Monday, March 22, 2010

Has it Sprung?

Has Spring sprung where you are? It has here. While dropping a few degrees the last two days, there is no mistaking it. Gibby and I saw these on our morning walk today.As you know, I am no gardener, so I don't know what they are. What I do know is that things are sprouting all over and the days are getting longer. It's about time. It made me think of quilts like these

Tulips. They were all over the market this weekend, but I haven't seen any popping up from the ground yet. Soon, I'm sure.

There were some questions about my berry project. I am done making my ***(number not to be revealed so not to cause shock to the non appliquers) berries. There isn't much too it. I will describe it as best I can.The toughest part was getting a photo in focus. My berries are 5/8" across. I drew out the 5/8"
circles - using a circle template found at any office supply store. I drew them on cardstock and cut them out. This was the least fun thing about the project. I am ignorant of scrapbooking, but if you are a scrapbooker, I'm sure there is a way to cut these babies out quickly and perfectly. Anyways, once cut out, I used the circle template to draw bigger circles onto my fabric. About 1/8" wider all the way around. These can be cut quickly as you don't have to try to be perfect with these. Your berry shape will come from the cardboard circle - these you have to try to be a little more accurate on. Once these are cut - you sew a running stitch around each circle just inside the cut edge. Cinch up the fabric circle around your cardboard template tightly and tie a knot. This was the enjoyable part of the project. It's very portable and I made my berries in the car and in front of the tv.

When you are ready to applique your berries onto your quilt top, take them to your ironing board and give them a spray with spray starch and press. Snip the thread of the running stitch and loosen the thread and take out the cardboard circle. The berry should snap back into shape and it is ready to be appliqued.

I have never used this technique before. I an a needle-turn appliquer and have needle turned all my circles. It is a bit more slow going than needle-turning other shapes. The advantage of needle-turn is that there is no prep for the applique shapes. But.... these berries were so small (and a little more difficult to needle-turn) and I needed so many, that I tried this technique. I am happy that I did. My berries are ROUND and now that I am sewing them down on my quilt top - the process is very speedy.

Honestly, they are more ROUND than if I had needle-turned them. I am kind of liking this even though it goes against my grain. I try not to get caught up in "perfection" quiltmaking. It's counter productive in the long run. Second guessing every imperfection (in our opinion) just means that less quilts get made, and less adventuresome quilts get made. Whenever I get stalled over a quilting decision or thinking my technique or fabric choice just isn't good enough, I go back and look at my favorite quilts. Almost every one of them is way less than perfect, all of them make up for it in exuberance and joy. This one is a prime example.Have a joyful day.



Cathy said...

I like your philosophy of not worrying about perfection; be adventurous and make up for it with exuberance and joy. I will try to keep it in mind. I am trying to be more adventurous in my quilting.

Susan W said...

Joyful, joyful! Many thanks for the info on your berries. I made a double batch of tomato sauce this morning and have it simmering on low heat. Two main dishes = more time to make some berries! I'm sure they will find a good home somewhere in my quilting house.Enjoyed your complete discription as how to go about making these delicious red berries to adorn our quilts!

kjquilts said...

Last week it was spring here in TX. This week it snowed!

I like your idea for the circles except the cutting out part. I use one of those hole punches the scrapbookers use. It goes a lot quicker.

Janet said...

Great tulip quilts! I love them.

Mary Grace McNamara said...

Spring started to spring here in New England over the past few days, but then today we were back to cold, wet and miserable! Good thing I got to stay in and play with fabric all day! I just finished a custom purse using one of your fabrics along with some French General, which I'll be showing on my site soon. It was a pleasure to work with.

I love your berries! And the tulip quilts are gorgeous!


Ginny Worden said...

Perhaps you would like Karen Kay Buckley's Perfect Circles, no drawing, no cutting of cardstock, just get started. Makes great circles.

Vicky said...

Something is blooming year-round out here. I miss the seasons. I'm a needle turner, too, but I suspect on this project, if it's going to be a pattern, I'll be using your technique. Did it this way once or twice, and you're right; the cutting was the worst part.

Anonymous said...

I second the motion on Karen Kay Buckley's Perfect circles. There is 4 of the same size of each circle, you press with the iron and spray starch and when you take out the template they stay that way-Perfect! Less time consuming than card stock. They applique down in a snap! I love to needle turn and used the card stock before I found these. Now I am a convert! Happy Stitching!
~Joyce in MI

be*mused jan said...

Isn't that the truth about old quilts? What they lack in precision they more than make up in visual energy!
Can't wait to see your berry applique. The more the merrier, I say!

Anonymous said...

Laurie - Thanks for walking us through the berry tutorial - always fun to learn something new! BTW - your lovely little yellow flowers are Winter Aconite -and they look lovely!

Kathy said...

Good Morning! I was scouring my catalogs and found that your lovely little flowers are called Winter Aconite. They grow well, along with Snowdrops in the northern climates. They are abundant in New England, as well as in the northern tier of states on into Canada. They certainly are a welcomed sight after a long, cold winter.

Anonymous said...

Berries,berries... I bought a 3/4" hole punch for about $5, used it on freezer paper, ironed the berries on & they promptly fell off the fabric as I trimmed to 3/8inch. I've tried the metal washers & the plastic washers where you use spray starch & iron. I usually burn my fingertips. Guess I'll hole punch some cardstock.
My crocus are blooming in 32 degree spring weather. We had snow last night! It may help the daffodils.

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