Sunday, August 04, 2013

Can you teach an old dog new tricks?!?

Photo from See-Creative
I want to like applique, so the only way is to practice and become more efficient.  But is it really possible to teach an old dog new tricks?!?
I read all the wonderful and informative comments on my whiney post last week and am determined to try more of the methods that were described. I loved it when people commiserated with me... especially Kate who said she avoids applique "like the plague"!!! LOL 

I started with one of the Votes For Women blocks that I had previously skipped over because it looked too hard. Now, fueled by determination and information, I made block #4 Kansas Sunflower all by hand! 
And it lays flat! 

And I like it! AND I had fun! 
I especially like how I fussy cut the striped fabric which gives the block a lot of movement and energy.

This was my favorite part...hand piecing all these tiny bits.
It's a win-win situation in hand stitching land!

I hand stitched the 27 center pieces (did I mention that it laid flat?!? woohoo!) and then I stitched together the frame/corners. Then I tried the starch method to iron the edges of the curves under using the tutorial that Dea told me about which you can read over at Sew Mama Sew
I enjoyed the process of "painting" the starch on the seam allowances and it seemed to work well, but I had to stretch the frame a bit to make sure I didn't lose the star points.

Here is the block from the back. All the seams are laying so beautifully. I am a little worried about some of the seam allowances being too narrow on the curves.  
But I am definitely one happy camper....or should I say appliquer!!?! This old dog definitely learned some new tricks this week!
What are you hand stitching today? Post a link to your blog post below and share your project with us.


Anonymous said...

Kathy, your block is beautiful and lying so flat :-).
I'm glad my tip helped. I also have a bit of a 'glue to fabric' phobia LOL.
Have a great week,

Barb said...

great technique - I want to try this one!

Kate said...

I tried that block when it was first published and failed spectacularly with it. Yours looks wonderful. Good for you for taking the time to learn new tricks. I'm going to wimp out on that one and make a substitution. My love of blocks pieced from templates is right up there with my "love" of applique.

Ellen said...

High five girl - your block turned out wonderful! I love the process of hand piecing (and appliqueing) even though it can take a little more time the results are so worth it.

Deb A said...

That came out awesome Kathy! Great job. I actually enjoyed doing that one once I got the nerve up to try it. I did the last two weeks of the blocks yesterday. Just have that scary one you posted about last week - week 47 I think. I am going to try and back baste it and see how that works.

Barb said...

JUst looks fabulous!

Vicky said...

You're my hero du jour!!! I love needle turn applique, but it's the hand piecing that I'm trying to learn and failing miserably at! Love your block! You rock!

Debra said...

Great job! I especially like the fact that you had fun too! Keep up the good work. I love needleturn applique, but need to practice hand piecing - you are an inspiration.

Deanna W said...

It lies flat...whoohooo!!! Good for you for hanging in there and with determination getting the block done. I knew you could do it. Maybe we need a FNSI with only applique!! wink wink!!
Any thing is possible and it lies flat!!

Judy D in WA said...

It's perfect. :) Way to stick with it.
You almost make me want to go back and try again. Almost. ;)

Teresa in Music City said...

Congratulations! Your block is beautiful and, of course, even better because you enjoyed doing it! I have a good friend who never does "The *A* word" LOL!!! But I've learned to really enjoy applique by using the starch method. It works for me and I no longer have to avoid blocks I love just because they are applique. I'm really glad you are finding "your way" to do applique and enjoy it!!!

Angie said...

Looks wonderful! I have yet to tackle that one, so you've inspired me!

Carla A Few Of My Favorite Things said...

I love your hand pieced block! You did an awesome job. As I have said in the past piecing it not my strong point, but I just ordered a book on hand piecing, hopeing I can stitch a block like this one day and have fun!

libbyquilter said...

beautifully done~!!~
love the colors and fabrics that you chose as well as the way that you positioned them for the block~!


audrey said...

Very nice! I had to laugh about the applique because I LOVE applique and you do free motion quilting which is very scary to me.:)

Janet O. said...

Wow--I am impressed, Kathy! What a great block. You can tackle anything now! : )

sophie said...

Your block is beautiful. I think it's always SO worth it to try new things ... even if you ever only try it once (and decide it's not for you). Last night, I back basted the applique piece I linked. Although it takes some time, I think it's a good approach for some things and will likely use it again.

Andee said...

This block looks great! Love the colors and the determination!