Let’s Build Some Snowmen!

Come Play in the Snow With Me!

Before I begin I want to tell you that I am currently hosting a retreat in the mountains of North Georgia. I had composed most of this blog, brought my ipad here and was planning to finish the blog and launch it this morning. Well, converting from my PC to the ipad was not a friendly process. So here I am in the sewing room early…to start a new blog! Best laid plans….you know what happens!!

I hope you are ready because I sure am! Let me make a brief introduction to the cast of characters that will be playing in the snow with you.

Kristie is making her Snowbound with fun fabrics and has chosen to hand applique and needle turn the motifs.

Brenda is making her Snowbound from her fabulous line of wool fabrics in combination with cotton quilting fabrics. Many of you are now in possession of wool kits from Brenda that you chose to work with.

Then there is me. I will be your director and teacher during our Quilt Along. I will be talking very soon about applique and some of the various methods that can be used to bring this wonderful quilt to the finish line.

Let’s get started. First you will want to gather your supplies and materials. I assume you have a method for applique in mind, we will talk more about that process later.

Kristie is all ready.

Brenda is too!

I need another cup of coffee! Let me blog on…

The first thing you will want to do is cut 4 large background squares. BJ and I designed this quilt so that you can applique one background square at a time. You can hold it easily in your hand or you can do each square individually at the machine without having to have the whole quilt under the bed of your machine. You can thank us for this later!

We will cut the background squares and the squares for the folded triangles in the corners first. Let’s save some time and cut them out for the whole quilt at one time. 🙂

Cut 4 squares 18 1/2″ x 18 1/2″. I would add a note at this point. I like to cut my background square a bit larger in case there is a little “drawing up” of the fabric during the applique process. So I would cut my square an inch or so larger say 19 1/2″ x 19 1/2″. After I cut my larger square I make some “reference” marks at the original unfinshed size, 18 1/2″ x 18 1/2″ and then I square the block to that size after the applique has been completed. I use a faint pencil line or a disappearing ink pen.

Now we have to cut our squares for the folded corner triangle units. Cut 8 squares 6 1/2″ x 6 1/2″ Let’s sew.

Let’s make our background blocks with the folded triangle units in opposite corners. Draw a line diagonally from corner to corner on all 8 of the black 6 1/2″ squares.

Lay the blocks out so that the fabric that forms the background for the center flake is in the right position on your 4 background blocks. See how Kristie did it. (she is so smart and careful like that!)

Stitch a tiny bit, a thread or 2 off the line toward the outside corner, ok seriously can you really see a thread or two? What I’m saying here is that if you sew that tiny bit off the line you give some room for what I call the roll over factor. This way when you fold the dark corner it will match perfectly with the base background. After you have folded the corner. Press well. At this point you may trim the bottom background layer and the underneath black layer. Do this on the opposite corner.

If you are working with cotton fabric as opposed to wool for the snow under the tree, you might want to wait to do the outside corner triangles so that you can sew your snow drift into the seam. If you are doing wool you can go ahead and sew all four corner triangles on each background block.

Now let’s prepare your motifs for applique. Trace the applique motifs on freezer paper if hand sewing or machine sewing. If you are hand sewing with wool you can use a fusible product and iron it to the back side of the wool, then press on to your background square. This way the wool will not slip around and there will be no need for basting or pinning.

If you are are using a raw edge fusible method for applique you will want to trace your motifs on your chosen fusible product. Don’t forget to reverse the designs! Cut the motifs out about a scant 1/4″ away from the drawn line, then cut away the middle of the fusible 1/4″ away from the drawn line in the middle of the motif. This removes all the excess fusible and lessens the stiff bulk. Makes the quilt more “quilty” feeling, which is a good thing.

Brenda’s motifs on wool.

Kristie’s traced on freezer paper ready for hand needle turning.

Ok! so what you need to do during the next two weeks is get your background blocks and corner triangles ready, then prepare your motifs. Trace, cut, and place the motifs following the photos on your pattern then adhere them to your background blocks. That is all you need to do in preparation for the second edition to our Quilt Along. The next post will be Friday February 15th. We will discuss in detail various methods of sewing, hand work as well as machine work with explanation different machine techniques,

Go on now…you have work to do!
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