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Tuesday, September 18, 2007

APPLIQUE?--OK!

I am curator at the local small town museum. The above is an antique quilt that has been at the museum since 1967. When 6 of our Wacky Bee group of 10 decided to start an applique bee, I started to look for a project. I was looking for some quilting project that I could work on when a sewing machine is out of the question, To satisfy my longing to work on some quilting project. This quilt WAS a beautiful one in it's day. The green is now brown, the reds less than bright, and the binding gone completely. You can tell that the maker had a new sewing machine as every stitch was done by machine except the quilting. I made a copy of one of the 24 inch blocks and traced the pieces onto freezer paper. Wanting to exploring all applique techniques in order to find the "one best for me", I chose the method with freezer paper on the back of the fabric. This method is especially good for "Hand applique by machie", but is also used for hand applique. After applique is complete, the fabric behind the applique is cut away and then the paper can be removed. I ironed the paper onto the back of the fabrics I chose. I trimmed the pieces leaving 1/8 to 1/4 inch turn under allowance. I then clipped the curves of the pieces and then used Elmer's school glue stick to fold the edges up over the freezer. I really enjoyed the glue stick that is purple until it dries. I could readily see the glue easily. I went to Sally's Beauty Supply store to look for a cuticle stick to use to smooth the edges into place. What I found was a stick I had not ever seen. It has emory board ends, like very fine sandpaper, it grips the fabric and helps enormously in blending the seam allowances over the freezer paper to make smoother even edges. After several pieces were done, I decided to try pressing a piece. The iron dried the glue and smoothed the edges even more. The points were a challence, but I soon discovered that after the glue was applied, I could put my thumbnail at the point of the leaf and know exactly where to fold the point in to. I then added more glue stick on the fabric now showing at the point and continued to fold the sides in one at a time. The points were perfect. aaaaaaaahhhhhhhhh. I love it when that happens.
I wanted to duplicate the block, yet improve upon it. I know that improvement is in the eye of the beholder, so maybe you can add "your2cents" in the form of a comment. I pieced the background, as you can see. I started out doing all the green in the same fabric. Then, being the sssccrraapppyyy person that I am, I kept adding more fabrics until I had many,many fabrics. Same with the red. Then, I discovered that although I had cut the peices the same size as the original quilt, the leaves would not fit where they should in the way that they should. I made an overlay of the pattern from clear shower curtain material and couldn't believe my eyes--I had added a flower in the center. I didn't even realize that there was not one in the original quilt. I really like it there and I rearranged the other pieces so they will fit. The picture here is of the block still in progress. Some leaves are missing and all are not in their exact place, but maybe you can kind of see what it will look like. Used a new gadget called circleze for the flower centers. That is another story. I thought I did not like it until I played with it for awhile. I finally got the hang of it and used alot of starch and then it began to work good.
More later. Applique Bee is tomorrow. I know we will all grow because of it. Maybe we will design our own blocks. That is what I am hoping for. See ya! M





6 comments:

Kathy said...

Oh Molly! I love it!!!!!! What a great pattern!!!!

swooze said...

I love what you have done with yours. It seems a much cleaner design.

Lucy said...

BEAUTIFUL Molly you did a great job and the original is awesome !!

Rose Marie said...

Well done .... love the background blocks and the applique colours!

Marcie said...

Hi Molly, your block is turning out lovely! I know this is an old post, so I hope this goes to your email or you may never see it! Just wanted to say "nice job!"

Vicki W said...

I just found your blog today but look forward to reading it regularly! This block is beautiful. I agree with you on the "more fabrics are better" approach.

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