The “Laceflower” quilt was introduced into JoAnn’s stores back in April, but have you started yours yet? This has been one of the most popular ever. Trendy turquoise and gray plus the little pops of buttery yellow makes it perfect – for a gift or for yourself. Today I’m sharing two quick tips – about Quilt Block’s triangles and applique.
In the Quilt Blocks kits our triangles are cut just the way they should be, with half-square or short-side triangles – that have the bias on the hypotenuse, or quarter-square (long-side triangles) – cut with the outside edges on the straight of the grain. This means that your blocks won’t stretch out of square when you finally assemble them. All of the stretchy bias sides are sewn inside.
In Block #3 you have both kinds of triangles, so measure and label both, then lay out all the pieces in the kit. The long triangle points will extend way past the square, about 1/4″. This is what makes the seam allowance. When you sew the next piece onto it, your points will be sharp – no chopped off triangles!
The only applique in Laceflower is in the Setting Kit. The last kit that sets all the blocks together. We have not added applique to the quilt designs for some time, mostly because of customer request. Many quilters like the way it looks, but just don’t think they’re good at it, or tell us it’s hard to do. Fine, leave it off. Really. The patchwork quilt is fine without the designer’s leaves and stems. But – it’s really special with the applique!
Try my favorite method for leaves, based on English paper piecing. Basically, you sew the fabric to the scrap postcard paper. Collect those annoying post cards from magazines and cut out your leaf shapes. Use up your strong hand quilting thread or a polyester that you have in your thread box. You’re going to pull it out later, so pick a color you can see. Stitch while you ride in the car or in front of the TV. This is an idle-hands-keeping-busy project. Here’s how:
Just fold, pinch and stitch. No glue, no starch and ironing. All you do is stab the needle through the paper and take a stitch or two. Then stitch around like this:
It takes only a minute or two to baste the perfect leaf. Now the leaves are ready to be pinned in place and appliqued to the background. Use matching turquoise thread and tiny stitches. You have a nice thick folded edge to bring the needle through. All your stitches will be invisible. When you finish, make a tiny cut in the backing – you won’t go through, because the postcard paper is there. Cut the basting thread and pull it out, then slip the paper out. Is that a perfectly appliqued leaf or what?! Yes, you can applique!