The latest in handwork

I’ve been inspired watching Tim Latimer applique a vintage quilt kit.  It even got me shopping for one, too.  But, I managed to reign myself in because I have an applique quilt kit…and I’ve had it long enough that it’s almost vintage…

Don’t know when I started this.  But, I know it was a long time ago. 


I have the twelve block kits and the finishing kit.  Each block is a different fruit and generally shows the fruit’s lifespan from blossom to ripe, so it’s got a lot of different techniques and shapes to applique.  It’s been a wonderful and fun project to work on and I do look forward to it being completed.  Someday.  But, it’s pretty work intensive and I wasn’t able to start and finish it in one go.  So, I’ve made a block or two and put it away and made another block or two and put it away.  The grapes one nearly drove me mad.  I picked it early on because I knew it was going to be lots of work and I wanted to do it while I was excited. 

The next block is the plums block.  I know everybody likes to share methods, so here is mine.  I trace the pattern on a piece of shower curtain liner…hey, for 99 cents, you can’t beat it for cheap plastic.  That’s my overlay template.  I can lay it over the background and position my pieces in just the right spot under it.


I trace all the pieces on freezer paper that I press onto the fabric.  I trace around that with a colored pencil. 


I can write the piece number on the freezer paper to help me keep up with them.  The designers at Piece o’ Cake numbered the pieces to make it easier to assemble from background to foreground.  I will lay the piece on the background, using the plastic template for exact placement, pin it in place, peel off the paper and I have the markings left as a guide to needle turn the edges under.  Each block, except the grape block has about 30 pieces.  Jimminy.

Anyway, one day it will be finished.  And, I will love it as much then as I did when I first opened the kit.  The friend that shared this one with me also shared another.  The plan is to machine applique it, not hand applique.  It is just as piecing intensive as this one is and I think I’d be happier finishing it by machine…and I hope it goes faster!

Everybody have a great Thursday.  The plan is to take tomorrow off.  My boss agreed and my calendar is empty.  I plan to spend it sewing.  Then, maybe I’ll want to do other things this weekend. 

I just needed lw to agree that I should start the center of my mini challenge over again, cutting new fabric.  One voice of confirmation was all it took.  And, I started that this morning after piecing another black triangle.  Yes, it’s a lot of work, but who knows, as easy as the black triangles are going together now, maybe the center will be just as easy the third time around.

Except I had to sew the first seam of my flying geese units four times…the first time, I was out of bobbin.  The second time, the bobbin tension was off.  The third time, I didn’t fix the bobbin tension and it was still off.  The fourth time, I re-threaded the whole machine.

No wonder stuff takes so long…I have to do it all like half a dozen times to get it right.

That’s called tenacity.

Bordering on insanity.



Lakegaldonna said...

Love that you paused a bit and got out that intensive appliqué. Makes me not feel so bad! Well at least I'm not alone, how about that explanation?

I finally finished about 300 6.5 x 3.5 blocks, finally, ugh. It's all ready to put together which means putting up portable design wall.

I really have no room to do that so when I do it's a big space commitment as I have to block off my cutting table completely. I wasn't ready to do that so I picked up a paper piecing 2 inch square with 45 pieces in it. So darn cute but took so long! I might do two of those blocks then I'll be ready to get that flannel design wall up.

Have a super fun day off tomorrow!

Patricia said...

This is why your work is so beautiful! Are you going to Quilt Con?

lw said...

I never thought of using a shower curtain liner, what a great idea!

I have some projects like your applique-- I work them until I run out of patience, and take them out again when I'm ready to go again. One is so old that it was cut out before we had rotary cutters available and it's so wonky I'll have to tie it if I ever finish the applique on it.

There are some days where I spend half my quilting (or piecing) time getting the machine to do what it's supposed to be doing. But when it starts working again, it's so much fun, so I don't give up either.

Elizabeth said...

I love those blocks. When you said you were going to pull out another hand stitching project, I wondered if it would be this one. They are so pretty!

Shower curtain liner -- genius! I'd heard of using vellum or tracing paper, but that is hard to see through.

So, at work I never used to take breaks. Like ever. Mostly because I wanted to get my stuff done and go home. When I turned full-time, it was because I didn't feel like I had time to. We're allowed two 15-minute breaks for every four hours of work. Recently the boss bought video game consoles, a massage chair and an exercise bike and allowed five extra 15-minute breaks per week for all full-time employees. (I know you're wondering where this is going. I'll get there, I promise.) This makes it so that you can take a 30-minute and a 15-minute or save up all your extra breaks for Friday and take a really long break, all paid, of course. So, I decided to start taking breaks. I go and sit in a big comfy chair in the common area and do some hand stitching :D. And it is so relaxing and completely awesome. I did not realize how much I needed those breaks. And now I can get move some of my UFO's into the WIP category. I'm doing some raw-edge applique right now, but then I'm going to go back to needle-turn applique on a quilt that I have about half-done. I'm so excited to have a little extra sewing time every day. Also, I'm going to buy a clear shower curtain liner today while I'm out doing errands so that I have it as soon as I'm ready to start on the needle-turn applique. Thank you for the awesome tip!

xo -E