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Back in the Saddle again - catlinye_maker [entries|archive|friends|userinfo]
catlinye_maker

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Back in the Saddle again [May. 17th, 2010|08:14 am]
catlinye_maker
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After finishing the baby quilts (last project) and returning to the house and all its associated chores (boo!) I am finally getting back to quilting. Next thing up is finishing the project that was due in February. Ah, well. So the dark background grapevine wreath came out of its plastic bag.

Oh, boy. Well, I need to start with an apology to all those appliquers who I thought were dumb for pre-making circles for appliqué. I thought it would be just as easy to simply mark and turn under circles one at a time. I am here to tell you, that’s not the case.

I tried that on the first grape cluster and a little of the second. The circles were not uneven enough to rip them out, but not even enough to make me happy. Turning under that little tail at the end of the circle was a bear, and I got frustrated.

Using a paper punch, I cut circles out of heat resistant template plastic. With the adhesive circles I’d used for marking the circles before, I basted a small circle, then slipped the hard plastic template into the basted circle and tightened up on the thread. A little finger pressing smoothed any folds on the edges of the circle, then I knotted the thread, and clipped off the tiny mushroom shape.

These shapes were dipped in water and pressed until dry, using a hot iron with a washcloth on the board underneath, so the tiny shapes weren’t squashed too much and thus distorted. Other folks recommend another simple method for keeping the crease: just wet the edges of the circle with starch and let dry. Both work, but there’s no starch in the house. When I was ready to apply the disks, the excess fabric was trimmed away from the back. This cut the threads so the disk could be pulled out, and applying the circle was easy-peasy. Only 60 or so to go!

Oddly, though that seems like a lot of work, it’s actually easier and less stressful than marking and turning under the circles without doing the rest of it. I think for one or two circles, I’d still just mark and needleturn. But for more than that, the premade circle is the way to go.

It’s going to be all grapevine all the time for quite some time, though.
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Comments:
From: ext_223544
2010-05-17 12:49 pm (UTC)

Circles

I've tried every method in the world to make circle appliques and I agree with your template method for ensuring there's no points or flat parts. It does take forever but I do a few at a time and then let them sit and pretty soon they add up.
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[User Picture]From: catlinye_maker
2010-05-17 11:27 pm (UTC)

Re: Circles

That's what I am doing, sitting and making circles while watching TV. Easy and mindless!
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From: jeansophie
2010-05-17 03:06 pm (UTC)

Wow!

Wow, those circles are teeny tiny. Your project is destined to become a treasured heirloom. I hope you'll keep posting updates.

In a workshop, I watched Pat Campbell quickly needleturn perfect circles, so I know it can be done--her tip was to only turn under enough for the next single stitch and work your way around the circle one stitch at a time. But, in my own work, I have always prepared the circles first and then appliqué them to the piece. I suspect that after you have done as many as you are doing, it's a toss-up on which method is faster and/or has better results.
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From: jeansophie
2010-05-17 03:07 pm (UTC)

Re: Wow!

Ps. It's good to see a blog update from you.
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[User Picture]From: catlinye_maker
2010-05-17 11:36 pm (UTC)

Re: Wow!

Thank you; I started writing this one and thought of something else to post, so look for more from me. Not travelogues alas, at least in the short term.
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[User Picture]From: catlinye_maker
2010-05-17 11:29 pm (UTC)

Re: Wow!

She's right, it just gets a little dicey when you get to the last two stitches, especially at this size.

They are teeny tiny, indeed!
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