Sunday, July 19, 2015

Rae's Quilt Block and some Final Thoughts

I wanted to spend some time talking about creating an applique pattern. Anything that you can draw can become an applique pattern. My original Succulent Garden quilt was drawn out on 4 sheets of printer paper that I taped together.  I used that one drawing as the pattern to cut out all of my applique pieces. You don't have to use anything fancy or be a computer savant to create your own pattern.

Once I decided that I wanted to share my pattern here on the blog, I knew I'd need something more sophisticated than my hand drawn cacti to offer to you. If you have access to Adobe Illustrator please use it It will digitize hand drawn designs from a cell phone picture. Unfortunately for me, my computer is from the dark ages and won't run Illustrator. Instead, I used Quilt Canvas to create my pattern. Quilt Canvas is a paid service, but they offer 48 hour passes for $4, which is what I used to create my pattern. If I ever decide that I need to edit the pattern it's not a problem. Quilt Canvas stores my work in my profile even when I don't have an active paid subscription. Quilt Canvas offers lots of the same options as EQ7, but is online based and I don't have to commit to purchase. I don't know that I'll use the program for a lot of things, but it was certainly helpful in creating the printouts for this pattern.

As a contributor to 52Q, I'm expected to create a quilt block that represents my time here on the blog. While lots of things could represent me as a quilter, I think that only some applique cacti really speak to the work I've done as a member of the 52Q family.

First, I cut pieces of paper to the desired final block size (8.5x8.5)

Next, I spent some time creating my applique design. Don't be afraid to draw lots of different variations of the same idea.

Then I took a marker and outlined my design so I knew exactly what I needed to trace onto my fabric.

After that I picked out my fabrics, transferred my design to each piece, cut them out and laid them out on my paper template.

these are actually laid out on the fabric base, but you get the idea
I just love how twee these little scraps are!
Because I'll be attaching this applique to a single piece of fabric and not a quilt sandwich I added an iron-on, tear away embroidery stabilizer to the back of my base piece. If I were making an entire quilt of pieces like this I wouldn't tear away the stabilizer until I've joined my blocks together...just like with paper piecing.

Then I glued each applique piece to the fabric base with my glue pen, put some navy thread in my machine, brought the bobbin thread to the front, and used my darning foot to stitch around each piece.

Oops, I deleted the stitching picture :( But here's a picture of what the block looks like after stitching is completed and all the threads are still on the front of the piece.

Next, I knotted my thread ends, threaded them through a hand needle, and pulled them to the back of my block.

Here I knotted the thread ends again and snipped them off close to the back of the piece.

My completed block back with the stabilizer still in place:

And the completed applique block front :

If you decide to create your own applique pattern, tag me in a pic on IG so that I can cheer you on and drool over your awesome designs.

Some final thoughts:

I really believe that we should love the creative process as much as the finished product. Only make things when the making brings you joy. Don't get mired down in creating the next big craze. If you don't love hand sewing, maybe the Millifiori isn't for you. Yes, they are gorgeous quilts. But will you end up resenting the time you spend working on it because it isn't something you love to do? Possibly.

Now, I'm not advocating for never trying anything new. Not at all. I'm just giving you permission to abandon projects that aren't bringing you joy. Life is way too short. I know that I will never work though my personal quilty bucket list. I'm not going to waste time working on a project I've grown to dislike simply because I started it.  Put it away, re-purpose it as something else, destash it, or gift it to a quilty friend who loves that kind of project. Whatever you do, don't allow the idea of a finished project shackle you to working on something that saps your joy.

I am so thankful for the week that I've been able to spend with you. I released my very first pattern (Eeek!!), I got crazy sick, I took you on a trip to the Fort Worth Modern Quilt Guild meeting, and I was honest about who I am and how I like to create. If you want to keep up with me and my crazy antics, you can follow me on Instagram and Twitter @jrshules and my personal blog Rae's Making It. Thank you for following along. I can't wait to see what Week 29's quilter has in store for us. See you all out on the interwebs!!

Post by Raeann - Week #28: 

Raeann is a wife, mom, nerd, nurse, and obsessive creator from Fort Worth TX. She loves reading, wearing glasses, and Nathan Fillion, hates mosquitoes and waiting for Sherlock to return, and is hopelessly addicted to social media. Follow along on Instagram at @jrshules.

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