Friday, April 29, 2011

Garden block done

Today was another busy day.  We typically go into San Antonio on Fridays.  We had to drop the new car off for a minor adjustment.  When we got there, they gave us a loaner car to go do something so we wouldn't be sitting there waiting. We went several places just to kill some time.  I need to find a new hat to go with the new car... did I mention that the new car is a Corvette... Ron's Dream Car.  Still have not found the right hat, but we did stop in several stores, including Bass Pro Shop. 

When we finally got home I was able to get the words stitched onto the last block I completed yesterday.  This block turned out really nice.  I have no intention of hand quilting this, so I didn't feel any need to hand embroider the words... besides my machine does a great job at embroidery and it sits idle way too much since we no longer have the embroidery business.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Forging ahead with Country Cousins

I have been working diligently on my hand applique project.  It was just a little over a month ago that I started my first block, and I just finished block number 8 last evening.  This has been a real learning project. I have dabbled in hand applique over the years, but never focused on finishing a whole quilt.  I have four more blocks to go before I start the applique border, so I still have a long way to go. 

All the blocks have been fun, but the fountain was definitely a challenge.  It looked pretty nice when I had the main elements done, but I did not know how much that bottom "shelf" piece would add to the finish of this block.  This is a block that I would not force on any of the ladies from my quilt groups that are looking to me for guidance.  I would help them through it if they chose to do it, but it does have a higher level of difficulty than any of the other blocks I have done in this group of Country Cousins blocks. 

This block has real thin handles on the urns and points on the reverse applique on the base for starters.  Lots of pointy small leaves, and many little circles.  I actually used a technique that I kind of made up on my own when doing the circles.  I first found a button the size of the finished cherry and another button for the bubbles.  I then cut my circles like 3/16" wider than the button all around. (Wider seam allowance causes too much bulk in the center). I used a yo-yo technique but fine tuned it a bit.  The running stitch I made all around the circumference of the circle was very close to the edge.  Not so close that it would fray the edge, but close.  I left tails of about 2" on the thread - no need to knot the ends.  I placed the button in the center on the wrong side of the fabric and pulled both tails at the same time. When I had it pulled up pretty taut, I tied the ends - twice to secure the knot.  (The threads can be clipped now, or when you are ready to stitch the circles down).  I now pushed the fabric opening to one side of the button and maneuvered the button out of the opening.  I straightened the opening back to the center and with my fingers pinched and smudged the pointy areas smooth.  When you are sewing these circles down you can use the needle to fix any stubborn points.

I have been really busy, but I guess that really isn't anything new.  I sometimes don't get to posting or reading messages on my computer much when I get real focused on my quilting.