May is here! And with is, hopefully some spring flowers where you are!
So, here is the stitchery of the month pattern for May. It's pretty simple. No piecing for the background. Just wool appliqué.
Find the pattern here.
Its been awhile since I have talked about appliqué in a blog post and the tools needed for a successful experience! So, I thought I would cover what I use and then listen to all of you. We may each learn something. After I cover tools used, then in my next post, I will talk about doing appliqué. I know there are quilters out there who are intimidated by appliqué, but you don't have to be! It's easier than you think.
So here are some of my essentials.
Great lighting! This is a must in appliqué since the goal is to make small stitches that "disappear". A good light with a magnifier is the best. Here's mine:
The brand of this light is Natualight. I found it online and have been very happy with it. Here's how it magnifies my work:
Next you need good thread and needles. I use size 8 or 9 appliqué needles. Remember as the size goes up, the needle gets shorter. Use the size you are comfortable with.
The thread I like to use is Mettler silk-finished 100% cotton thread. It's 50 weight so nice and thin, but not too thin that it breaks easily. Match the thread color to the appliqué piece you are stitching as close as possible. This also helps to hide stitches.
To secure the appliqué pieces to the background, I use a fabric glue called Roxanne's Glue Baste-it. I love using this glue over pins because once you lay the piece onto the background and let it sit for 30 seconds, it doesn't move! The glue is water soluble and it won't poke your fingers like pins.
Other items you will need are scissor for paper and fabric, a Sewline mechanical pencil for tracing templates(use the marking device you like!), card stock to make your templates sturdier and rulers to help in placement of your appliqué pieces on the background.
There may be some other incidental items I use while stitching that I will talk about in the next appliqué blog post. But for now, this will get you familiar with the ones I think are the most essential.
Happy Quilting..... or should I say appliquéing!
Pieced Borders and Scraps
I love to add a little "pizzazz" to a quilt by adding a pieced border. I like to use scraps of fabrics left over from the quilt blocks to make this frame for a quilt. Here's a pieced border I made recently:
You'll have to wait until later this year to see this quilt ... it will be in Quiltmaker magazine's Nov/Dec issue. I'll let you know when it comes out. But for now, you'll have to settle for this "sneak peak"!
Pieced borders serve many purposes: making a quilt a little bigger, "framing" the quilt, or just adding a little more color to the outside of a quilt to balance the colorful blocks. This is a great reason to save all those 1 1/2 and 2 1/2" strips that you collect from cutting out projects!
Here's a few other pieced borders:
The creative possibilities are endless!
You can even use the scraps from a project to create a border that mimics a part of the blocks that make up the quilt. This creates an illusion of the blocks continuing on outside of the quilt!
See how I pulled out the outer part of the block and replicated it for the border? That was fun and served to frame the quilt as well.
So don't think of borders as boring plain strips, think of them as adding to your quilt. Have fun with them!
Oh My Stars!
I love stars in quilt blocks and quilts. You can tell that by looking through my quilt patterns. It seems that stars creep into all my designs! Here's a few of my newest patterns and, gee, lots of stars!
I'm fascinated with the history of stars in quilts. The block type of quilt came into being in the mid-19th century due to a greater availability of fabrics. American textile mills were producing increasing amounts of fabric making quilting more affordable for most women. Stars, often being a religious symbol, were meant to reflect the quilter's faith in God and wanted that faith represented in their quilts. Settlers moving west used the stars for guidance on that journey. Perhaps that influenced the women settlers to include star blocks in their quilts.
Friendship Star blocks were a popular motif to use in a quilt that was given to families who were leaving a community to travel west. The blocks were signed by their friends and family which would remind them of their loved ones left behind.
For Native Americans, the star motif had decorated their ceremonial clothing for centuries. One of their most famous styles of quilts born out of this tradition featured a large central star with appliqué surrounding it. They believed the star, which travels across the sky, represented a connection for the living to their ancestors and descendants to come. Generally, they used the Lone Star or Star of Bethlehem for these quilts. Here's a quilt I made that was inspired by those Native American quilts.
There are so many types of star blocks. However, you may see the same star block with different names. One of the reasons for this is that block patterns were shared among quilters but the names were not always shared. So, the quilter would choose a name for the block. For example, the Ohio Star block
is also known as Variable Star, Texas Star, Eight Point Star, Shoofly and Star of the West to name a few.
I hope you've enjoyed this little trip through quilting history!
Hi! I know you have been anxiously awaiting the next Stitchery of the Month pattern!
Here is the April installment.
This is my take on "April showers ..." I think my kitty with the umbrella will enjoy the May flowers!
New Patterns from Snuggles Quilts!
Hey everyone! I have two new patterns that went on a soft release last month. They are now officially released and you can purchase them here or from your local quilt shop. If you want to purchase them from your local quilt shop and do not see them on the shelf, ask! Show them my website!
The first one is called Scraps n' Stars Runners. The pattern contains two fun table runners.
And the next one is a scrappy lap quilt called Starstruck.
Go to the Everyday tab on the left side on my website homepage to see more information about these two new patterns.
Here it is! The March Stitchery of the Month pattern!
One of my favorite blocks, the Churn Dash is featured along with this "crafty" crow. Find the patter for this block here.
Enjoy your stitching this month!
The day you have been waiting for ..... here is February's stitchery of the month pattern.
Find the pattern for this project here.
Look for the March/April issue of Fons and Porter's Love of Quilting on newsstand February 16th! I have a quilt featured on page 48 of that issue.
The pattern is called Picket Fences and is a fun, scrappy wall hanging with wool appliqué. Grab a copy of the magazine, your favorite fabrics and wool and enjoy!
I hope your new year is going great! I decided that in 2016, I wanted to have a monthly stitchery project to share with you. These little projects can be stand alone mini wall hangings or table toppers ..... or at the end of the year, you can join them all together into a wall hanging! The pattern for the wall hanging will be given out at the end of the year.
Of course, these monthly stitchery projects will have a theme that relates to the month they appear. They will include a pieced background, wool appliqué and some simple embroidery.
I hope you like my whimsical designs and enjoy making these!
So, without further delay ..... here is January's stitchery project! Click on the link below for a free pattern. Be sure to tell all your friends to come to my site and download a pattern for themselves. The more the merrier!
For the January pattern, click here.