Friday, January 16, 2015

folk art and kaleidoscopes

Okay the new year has started, and I am trying for find my sewing gusto or mojo. Today is definitely not a good day for me to sew, because I am just too tired. I think I have been pretty successful as far as sewing too, considering that I got two blocks for my advanced sampler finished last week. I started working on a new one this week - my folk art flower block.

I avoid hand sewing and applique like the pest...but...since I started making those owls in the fall, I realized it isn't that bad and you really can sew things together really fast by hand rather than using the sewing machine, changing thread, pulling the threads through at the start and stop as well as a lower-valued look to the quality. So, hand applique - at least buttonhole stitch is a new addition to my sewing repertoire. I thought it appropriate to add to my sampler as well. I first wondered if I should use the tread in a contrast color, but decided to stick tone in tone.

And in the new year, I would like to ask this question every week about to you: 
what did you learn?

Last week, I learned that when you sew kaleidoscope blocks together, always paper piece them! You will struggle with those points in the center of the block rather than on the outsides. Matching four points up is harder than matching two points. I sewed four connecting blocks together several times to get them straight! That was simply too much of a headache! After sewing all of my connecting squares with four points together at least four times, I decided that I was content. Paper piecing would have made this a little simpler - I should have taken advantage of it, if I had known up front which design I was going to make. You can see more pictures here from our pillow swap.

What did I learn this week?
I learned that when you sew a sample block, always (and I mean always) use scrap fabric! I worked on a new block for the Quiltmakers 100 Blocks Vol. 12 - Fall 2015 Edition. Everything was mapped out on paper and paper templates were printed out. I thought (once again) I could make it simpler without PP and go for a quick strip method. It would have worked out, if I had thought straight and turned my fabric at the correct time, but, I didn't. I sliced the fabric IN THE WRONG DIRECTION and didn't have any left over. I ended up sewing the piece I just cut off back on to use it. It wouldn't be used for the the original block that would be published in the magazine, but it would still work out as a trial block.

Would you like to see a sneek peak? I can't give away too much info, otherwise it won't be a surprise anymore! And I also received wonderful news that one of my blocks is being published in the next edition of Quiltmaker's 100 Blocks coming out in May 2015! I am so excited and can't wait to share it with you!

And now I would like to ask you that very important question - what did you learn this week (according to sewing and patchwork that is)? Please leave your answer in the comments section below, so we can all PROFIT from your experience. =)



  1. I really like the applique you are hand stitching, I've never hand stitched appliques but I bet with a complex curve design like that hand stitching is more accurate. Good tips on practice blocks, I've run into the same issue before, albeit not for a magazine quilt but a sample block is a smart way to start a project!

  2. Ich hab gelernt dass man mit kleineren engeren Zickzack Stichen ganz gut um Rundungen herum kommt. Ich bin fertig!

  3. Congratulations! I'm always diving into projects with the good fabric, so I know that feeling well! Your appliqué block with your hand stitching looks lovely.
    Not so much learned as reminded this week that even getting into my sewing room for a few minutes at a time can add up to a lot of progress by the end of the week!

  4. Wunderschön liebe Karen! Dein "Appliqué"-Handstich ist dir perfekt gelungen. Ich habe gelernt, daß das applizieren mit einem Vlies dahinter viel einfacher geht...
    Ganz liebe Grüße, Deborah

  5. I love blanket stitch appliqué! I learned that I abhor working with store bought bias tape.


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