Trying out something new

I enrolled in the wonderful 2015 free Craftsy Block of the Month quilt class this year and I am managing to keep up each month - just! I joined in the fun so that I could learn some new techniques, improve my piecing skills, and hopefully in the end to have made a beautiful quilt.

It's been challenging and the trusty unpicker has had a workout! My favourite thing to have tried out so far is foundation piecing. I've always been frightened to attempt it before, but went in head-first this time and I have discovered it is really easy and I just love the accuracy of the piecing!

This week I have arrived at the applique stage in the lessons. Over the years, I have tried many methods and mostly use the fusible webbing technique. However, I really like the appearance of needle-turn applique and have tried a number of different ways to get those curves smooth and those points sharp. folding the edge under as I go - a disaster, stitch basting, freezer paper, glue-stick, interfacing, all with various degrees of success.

A while back I bought some Wash-Away applique sheets, but hadn't got round to trying them out. They are printable, water-soluble, fusible and transparent:

Not having to do all that tracing was great - just printed straight onto the applique sheet:

I love the fact that they are fusible. It meant that the paper shape was well and truly stuck to the back of the fabric and so didn't move around when I was trying to shape the fabric over it. That was really helpful as the pieces in Jinny's pattern are very small:

 I like that I don't have to remove the paper as it will just wash out with warm water. The sheets are fairly expensive but I think it is a very useful method of preparation for needle-turn applique.

... and I'm happy to have tried out something different!

We seem to have had so many visitors lately and been out heaps more than usual, so I've been feeling I haven't had much time for sewing. I've picked up the silk ribbon again to work at night in front of the TV. It's a very rewarding craft as you get a lot done in a short time and it usually looks quite lovely.

My Handbag Heaven quilt has now been published in Handmade Vol 33 No 9 Bags issue:

The colours of the quilt are not my favourites, but it is Autumn here, so it was appropriate for this time of year. I keep picturing the quilt in soft pastels so I should get to and make a version in my favourite palette - only trouble is I intently dislike making the same thing twice!!! So oranges and browns it is for now:

Instead of dreaming about soft pastels, I should be applying myself to making some more Christmas projects that I have promised a magazine!



Nanna Chel said...

I love the quilt Val, although I would probably prefer pastel colours. You do such lovely work.

gracie said...

Wonderful blocks.

sunny said...

LOVE the handbag pattern! I would probably do it in different colors, too.

Ondrea said...

Good on you for trying something different. I have never tried that product for applique. LOve your quilt. I think any colour combo would work well with it.

Anonymous said...

Your basket looks beautiful, and I look forward to seeing it with the flowers in it. Sounds like a great plan for your applique method. Love the handbags, even though fall colors aren't my favorites either. For these, it just seems perfect!