Tuesday, February 26, 2013

My Bags are Packed, I'm Ready to Go...

I spent a lot of time prepping and packing my applique bag for my upcoming workshop on Sunday with Karen Kay Buckley. Hours. No, days. I'm the Mary Poppins of the applique world, and this is my carpetbag. If you can use it for applique, it is in one of the pouches, pockets, sections of this bag......Thread Heaven? Check. More than 60 but less than 100 different applique needles? Check. 15 different fabric marking pencils and an 8-pack of Frixion markers? Check. You get the picture....I'd unpack it all for you to see, but then it would take me another couple of days to repack it, and I'd miss the workshop,  so you'll just have to trust me on this.

I've selected/obsessed for days over batiks as the fabric or this project, which is Block 3 from her Magical Medallions Quilt. Not exactly the block I'd choose, but it's a Guild workshop, so that decision was made for us.  Whatever. I just tell myself that it's not really about the block, it's about taking a workshop taught by Karen Kay Buckley. Basically, I could applique dead leaves to paper towels and I'd be just as enthusiastic.

If you follow me on Facebook you know that I've finally finished the last three (hand embroidered) blocks of the 2012 Aurifil Designer's Block a Month.

Here's a quick recap of the 12.  What's that you say? That October block sticks out like a sore thumb, eh? Yes, this is most definitely a case of 'one bad apple can spoil the whole bunch, girl'. (Thank you, Michael Jackson for the fact that I shall now be singing this little tune in my head for the next week)

Yes, the orange and black is totally seasonal, yes, it's cute, yes, it makes the block look great, but.....

It's gotta go. Rip, rip, rip, and it's gone from the finished pile to the unfinished pile. I'll satin stitch some new recognizable candy corns and go back through the Moda Sassy layer cake and pick some fabrics more in tune with the other blocks. And then we shall come up with a setting. After that, I have no idea what I'm going to do with this. It was just one of those 'fun to make' projects. Who knows, maybe I can finish it in time to hang in the quilt show next month (maniacal laughter ensues).

Speaking of fun projects, how about those  wool applique banners I'm still behind on. That's November...totally finished, on the left. And January needs a backing and an all around blanket stitch and it's done (This is testament to why you should always have some 'applique to go' projects packaged and ready to go....I finished up both of these in the Emergency Room on Sunday while attached to an IV antibiotic drip.) Anyways, I haven't laid a stitch to December, and March (the last one in my series) hasn't been cut yet. So, if you see me at the Sew Cherished booth at Lancaster this year, come smack me upside the head before I sign up for another year of these (and you know I will do that).

Since nearly having my life flash before me this weekend (actually, it was just an out of control dental infection), I have swung full speed ahead into applique mode. Today I prepped the last block of Aunt Millie's Patio Garden (Becky Goldsmith), and I've managed to complete 3 of the 4 blocks, over an equal number of years. Now, bear in mind that I began this project when I first learned that applique was more than blanket stitching the edges of fabric I'd fused down--sign me up!!  In fact, the first three blocks in this were done with freezer paper adhered to the wrong side of the fabric, 1/4" edges pressed in (and fingers burned) using spray starch sprayed into the cap and applied to the fabric with a paintbrush. (No wonder it took 3 years to make 3 blocks). Fortunately, having successfully completed a year-long workshop with Mimi Dietrich, has quieted that finger scorching Niagara Spray Starch madwoman inside me, and this last blockwill be strictly needleturn, with Perfect Circle berries. Should go a lot faster.

I've jumped ship on Vintage Rouge for the moment. Sewing that crease in the backing took the wind out of my sails. Yes, I slapped her back on the table and put a million freaking safety pins into her that will have to be painstakingly removed, which might explain my sudden lack of enthusiasm to finish her. But she's done enough to take a photo and a measurement to register for the Guild's annual show (forms are due next week), so no rush. Show turn-in is mid-April. She will likely be the only quilt I hang, but for some insane reason, I'm okay with that. ....... Oh doctor........

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