Saturday, May 1, 2010

Quilting with blinkers on

I've decided to knuckle down with just a few projects at a time in the hopes that I can work faster towards an elusive finish line. I have my blinkers on and I'm not going to listen to tempting thoughts on quilt alongs, blocks of the month or the myriad of projects in the sewing room that deafen me with their calls of pick me, pick me.

First thing I decided was which project was the one that I was going to love working on the very most and the Stars and Sprigs won in the applique section. Great choice because now I have the third row of nine done.

I've been trying to make use of my Kaffe scrap box for applique pieces, I love digging around in it and finding just the right piece. The only pieces I would throw out would have be tiny.
And I have to tell you about some exciting purchases that have come in the last week. I plan to make some more of the thimble rings I posted about last time so ordered these Japanese silk threads, love the box!
Love the colours!
Beautiful Ikats from Glorious Color
Stunning shot cottons also from Glorious Color, better than a box of crayons. Now you know why I'm on a silly budget. I do have plans for some additons to complement these fabrics but they'll have to wait.
I thought I'd just try and post an applique tip now and again for those who might be interested. It might provide a little insight in how I tackle things.

First up, invisible stitches.
I don't take my stitch in the background directly across from where the thread comes out., I think that the stitch would show. Instead, I insert the tip of needle into the background behind the thread just stitched and slightly under the seam allowance.

When I come up into the applique piece again, I aim to come up at the bottom of the seam allowance, not into the applique. So aim for the seam allowance and see if that makes a difference to the stitches. When I take that stitch, I'm only picking up two or three threads on the needle.

For the following photos, you can click on them to get an even closer look. Often with the Kaffe Fassett fabrics, thay have more than just one colour, I choose thread to match the dominant colour or go for a tan or grey thread. I love to use Mettler cotton, 60 weight embroidery thread.
For this one, I chose a gold.
This one was stitched with a tan thread.
I'll see you next time with an update on how I'm going. Until then, happy stitching!

54 comments:

Mimi said...

I am loving your floral blocks!!

Danielle said...

They look beautiful... I enlarged the pictures, and i can't even see one stitch! Just lovely... any chance you could post a few pictures of your explanation of how you achieve them? Thanks!

Dee said...

wow your applique is incredible!
i love the fabrics and i really love the silk threads. where do the threads comee come?

Thimbleanna said...

Gorgeous applique Janet! Thanks for the tip. I'm itching to get back to my years (and years) old applique, but I have too much going on right now. Pass the blinders please!

Dixie said...

Your stars and sprigs is so gorgeous. Thanks for the applique tips - your applique is amazing. Multi colored fabrics can be a challenge to decide what color of thread to use, and I agree, good to use a neutral.

sharon said...

That quilt is going to be amazing! If you need more shot cottons or Kaffe fabrics or Amy Butler www.somewheresewing.com is having a sale on them this weekend at $5.00 a yard! Not a huge selection like glorious colours but at that price I couldn't pass it up!
If I had a blog I would post it, and LOL I have no conection to the store, just passing on a good sale. Yours Sharonj.

Karen said...

Beautiful silk thread! Tell me, where did you purchase your blinders? LOL.

kmcl said...

Wow Janet, the sprigs are looking great!! Cheers, Kim McLean

Copper Patch said...

Your applique is brilliant. I'd love to see some pics to go with your description of how you do your stitches. I can see why you need a budget with all of your lovely purchases :o)
Abbe

jean said...

Good Luck Janet , staying focused is not that easy you know. There are many temptations out there and sometimes a diversion is just what the doctor ordered.
Love the colours and your stitching is impecable

sewjournal said...

What great blocks! I too love Kaffe Fasset fabrics. Take a look at my Kaffe for All Seasonsquilt that I'm trying to finish.

Those Ikats and Shot Cottons are so tempting, not to mention the delicious Japanese silks.

Keep those blinkers on. You're doing great!

sewjournal said...

Sorry the link in my last post didn't work. I forgot the http:// and Blogger thought it was one of its pages. Here's the right link to Kaffe for all Seasons
Cheers
Munaiba

Marieke said...

What a beautiful blocks, you've made. And you describe how you do your applique very well. Thank you. I understand your dilemma: wich projects to choose, so you can finish some in a certain timeline. I assume the klosjes are not one of the projects you work on at the moment?

Deb said...

Excellent choice of project. Have just seen the original at AQC - and yours will be a truly beautiful version. Good luck resisting temptation - especially when all those lovely threads and cottons are beckoning!

Shirley said...

We were asked to hand in our list of what we would be showing at our forthcoming exhibition and I hit a brick wall!!! Surely I have more than one quilt to show for the past 3 years!! I have been busy this week trying to do more blocks for my selvedge quilt. Hopefully I can finish this so that I don't disgrace myself completely. I did think that I may arrange my UFO's/WIP'S artfully in a corner!!! Ha!
Stay focused.
Shirley.

Kathie said...

you can do it!
this quilt is going to be amazing when its done
I just love STARS!
oh those shot cottons are beautiful......
I was tempted to order them too!
Kathie

Frauke said...

that is springtime with this wonderfull colours
Frauke

Sue-Anne said...

Janet your applique is beautiful - I cannot see a stitch, thanks for the tip.

I saw Kim McLean's Sprigs and Stars quilt in Melbourne yesterday and took a photo especially for you. I will post it on my blog next post. It is a gorgeous quilt and yours is going to look absolutely beautiful.

Stephanie said...

What a colorful post. Gorgeous Kaffe...definitely like a box of crayons. Beautiful quilt. Best of luck with your "blinkers". I am weak! :o) Thank you for sharing your "how to" invisible applique stitches. Perfection.

Kaaren said...

Don't those colors just make your heart sing?

I'm trying to do the same thing, Janet. Concentrate on one or two projects only. When I see progress, it gives me the incentive to press on.

Stars? Did I see stars? I love anything with stars so I was hooked at first glance!

Thanks for the invisible applique hints. Your explanation is perfect!

Nedra said...

You do such beautiful work. I would love to sit next to you for a few hours and just watch your technique. Love, love, love all those Kaffes and you have highlighted them so well in the appliqued flowers.

Jackie said...

I can see why you love those threads just beautiful! Love the Ikats and shot cottons. I am just starting to stock the Ikats in my shop. They are wonderful. Your applique is just wonderful! The stitching is perfection.

Sally said...

Amazing work. Thank you for the close-ups and explanation. Can't wait to see it done.

sewpam63 said...

I'm in LOVE!!! That scrap box of Kaffe deliciousness is to die for! Those silk threads are a veritable rainbow in a box! The ikats? Gorgeous! And your applique stitches are INVISIBLE!!! What a brilliant and inspiring post! ; ) Oh, let's not forget about those FABulous Stars and Sprigs blocks either - SmAsHiNg!!!

Crispy said...

So many lovely, colorful pictures today. I always love looking at the fabrics you use. You always manage to come up with those perfect pieces :0)

Crispy

Fiesta said...

wow thanks for the tip on those invible stitches. I will be trying that today!

Cathy said...

Thanks for the tip on making applique stitches. Your stitches are invisible to me, so I will be trying your technique.

Lori said...

I love the stars and sprigs and I do know that once you get focused you move quite quickly!!
Beauful threads, beautiful fabric...What a bright happy post!!!

be*mused jan said...

No need to look at any more blogs today...I've gotten my fill of inspiration right here!
Your blocks continue to delight. This quilt will be a stunner. The shot cotton photo is terrific.
BTW, I was thumbing through some
magazines last week at the Japanese bookstore and glimpsed a photo of the kimono thimbles in a small ad. I knew that was going to happen!

Sharon said...

Great plan. Some times I have to stop and regroup like this and having some finishes is really motivating. Love your sprigs, you are doing an amazing job recreating this pattern.

Barb said...

Your blinkers are making me dizzy...you sure have alot going on there....just love what you chose to work on first.

quazyquilter said...

Your quilt is going to be lovely. I love the bright fabrics against the white. Very stunning!

Darlene said...

Always so much eye-candy when I visit with you. Sigh! You are a true inspiration.

Good luck with your blinkers and I'll be waiting to hear if they really work. LOL

pamina said...

Love you appliqué blocks Janet, beautiful with these Kaffe Fassett fabrics

Loris said...

Your applique is so beautiful. Thank you so much for the tips. I am working on a small applique project this weekend and will give your tips a try.

Sam said...

Such a beautiful quilt. Thanks for sharing.

SewCalGal said...

Beautiful fabrics and colors. Can't wait to see this quilt when it is finished. Going to be spectacular!

SewCalGal
www.sewcalgal.blogspot.com

*karendianne. said...

Stars and Sprigs is definitely a favorite! Great choice. And I have to tell you that sharing these exciting purchases is a real delight. First, I love the thimble rings and second those Japanese silk threads (they arrived in that box, wow!) are touchable and delectable. Love the colors is right, Janet. How prettttty. The shot cottons are an array of beauty. As a matter of fact this entire post is divinity. Thank you for sharing and I think also - thank you for putting on your blinkers. Works great already.

Julia said...

Wow Janet..the star blocks are beautiful..that's going to be some quilt!!
I have quite a few silk threads like that bought years ago as a bulk lot on Ebay...now I know what to do with them!
Thanks Janet. another inspiring post..
Julia ♥

Karen said...

Your sprig blocks are stunning!! The Kaffe fabric is perfect. I have never heard of doing an applique stitch this way. I'm going to try it - your stitches really are invisible. Thanks for sharing.

Karen said...

Your sprig blocks are stunning!! The Kaffe fabric is perfect. I have never heard of doing an applique stitch this way. I'm going to try it - your stitches really are invisible. Thanks for sharing.

Karen said...

Your sprig blocks are stunning!! The Kaffe fabric is perfect. I have never heard of doing an applique stitch this way. I'm going to try it - your stitches really are invisible. Thanks for sharing.

Karen said...

The box of silk threads looks so good! All those yummy colors.

imquilternity said...

Exquisite applique!! You do beautiful work, as I'm sure I've mentioned before! The shot cottons are gorgeous aren't they? BTW, I just saw the new solids from Free Spirit and they are wonderful!

Joan said...

Wow and Wow again. Just love your silks. Your appoique is quite stunning...I couldnt even see the stitches. Great expalanation too...Loved the fabrics - loved the stars. No wonder you need blinkers - please tell me where you got the from LOL. I think I shall put my applique back in its box :) Wonderful post - its great to share it with you

Notjustnat said...

Thanks for the appliqué lesson Janet. Your stars and sprigs is coming a long beautifully. I saw the original quilt yesterday at the AQC in Melbourne. I was so thrilled to see it. Enjoy your purchases - Hugs Nat

alobsiger said...

OHMYGOODNESS, Janet! Just look at your applique stitches! No, wait, I can't look at your applique stitches because they are invisible! I aspire! Amazing! Your blocks are looking delicious as are your purchases! Wiping the drool off. Don't you love those ikats?! Wouldn't they make great applique backgrounds? And those threads...yummy!

Janet said...

Starting a new project is exciting but finishing one is exciting too. Good luck with your blinkers :0) I sure like your stars and sprigs so far - your applique is perfect! Your new fabrics and threads are beautiful - I can't wait to see what you make with them!

wishes, true and kind said...

What beautiful purchases you made, budget or no. I'm really wanting to invest in some shot cottons.

joan

Carrie P. said...

Good thinking! I am trying not to be distracted either. Beautiful flower blocks.
and oh! those threads and fabrics, very pretty.

Barb said...

The Kaffee fabrics are so wonderful for your applique' I have to admit, it would never have occurred to me to use them that way. I really love that it's not the typical "kaffe quilt" look. Bravo!
Those silk threads look delicious

Kim D. said...

All such beautiful blocks, love the silk thread and the colorful fabrics. Those sew alongs are so tempting, but I'm trying to keep focused as well and get my projects done.

Nanette Merrill and daughters said...

I love all these colors. They are beautiful. Color like this just inspires me. I'm attracted more to plains lately.

ErkerM said...

Hello - love your sprigs (and everything else, as well!). If you think about it, I'd love to see the reverse side of your applique - I'm not sure if I am making sense of your tips or not, but seeing the back might help. THANKS! Michele in Alabama