Wednesday, July 23, 2008

BeAttitudes Block 1 - January

I do try to resist signing up for Block of the Month projects and swaps because I just know that I won't finish on time, and then I'll be stressed out. But this year I think my resistance has been a bit low and I have signed up for too many projects! Here is one of them - the BeAttitudes quilt. (You can read about my beginning of the quilt here.) On the left is the base of block one. On the right is the snowman and words all fused into place. I am getting quite handy with the fusing - and have a clean iron to prove it!!!
I thought this BOM would be a good project for getting to know my Janome Jem Platinum better. It was my first attempt at the buttonhole (or anything other than straight!) stitch since I got this machine for Christmas. It sure took a lot of getting used to, especially figuring out how to turn the corners. I decided to use a water soluble stabilizer on the back since the block was puckering up quite a bit. But I need to shop for some more since I could only find small leftover pieces to do the stitching of the various parts of the snowwoman. Oh well, it worked out fine.
I wasn't sure how to deal with all these threads, so I just left them where they were and then pulled them all to the back of the block, made knots and hand stitched the ends. It was a lot of stopping and starting, and therefore lots of threads to sew in. Does anyone have any tips about how to do this in an easier way?!?
Here is the January block finished! Yes I know it is July, but hey, it only started recently (that's my story and I'm sticking to it!). The pattern calls for embellishments (like a carrot nose for the snowwoman) and I know they have the original Nancy Halvorsen buttons at Keepsake Quilting. I am still trying to decide if I would enjoy shopping for my own embellishments or buy the package.

7 comments:

Gina said...

He is so cute.

I just pull the top thread to the back and tie it off.

Love and hugs Gina xxx

Connie W said...

I need to follow your example and try more machine applique. I love doing it by hand but the idea of making more things in the time saved sounds great. Your snowman looks very cute.

Libby said...

Darling block. I usuallly like finding my own things . . . but that button set might just be the time to let go *s*

julieQ said...

What a lovely block, I really like your fabrics. I am hand-stitching mine, because I can't get my machine to do a smooth button hole stitch. Onward to the next block!!

Jacqui's Quilts said...

Hi Kathy:

Nice block and I like the stitches. I didn't realize the Janome Gem had a buttonhole stitch! Does that mean I need another sewing machine? LOL

Would it work to sew a couple stitches with the stitch length set to '0'? I'm just thinking off the top of my head here...I don't have that feature on any of my machines, so this might be a totally unworkable idea. I have done this with the blind stitch on my Omega, but it's a long time ago, so memory may be foggy!

Jacqui

Debi said...

What an adorable snowman, I have the same pattern...somewhere!

T said...

Adorable project - I love most things Halvorsen!

About those stops and starts: Make use of your straight stitch and go back over where you've been. I have the picture open while I'm writing this, so go ahead and sing along :-)

On the hat, you can start at the base of the red (on the snowman's right), go up to the tip, come back down to the brown brim. Don't cut the thread or take the piece from the machine. Mirror your stitch and continue along the top of the hat brim and all around it - you'll end up where you began the mirror stitch.

Again, don't take it out - touch the straight-stitch button and go back down the hat brim (on the snowman's left) to the scarf. Switch the stitch back to buttonhole, go across the top of the scarf and around to the hanging down part of the scarf. Go across just to the left edge of the hanging down scarf, then switch to straight stitch and go back to the right side of the hanging down scarf. Buttonhole up, go around the hanging down scarf, up to finish off the rest of the scarf.

You can actually do the entire snowman, clothes and all, without cutting your thread.

The letters are another story, because they're not touching. At the end of the stitching on each letter, take a couple of straight stitches to anchor the threads.

If you're stitching on the top only and not using the buttonhole for quilting purposes, don't cut the bobbin thread between letters, just cut the top thread even with the quilt top. Keeping the bobbin thread in one piece will make it so your stitching doesn't pull out easily.

Phew! Now, go forth and conquer!