Snowman Sew Along with All About Christmas: Wk 3 – Sewing your Appliqué Blocks

Welcome

to the last week of our mini

Snowman Sew Along

with All About Christmas quilt &

fabric from Riley Blake Designs.

By this time you have your three snowmen blocks completely fused and are ready to sew. If not, as always continue at your own pace. The only thing we have left to complete these blocks now is to secure the appliqué designs to the background fabrics and add any decorative stitching. There are many stitches and styles you can use to do this and the choice is entirely yours, you’re the maker!

I am most comfortable using one of my (basic Pfaff) machine’s options that is most like a blanket stitch to outline and secure my appliqué pieces to my background fabrics. I started with the large white pieces first. These are a bit stiff since we used an extra layer of interfacing and your appliqué pieces can pull up with handling so be careful to get them well fused. If this happens however, before you are ready to sew simply press over them again to reactivate the fusible glue. If you use this type of stitch you want to lay your needle right beside your appliqué fabric edge close as you can for the running stitches.

I also chose the same color thread that best matched my fabrics or close as I had on hand. I used 50 weight cotton Aurifil. Both of these choices (blanket stitch and same color thread) seam to make up for any imperfections due to my beginner sewing skills. Of course you can go with any style such as free motion or any number of decorative stitching that you like.

I continued by sewing the next largest pieces first red, then yellow, green and so on until I finished stitching around all of the smaller pieces.

For my green, I only had a lime shade but I think this helped to distinguish the tree branches against the two darker fabrics.

Remember! These blocks still have to be quilted so, hold off on any 3-D embellishments like buttons or charms, etc. Which explains the blank look on our snowmen faces. Lol!  I actually have tiny black buttons for his eyes and mouth and can’t wait to see them finished. 😉

We will post our finished blocks on Instagram and Facebook so, if you want to see our updates and the rest of our blocks in this quilt, plus anything new, you can follow us here:

IG – J Wecker Frisch

FB – Joy Studio News

Happy sewing and a sincere thanks for joining our snowman fun!

Below is our block inspiration.

Original watercolor by J Wecker Frisch

 

Snowman Sew Along with All About Christmas: Week 2 – Raw Edge Fusible Appliqué

Hello again!

Is everyone ready to move on to the

All About Christmas quilt

SNOWMEN?

Good. Let’s get started!

You should already have your three background snowflake fabrics cut and set aside to receive the snowman appliqué items per instructions.

So, first thing is to tape your snowmen template sheets together. There are six sheets per snowman included in your pattern. You will want to take a little time with this to match up registration marks and get them squared up to the correct block size.

Now you’re ready to begin tracing the individual shapes of each item in the snowman image onto your fusible web products. We like using a fine tip Sharpie in any color however, using a different color for each block will make organizing your fusible pieces much easier to access readily. The All About Christmas quilt pattern templates are already in reverse so trace with template sheets, printed side up, on the paper side of you fusible products. Again, just as in the fabric cutting suggestions last week, place and trace your largest glue pieces first to assure you will have enough of the fusible to complete this process.

Next begin laying out all of your smaller appliqué pieces in the remaining areas where they fit best for utilizing all of the fusible materials. We strongly suggest numbering the pieces too as you go. This will come in handy later when you begin to arrange and fuse the difficult to recognize pieces on your background fabric blocks. Once all of your fusible web pieces have been drawn, rough cut them out and organize by block.

Side Note: You will be tracing your Riley White snowman and snowy ground twice, first on your chosen fusible web product and a second time on a lightweight fusible interfacing product. We use Pellon Fusible 911FFW1 Featherweight. This will help to block the fabric underneath from showing through your white appliqué fabrics. You may want to use this method for the yellow fabrics in your piece also. Layering sequence when you are ready to fuse these, will be wrong side of appliqué fabric to interfacing, that unit to fusible web and then onto background fabric in the indicated order. You will end up with a heavier/thicker appliqué unit.

Next, making your raw-edge appliqué pieces.

Refer to the pattern cover art to begin fusing the correct, numbered fusible web pieces to their corresponding fabrics, according to the manufacturers directions. After all of the appliqué pieces are fused, you can cut them out accurately with a good sharp pair of scissors. I do not use my ‘for fabric only’ scissors for this but rather a specified favorite. We recommend letting all of your appliqué pieces cool completely before attempting to remove the paper backing. If time allows we prefer waiting overnight but a couple of hours may be enough. Another tip for removing the paper is to score a line with anything sharp but not enough to cut through the fabric, anywhere on the paper side of your fused appliqué. Then begin peeling the backing paper away from the fabric using the scored line as a stating point. This will help to prevent fraying your fabric edges.

Now, building the snowman blocks!

After all of the paper is removed from your appliqué pieces, you are ready to arrange and place them in your snowman blocks. The numbers on each snowman template indicate which piece is the next to be fused. As stated in last week’s post, placement is best achieved using a placement sheet. Since you cannot view the template sheet through the background fabrics we like tracing the template onto a sheet of ordinary tracing paper to make a placement sheet ‘door’. Explained last week here and shown below.

You can see in the above phoyo that we opted to cut out the small snowman (block 3) both in cotton and batting to offer a little extra pouf . This is your preference.

Having fun yet?

I like the cutting and fusing best myself, but next week we are

READY to SEW!

Show us your progress as you follow and tag me on Instagram @jweckerfrisch

and please use #allaboutchristmasfabric to share your photos.

I would enjoy hearing from you!

 

 

 

Snow-A-Long, Wk 4

Wow, week four already!

So, this is the part of the Snow-A-Long where it gets tricky for me,

PIECED BLOCKS.

I not an expert when it comes to constructing pieced blocks. On the contrary, I am a novice. I began learning two years ago and have limited experience. I cannot offer tips on how to get these blocks perfect or precise. The best way I can instruct you in this segment is to show how we did it in a picture is worth a thousand words quilt block how to gallery, from a watercolor artist perspective rather than a quilter’s. It worked fairly well for us so no matter what your level of piecing skills is, I am confident that you can do this too.

First, using your two Pieced Blocks Guide sheets included in your pattern and the cover art for color, cut all of your fabrics according to the specified sizes in each of the 7.5″ (finish size) blocks. Our approach was block by block although, some of you experienced quilters may want to cut multiple blocks of the black and white fabrics, all at one time. The blocks are all two color classics so we found the majority were fairly simple to construct.

Once all of our fabric was cut we laid out each block’s pieces on pre-stretched artist canvases that we had on hand to use as our mini design boards. I hope to make some proper ones in the near future but these were just the right size and served our purpose.

We also labeled each board by row and block number with post-its. This helped us to keep everything organized until we were ready to sew. It will also help you to spot any mistakes that may have occurred during cutting too, as was the case in our first attempt! Can you spot them?

For our post photography we used these cool vintage price labels to show the quilt rows (top #) and blocks (bottom #).

I began with the blocks that were easiest for me to see how they could be assembled in horizontal rows but you can start with any of the blocks that you like. The design boards allow you to arrange the various pieces in advance to see how you think they look best. I tried wherever possible to have my text facing up and the pieces that were sideways, to be facing in the same direction.

Row 2, Block 6

We attached all of the half square triangles, B and C cuts together with a 1/4″ seam, shown in the first photo. Working from left to right we attached the top left two units together forming a horizontal, half square triangle double. Then we attached the two below those in the same way. After that, all four half square triangles were sewn together forming the top left corner unit of four half square triangles. Follow the same for the remaining three corners.

Attach the two top corner units to each side of your D cuts, and then bottom the same way. Attach the horizontal D cuts with center cut C. You will have three rows. Pin to match seams and working top to bottom attach all three rows together to complete the block.

Row 3, Block 1.

I started in the upper left corner making the small half square triangle by attaching E to B with a 1/4″ seam. Then added both of the dark triangles E to two sides of that unit forming a larger, 4 piece triangle. Again and throughout the quilt construction, we tried to maintain 1/4″ seams. To complete the corner unit I then sewed to the large white cut triangle A in the same way you made your first small, half square triangle. I repeated the steps for the remaining three corner units.

Then working from left to right attach top two corner units to D and repeat for the bottom corners. You will then have three horizontal rows. Last we pinned in place to attach all three rows together.

More of our picture is worth a thousand words quilt block gallery:

You can see that we followed a similar sequence for each of the remaining blocks. I attached all of the small half square triangles first as I moved from block to block.

I do not know the technical terms for block assembly so please excuse me quilters and please, interject your vast knowledge from experience in the comments! We would all love to learn more!

Once again, this Snow-A-Long features fabric from Riley Blake Designs, Snow Sweet, Riley White and Painters Palette.

I have not included every block in this post but will add the remaining four in a follow up post.

I imagine that most of you following are able to quilt circles around me but I read somewhere once, “finished is better than perfect.” Jenny Doan I believe said that and I found it encouraging.

So, keep going!

And post photos with #snowalong and #snowsweetfabric in your social media so we can find/see your progress.

Sweet Snow-A-Long, Wk 3

Hi Again!

How’s everyone doing with their Snow-A-Long quilt?

Have everything fused?

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Sew far, sew good I hope.

Speaking of sewing, here is where it gets tricky for me!! I soar at drawing and cutting but sewing makes me a bit nervous, still.

This week we are

securing/stitching

your raw edge appliqué pieces down and

trimming

the blocks. You can also do any additional decorative stitching or embroidering at this time. Decorative stitch guidelines are provided on your patterns. Although the fabrics do much of the work in this quilt, the gingerbread blocks are perfect candidates for some fancy thread work either by hand or machine.

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I have several photos that will show you our sewing process. I used a blanket style stitch (under the quilting stitch guide on my machine) for the edges. That is the one I am most comfortable using with my skill level but feel free to choose any that you like. I am certain that all of you have more sewing experience than myself so I look forward to seeing and/or hearing about your personal choices for this step. My understanding is that with raw edge appliqué you want a stitch that will help to keep the edges from fraying should the fusible product let loose with washings and use. However, I’m seeing the trends for raw edge appliqué and looks like anything (personal preference) goes!! And I like that.

Please #snowalong and #snowsweetfabric progress photos on social media so we can find and add to our

Pinterest board!

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I also chose to use the same thread color as my appliqué fabrics. Again this was to better blend in and hide any of my stitching errors. If you want the appliqué art to stand out more you may want to try black and possibly some sketchy free motion which I love and hope to learn some day. I used Aurifil cotton 50 wt thread for all appliqué sewing.

With so many blocks to stitch down, I did all of the white first, then black, red, and so on. Soon you will have them all finished.

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Time to trim.

This is done after the stitching to allow for any shrinkage that possibly took place. Be sure to leave yourself a quarter of an inch for a seam allowance on all four sides of each block finish size. Block finish sizes are stated on your pattern. Some images like the gingerbread house is intended to sit on the bottom seam line of the block. So I trimmed to the one quarter inch mark at bottom and sides.

Once all are trimmed, post on your design wall and enjoy seeing your quilt come together!

I love that part.

And I love this Snow Sweet collection from Riley Blake Designs!

Widely available in shops now, but it’s going fast.

See you next Thursday.

Sweet Snow-A-Long, Wk 2

Hello Again!

Welcome to week two of the

Snow-A-Long

Featuring our

Snow Sweet

collection from

Riley Blake Designs.

We will be sharing an appliqué placement method using tracing paper doors to make this the easiest and most fool proof fusing process for making all the appliqué blocks.

Here are our appliqué shapes described in last week’s post. You may notice that we chose to trade out a couple of the fabrics that were listed and shown on the cover art but this is each maker’s prerogative! All of the fabrics can be interchanged to suit your desired look. You’re the maker!

Let’s make doors!

We like the tracing paper door for placement accuracy both in making each multi layered appliqué, and also centering on the block background fabric. This is an optional step if you are not such a stickler for detail as myself but a tried and true way for good results. Here’s a (link) little bit more about making a placement door from the Hat Shop SAL.

Use the same appliqué template sheets and trace them, again. This time on to a piece of tracing paper with a fine tip sharpie. Trace as much or as little of the details as you will need for placement guides. Tracing paper allows for turning over to reveal the image as it will appear on your block. Soon you will have several tracings that resemble the table top below:

And now, on to the fusing!

We are building each block from the bottom/underneath appliqué pieces, up.

Place background block fabric on to your pressing surface.

Then center the detail traced door, flipped over to match the direction of your cut out appliqué pieces, and pin along one side.

Then open your paper door and place the largest appliqué fabric, glue side down and nudge in place. You can easily open and close the door to line up your pieces precisely. Once you have them where you like, press according to the fusible product manufacturer’s directions ten seconds or so.

The large snowman template sheets are numbered so place each one according to the sequence marked on your pattern. We rough laid them out initially just to get an idea of how it would look and to determine which appliqué gets fused first. For instance one arm goes under snowman’s body and one goes on top. So again follow the sequence numbers and use the tracing paper door. It really helped us on the large snowman block.

I also wanted to point out that the star was cut in three different pieces and is marked on your pattern that way to eliminate the yellow from showing through the white fabric. We recommend an extra layer of interfacing as described last week/post to help with this as well. Wherever light fabric goes over a darker one, use the interfacing to get a better result.

Ta-daa!

We made two, one with plain white snow for our quilt and this one was to be for a (now cancelled) class.

Keep going until all of your blocks are fused and we’ll see you next week. And take lots of photos so you can post and share for a social media GIVEAWAY op!

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