This shows a close up of all those hand embroidered and hand appliqued fishies! The hand embroidery was all stitched using Valdani variegated stranded cotton, and the hand applique was stitched in place with Aurifil 80wt thread in a mid-grey colour. The final flourish on this block is a hand painted wooden fish button.
When the pattern for this block arrived in the post I still hadn't finished block 10, so it's taken me a little while to catch up! Seaside Town is a Mystery Button Club by Lynette Anderson Designs, and I signed up to this online with Cross Patch in Wales. A couple of years ago, I bought a light pad which makes transferring stitchery designs and applique layouts so much easier! This one is A3 sizes, and is one of my most useful things in my sewing room. A fine lightweight fusible interfacing is fused to the back of the background fabric before the design is traced, and I prefer to use a very fine Micron Pigma pen to transfer the design onto the background fabric, and try to get the finest nib size 005 whenever possible. I don't trace the layout of the applique pieces, but add them after the stitchery has been completed, either "by eye" or again using the light pad and the pattern to position them.....
...my favourite tools for applique - a black non-slip mat (this is washable), Apliquick rods, Perfect Scissors by Karen Kay Buckley, a fabric glue pen (these are refillable), Clover Black Gold applique/sharps needles and a very fine thread - Aurifil 80wt in a mid grey shade is perfect, as it blends in with all colours of fabrics. The effect of these variegated Valdani threads is gorgeous - although they can be a bit tricky to use, as they tend to be a bit dry, so I use Thread Heaven to condition them. A good quality embroidery needle is helpful too - I find I always get better results when I use top quality equipment. My favourites are Tulip embroidery needles but they are quite expensive, Bohin and John James are also good brands to try...
...and here's block 11 stitched to blocks 9 and 10.This is looking fab, and I'm really enjoying stitching these blocks. Now I just need to make about a million clam shells, ready to join this section to the previous blocks!
*If you're interested in stitching this too, Julia at Cross Patch in Wales is still doing this as a BOM. There are also details of other participating shops on Lynette Anderson's website.
A few weeks ago I'd finished piecing together a gorgeous festive wall hanging, "Tis The Season" and on Saturday I bought some French General fabric from KIS Quilting Ltd ready for the backing. This will be quilted very simply with Aurifil 40wt thread. The wall hanging is a pattern by the Australian designer Natalie Bird, of The Birdhouse Patchwork Designs, and was bought online as a kit from Cross Patch in Wales and was made with gorgeous fabrics from the French General "Rouenneries" collection, and was hand embroidered with Presencia Finca Perle 16 thread.
I often get asked what equipment I'd recommend, so here is my list of my essential tools for hand applique!
1. Black non stick mat - this is washable, so it's easy to keep clean if it gets glue on it!
2. Apliquick rods - these stainless steel rods have completely changed my life! Since learning how to use them, I've made loads of applique projects that I wouldn't have tackled otherwise. I've also got 2 pairs of Apliquick scissors, and the Apliquick tweezers too.
3. Karen Kay Buckley Perfect Scissors- these are wonderful scissors with micro serrated blades that grip the fabric and cut right up to the point.
4. Sewline fabric glue pen - essential for the applique paper method - and the refills are super easy to replace. The glue is coloured so it's easy to see where you've used it, and then it dries clear. You really don't need too much.
5. Applique paper - not shown - I use the Hugs 'n Kisses brand. The shiney side is fusible. Trace the applique design in reverse on the matt side of the paper, cut the shape exactly on the drawn line, and fuse on to the wrong side of the fabric. Cut out the fabric a scant quarter inch around the applique paper and run the glue pen along the edge of the fabric. Use the Apliquick rods to roll the fabric over the edge of the paper, and still using the rods, press the fabric in place.
6. Aurifil 80wt thread is my favourite thread for this method of applique and a mid grey colour blends with most colours of fabric.
7. Clover Black Gold applique/sharps needles are super sharp and are very fine so they don't leave holes in your work.
8. Roxanne's basting glue - not shown - just a couple of drops of glue are needed on the back of each prepared applique piece, press into place and let it dry. The applique shapes can then be stitched in place without getting stabbed with applique pins!
"Valentine Bouquet" - finished size 48" square
Pattern by Hilary Gooding. Made with the Hearts and Roses collection of fabric by Makower. I made this wall hanging a few years ago - not sure if the pattern is still available - it was a free download from the Makower UK website.
"Star Gazey Heartz" quilt - pattern by Jan Mullen. Made by both me and my daughter Alice when she was 13 - gosh that was 11 years ago!!!
Beneath the Waves is Month 10 of Seaside Town, a mystery button club by Lynette Anderson Designs. This arrived in the post earlier in January from Cross Patch in Wales. This block features applique and hand embroidery, using hand dyed Valdani threads. These threads are variegated which give a lovely effect to the stitches. I've used a method of applique that uses applique paper, a glue stick and Apliquick tools...
...these sea horses are so cute! This block just needs a final press, then it can be trimmed to size and joined to block 9. This hand painted wooden crab button is the perfect touch - I've just laid it on the block for the photograph, it will be stitched in place once the quilt is finished.
I managed a cheeky little bit of shopping when I went along to a Saturday sewing session at Kis Quilting this morning. Last week I'd been on a "Pebbles" class and under the expert guidance of Alexandra Waylett I managed to create a gorgeous piece of fabric, embellished with "pebbles" of velvet and silk and brocade and leather and even a bit of bling - with lots of free motion embroidery thrown in too! Anyway, I today I spotted this gorgeous teal linen, and decided it was simply perfect for the project that I wanted to make with my "Pebbles" sample. What this space for more pictures when it's completed!
Back in May 2017 I started to collect patterns for Leanne Beasley's BOM "Hearts and Happy Flowers" from a shop in Australia. After a couple of patterns arrived, the shop closed down and I couldn't source the remaining blocks that I needed. Luckily Julia, the owner at Cross Patch came to the rescue! Just waiting for the last pattern to be available. Is anyone else joining in with this gorgeous BOM?
Apart from my trips to Philippa Naylor in Yorkshire (and I've got another one of those coming up soon) I haven't been on an actual quilting class as a student for absolutely years. Well on Saturday my sewing bag was packed, my machine was loaded into the care, and I headed off, ready to do a super class with Alexandra Waylett at Kis Quilting Ltd, in Ipswich. I'd admired Alex's work for a long time, but never had the courage to do one of her classes before. This one was called Pebbles, and involved lots of cutting, and playing with colours, and lots of free motion machine embroidery...
...I had a FABULOUS day - Alex is a brilliant tutor and I had so much fun - it was just like adult play school! This is still very much a work-in-progress, (although I finished some of the free motion stitching at home in the evening) and I was pushed well and truely out of my comfort zone - and I loved every minute of it! I'm still deliberating what to make with this gorgeous panel. I've got a few ideas for making a sumptuous cushion, with a border of rich velvet or tweed - anyway, watch this space and I'll show you the finished article in a few weeks!
Hi - welcome to my quilting blog! My passions are my family, my dog, my friends and sewing, not necessarily in that order!
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