Friday, December 23, 2011

Cherry Bomb

Emphasis on the bomb. And not in that good 'da bomb' way but in the 'Wow. I really bombed on that one' way. Yes, it's my next quilt block. Or quilt mess. Me no likey.

This week we were doing applique. The hard kind that my grandma does and enjoys. The kind where you hand sew it and take your time and that my psyche was not built for. There were several different methods, for which I watched all the videos. But one of them required freezer paper, of which I have none and was not trekking to the store just for a few inches of it, so I skipped that method. I chose to do the needle turn method and the gathered circles method. It's kind of a least in my eyes.

I had no idea how to do a layout of just plain circles. I didn't want to spend the rest of the month sewing this one, but I wanted to have a go. So I figured a few different sized circles would be good practice, so I went with that and ended up with the most random looking block ever.

I started out doing needle turn, but cut out my stuff before I watched the tut. Party foul. So I had to modify what I was doing. Either way, it's not a method I'm comfortable doing, and I don't know how my grandmother can stand to do so much of it (she actually is in LOVE with needle turn applique). Here are my shoddy results:

Halfway around I realized I was supposed to be doing a blind stitch, not a random whatever-you-feel-like sort of stitch. 

 This one I did the proper way but I am just very awful at it. It didn't feel more comfortable as I went along, either. I'm going to have to pick Grandma's brain the next time we visit.

Maybe it's because they're circles and circles and curves are kind of hard? I don't know. Perhaps I'll try something straight and see if I have more success. Next I tried the gathered circle method. It was pretty easy, but I apparently cannot cut circles out of cardboard without making them look...angular. So these shoddy circles are a result of my cutting and not so much my sewing as the edges were already pressed under nice and neat.
This was a pretty small circle--they're kind of hard to do. I apologize, tiny circle, for the things I said to you. But let's face it - you weren't cooperating.

 This one came out the best. But it's still not that great.

I very much prefer doing raw-edge "cheater" applique. My pieces stay nice and neat and flat. They stay the shape they were intended. I don't find my shoulders up around my ears due to sewing stress. I certainly extend major kudos to those who can handle needle-turn applique. I lack the patience to want to try and perfect my technique with this. I don't find it necessary, either. Different techniques were devised so that anyone interested could experience the fun of making fabric pictures in a way they find enjoyable. No sense in making yourself crazy.....

This was a timely block, though. My sewing machine is still in the shop, and I'm having some withdrawal symptoms. My back-up machine doesn't do curves well, and hand-sewing sounded cozy. This block probably won't make it into the final quilt, though. We'll see.

I'm off to finish some final Christmas stuff on my day off (or what's left of it--I slept later than intended but it felt soooo good). See you soon!


  1. Have you tried the method where you put fusable interfacing, right sides together, sew around it, cut a slit, turn it and then place it where you want it and press? It finishes the edges, holds the piece down while you sew it down properly, either with a hand stitch (which I thought looked pretty good) or by machine. Even if you machine is in the shop, you could hand stitch the interfacing on.

  2. See, they don't look that bad from a distance in that first pic, but up close I see what you mean o.O Oh well, you get 10/10 for effort!

  3. What a creative work.. Which you share above. I am so excited for make this beautiful creative work.

  4. I've made my peace with shoddy needle-turn applique. Now I don't care to make them super right but whatever. Then I tell people it's deliberate - the folk art way. Honestly shoddy applique does have its charm.



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