Thursday, 14 February 2013

Machine Applique and Cathedral Windows Blocks - The Something NEW Sampler: Week 5

Blocks 7 and 9 on
  
So much progress made this week :)


Block 7 - Cathedral Windows by Heidi @Fabric Mutt
 I put off making this block to the last as the instructions looked complex and there was quite a bit of prep work.  Once I started I realised it's not difficult, it's just time consuming - fabric origami.

The finished top

The QAYG finished back

It did take a long time to put this block together - there's lots of cutting and pressing but even though it's not perfect by any means I'm so thrilled with the final block it makes all the effort well worth it.

Here's how I did it/what I learnt:

  • I only used a cardboard template for the first 'window' but after that I scored a 1/2" line along each edge of the background fabric squares using my Clover Hera Marker instead as this creates a crisp line in the fabric that folds willingly for ironing.
  • I glued along the full length of each fabric seam (not just the corners) using my Aleene's Fast Drying Tacky Glue pen.
  • I used basting spray to attach all 18 fabric squares to the 'windows', I didn't sew any of these squares in place.
  • I followed Heidi's instructions directly alongside these Moda Bakeshop instructions and I did all sewing on the machine instead of by hand as directed in the Moda post.
  • During the folding and pressing stage I wanted to give up as my 'windows' weren't even and most folded sections overlapped or didn't meet up at all and I thought this would ruin the finish.  In the end I decided 'what the heck' and carried on anyway.  Once the pieces were all sewn together none of it mattered that much so if you're feeling the same way hang on in there!!!  Be sure to follow Moda's tip that on the first fold in you need to get the outer corners lined up perfectly regardless of what state the centre's in and on the second fold in you need to get the centre corner edges to line up perfectly regardless of what state the outside corners are in (don't panic - it makes sense when you actually doing it).
  • The cut edge corners of each square of fabric that you place in the windows are very likely to be visible and in the final finish you can see that these edges aren't hemmed.  I don't know how long these corners will last without fraying, time will tell.  
  • Adding the finished borders takes away 1/4" of the window edges so don't worry at all if the 'petals' don't point correctly at the outside edge - this won't be visible once the borders are added.
  • The best bit of all is when you start to fold and sew back the petal edges.  You immediately understand why people make these windows.  This part is actually very easy and so exciting just be sure to follow Moda's instructions to "show the fabric who's in charge" and sew an anchoring cross in the centre of each window to help here.


Of course, I'm now doing this as a QAYG quilt so I spray basted the batting and backing and quilted around each petal.

Close up detail of front and back


Next up Block 9 - Machine Applique by M-R @Quilt Matters
 This block is based on the Clam shell quilt design and Amy @thecutelife designed this free clam shell template for us to use.



 I cut out the clam shells and background fabric and then attached them simply using basting spray.  Again as I'm making a QAYG quilt I spray basted the batting and backing and then machine appliqued around the clam shells which at the same time quilted the block.

Block 9 - machine applique and QAYG quilting detail


So now I've created all 9 blocks and planned my QAYG backing for each.  I'm still not happy with Block 4 - Reverse Applique but I'll finish making everything else first before deciding what to do about that block.  I've also decided that I'd like to include a Selvedge Block as this is another technique that I'd like to try and I've got lots of selvedges from these fabrics so it seems like it's too good an opportunity to miss.


I can't wait to do more and I'm looking forward to making up my first QAYG but I'm being dragged away from it all this weekend to visit DC.  We'll be doing all the obvious touristy things and while we're there Simon wants to go to the Air & Space Museum :( and Flicky has found a lecture at the Library of Congress that she's desperate for us to attend "Failure and Memory: How the Rescue of Jews During the Holocaust is Depicted in Post War German Film." , is this what happens when you become a modern history undergraduate? (As I'm typing this she's watching a programme on Hulu called 'Hitler's Women!)


So I have a plea to you all for help to save my long weekend - does any one know of any fabric/quilting stores/museums in Washington DC that I won't need a car to get to?!!!


The White House




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22 comments:

  1. Both of the blocks look great, and I am hopping to see the finish product. Will all nine blocs be sewed together or are they individual small quilt sampliers?

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    1. Hi Felicia, I'm excited to finish too and it's lovely to hear that you feel the same. I'm going to join the blocks all together into a lap quilt. The weight of each block is very different though depending on the technique used so not sure yet just how practical/comfortable it will be to snuggle under or if it will be more of a 'for show' sampler. I'll let you know as I progress :)

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  2. Chrissie these are the most accomplished cathedral windows I have ever seen! Seriously! It says something about your sewing level if you are out-doing examples in published books. Absolutely sublime.

    Sorry I can't really help with the Washington DC shopping - but I can send you over any UK whatnots you are homesick for! My friend used to get me to ship over Crunchie bars and HP sauce.

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    1. Oh thank you for saying that Gertie. I have been sewing now for well over 40 years even if I've only been quilting for 15 months so I can't really claim to be a wonder novice but the techniques are all new to me at least!

      Our itinerary for DC is so full now there's no time for shopping - I had no idea there's so much to do there. I've managed to convince Flicky to skip the lecture in favour of a trip to the Holocaust Museum - I've heard it's one of the best museums ever, I'll keep you posted.

      Thanks for the offer of English chocs and more, that's very kind of you and it reminds me - did your Kona colour card arrive? When we first moved here we used to get anyone travelling over to bring tea bags, chocolate and the like but the supermarket opposite our apartment building has the best selection of English goodies and we no longer need to. Admittedly they're in the 'international' aisle along with all the Chinese and Indian cooking ingredients which always makes me smile, but you can't complain when you can get your hands on Heinz Baked Beans and some English Loin Bacon rather than American belly bacon - you can't go wrong with a full English. The only thing we just can't get hold of is English sausages - they just don't make a sausage the way we do! :)

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  3. Wow, this looks absolutely wonderful to me!!!!

    Nana

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    1. I was so dreading those Cathedral Windows Nana and now I love them, thank you for your lovely comment :)

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  4. These look gorgeous, the cathedral windows are stunning! And be glad that F is at least interested in her studies, trying to get some of my sixth form to work is like pulling teeth!

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    1. Thanks Sarah Lou and you're so right about Flicky and her commitment to her studies, she's certainly not typical of the youth of today! I hadn't realised that you teach - don't know how that one passed me by, I must just focus on your quilting when I read your blog, I think I'll be going back now to take another look to be sure I've been paying attention! :)

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  5. Oh my goodness! I love DC--not for the political part, because they're a bunch of dodos, but there is so much neat stuff to see for free! All of the Smithsonian museums are free, if I recall correctly, and the war memorials are pretty neat (I know you're not American, but the Vietnam Wall is pretty iconic--and personally, I think the Korean Memorial is pretty stunning.) I love the American History Museum (but that's what I study!) and it has some neat things like Lincoln's top hat, and some pop culture icons, like Dorothy's ruby slippers. The Natural History Museum isn't so much my cup of tea, but the Hope Diamond is pretty fantastic. I'm also a fan of the Air and Space Museum, but I come from an aviation-enthusiastic family, so that may be a little biased. :) I've never been to the art museums, so I can't speak to those.

    The Holocaust Museum is, in my opinion, one of the better done museums that I've been to in the U.S., so I always recommend that. The subway system is pretty accessible, if I recall correctly, and very clean. I would also make sure that you travel lightly, because you have to go through security in pretty much every building--of course, the last time I was there was 2002, so that might have been part of it.

    Have fun! I think it's a neat city for educational sightseeing. I have no help for the fabric stuff though!

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    1. Thank you, thank you, thank you for all the info. Last night I used your reply to pull together an itinerary for the weekend and suddenly I was so excited about our trip. Someone has told me where there's a fabric shop but it's 30 mins metro trip outside DC and I've now realised there's more to do than we can manage in 4 days anyway so my fabric obsession has been put on hold. I'll save it for when we visit again because I'm already thinking we'll be back and that's before we even get there!

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  6. I love those windows and the fabric on your second block is fabulous. Nice work.

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    1. Thanks so much, I'm so pleased with how they both turned out and also quite relieved, I thought they would be much more difficult than they actually were :)

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  7. Beautiful blocks! I hope you`ll have a wonderful weekend and find some nice fabric stores.

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    1. Hi Carin, thanks for your lovely comment. I'm so excited about our long weekend away. Unfortunately it seems DC is more about politics and history than fabric so I won't be hitting any fabric stores during our visit but I'm hoping to see some beautiful quilts in the American History Museum if time allows :)

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  8. the cathedral windows block is gorgeous, I love this block and I think you did an amazing job on it! This is one I'll definitely try.

    By the way, some of your other commenters seem very useful for someone looking for cheap dental treatment!

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    1. I've been so busy this week Wendy that I haven't had a chance to check my comments and WOW, this particular post had really been hit with anonymous spam hadn't it, I checked it out when I got your email and had quite a giggle!!! I've also had a lot of spam appearing in the Blogger comment filter as well over the last few weeks so I've changed my settings now to not allow anonymous comments. It's a real shame as I do have genuine readers who regularly comment anonymously as they don't have accounts. I've changed my comment message to explain why and I've added a 'Contact Me' email to my Blog Header tabs as this week another reader didn't know to go through the 'View My Complete Profile' link to get to my email address on Blogger. Hopefully I've made everything a bit easier now! :)

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  9. I love your Cathedral Window block, I am definitely going to have a go at this technique this year it has been on my to-try list for ages!

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    1. Thank you and if I can do it you can! I was all over the place at the start of the year and left it too late to join in with your 'New To Me In 2013' link up but I think I've now managed almost a year's worth of new to me just in the last 4 weeks - is it too late to join in for February? Do give the Cathedral Windows a go, they're really nowhere near as bad as they look! :)

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  10. Your windows are absolutely gorgeous, Chrissie! The colors are just so vibrant and clean! And the decorative stitches on the clam shells look fantastic, great job!

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  11. Hi Chrissie,
    i really love your cathedral windows, they are so gorgeous.
    The clam shells are beauty, too.
    One day, i wish to see DC and went into the white house.
    Hugs Marle

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    1. Oh you were able to tour The White House? We planned the trip in a bit of a hurry and didn't have the required time beforehand to apply, would love to have done that though, lucky you :D

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