What to do, what to do…

I hate this mood…wandering around my sewing room wondering which of my bazillion ongoing projects I should work on…I turn into Golidlocks “This is too hard, this is boring, this is missing pieces, this is too much cutting, etc, etc, etc…”

I finally decided on something last night and…yup, couldn’t find the pieces.  A whole quilt’s worth of applique pieces (fused and cut out) have gotten legs.  It’s almost inconceivable that they could have disappeared into this studio so thoroughly, but it has happened.

I ended up pulling out a hand applique project that I think I started working on last summer, I was planning on working on it on vacation.  I think I did a bunch before we left, and then hardly looked at it while on the road.

The pattern is called Betsy’s Closet, it’s designed by Acorn Quilt & Gift Company — it’s little girl’s dresses: very, very sweet. (And not surprisingly, done in my favorite color combo, red, white, blue, with some green and eventually some yellow thrown in for good measure…)

I finished the applique on this block last night (I just had some of the red check to do):

It does need a little bit of embroidery, and I used some blue pen, so I need to rinse it out before I can press it.

Unfortunately, it’s apparently been humid enough that all of the blue pen I had used to mark these blocks has disappeared, so…I need to re-mark everything.  I’m using the technique where you trace the design on the wrong side of the background fabric:

And then you baste your applique pieces in place, stitching along the lines you are going to sew:

The pieces are way oversized, I think I was being more generous than usual, since I was going to be traveling while working on this.

After it’s basted in place, I then trace along the basting line, and trim the piece to size:

(Uh, except I hadn’t traced the stitching line yet, I guess.  And you wouldn’t need to trace the line, you could just get by with following the needle marks left by the basting, but I find I need to mark the actual line.)

From this point, it’s your basic needleturn applique.  You take out the basting stitch as you need to, in order to turn the edges under.  I really like doing applique this way: for me, it is about as accurate as I can possibly manage.  The piece is basted in place and not going anywhere, with no pins to either poke me, or distort the piece.  There is also no glue or freezer paper involved, and frankly, any time I can avoid glue is a good thing, as I am supremely messy with glues and paints.

I’m using silk thread to applique — so far I’ve been able to use either a cream or a gray on all of the patches.  It just disappears!  I’m using a Foxglove Cottage Straw needle from Jeana Kimball (who is the author that I originally learned this technique of tracing and basting from).

I *should* be doing about a million other things, but working on these little dresses is about the extent of what my brain appears to be able to handle today.


  1. Mary Ann says:

    Hmmm, maybe I should get out my wildflower applique and try this method. That would require finding the pieces and the pattern which would require going into the sewing room which has been a work-in-progress for far too long now.

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