Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Jingle Applique Block 6 is Finished!

Jingle BOM Applique Block 6, Erin Russek's Pattern Available Here
Somehow I've managed to complete another applique block for the Jingle Block of the Month (BOM) project I've been working on.  The pieced and appliqued block patterns for this quilt are available on Erin Russek's blog here

With this particular block, I had some concerns about how smoothly I would be able to turn the edges of the gold metallic fabric I had chosen for the tulips, but I'm very pleased with how those turned out.  I think I'm getting better at those little stuffed berries, too.  When I did the first block with berries, I thought I could just hold each berry in place with my thumb while I stitched it down, since they were too small to pin and I worried that the basting glue would make it difficult to stitch around the edges of each berry.  However, doing it that way, my "perfect" circles had a tendency to get distorted and lumpy during the stitching process and I ended up with too-visible stitches, like little prickle balls.  You have to look REALLY CLOSE to see the prickles on those early blocks, and they may not be visible after the finished quilt is washed the first time, but I know they are there and they bug me!
Berries Without Prickles!
So, here's what I did differently this time.  First, after making my stuffed berries with Karen Kay Buckley's Perfect Circle templates and batting scraps (scroll down for a YouTube video of Erin Russek demonstrating this method), I put the finished berries in a sealed Ziplock bag so they would stay nice and crisp rather than going limp from the humidity in the air before I had a chance to stitch them in place.  I lightly traced each berry in pencil on the right side of my block with pencil (using the applique pattern and a light box).  Then I used Roxanne's Glue Baste-It on the inside part of the turned seam allowance of each berry, staying away from the outermost edge where my stitches would go, and I glued each berry down exactly on that pencil line on my fabric.  The glue worked like a third hand, holding the berries in place as I was stitching, and having that faint pencil line helped me maintain the shape of each berry as I was stitching it down.  Because I hadn't put glue all the way to the edges of my berries, I was still able to position each stitch precisely and fairly invisibly.  No more prickle balls!

Here's Erin Russek demonstrating her method for making stuffed circles for applique in a YouTube video:

...and there you have it! 

I'm still behind on this project (naturally).  I still need to catch up with Pieced Block 5, Applique Block 5, and the center medallion applique for this quilt.  It's not a race, though, and there are a couple of things I need to get done before I can go back to this project.  You know, Lars and Anders finish their homework and their music practice every day so they can play video games before bed time.  Mommy has to do laundry, pay bills, and get a wallpaper quote written up for clients so she can earn applique time in the evening!

Have a wonderful Wednesday, everyone!


Rosemary Dickinson said...

What a beautiful block! It looks perfect! I really love it.

Ivory Spring said...

Gorgeous block, gorgeous stitching.

Re: Benartex Concerto fabrics - they should be available now, or very very soon! They are listed as a new collection on Benartex's website.

Carrie P. said...

your block is gorgeous.