Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Block 21- The umbrella

One of my favorites for sure!

Mildreds block

My block

Block 21- Umbrella

When the club members met to make the twenty-first block in the alphabet quilt they found that “U” stood for an umbrella. “Of course, how stupid of us not to have thought of that.” One woman who was a poor speller said she had decided that the “U” block would represent an onion. She was laughed out of court and told to consult her dictionary. “Onion begins with “O” silly, “said they.
“How are we going to get those drops of rain, Nancy?”. “Of course you could use a whole square of polka dots and appliqué the umbrella onto that, but since we have kept all the others plain white gingham I thought we would embroider the dots of rain. We can use satin stitch making tiny white rounds of dots, or we can use French knots. If we use those, I suppose the rain is really hail, however.”
Had the club been making this umbrella fifteen years ago they would have chosen black for the top but in these days of gay color the umbrella may be any shade at all. One member wanted to chose red but since harsh, strong colors have been omitted entirely in the patterns it was deemed wise to choose some other color for the top. Otherwise the re umbrella would stand out in the finished quilt like a sore thumb.
Most of the members chose a violet or lavender color. Nancy’s choice was soft rose. That was because she knew about the block that would be next to the umbrella one. She did not want to repeat colors. One member chose soft blue and another beautiful green.
The 6 ½ inch square of white gingham was cut out, so   was the square in the paper. The cloth was held closely over the paper pattern and  both were pressed against the window pane. With a sharp pointed lead pencil the pattern was traced onto the cloth. A mere point indicated the spots of rain.
The paper pattern was pasted onto a lightweight cardboard or tag board and dried under pressure.
While it dried the letter “U” was embroidered in fast-colored embroidery cotton. Nancy used green to match all her other letters. Then, too, she had chosen green gingham for her connecting strips in the finished quilt.
After the pattern was dry the umbrella top was cut out and then the handle. The stick was cut in one piece so that it extended from the curved handle to the tip. Even though it did not show when the umbrella top was appliquéd Nancy found it was easier to do than if she cut two pieces.
The stick was cut from a bias piece and was made just twice as wide as the finished stick. The edges were turned under until they met at the center and were then basted in place.
The top was cut with an allowance of a quarter-inch on all sides. This was turned under, basted in place and then the piece was pressed.
Nancy found that small slits at the edge made it easier to turn the curve at the handle and the curves in the umbrella top.

The pieces were pinned in place and then basted and later appliquéd with fine, slanting hemming stitch. Then the dots were embroidered and another block was ready. 

Oops I almost forgot the pattern:  click HERE for the pattern.

Only three more blocks are left after this! Stay tuned for more!

Happy Stitching,

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Block 20- Tree

I do love this simple tree pattern. In reading Nancy's column, she suggested using a polka dot fabric and embroidering multi-colored lazy daisy stitches as flowers around the dots. I did not have a piece of green that only had dots so I used one with dots and leaves. It seemed too busy to do multicolored flowers so I just did red french knots. This is the apple tree that my apple in block one came from!

Mildred's block

My block

Block 20- The tree

Flowers that bloom in the spring may appear on trees as well as in gardens. This was Nancy’s thought in designing the tree block for the letter “T” of the alphabet quilt.
In making the tree she planned on using up strands of the various fast colored embroidery cottons she had chosen for stitchery in the earlier blocks. As she explained the pattern to the club members she thought a polka dot material could be used for the tree.
Then the small flowers could be centered around the dots, using the lazy daisy stitch to make the petals. As many or as few flowers could be worked as were desired, and as many or as few colors could be used.
Nancy granted that her finished tree with the pink, blue, lavender and yellow blossoms was closer to a decorated Christmas tree than any actual tree she ever had seen. But what did she care, since every one exclaimed in pleasure over the effect.
The members cut out the paper square and then cut a 6 ½ inch square of white Peter Pan gingham. Holding the gingham over the paper pattern and pressing it close to the window pane they were able to trace the design with a sharp pointed lead pencil.
Nancy suggested that they omit the tracery of the flowers, since could put the blossoms in wherever they chose and could if they wanted to do so, use the paper pattern as a guide. 
That meant that they traced the letter “T:, the tree, its trunk and it’s base.
After tracing the pattern they pasted the paper square onto a piece of light weight cardboard or tag board and dried it under pressure.
The letter “T” was embroidered in fast color embroidery cotton. As usual the members chose the color used for the previous letters and decided upon their choices by the color of the connecting strip of material which could be used to put the embroidered alphabet blocks together.
Nancy used green and worked the letter in a fine outline stitch. Some members used a fine chain stitch.
After the pattern was dry the pieces were cut out and laid onto the cloth chosen for the tree, trunk and base.
Nancy used a white material with green polka dots for the tree, a brown for the trunk and a soft rose for the base.
In cutting the cloth an allowance of one-quarter inch was made on all sides.
In cutting the trunk the material was cut on the bias and was made twice as wide as the finished piece. The raw edges were turned under until they met. All turned under edges were basted down and then pressed in place. The trunk was appliquéd first. Over it was laid the tree and then at the bottom was placed the base.
Appliquéing was done with fine slanting, invisible hemming stitches. The base had a line on running stitch put in as indicated. This gave the base the effect of a top and sides and made it seem less cumbersome and boxy.
The quilt was getting near the end. What would “U” stand for? A picture of the maker or a unicorn? Let’s find out next week.

Click HERE for the pattern.

Until next time-happy stitching!


Sunday, January 12, 2014

Quilt-Alongs that I have started

I posted last week on some of the many Quilt-alongs I have come across on the web. I decided on two (for now LOL).

The first one is from Karen at Faeries and Fibres that started a week ago. It is a biweekly QAL.
This is my first part done with english paper piecing:

I really enjoyed doing the paper-piecing and will definitely try it again. 

The second one is Pat Sloan's Globetrotting BOM. This one is through Free Quilt Patterns and Washington DC is the first block.
Here is mine:

This is a large block that will be the center with smaller blocks around it. 

Back to working on alphabet blocks now! 

Happy Stitching!

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Block 19- the Sail Boat

Time for another block in the alphabet quilt. We are getting close to the end! I love this little sail boat! 

Mildred's block

My block

Block 19- Sail Boat

When Nancy planned the blocks for the alphabet quilt she planned to use a star for the letter “S”. But when she came to design the “S” block she could not resist trying out a sailboat instead of a star. She was so pleased with the result that a sailboat it stayed.
One of the club members who was making the alphabet quilt for her niece who lived in the desert country was delighted. “Now maybe she will ask her mother all about boats, and then her mother will get homesick and come back to visit us for the summer. I wish she would.”
While the group discussed the desirability of living in various parts of the country they began work on the block.
First they cut the 6 ½ inch square of white Peter Pan gingham. Then they cut out the whole pattern square from the paper.
Holding the cloth over the pattern they pressed them close to the window pane and with a sharp pointed lead pencil outlined the boat, waves, letter “S” and the seagulls.
“I hope you don’t expect to appliqué those birds, Nancy?” “Goodness, no. They will be worked in outline stitch in fast color gray embroidery cotton.”
After the pattern was transferred, the paper square was pasted on a piece of light-weight cardboard or tag board. It was dried under pressure. While it was drying the members worked the letter “S”. Each one used the same color of embroidery cotton that had been used for the letters in the other blocks. Nancy used green because she had chosen green for her connecting strips of cotton in the finished quilt.
The women also embroidered the sea gulls. For this they used a fine outline stitch.
When the paper pattern was dry they cut out the sail, the mast and the boat proper. Some of the members embroidered the mast. Others cut the mast pole in one long piece and appliquéd it in place first, putting the sail on tp of it as indicated in the picture.
In cutting the pieces they allowed one-quarter inch on all sides for turning under. The edges were basted under and then pressed in place. The mast was cut from a bias piece, twice as wide as the finished mast. The edges were turned under until they met.
For the body of the boat Nancy used a soft orange. The sail was a plaid for tans, a soft blue and a fine line of green.
After the pieces were pressed they were pinned in place over the penciled outlines of the design and stitched with fine, invisible, slanting hemming stitch.

The waves were worked with fast colored blue embroidery cotton. A running stitch was used. This gave a more broken, wavy effect than if outline stitch had been used.

click HERE for the pattern.

Enjoy the sail boat. 
Tomorrow I will have updates on my quilt-alongs that I decided to join.

Happy stitching!

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Quilt -along Heaven

We just returned last night from an 8 day cruise from NYC to the Bahamas. What a wonderful time we had! The weather was so-so, but there are so many activities on a cruise ship we had a blast. On the car ride home from New York, which was 5 1/2 hours, I caught up on some blogs that I follow, and there are so many new quilt alongs starting. Here are some that I am considering:

From Faeries and Fibres: Soupcon, a wallhanging size mystery with english paperpiecing, embroidery, and traditional piecing.

Aurifil`s 2014 Block of the month, hosted by Pat Sloan
Zen Chic BOM

Pat Sloan's free BOM for Free Quilt Patterns, Globetrotting
Pat sloan globetrotting block 1 button

The Hexie Blog, Block of the month

Don't you love a free quilt-along?

I will be posting my next alphabet block shortly. I worked on a couple of those on the way home yesterday too!

Bye for now and Happy New Year!