Friday, July 24, 2015

Nice Night On The Deck!

Just a little stitchin' going on out on the deck tonight! I'm about done with the Wool Applique on these blocks and it will be time to put this baby together very soon. It will be fun to see how it will look! Working with my favorite wools and reproduction cottons layered and stitched with a blanket stitch. Yum yummy!

I'm using a stitching technique that's new for me. I'm not really sure I've seen it done before by anyone else, but I'm liking it for this type of sewing. The seam allowance is on the wide side of 1/4" and I'm doing needle turn Applique, but with a big blanket stitch. First I've drawn the shape onto the front side of the cotton fabric with a chalk pencil.

Then I'm turning the seam under with the needle as if I were going to do needleturn Applique. I'm only worried about turning that white line under as far as my next stitch for now.

And then I'm taking the next stitch right at the point I'm holding with my fingernail. Easy peasy! Gives a rustic look to the cotton Applique. The wool is sewn with the same blanket stitches but of course no seam is turned under. This is what I refer to as layered wool and cotton Applique.

We have great temps tonight before the next heatwave hits tomorrow. Hubs and I are enjoying the breeze and mild temps tonight! Some of you may have met Jeff at a show here and there. He's a good helper for me when I'm working at shows!

Have a great weekend and Take care,


PS...there's a great floss giveaway going on at Victorian Motto Sampler Shoppe if you want to enter!


Friday, July 17, 2015

How To Cut Fabric For Hexies...FAST!

When I'm teaching and vending and showing my Method for Basting English Paper Piecing with Starch, often I get the question about how I cut the Fabric Hexies. I have told you in the past about the Hexie Punches which I sell on my website and I show how to cut the Paper Shapes when I do the demo in shows. When I build the kits for the Hexie Mug Rug Pattern, I use the Sizzix Die Cutter so you have nice neat fabric hexies to give my method a try. But when I'm making a few hexies here and there, many times I cut them by hand with scissors.
I have nice sharp Kai scissors that have a 4" blade and they are SUPER great for cutting about 8-10 layers of cotton at a time! They are $16... available on the notions page on my website HERE.  In the picture above, I'm cutting a strip of fabric 1/2" wider than my Hexie shape. I cut all 10 layers at a time and can cut up to 16 layers at one cutting.!

From that strip I cut off a square, again leaving 1/4" on each side of the Hexie shape. I hold the stack with my first two fingers and don't let it go so they don't get displaced. This way they stay stacked up nice and neat.
Then I cut off the corners at the top and bottom of the square you see here, leaving 1/4" seam allowance outside the paper. (I like a scant 1/4" seam) Continue cutting until all sides are trimmed.
Until you have a complete Hexie cut out of the stack of fabrics.
From the strip of fabrics that were about 8" inches long I got 30 hexies in less than a minute!
Lots of ladies tell me they can't imagine cutting all those hexies they see in my quilts out of fabric. I compare this to any other quilt! We have to cut the pieces in order to make a quilt, right?! This doesn't take long and for me it's much quicker than rotary cutting or preparing an Applique piece for sewing. You can cut them very relaxed and they don't have to be perfect because they are used for English Paper Piecing so the prefect shape is formed by the paper!
I hope you see how quick and fun this can be!

On another note, I've had a few ladies send pictures of their blocks for The Gardens Of A King! They are stunning! Paula told me this week that they are addicting to make!! I totally agree! Is anyone else starting on The Gardens Of A King? I'd love to see your photos posted in the Traditional Primitives FB Group. Seeing what others are doing with colors will inspire you to get going on the next block! Search for Traditional Primitives from Missie Carpenter or click HERE to like the page and then join the group!  Let's get the party started and see some more blocks!
Have a wonderful weekend.
Take care,

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Sharp Points with Blanket Stitch

Hey Everyone! I've been missing in action again with a super busy schedule of vending at quilt shows and family stuff. I just finished up my last show for a little while and I'm glad to be home to get some work done for a few weeks! The last show was right here near home and it was nice to be able to sleep in my own bed and have a friend help one day and my middle daughter home the next day. Unfortunately I didn't think to get a picture this time! And I even set up the booth a little bit differently. Oh well, I'll be sure to add TAKE PHOTOS to my to do list next time! I would have loved to have a picture of Melanie since she won't get to help again for a while as she is moving away shortly. We'll miss her being nearby.

Since having a few days at home, I've been able to do a little stitching on my next design. This quilt will be similar to Pennies In My Garden, but the "pennies" will be diamond shaped this time around.

As I'm stitching the cotton and wool layers together, I've figured out a better way to make sharp points when using the blanket stitch. I've prepared my cotton shapes using the starch method I use for EPP basting. Usually I prefer Needleturn for Applique, but I am learning to love the crisp sewing edges that come with basting with starch. It makes sewing the Applique down effortless for the most part! These pre set points also help make a better point, but the stitching is also important. I'm sure I will still use Needleturn Applique in the future, but for this quilt, I'm enjoying using my Starch Brush to prepare the seam allowances. Now back to the sharp points...

After reaching the point and pulling the last blanket stitch tight, I'm taking another very tiny blanket stitch right at the point. The thread I prefer using for wool Applique is Genziana so it is very thin compared to floss or pearl cotton. This may too bulky of a stitch to take at the end of a point if you use floss or pearl cotton, but it's worth a try to make a sharp point.

Next I'm using the needle to tuck under any seam allowance poking out from behind the Applique shape.

Then I'm holding the tip with the hidden seam allowance very firm so that seam allowance won't poke out again!

Then proceed with a few more stitches. New topic for a moment... Notice the blue wool point above the one I'm discussing and how it is a bit bulging out of the stitches? I'm going to trim that excess away very carefully. Notice in the next picture how much better it looks compared the the picture above.

In this pic you can see how nice the red cotton fabric point looks with this locking blanket stitch after its stitched. You can also compare this point to the yello point with no locking stitch. (Yes, I'll go back and lock that one!). And finally you can compare the blue wool point in this picture to the previous picture to compare points before and after a trim.

Just a little tid bit of info I've learned lately. Hope it helps you also!

Take care,