Thursday, February 19, 2015

TUTORIAL: Cutting Multiples of Fusible Shapes

I know a lot of people love the look of applique and then decide it is too much work. 
Well nothing good comes from NO work but today I want to show a way to make it a bit less:)
Usually patterns that call for fusible applique have you trace each piece separately onto the paper-backed fusible you are using, cut each template out, fuse it to the wrong side of the fabric, and then you cut the actual fused fabric template out.  A lot of my patterns are written this way but most of my patterns are small wall hangs and it is the more accurate way.  I personally don't mind sitting and tracing/cutting whilst watching a great movie or two:) 

Today let's do things a bit differently....
Step 1.  The first bit of information you will need is the actual size of your template. In the photo above the template is 1-3/8" long x not quite 3/4" wide. For ease of my demo, I am using a precut 2-1/2" strip.  When measuring your template and cutting your strips, leave a little extra...  The actual strip would be cut @ 1-3/4" wide.  
Step 2.  You will cut your fabric strips up to a 1/2" wider than needed and your fusible an 1/8" narrower than your fabric strip. 
Actual fusible cut @ 1-5/8" wide for this template.  Cutting the fusible narrower allows that bit of wiggle room so that you aren't fusing glue to your ironing board...Ask me how I know:)
Step 3.  Cut strip into sections that are the size needed for your template. Remember earlier I said the Actual template is 1-3/8" x not quite 3/4".  I will cut my sections at 1-3/4" x 7/8". 
Make a FREEZER paper template and iron it to the right side of one section. Make sure all sections are fabric side up or you may inadvertently get a reverse piece where you didn't want one.
Step 4.  Cutting: I can cut up to 4 sections at a time with a wonderful pair of scissors with serrated edges which help to grip the fabric as it cuts. 
The other way I keep a good grip is with a small binder clip.  BINDER CLIPS ARE YOUR FRIEND! You could pin your layers but pinning tends to distort the stack.
Cut one side of the templates just to the outside of that Freezer paper template. 
In the photo, you only see the binder clip but remember you will be holding the rest of the stack with your non-cutting hand so slipping should NOT be an issue.  Gripping the stack of sections well, carefully reposition the binder clip to the other side and cut.

Remove your Freezer paper template and Ta-Da, 4 for the work of one.  Repeat this process for as many pieces as pattern calls for. When you are done cutting applique pieces, proceed to the next step of your applique process.

In these last two photos I wanted to show you to think beyond the rigid straight up and down positioning of templates.
In the top photo you will see that this template is longer than 3" and my strip is a 2-1/2" precut.  It will use up more fabric to cut my sections to fit this almost 3-1/2" template. 
In the bottom photo, I can rotate the template to fit within the 3" x 2-1/4" (fusible) and this may allow me to cut at least one more from this strip than doing it straight. 
A note about templates being reversed...
Since you are working on the right side of the fabrics, no need to reverse templates unless needed for mirror images or the pattern has already reversed them. 
Remember that most of the time the pattern templates are reversed so that you get Exactly what you are seeing on the cover.  It would not matter if things were done the other direction unless there is lettering.  So don't spend time worrying about whether you remembered to reverse or not.  Use all the templates the same way and you will have a lovely applique quilt when you are done!

Sunday, February 15, 2015


February 'LOVE' Get Pumped BOM
Soooo many choices to reflect I go shiny? Do I add lots of hearts?  There was a version of this shoe where the heel consisted of about 7 hearts descending in size.  It seemed a bit over kill and I just love the simplicity of this one:)  You will see I did keep the idea as a quilting suggestion though. Plus I just happened to have a piece of this Fantastic batik still sitting around and it was the perfect size!
This heel represents what I would like to be able to wear.  I probably could pull it off with a great pair of jeans and cute top.  The bigger problem though is how uncomfortable I would be in these shoes and I am all about comfort:)
This LOVEly pump is 12" square to fit on the originally designed (by me) Ackfeld metal hanger. 
Hopefully you have already signed up for the Starter Kit.  If not, this BOM is open enrollment so still plenty of time.
Since it is now February 15th, the templates for the February shoe are available for purchase on my website BOM 2015 page.
Originally this project was set up so that you would pay for the templates and they would be an immediate download.  Due to a VAT (Value Added Tax) put into place overseas on digital products, I had very limited options as to how I could keep the digital aspect but not be subjected to a very disorganized new law.
When you pay for the templates on my website, a payment notification will be sent to me.  Once I have received this notification, I will then email you the PDFs of the templates.  Please be sure that your email address associated with Paypal is correct so that you can receive these files.  I will email within 24 hours of payment.  Thank you so much for your understanding.
**End of message**
I am very excited about watching this BOM progress and seeing how all of you use different fabrics to achieve a new shoe each month.  Please share your progress on my FB page.  This is also where you will find additional tips about how I went about making these sweet shoes.
Happy Quilting:)

Tuesday, February 3, 2015


There has been lots of talk about this 'Movement' recently on multiple boards across the quilting community.  How many of you have heard of this movement? 
It has been around for a handful of years now when Elaine Lipson spoke of it, and has gained momentum since Mark Lipinski took it up.  I myself am very happy that there are quilters discussing the merits of not rushing through every quilt. 
My 2 cents--
I find it difficult to watch our industry push quicker and easier, all the time!  Yes, sometimes there is a baby coming and we want to get a gift done but sometimes we could take the time to start earlier and not rush.  It isn't like they just pop out....There is usually a 7-8 month lead time!
When I am around quilters who profess to "Love" quilting yet they spend all their time and money trying to find the cheapest-quickest way to 'get it done', I have to shake my head.
Why, if you are passionate about something, do you want to 'get it done' (said in the tone of rush)?  To me, being passionate about something is savoring it, loving the process, and taking time to appreciate what you are doing whilst doing it vs. get it done quickly so you can move on to the next thing. 
With all the gadgets and time saving techniques, I honestly don't see people getting it done quicker, just piling up more stuff and UFOs. We do have many tools to help us do things quicker and I am not saying to get rid of them.  Where would we be without the rotary cutter?
Full disclosure:
I have a ton of UFOs mostly from trying out new designs (oh, and that 'Squirrel' syndrome:)).
I do a lot of machine, fusible applique because it is quick and easy and it allows for me to get pattern samples done in a method that appeals to the consumer.
8" x 11" ALL hand embroidered
The mini included in Pumpkin Trellis
If I had my way though, all my applique and quilting would be done by hand!  FULL Disclosure--NOT the piecing, can't stand to piece by hand and I am awful at it! There is something so soothing about putting each stitch in and this probably explains my new love of English Paper Piecing.
In the Mark Lipinski article, he talks about the conscious meditation with each stitch.  The article starts to sound a little too 'new-agey' at times but when I really think about it, isn't that what I get out of it?  I can get almost meditative, tune out the world around me, lower my blood pressure which is so needed right now:)  I believe every person could use one thing in their life that makes them feel this way (working on cars, wood working, knitting, cooking, etc.) I have met many people who say they don't have the patience for hand work.  Maybe not, but I bet there is something in your life that you can throw yourself into that makes the world around you slow down. 

Who remembers learning about the Arts and Crafts Movement of the early 20th century?  We can re-familiarize ourselves with it and start our own now (everything old is new again:)).  Try shutting out some of the technology of today that is making us all "too" busy.  I don't believe we are "too" busy because we do make time for the things that are important.  Facebook, games online, etc are all easily put away for 20 minutes a day to feel the accomplishment of doing something with our own 2 hands!  IT is all about I am starting to sound preachy-sorry!

Slow Cloth has the immediate notion of doing it all by hand and I would love to see more of that in the industry and my guild, but it also means slowing down to appreciate what you are doing without rushing the process. Remember WHY you started doing this (or any) particular craft/art, your health will thank you.

Find your 'SLOW' and let me know what it is:)