Friday, January 30, 2015

Month 1 of The Austin Bluebird Sampler

I will be checking in every once in awhile and show you some hints and technique to make the Austin Bluebird Sampler.  The first month has the big appliqué block with the bird in the cherry and pear tree.  I thought I'd post some pictures of how I did it.  I will also show how I enlarged the design without resorting to a printer.
We are dealing with just the appliqué right now.  The templates for the bird, leaves, pears, cherries, and such are all FULL SIZE in your pattern instructions.  What is not full size is the whole diagram. If you choose to enlarge it either on your home printer or at a office supply store - that is certainly one way to go.  With an appliqué this simple (yes - simple!) I choose to only draw the vine onto my background piece of fabric.  Since the other shapes are printed full size in your directions - they are ready to go.  This is how I go about tracing the full size vine (or tree branch) onto the background fabric.

I have drawn an 18" square onto graph paper. This is the diagram of this 18" block on the left.

Next, (I know this is hard to see - sorry) I have placed a dot onto the corresponding square where the vine crosses a grid line on the graph paper.  The small picture is on a graph - and the corresponding larger graph now has the dots where the vine crosses the large lines.  Just deal with the vine - not any other shapes. Now I just connect the dots....

Now my vine is drawn full size onto the 18" square.  This dark line is easily traced onto my 19" square background fabric using a light box or just tracing - since the background fabric is so light.  This is the only thing I draw onto my background fabric.  I draw it in light pencil or a washable marker.  This is the hardest part - and now it's over with.  Whew!

Looking at the diagram I see the first thing I need to appliqué is the bird.  Once the bird is sewn in place, the vine covers the bottom of it's feet.  In a futile, yet never-ending attempt to tackle my scrap box, this version of the Austin Bluebird Sampler is scrappy.

Now I place the horizontal vines next and sew them into place.

The vertical part of the vine is next, covering the raw ends of the horizontal vines.  Note that the branch with the bird, the upper right branch and the bottom vertical part of the vine needs to be appliquéd on all the edges - not just the long ones.  They are not covered by another appliqué piece.

Next I cut out all the other shapes.  You will see by the diagram that they all are placed on or around the vine.  You can place them by eye.  No surgical accuracy is needed - this is simple, folk art appliqué.  Just plop them down with the diagram as your guide and stitch in place.

The last thing I sew down is the berries (just my choice).  I make berries this way........

I cut out the circle shapes out of a heavy paper or card stock.  You may have card stock that you use in your home printer.  If not - never fear - you will have some of these.  Use those card inserts that are in all your magazines.  I cut out the circles (if you have a paper punch from the scrap booking store - these are quite nifty).  I also cut out fabric circle that are about 1/4" bigger all the way around.
This step is rather forgiving.  As you can see my fabric circles are not perfect, while my paper punched card stock ones are.  The next step is to take a running stitch all around the fabric circle about 1/8" in from the edge.  Gather the thread and snug it tight.  
This is the back side of the circles.  They are a bit un-tidy, but no fear - they are perfect on the other side.  Now I take these to my ironing board and spritz them with a bit of spray starch of Best Press.  I press them.  Once they are cool and dry, I snip the basting stitches and pull out the card stock circle.

Because of the pressing, the circles will keep their shape and you can easily applique a perfect circle down as your berry!

Here is my first appliqué block all ready to be trimmed down to exactly 18 1/2" square.

Laters

Laurie

18 comments:

Janet said...

Great tutorial. Love the blue fabrics. Which fabric line is it? Thank you for sharing.

MahSistersQuiltTrunk said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
MahSistersQuiltTrunk said...

Perfect tutorial Laurie. Thank you.💟

Jayne Honnold said...

Looks fantastic, Laurie! Great little mini-lesson, too! Thanks!

MahSistersQuiltTrunk said...

Tried to delete the two ?? I put pink hearts there and I guess they were not readable. Lol

MahSistersQuiltTrunk said...

Tried to delete the two ?? I put pink hearts there and I guess they were not readable. Lol

Helen said...

Thanks for the tutorial! I especially like your tips for how to expand the design without a copier.

audrey said...

Love this in the blues!

YankeeQuilter said...

nice tutorial! love the block done in all blues...

Karen in Breezy Point said...

I love it in the blues!!

Sue Johnson said...

I love it in the blues, too. Of course I'm a sucker for anything blue and white.

One question, did you do the stems on the cherries last? And what stitch do you use for them? Just a stem stitch?

Laurie said...

Sue - Yes, I did the cherry stems last. I did use a stem stitch and used Aurifil 12wt thread - one strand. You could use 12wt pearl cotton or several strands of embroidery floss.

Rosa said...

Awesome tuto and block.Thanks you!

Sue Johnson said...

Thanks, Laurie. I got several pieces basted on tonight already and have made all the circles for the berries. Now that I know how you did the stems, I can go ahead and appliqué them down.

farmhousequilter8 said...

Laurie, As of right now is your last line of fabric Crazy for Red? If so, do you have the name for the next line? I have an on going project just using your fabrics. Thanks Paula in KY

Unknown said...

One the cherry templates.... you can punch a hole in the middle so that when it is time to remove the paper you can pop it out with a seam ripper or scissor points - no need to remove the basting.

Anonymous said...

Several ladies in our class have used a copy store to have the applique patterns enlarged. The patterns don't seem to come out the correct size. Are there specific instructions, other than the % that should be given before they are enlarged?

Laurie said...

@ anonymous....

300% is correct. The only other instructions are what I just described in this post - drawing the vine by the grid method onto an 18" square paper. Let me know if I can be of any more help.

Laurie

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