Full Day

It was a day full of sewing and eating yesterday...a good day, but tiring, as full days always are. Here's what happened:

Connie Sue Haidle of Apple Blossom Quilts taught us her method of quick prep hand applique.

She provided some excellent examples. This one shows the proper size stitches for her quick prep applique stitch. The goal is to take tiny stitches on the back of your work, and larger stitches on the applique side. In case you're wondering, the lower right leaf is the correct one. (Incidentally, she does not pink her appliques. These are pinked so that they don't fray over multiple uses and lots of traveling and teaching.)

In this next example, she's showing us that the size of your quick prep applique stitches will be larger or smaller depending on the size of the applique piece.

And here, she's demonstrating her tiny stitches for sewing on the appliques. She uses a #12 needle (try threading one of those) and kimono silk thread.

So basically, this is how it's done. Only, right away, I'm going to show you the wrong way to do it because I've pinned from the wrong side in this image below. I'll explain why in just a minute.

Recall that we prepared our background piece prior to the workshop, and here's a portion of mine where I've used a #2 pencil to trace my pattern to the back of the background fabric. Of course, we started with a portion of the pattern what would be under other pieces of the pattern, in my case, one of the stems. First, we pinned, then flipped the piece to the other side to make sure our applique fabric covered the whole design, then we used her quick prep applique stitch to mark the outline of the design. By pinning on that side, it made it harder to sew because my thread kept getting wrapped around the pins. 

So here's how it looks from the applique side (the right side) of the piece. I'm going to use those stitches to guide me in turning under the edges for stitching it to the background. My stitches are too large, and I had trouble because of it.

Then, we trimmed around the stitching leaving 1/8 inch where we would be turning under an edge, and 1/4 inch in areas that will be under another applique piece.

Next, we clipped the basting stitches, little by little, as we turned under the edge and stitched it to the background. Mine is finished in the image below, although each end will be under another piece, and so I haven't done anything there.

Okay, so let's try this again. I still have it pinned wrong. I should have pinned from the other side. And I'll just say right here that you can see my stitching for the stem off to the right. Connie Sue could put those stitches right on the line perfectly. I wasn't happy at all with mine, but she told me not to worry about how it looked from the wrong side, and just to focus on how it looked from the right side. In her opinion, mine looked fine. Hmph. (How come my stitching can't be perfect on the first try? I just don't get it.)

So okay, right or wrong, I have it pinned. Then I flip it over to make sure the piece of applique fabric is going to cover the whole thing. Check.

Lines where the piece will be covered by another piece over the top are basted with a large basting stitch, like you see in the image below.

Here's how it looks from the other side.

And lines that are turned under are stitched with her quick prep applique stitch, thus:

Then the piece is trimmed leaving 1/8-inch where it will be turned under, and 1/4 inch where it will be covered by another piece, as in the image below.

Then, you stitch it. She provided each of us with an applique turner that resembled an orange stick (like you use with your manicure) that had been filed to a wedge on either end. It made a good tool. Here's mine after it was turned under and stitched down.

And that was as far as I got through the day-long workshop. There was a lot of information presented, and not much time for sewing. I would have enjoyed spending more time sewing because I won't remember most of what was presented. This might have been better done over two days, but we got the condensed version...definitely got our money's worth.

Connie Sue had some excellent examples prepared. Here, she showed us how to do a "split leaf".

The main point here was that you stitched down the middle seam where the two different colors met, but you couldn't stitch down the right and left edges because you needed to be able to turn under the edge for the whole leaf.

In this next one, she showed us how to make skinny little stems. The one in this example ends up about 1/8-inch wide.

Basically, you stitch down one side, then lift it up and trim the seam allowance right next to the stitching, then turn it back and under. Yikes. Don't think I'll try this right away.

Remember her memory quilt she made and the story that went with it? If you missed that post, you can read it right here. Here's the memory quilt:

When I posted this first time around, I didn't have a close-up of the block she made to represent our guild. She had the quilt on display again yesterday, and so I got the picture I wanted.

Also, I got up closer to the little "well-endowed" ladies. These are so cute.

It was an enjoyable day. I enjoyed sitting and sewing with the women from the guild, and we had a really nice potluck lunch together. Still, I was exhausted by the time we left, and it was great to be heading home. Everything is so green and beautiful right now. I stopped close to home to snap this image.

After such a tiring day, I had the words of that song going through my head: "It's good to touch the green, green grass of home."

It was our 39th wedding anniversary, and we had an evening out planned for ourselves at the Hall Street Grill in Beaverton, Oregon. It's a long-time favorite restaurant, and we haven't been there for a while. They have patio seating available, but it wasn't warm enough for that yesterday. Seated in the heart of downtown Beaverton, the Hall Street Grill doesn't have the fabulous view of restaurants we've patronized lately, but I still enjoyed the view of their raised-bed vegetable garden when I looked out the window.

I always think it's kind of cool when a restaurant grows its own vegetables and herbs.

And since I forgot my camera, the only pictures I was able to take were with my phone. Although I took pictures of our meals, they didn't look at all appetizing in the images, and so I'm not posting them. Still, I know you all love seeing our desserts, and so I'll make an exception for them. Think of them as no-calorie desserts since you can't share them. Mine was strawberry shortcake. Oregon strawberries are just now coming on:

Mike had a cheesecake flavored with orange.

And that was my full day. It's another full day today because we're going to a backyard barbecue with the rest of the family at Erik and Mae's house this evening. It's the first time they've had a formal get-together since they bought their place last October, and I'm looking forward to it. I'm contributing a Seafood Pasta with Lemon-saffon Herb Dressing. It's a family favorite, and it uses fresh dill, which is one of my favorite fresh herbs.

This morning I sat and finished the binding on A World Apart.

And now I'll just get back to quilting We are the World. I guess I'm feeling "worldly" these days since all of my quilt names have the word "world" in them. Connie Sue brought up the use of Glad Press and Seal (yes, that one)

for tracing patterns, stitching through it, then tearing it off. A few of you mentioned that as a possibility for quilting the design on We are the World. I think I will give it a try. I figure it can't be any more difficult to remove than the paper is. And just now I did a search to see if I could find out more about it. Here's a blog post about the many uses of Press and Seal.

Also, I'm needing to get partner assignments out for the monthly Doll Quilt Swap, so there's plenty to do. Time to get going. I hope you have a good day planned for yourself as well.

9 comments from clever and witty friends:

Vroomans' Quilts said...

I have seen the Press and Seal used but not tried it. Think it would be wonderful for some border work.

quiltzyx said...

Wow, that applique just doesn't look "quick prep" at all to me! But your finished stem & petal look good. I think I'll stick to fusible, thanks anyway....! Love the close-ups of the 2 blocks from her memory quilt - she does do beautiful work!!
Ooooh greenery! Haven't seen much of that down here in droughtland. Brown, brown, and more brown. Glad you enjoyed your anniversary dinner with a nice view of the garden. :D

I made the spinach, bacon, apple, almond salad & took it to the party I went to yesterday! It was delish & there wasn't too much left. Evidently the cats liked it too, helping themselves to some bacon once almost everyone was gone!!! LOL I had some raspberry vinaigrette dressing on hand & used that. When I was peeling & chopping the apple, I realized that I didn't have any lemon or lemon juice on hand to keep the apples from turning brown - and had the thought to put some of the dressing on them & it worked perfectly! Even the few leftover (after the cats) were still nice looking. So thanks for the great recipe!!! I will be making that again for myself. :)

Tami C said...

Sounds like it was a very interesting class you took. Can't wait to see your project! I would like the view you had at dinner too! Again, Happy Anniversary to you both!

Kate said...

Looks like it was a good class. Hopefully you'll have some time to practice over the next few weeks.

Looks like you had a wonderful celebration last night. Happy anniversary.

WoolenSails said...

It looks like a fun class and some beautiful quilts.
Happy anniversary, always nice to have a special night together.


WoolenSails said...

It looks like a fun class and some beautiful quilts.
Happy anniversary, always nice to have a special night together.


Lynn - JnL4God said...

Very interesting way to do the applique. Looks a little more complicated than the way I was taught, but it might just be because it's different. :) I hope you have some time to work with it. It does take more time than fusible, but is fun hand work to do.
Desert looks wonderful. Sounds like it turned out to be a very nice day.

Nancy in IN said...

I have used Press'n Seal to copy embroidery patterns.
Happy anniversary--I know I am late.

Brown Family said...

I have a friend that is teaching herself how to do this form of hand applique