Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Adventures in Reverse Applique and Fussy-Cutting: Jingle Applique Block 7 Complete, Pieced Block 7 Underway

Jingle BOM Applique Block 7 Complete!
Somehow, despite the trials and tribulations of my crusade to find the perfect jeans, I managed to complete the last applique block for my Jingle Block of the Month quilt, designed by Erin Russek of One Piece At a Time.  Ta da!  I used that mid-loft polyester batting for my stuffed berries again and I do feel like I'm finally getting the hang of them.  I also fussy-cut the birdhouse out of a piece of Hoffman Florentine fabric that I've been hoarding in my stash for several years now (I fussy-cut the corner squares for one of my pieced blocks from this fabric as well).  I wanted my bird house to look as though it had been elaborately painted. 

Hoffman Florentine fabric, stashed several years ago
Jingle Blocks Completed: 4 More Pieced Blocks Remain
That's just one of those fabrics that is WAY to gorgeous to cut up, don't you agree?  But now that I've started hacking it up, cutting little squares and birdhouses out of the middle of the yardage, I might as well get as much out of it as I can.  I'll be trying to incorporate more of this fabric in the four remaining pieced blocks for this project.

I deliberately put a bright yellow roof on my birdhouse, consciously trying to add more of that color to the remaining blocks to balance out the Bright Yellow Star block.  Finally, I tried my hand at reverse applique for the first time with this block, because I wanted the door of my birdhouse to recede rather then project outward like the center of a flower.  I didn't know how to do reverse applique with the starch and press method I've been using to prep all of my other applique shapes for this project, so I followed the directions for needle turn reverse applique in The Best-Ever Applique Sampler book from Piece O' Cake Designs.  I also fussy-cut the little partridge "inside" my birdhouse from a little scrap of Twelve Days of Christmas themed fabric (keeping the partridge, losing the pears). 

Fussy-Cut Birdhouse with Reverse Applique Door
I hope I got my applique stitches close enough together on that door and that I didn't clip the fabric allowance too close to the stitching line.  It will be quite the bummer if that fabric starts to fray and come apart once the quilt is finished!

I've been auditioning fabrics for the remaining pieced blocks and I think I have Pieced Block 7 all cut out and arranged the way I want it now.  I just need to trim those pesky corners off so the pieces line up properly and then I can start sewing them together.  I've fussy-cut the outer triangles from my Hoffman Florentine fabric and deliberately incorporated more bright yellow with this block as well.

Jingle Pieced Block 7 Cut Out and Ready to Sew
Each of the applique blocks for this project has taken me about two weeks to complete, start to finish, but sewing the pieced blocks by machine should go MUCH faster as long as I measure, starch, and press throughout the construction process to ensure the blocks finish at exactly 9 1/2" square with nice, sharp triangle points.

Erin's Layout for the Finished Quilt
Meanwhile, as you can see in Erin's layout design picture at left, there's still that large center medallion to do, all applique.  I've been prepping the shapes for that intermittently as I worked on the other blocks, but I still have the stems, a lot of leaves, and all of the stuffed berries left to make. 

I'm still not loving the bright yellow, but I'm hoping that the red and green setting triangles and borders will tone the yellow down significantly in the finished quilt.  We'll see.

I'm linking up to Applique Tuesday at A Quilting Reader's Garden. 


Carrie P. said...

your blocks are just gorgeous together. I love the fabric for the bird house. Great job on your reverse appliqued circle.

Sue said...

Your Jingle Belle blocks are gorgeous. I love the fussy cut florentine fabric. You are real inspiration to get mine done too. Thanks,

katiemedarlin said...

Your birdhouse block is just perfect. All the extra work really paid off. The little bird couldn't be any cuter.

I have finished all of my blocks and am now searching for the right fabrics to complete it.

Karens Quilts, Crows and Cardinals said...

Rebecca your work is just beautiful. I love the birdhouse and your fussy cutting and reverse appliqué are perfect. Thanks for sharing...