Even studio cleaning can inspire

I spent most of yesterday cleaning up my studio. The applique project meant that I had pulled out pieces of fabric of every color. Fabric is the paint with which we create our works of art and sometimes we have to pull out a lot  to get just the right colors. And it’s so hard to know how to put away  all those smaller pieces of fabric. Often, I cut them into smaller pieces, but most of these were fat quarter to half yard size.

I did come up with some ideas as I worked. I had been dissatisfied with a couple of the appliques that I had done – or with the lack of contrast of my flower centers. So, I pulled out my Shiva Paintstiks and painted them. Otherwise, I think I would have thrown those applique blocks away–and they were a lot of work. I love the iridiscent paintsticks and that gave me the contrast and colors that were just perfect for those applique flowers.  I used stencil brushes so that I could control the amount of paint and for some of them I just gave them a light shimmer, and for others I gave them a big color change  from light to dark or dark to light.

Another idea was to go ahead and rough cut the flower shapes so that I could put away the fat quarter/half yard that  I needed  for that small 4 ” patch that would become the flower. I checked my Accuquilt GO dies and found that for the applique I’m doing right now, the hexagons are the perfect size – just larger than my flowers. So, now I have stacks of hexagons that will make flowers, and the centers of my flowers. This is so much more portable than all those stacks of little pieces of fabric with which I was struggling.

I started quilting an oak leaf applique quilt of Norma’s late yesterday. I am cross-hatching the background of the four blocks and will do a formal feather in the borders. I think it’s going to be pretty.


Weekend Lap Project – Applique

I always have to have a lap project going – and this past weekend, my Accuquilt Rose of Sharon die arrived which led me to do some experimenting. I ‘don’t do’ turned edge applique. That said, Sharon Schamber with Accuquilt’s help, has converted me. She makes wonderful applique using a paper biodegradable tearaway stabilizer base. This is the result of my weekend.

I really like the way this turned out. I think I would like my flowers to have a little more color contrast in the center so I’m going to do some experimenting; but this was a lot of fun.

Use the Accuquilt GO dies – both the flower and the Rose of Sharon – to cut the foundations.
Then put a spot of Elmer’s purple school glue on the foundation and glue it to the fabric heating it with the iron to make it stick.
Carefully cut around with about a 3/16″ seam allowance, clipping the inside curves.
Rub school glue on the seam allowance/edge of foundation and turn it. A cuticle stick is very helpful with this.
Use the little iron to heat set the glue.
Arrange the pieces to your  liking and stitch it to the background using polyester invisible thread and a very tiny zigzag stitch (1.0 mm stitch length, and 0.8 mm zigzag-on my machine). I stitch very slowly–almost like handstitching and use the tieoff feature of my machine for starting and stopping so I can clip the thread at the fabric. This can be handstitched, but the glue makes one require a thimble.
After soaking it in water, the glue disappears and the invisible thread stitches disappear into the edge of the applique.

This was so much fun–I might be an applique addict now — LOL!

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Elmer’s disappearing purple school glue
Cuticle sticks
Paper biodegradable tearaway and wash away stabilizer
Accuquilt GO flower and Rose of Sharon dies
Small iron
Polyester invisible thread (Sulky or Monopoly by Superior are great)