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May 26, 2010

"Oh, Patrick, I have much to tell you!"  "Death in Lacquer Red: A Hilda Johansson Novel" by Jeanne M. Dams ♦♦♦◊◊

Before I start the next scintillating blog post that you've all been eagerly awaiting (are you new here? that was sarcasm. don't mind me.), I just have to tell you about a giveaway from one of my favorite people - Jenny of ELEFANTZ!

Happy Birthday, Blossom!

Jenny is the author of the first stitchery pattern I ever bought (and haven't started yet - but I have the fabric!). This pattern was also my first Etsy purchase. So, even though she's got loads of followers and people who love her, I feel like we have some sort of special bond. :snort:

So, click on over and say "hi" to my dear friend... (but if you don't want to enter the giveaway, that's fine because I really want to get my hands on the latest Christmas pattern she's published). Grab a cuppa, fire up your Etsy account and wander around her blog - it's a wonderful way to spend a relaxed morning!

I suppose you've all pretty much figured out that I'm not a fan of handwork, at least when it comes to quilting. But I like the flexibility and 'picture-ness' of appliqué. So enter appliqué using paper-backed fusible web.

In some part of my self I consider this cheating. After all, I'm sticking the fabric down with an adhesive instead of hand-stitching each little piece. Well, yes, kinda. I know I don't have the patience like my blog friends Ann or Carrie or even Edna (who seems attracted to handwork as strongly as I am repelled by it).

Now, wait a minute. Hand-appliqué doesn't repel me. MY hand-applique repels me. And, just like machine quilting or knitting or embroidery/stitchery, it's just a matter of practice, practice, practice. I just choose to practice, practice, practice my machine quilting and knitting and stitchery rather than applique.

RedDelSo, back to the "cheating" feeling. Maybe so. But I console myself with the realization that usually I'm not cutting out big ol' squares and circles and glueing them to a quilt top. More often than not, the appliqué I do involves pieces so tiny that I can't hold them in my fingers but need to use long-nosed tweezers to cut and place them. The projects I do frequently have no fewer than 60 pieces in each block. This in itself is an exercise in patience and focus. It's not the traditional handwork, but it's not kindergarten cut and paste, either, yanno?

As promised, then, I'll shed some light on my very first experience with my new (to me) Holly Hobbie Light Up Drawing Desk from my last post. (I crack me up sometimes) It took me HOURS, but I traced the first block from the Four Seasons BOM by Mark Hordyszysnki (you can see a picture at The Cotton Club Quilt Blog here). One hundred twenty something pieces in a 13" block.

Then, while I was feeling the love from my Holly Hobbie Light Up Drawing Desk, I traced all 176 pieces for Step One of Beth Ferrier's newest BOM, Flutterby Fancies. (As an aside? In the last week I've gotten 30+ visits from Beth's blog to check out my finished Be Still My Heart quilt, according to my stat counter. But not ONE comment. I'm trying not to feel like the quilt sucks because I know damned well it doesn't, but the lack of comment - good or bad - is pretty hard to take.)

THEN I traced the relatively simple Yammy Cat, a pattern by Helene Knott (scroll down a bit to see the original). Yammy Cat is a cousin to the one you see here, Walla Walla Kitty, my first Garden Patch Cat.

Another aside? Helene's patterns are pretty darned cool. She goes to the trouble of labelling the pieces so that you know pretty much exactly the order in which you need to attach them to the background. Very relaxing and refreshing (and beginner friendly!).

Both of the Garden Patch Cats are for shop samples, by the way. I'm teaching a "How I Use Paper-Backed Fusible Web" class at the shop this month and the participants will be making Walla Walla Kitty along with me.

After all the tracing was done, then I spent a couple of evenings cutting out the centers of the fusible - I call it 'windowpaning' - so that there is a less than ¼" 'ring' of fusible along the edges of the pattern.

What, you might ask, is my fusible web of choice? It's Heat 'N Bond Lite. Originally recommended by Sindy of Fat Cat Patterns, I buy it by the bolt. And guess what? Here's a little more to add on to my "Shopping" post. When Mom was here we went to IKEA (uhhh... more than once), where I found this lovely in the children's art supplies:

FusibleA roller-jobby-doohickey for my fusible web! Of course, I had to create the roll from the bolted stuff (yay for not throwing away Christmas wrap tubes!) but now I am like, totally set, fusible-wise.

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permalink 8 Comments:
At 5/26/2010 4:23 AM, Blogger Gene Black Babbled Back:  

LOL>. I look at blocks and say "Nope that is too many pieces, I ain't making that one"

I am trying to get myself into applique but I just cringe at the idea of it. I have to get past that!

At 5/26/2010 6:40 AM, Blogger Crispy Babbled Back:  

First I have to say that you are NOT cheating!!! I have yet to find a description of the word "Quilting" that states you HAVE to do it all by hand besides it's suppose to be fun for the participant...right?

Second, I LOVE your kitty!!!! I wish I could take your class, then you could laugh at this inept machine quilter :0)

Third, I also have to say that you crack me up!!!! I always get that little thrill when I see your blog on Google Reader LOL.


At 5/26/2010 9:29 AM, Blogger golo8 Babbled Back:  

Hey, I like your little gismo for your fusible webbing... will have to have dh make me one.... I like Jenny's site too... have done and am doing her BOM... will pop over and sign up for fabric... sure enjoy your blog...

At 5/26/2010 9:51 AM, Blogger Mary Ann Babbled Back:  

I'm a Heat n'Bond lite fanatic, too. I'm going to look for one of those rollers right now or sooner. I love the cats, but they'd not be a hit in my house. Know anyone who does really fun dogs, comparable to the cats?

At 5/26/2010 5:54 PM, Anonymous Gimpy Cat Babbled Back:  

Who said there are rules and regulations for quilting? Load of rubbish, creating is creating and everyone does it their own way, fusible, needle turn, glue stick or paper pieced - who cares. As long as it makes you happy as you work on it and it gives you enjoyment, thats what matters.

You sure are patient with all those teeny pieces, see I just couldnt go back and then cut the centres out of them, Im too lazy, actually thats the secret to me being a needleturn nut - laziness. You see I dont like double handling, so simply tracing onto fabric, cutting and stitching it down suits my lazy nature (its not about skill or anything of a higher nature LOL) To be fair, I get more chance of sewing in the car or late at night on the couch thank time found to sit at the machine, its the other reason I needleturn so much, its easily portable for me.

Your cat block is too cute, cant wait to see the 4 seasons blocks as they come along, looks like as many pieces as a McKenna Ryan design.

I love your fusible dispenser, thats just too cool and wow, talk about give you a real commercial "I mean business" feel to your sewing room. That baby means serious work is planned! Thanks for sharing, we enjoy reading your blogs

(If I ever blogged Id have to ask people to post what the weird verification word was they had to type. Im not sure if the one I just got is an insult? "dityls" sounds like Im being called a dirty something or other by a computer program!)

At 5/28/2010 10:33 AM, Blogger Ann Champion Babbled Back:  

I just love your fusible holder! Using the fusible isn't cheating..it's just one more way to do things. :)
I do a lot by hand because I'm more comfortable working with one needle rather than a hot iron or a machine. I can work in my comfy chair in the family room too. I'm not comfortable with machinery..maybe it's a "control"or "lazy" issue? LOL
I know it seems odd when people visit your site but don't post a comment.Your quilt is beautiful and you kind of expect people to say so? I think maybe some folks are in a hurry and just don't take the time? Kind of hit and run viewing? Don't let that disappoint you..or take away from the pride you have in doing such a great job. Keep sharing your works of art..I'm sure you're inspiring a LOT of people!
My word verification is scusly. I'll use it in a sentence. "I'm feeling kind of scusly..I'm off to take a shower!"

At 5/30/2010 7:27 AM, Blogger Darcie Babbled Back:  

Ooh ooh! Love your fusible roller-jobby! That would even be great for a certain quilt-shop-owner-sister that I have/know! Good eyes, T!

Enjoy the applique...no matter how you're doing it!

At 6/01/2010 8:17 AM, Anonymous Thai LOI Babbled Back:  

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