There are many ways to applique, but making an applique banner is great fun. Applique is not just for quitting.
As many of you know, I am a frequent fixture at renaissance fairs. At our home fair of Scarborough each spring you will find me walking in parade holding the banner of a favorite vendor. This year, I am promoting French Braids by Twisted Sisters. This group of lovely ladies do an amazing job. Not only are their braids super pretty and last a long time, but they help keep those of us with long hair a lot cooler on a hot day!
When I first started walking in parade this year, I would carry my friend Anne (a mannequin head with beautiful braids). The problem was that there was no way to give credit to this specific shop. While I announced their name and location, that was not very efficient.
I needed a banner!
Eventually, I decided that we needed a banner. To do this, I took a picture of their sign and considered my design options.
Because I love to interact with the crowd, I was cautious not to make something cumbersome and finally settled on a simple hand-held design that had a lot of visual impact.
Not only does this sign play well at a distance, it was also the perfect size to display in the booth when not doing it’s duty on the parade route. And, if you haven’t noticed already – it is the perfect color for Queen Selesti to carry.
I am so happy with the final product and now Anne can remain at her station in the booth!
Twice a year, and only about a mile from our home, I visit Antique Alley. The actual timing is the 3rd weekend in April and September. Last weekend, I took off work on Friday to make the rounds. Unfortunately, I was also fighting a bad cold.
Lucky for me, Friday was the sunny day with rainy weather to follow for Saturday, so I picked a great day!
In years’ past, I have found some great deals on quilting fabric. I remember two years ago when I met a lady that had lost her mother that Spring. She had a booth that was full of her mothers sewing items, fabric, interfacing, and so much more. I actually filled the trunk of our car that day. I still have bolts of interfacing for gown creation and fabric for quilting and sewing projects.
This year, I found another booth with fabric and was ecstatic!
I used restraint this time around as I only have so much room left in my fabric cupboard. The lot pictured, about 60 yards worth, is all I bought. In my sewing room, I refuse to hoard fabric, I want to be able to keep a bit of a handle on how my stash is growing!
In addition to the fabric I bought, there were other booths with good fabric for sale as well as trim and notions:
Some prices were better than others, but ultimately there was a lot to choose from!
In addition to fabrics, there were many antique quilts and blocks for sale too.
I really don’t have the space or the time right now, so I didn’t rescue any of these beauties. It made me sad, but I just know someone else will show them some love. One particular item did catch my eye and almost had me convinced.
This bag of paper pieced blocks was so wonderful, even down to the old paper that was used for their construction.
I think the owner had chickens!
There were also some pretty neat looking old machines for sale.
Alas, if I don’t have room for more fabric and old quilts, I certainly don’t have room for machines! One day I may consider collecting some of these beauties, but for now I am happy to take my little fabric purchase home and create something fun.
Maybe I will use these fabrics for Row by Row this year!
We attended the Dallas Quilt Show on a beautiful Spring day. Like many other years, we were not disappointed by the quality of vendors an quilts on display. We arrived on Saturday at 9:30 am (never know how bad traffic will be), and took our place in line.
As you can see, happy faces were everywhere – both in line and along the way in to the hall.
Best of Show
The Best of Show quilt for the Dallas Show in 2018 was divine. Not only does this quilt exemplify many of the hallmarks of quilting – piecing, color choice, applique and design – this quilt also hints at the Theme Quilt category.
Pickle Birds by Rebecca Prior
It took me a while to get a full photo of this quilt. People flocked to it all day log.
Some of my Favorite Vendors
More so than previous years, I came armed with a list of things I really wanted to buy. Luckily, I found everything on my list, plus some things I didn’t know I needed.
Don’t you just love the name of this scrap quilt? Strip Tease! Who says quilting can’t be a bit fun and sassy?
Whether you are new to paper piecing or have done it forever, you will find this process not only fulfilling (as you watch your scrap bin go down) but also very relaxing.
This is the easiest paper piecing pattern out there and a must for any new paper piecer!
FIRST STEP: Grab your scraps!
The first step for me was to grab my stash and cut stuff into strips.
This is a very small portion of the scraps I have. You probably can identify many of these fabrics in the finished scrap quilt. It is always so rewarding to look at a scrap quilt and see fabrics that were used in other quilts through the years.
STEP 2: Choose your Base
For paper piecing, you use a base paper. For this type of thing, I just made the largest square I could on a piece of copy paper then drew a diagonal line across from one corner to the other. Be sure to make a perfect square unless you intend on using a rectangle.
I also recommend tracing the pattern on the other side as well, this will help you to line things up and eventually cut out the square form when you have all your scraps sewn down.
Step 3: Time to Sew!
The colors, patterns and so forth that you decide to use for your quilt is totally up to you. Also, you can choose to use all the same width of fabrics or to vary them. For me, I chose one fabric for the middle of each block but then went totally random after that. You will also see that I was not as concerned about making my strips perfect down the line from corner to corner. I wanted this quilt to be truly random.
Here you can see the dark blue I used for the middle. Remember, when you sew using paper piecing, the first piece of fabric is sewn with the right side up, Each fabric scrap after that is sewn with the right sides together.
Another tip is to shorten up your stitches when you do this, it will help you to remove the paper after you have completed each block.
If you want more information about how to paper piece, there are tons of resources on the internet. I really like how easily Craftsy explains it here.
Start adding your strips to complete each block, pressing them over before each new one.
When you have covered your entire square, you can turn your block over and finish it by cutting it on the lines you transferred to the other side. I like to use a different rotary cutter for this process as the paper can dull a good, fabric cutting blade.
As you can see, the lines are easy to see and trimming these to a perfect size is a breeze!
Trim on the line and flip your block over to see how perfect it is!
I love how they look at this point. Just don’t forget to remove the paper before you start sewing them together. Because you have used a short stitch, simply fold and rip!
Step 4: Putting it all together
I usually use a design board as I go to place the blocks. This way I can mix them around for best effect as I go.
As you can see, the paper was still on at this point. I promise that I remembered to take it all off before I started assembling the quilt!
I also decided to do some fun border work for this one. By changing the direction of my paper piecing, I was able to make a cute, scrappy, piano key type border that fits this quilt perfectly.
By adding the purple inner border, both types of blocks were properly showcased.
Final Step: Quilting
Originally, I thought of doing a bunch of random, custom quilting to try to create a secondary pattern, but as soon as I saw the scrappy, random goodness of this quilt, I knew that would be futile. There was already enough going on! So I chose an E2E pattern with curves to offset all the straight lines called: Bramble – Lorien Quilting from Urban Elementz
I really love how this quilting fit with the overall design of this scrap quilt.
My daughter bought four identical Batik jelly roll packs at Joann Fabrics months ago. The fabric was not girly, in fact, it was more masculine than anything else. I think this was what drew her to these patterns – they were unique.
What to make?
When the opportunity to use these unique jelly roll strips came along, the next question was just what pattern to use. Because this quilt would be given as a gift at a wedding shower, the fabrics were a perfect fit – more neutral than girly.
After looking at a variety of more simplistic quit designs, we decided on Sassy Squares. Of course, I didn’t have a pattern as we found an image on Pinterest we liked. Yes, I know, this is an all-too-familiar scenario, but I would rather go rogue and figure things out for myself!
In order to make this design work, we needed to add an additional background fabric. In this case, I used one of the beauties that my daughter gave me for Christmas!
Note: The actual jelly roll strips were 2 7/8 inches wide. I am so glad I measured before cutting the background strips.
The actual blocks from the jelly roll sets are based on triangles. There are actually only 2 blocks for the internal section. The blocks all have the same elements, but how they are put together makes then unique.
The Finished Quilt
Overall, the quilt was a challenge but ultimately turned out to be a beautiful wedding shower gift. As you can see, my grand-puppy, Loki, loves to model with the quilts I make!
She is quite photogenic!
The Long Arm Quilting
My daughter chose the quilting pattern as well and after auditioning many different designs, settled on Celtic Sea by Urban Elementz
The sweeping curves was a great addition to the straight line elements of the blocks in this quilt
As you can see, the back was almost as pretty as the front!
In the end, the recipient was so very happy as can be seen by this reveal photo
One Last Thing
Remember when I said that this quilt was a challenge? I am so glad that we have 4 jelly roll packs to work with because I mangled a few blocks. This actually was a blessing in disguise as our daughter really hated to give the original quilt away, it turned out that pretty. This allowed me to make a smaller version for her. I was also able to use every scrap on the smaller version so now there was no waste!!
This image was taken in high winds which is what contributes to this wavy look, I really did flatten it all out before assembling my wonky blocks!