|Finishing the Last Petal!|
|Only enough of this fabric for two blocks|
|All 9 Blocks on the Wall|
Once I had pieced together all of the block backgrounds, it was time to turn my attention to the stems.
|Stem Factory with the Clover 1/4" Bias Tape Maker|
I made all 32 of my stems with that little Clover tool a few days ago, cutting half inch strips of fabric on the straight of grain and then feeding them through the big end of the little green gizmo with the iron riding along next to the skinny end to press the stems flat as the folded fabric came out. The long strips of fabric came out nice and flat and smooth, like magic, and I cut them into 6" stems for my blocks. I put all of my stems into a Ziplock baggy in case humidity in the air might soften the creases overnight, but in the morning I found that they had all started opening up anyway and needed to be pressed again before I could use them. Grrr! I wonder if starching the fabric ahead of time would have helped with that, or if you just really need to use the stems immediately after making them? I don't recall having this issue when I made the stems for my first block, but that was a year ago and I was only making the four little stems at that time, not a whole batch of them. I probably took them straight from the ironing board and glued them to the block immediately. Having to fiddle with the turned edges and press each stem again before using it is really slowing me down.
So anyway, I made myself a bunch of little stems, and now I'm trying to glue baste them to the blocks with my handy dandy vinyl placement overlay as per the Piece O'Cake method. Except that once I have my stems positioned just right, I have to lift the overlay and lift the stems themselves in order to glue them in place and they keep MOVING! This is SO not working. There has to be an easier way. I considered using my my light box with the vinyl drawing UNDER my block, but my light box is too small to fit the entire block and I can't see through the brown fabrics well enough, anyway. I did press diagonal crease lines in my blocks but they aren't helping much because I can't see the creases under the bright light at my work table and I can't feel the creases through the vinyl overlay. So I'm just plodding along this way, getting the stems glued down as accurately as I can, and hoping for the best!
|There MUST be an Easier Way...|
-- Ooh, I just this minute had an epiphany! Maybe it would be easier and better in the long run if I waited to add the stems until AFTER I had stitched my stacked petals to the block backgrounds? Then the stems won't be in the way when I'm needle turning the petal edges adjacent to them, and I can use the edges of the petals and the diagonal crease lines to position the stems instead of trying to fiddle around with the overlay? See, that's why I blog about this stuff even if no one else is reading it. Sometimes I can stare at a problem and think about it all day long, and the answer doesn't come to me until I wrestle with it in writing.
New plan! I'm going to stitch the stems down on the two blocks that I have already glue basted. Then I'm going to starch the rest of the stems, press them super flat, and store them in a Ziplock bag with all of the air squeezed out of it so that hopefully they stay flat. And then I'm going to:
- Pin and needle turn all of my stacked petals to all of my blocks
- Glue baste and stitch all of my stems to all of my blocks
- Make all of my stacked circle centers off block (starch and press prepared applique with circle templates)
- Glue baste and stitch all of my centers to all of my blocks
- Make the reverse appliqued tulips off block
- Needle turn all of the tulips to all of my blocks
- Needle turn all of my leaves to all of my blocks
- Make all of my broderie perse rose buds off block using glue stick and Jeanne Sullivan's Patch Back product (thank you, Jeanne!)
- Glue baste and stitch all of my rose buds to all of my blocks
- Make all of my fussy-cut stuffed berries off block using circle templates
- Glue baste and stitch all of my stuffed berries to all of my blocks
|Gene Kelly in Singin' In the Rain (1952)|
I'm linking up with Let's Bee Social at Sew Fresh Quilts, WIPs on Wednesday at Esther's Blog, and Needle and Thread Thursday at My Quilt Infatuation. Happy Thursday, happy stitching, and have a great weekend, everyone!