackeled the sharp points in the border of The Gardens Of A King. I was able to appliqué them all on the quilt in about two evenings. First prep the appliqué shape with starch, just like I've shown you in pasts posts for English Paper Piecing. Then use an invisible appliqué stitch to sew the first side of the elongated star. Take an extra stitch at the point. Use small stitch lengths as you sew the last 1/2" or so of the side of the shape.

Hold the thread tight and keep it out of the way by trapping it under the needle off to the side on the background.

Then trim the seam allowance away so that you have only about 1/8" to tun under the appliqué shape. This is very small and I would never trim so close without using starch to prep. The starch helps the small seam stay in tact without fraying.

You can see how much was cut off.

I took an appliqué class from Linda Jenkins years ago and she taught us to use a round toothpick at points and corners. I skip it unless I have a sharp point. It works great! Roll the toothpick under and swoosh backward to roll that seam allowance under the appliqué shape. Hold the appliqué shape firmly with your fingernail.

I've added another step to the trick by coming at the small seam allowance from the opposite direction and pushing the last of the fabric up underneath the appliqué shape while holding the appliqué shape firmly with my fingernail. Holding it firmly keeps the appliqué shape nice and sharp, without allowing a curve to form.

Begin sewing with small stitches to keep the shape nice and straight. Small stitches will also hold the seam allowance inside and underneath that a shape.

And here you see a nice sharp point with straight edges leading to the point. I've laid the needle next to it so you can really see how straight the shape is and how sharp the point is!

Easy Peasy! Good luck and let me know how this works for you!

I'll post another way to do sharp points next time. Have a wonderful Thanksgiving to those of you in the USA. Travel safely as Mother Nature is giving us some snow to deal with!

I'm so thankful for all of my blog friends!

Take Care,


PS...check out Karen's blog for some updates on her Gardens Of A King quilt. She's doing great! I've told her she's making me want to make another version of this King George The III Coverlet remake! Maybe....since I HAVE been going through withdrawl symptoms from not sewing on The Gardens Of A King for a good week or so now! My name is Missie and I am addicted to English Paper Piecing with Starch!! If you want to make your own go to Traditional Primitives for your own copy!


Monday, November 24, 2014

The Pattern is Ready! And My Quilting Machine!

Just a quick mention to let you know The Gardens Of A King pattern is ready for you!

A little bit of wool appliqué for you! Cottons and wools...mmmm...
A little bit of hand appliqué for you! More cottons and wools....mmm...
A little bit MORE than a little bit of English Paper Piecing! English Paper Piecing with starch...mmmm...

A few nights of relaxing and rewarding stitching for you while working on

The Gardens Of A King,

an interpretation of

The King George III Coverlet!

Click Traditional Primitives to see the details!

My husband and I have been spending a little time "jerry rigging" my quilting machine! I purchased a stitch regulator and we got it installed 100% on Saturday morning! This is longarm quilting on a budget for sure! I would love to have a fancy, wonderful quilting machine, but for now this is what I have to quilt my own quilts. It's a Bailey Home Quilter and is just a basic quilting machine. But that's all I need for now. The stitch regulator worked wonderfully and it was much less stressful to do a little quilting!


The quilt loaded on the machine is a small wall hanging sample for one of my workshops I'll be doing in February in the Garland, Texas area. This is a cut away appliqué technique making the zebra appliqué much easier to sew in place! This class will be taught at Sew Let's Quilt It. I'll be teaching The Gardens of a King at Happiness Is Quilting in McKinney, TX, and also will be doing the program and workshop at the Garland quilt Guild. Both stores will be having Holiday Open Houses in the coming days and some of my quilts will be on display. If any of you live in the north Dallas area, be sure to stop by!

Please let me know if you have any questions about the new pattern. I'll be happy to answer them!

Have a wonderful day!



Thursday, November 13, 2014

Relaxing Friday Evening! Finally!

I've been so very busy lately, stitching and drawing constantly! And when I'm not doing those things I've been loading the car and hitting the road for a quilt show. It's been a fun fall!

Since The Gardens Of A King quilt is finished, I've been getting the pattern ready and it is nearing the end! I'm teaching English Paper Piecing tomorrow in Ft. Dodge, IA and I needed to replenish my freezer paper hexies. Since I had lots of scraps of freezer paper left over from making 'George", as I fondly refer to The Gardens Of a King...


I thought I'd use them up into a FEW hexies! Here is what I got from the scraps! These are all 1" hexies.


And these area few of the 3/4" hexies!

And this is what's left! It's a great way to use up scraps. The black squares you see there are the dies for my cutter. Works really great to run them through the die cutter. I can get 8 layers at a time in paper or fabric! Before you know it you have hundreds of hexies!

I mentioned I am working on the new pattern. When I do the covers, I get a very different look from what I see on my computer and what is actually printed, so I do lots of tests and then end up throwing away all these great pictures that I have no use for...booo hooo...

When I made the quilt, Life In The Midwest, I printed the hexie shapes onto photo paper by accident. Well, I ended up using the glue stick and it worked great, that is until I figured out the starch method! But there are occasions when I still use the glue stick when I am basting. So as I was about to throw these colorful pictures away tonight, but decided to give them a whirl through the cutter!

How fun are these!??!


Now I can't wait to use the glue stick, and baste a few hexies on these cute little hexie papers. Maybe I'll let my students take a few tomorrow to practice with. Fun fun!

I cut ALL of these hexies in about 7 back to work on the new pattern! 7 minutes is all I can relax tonight! If you haven't been here in a while, go back a few posts and see the new quilt made with English Paper Piecing, Appliqué and Wool Appliqué. The Gardens Of A King, my interpretation of the King George III Coverlet, will be available in pattern for very soon.

Have a great weekend!









Saturday, November 8, 2014

The Gardens Of A King, Finale'

Thanks for being so patient with my teasers about this quilt! Here it is... My interpretation of the

King George III Coverlet, with permission from the V&A Museum in London, England

The Gardens Of A King

The quilt finishes about 63" square, not too big and not too small...challenging, but not too challenging, with a touch of easy stitching rewarding along each step of the way to completion...

It's been a wonderful journey for me...imagining the life of the original maker, appreciating her talent to draw the blocks I've used in the quilt, imagining her quilting circumstances and environment...

A journey of enjoying the process of stitching these glorious shapes together into wonderfully rewarding blocks, creating a quilt I will always cherish...

Thanks so much to my pattern testers Karen and Carrie, who will also be showing more of their projects on their blogs. They've been so helpful to make sure the pattern is understandable for quilters who want to make the quilt. Visit their blogs and see their blocks!

The pattern is not quite done, but should be done very very soon. You know the drill...let me know if you want first notice of when it's ready to be shipped and I will keep you posted! But I need your email address, so be sure to email me that ifo if you don't hear back from me.

Thanks so much for coming back to see the grand finale' post about The Gardens Of A King. A quilt using English Paper Piecing, Appliqué and Wool Appliqué techniques in Cotton and Wool.

As always, take care!



Friday, November 7, 2014

The Gardens Of A King, Part 4

Ok, time for some more sneak peaks at my interpretation of the King George III Coverlet! Yesterday, I left you with a summary of the techniques used to make the quilt. To review, there is English Paper Piecing, Appliqué and Wool Appliqué involved in making this quilt, The Gardens Of A King.

This picture shows a bit more of the two Appliqué techniques. Usually, I do cotton Appliqué using the needleturn technique, but for this one, since I was used to the crisp shapes from starching the EPP pieces, I decided I would try the starch method for the cotton appliqué also. A first for me. It was very nice to just stitch them on with no needle turn since the seams were prepared before they were basted to the background. Very quick stitching for sure! Either method would work just fine, but I wanted to try something new with the curved shapes of the crescents surrounding the Wool Appliqué. I did, however, use Needleturn for the some of the sharks teeth as well as starch for some of the others. I was experimenting. I would say the starched teeth are more precise, but the needleturn version quality is fine enough for me.

Making a quilt like this must be about enjoying the process! We love quilting and stitching because it is enjoyable! We may each love different methods of reaching the end of the project, but as long as we enjoy the journey, that's what it is all about! Right?!?

For me, this is definitely an English Paper Pieced design for the pieced blocks, but recently, I've met a woman who loves these type quilts, yet she prefers traditional hand piecing where she traces the shape and sews the pieces together with a running stitch! This traditional technique of piecing will absolutely work for this quilt! It's about the process of enjoying the work of making the quilt! I find myself often thinking about the original maker, wondering which type of piecing she used. She was, after all, from England so I do suppose she could have used English Paper Piecing to piece her blocks. I have tried to find out how old the technique is, but can't seem to find any information about a quilt known as the first English Paper Pieced Quilt. If anyone does know this, I would love to learn about it from you.


There are also several ways to stitch Wool Appliqué. Many primitive artists use the blanket stitch with pearl cotton or 3 strands of floss. It's beautiful done that way, but I have decided I prefer my stitches to blend in with the wool. My quilt design style is a bit primitive to go along with the traditional, but a bit of a more formal primitive touch is how I see my style. With that said, I prefer to use wool thread when I do wool appliqué. I've used several stitches, but prefer a small, simple, whip stitch. You can see some of the thread shining in the flash of the picture above. But, whichever type of thread or floss you like, would work wonderfully on these appliqué blocks.

Some of the wool shapes are very narrow, so for these blocks, I used fusible Steam A Seam 2 Lite to hold them in place and seal the edges from raveling. Now that I've gotten rid of my 25 year old iron, the Steam a Seam worked great! Lots of steam IS the key, even when I thought I HAD lots of steam in the past! Most of the time, I prefer not to use fusible when I do Wool Appliqué because I prefer the softer feel. Again, it's all about enjoying the process and whichever way you prefer for the majority of these appliqués is what you should do! (I do highly recommend fusible for the stems though!)


Be sure to visit Karen and Carrie's blogs to see their updates about The Gardens Of A King that they've been working on. You'll see some great changes from mine to make it their own so that they enjoy the journey of making the quilt!

In the coming weeks I'll be posting some hints and reviews of how I prefer to do things. One of which will be sharp points like the few you see above! But first, I'll be posting the quilt top, The Gardens Of A King, for you tomorrow... Nice to see you here today and I hope to see you here tomorrow!

Until then,

Take care,



Wednesday, November 5, 2014

The Gardens Of A King, Part 3!

Hello Again! In the last post I mention what might be coming next in the quilt. Well you saw a few sharks teeth in a border along with the blocks in the last picture. Here is another view of those sharks teeth.

In fact there are several rows of sharks teeth! The way I sew them is pretty easy...just a zig zag appliqué line. One of the simplest shapes to appliqué! Here's another view below...


If you look close in the picture above you can see a few repeats of blocks I've shown you already. These have some different values from the blocks shown before. What other elements do you notice in this picture? A bit of appliqué! With the circular shapes in the blocks, there are elements of Appliqué mixed in with the piecing. I've prepared these curved pieces with starch, just like the geometric shapes in the blocks. When you prepare them with starch it is very easy to appliqué good shapes. The work is done before you use your needle and thread and takes the hard work out of sewing on these curves!


There is another type of appliqué in this quilt... In fact, it's wool appliqué! Since the blocks are so detailed, I thought the simplicity of wool appliqué would be a good element to add. The original King George III Coverlet had appliqué scenes of the king inspecting his troops. I wanted to show something else about the time period.


This block represents the quilt's name...The Gardens Of A King. As I have been listening to the historical fiction novel while I sew, ( set in the same time period the original quilt was made) I realized how important gardens were. The castle land had fine gardens, and the towns people also had gardens. They needed the plants for all sorts of things...medicines, food of course, dyes and more. The garden was a very important part of survival in the days of yesteryear. When I gained permission from the V & A Museum to do this quilt, I was given permission to reproduce the pieced blocks only, but I knew I would want some appliqué in the quilt also. The block above represents a fanciful English Garden that you may see on castle grounds. I'm sure you are familiar with the shaped gardens, or perhaps the maze gardens. This picture shows a wool appliqué block with cotton sharks teeth. I chose a large green plaid wool, which gives the shape some nice shading.

I've done a little research on plants that grew during the 1700s and early 1800s and have put a few in this quilt. These plants would have grown in English Gardens at the time this quilt was made. Above is an appliqué block showing Plumbs. You can see this block is framed in a sharks tooth border.

And here is a twig of Peaches...

The herb Persalane...

Some apples... They ate well back then...


And of course, they enjoyed the beauty of flowers, but also used them for their medicinal qualities, scents, and flavors.

The Hazelnut tree was a bountiful tree. They brewed tea, ate the nuts, and stained fabrics.


Be sure to visit the wonderful ladies who've tested the pattern for me...Karen and Carrie's blogs. They will be posting about the quilt as well in the coming days. Both ladies have a unique view of this quilt and have done a wonderful job! Be sure and look back a ways to see all their posts about the process.

I hope you are intrigued with what's to come in the next few days. So far we have English Paper Piecing, Appliqué and Wool Appliqué three favorite techniques in quilting. Be sure to come back Saturday and Sunday mornings to see some more and finally the entire quilt top. I'm so excited to share it with you!

Let me know if you are interested in being put on the list for first notice of the pattern, but make sure I have access to your email. The pattern should be ready pretty soon.

Thanks so much for spending a few minutes here today...

Take care,


PS...please go back to your previous comments and check to see if I've left a reply for you to send me your email address. If you don't get an email back in reply to your comment I don't have your email to send you the information early :-)


Tuesday, November 4, 2014

The Gardens Of A King, Part 2

In today's post about my interpretation of the King George III Coverlet I plan to show you a few more of the circle blocks. They are all unique and the original maker did a wonderful job repeating them in her quilt long ago. She repeated them many times over to make such a large quilt, but I will only be repeating the majority of them 2 times each. There are 16 different circular blocks, so that makes 32 I used in the new quilt.


I love this block above with it's tiny little hexie in the center! That hexie is a bit larger than 1/2" and the circular part of the block is about 6". Each square block measures 6 3/4" in my design. This is pretty close to the original size for what I can find out.


I had a wonderful time digging through favorite fat quarters in my stash! This compass style block has many of my favorite colors and various shades. I love multi colored quilt blocks! Notice as you view these blocks that I've chosen to use several different background fabrics. I wanted my quilt to be scrappy!

These designs also look nice with a few fabrics repeated throughout the quilt. You will see this type of color example in Carrie's (one of my sweet pattern testers) quilt. You can see on her blog that she has chosen a more modern look for her blocks!


This little sunflower styled block has a unique frame. See how that row of squares circling the petals are split in two? The original quilter was a clever designer. She also was very clever with her color and value choices. Some of the blocks she made are typical to what we expect when we look at a star block, but others are opposite or quite mixed up in typical value placement. I had fun mixing things up a bit also when choosing fabrics for each piece in the blocks.

Speaking of value changes, can you tell that this block is the same pattern as one of the blocks shown above? It's pretty cool how changing value can change the whole look of the block! Karen (my other sweet pattern tester) has been doing a whole study about value on her blog and has tried to change the values on most of the blocks in this quilt. You will see that she has shown them on her blog.


This block pattern is the first that I made. Is was simple because notice that it really does not have so many pieces! I want you to see that this quilt is pretty easy once you get used to the way I prep the pieces. Once you get one block done, you can't wait to get onto the next one! And then once you've got the second block of one design done, you can't wait to get on to the next block design! I had such a blast making this...I may make another one!

In the coming weeks I will be reviewing my Starch Method of English Paper Piecing Basting. This type of prep makes the smallest pieces in this quilt very workable!


The block in the center of this picture above has tiny little pieces in the very center. The 2 red pieces in the very center are about 3/8" in size. With my method of basting, it can be done EASILY! This would also be a block where you could replace those red and tan pieces with a little fussy cutting and fill in the crescent shapes with one piece of fabric. Even easier! But still intricate looking.

Let me know if you want to be notified for first notice about pattern availability! Make sure I have your email! I will end this post with the teaser shown in the last picture...what could be next after the blocks in the quilt construction? Check back on Friday leading up to a few more posts through Sunday when I will show you the whole top!

Take care,