Progress Is Being Made

My husband and I went for a three-mile run this morning.  After returning home we shared a fabulous breakfast of quinoa smothered with cinnamon, honey and fruit accompanied by a piping hot cup of coffee.  With my exercise out-of-the-way and my tummy satisfied I rolled up my sleeves and hauled out my Heart and Home pattern and fabrics from Acorn Quilts.  I’ve been making slow but steady progress on my quilt by Heart To Hand.  Proceeding through the many, many steps takes care and loads of patience.  Because I want to produce an eye-appealing, top-quality creation I’m careful not to choose this project on a day when I am low on energy.

I’m almost finished with block number one.  All that is left are the french knots on the flowers and hand-stitching of veins on the leaves.  The hand work is something I can do while relaxing, in the evening, so I set that project aside.

The obvious next step was block number two.  First to complete was the Flying Geese panel.  I gathered all twenty-eight pieces and followed the instructions for assembly.  Each piece was carefully aligned, stitched and pressed.  After pressing the final seam and turning over the panel it was neat to see the finished strip.  I was well pleased with the color combination as well as the placing of my points.

Up next was the attachment of the Flying Geese to the main body of the block.  Once I had the two pieces stitched and carefully pressed it was on to the placement of the multiple pattern pieces.  Piece by piece I appliqued each section to my block.

First to be added were the tree and its many branches.  Next came the beautifully colored bird with its long and flowing tail.

This bird, as with most, needed a home to rest its weary bones.  A well fashioned nest complete with three little eggs was the next addition.

To finish off the block leaves and berries were added to adorn the branches.  As with block number one, this block also awaits further embellishment.  The bird will receive a hand-stitched eye, his feathers will be defined with contrasting embroidery floss, the blue berries will be decorated with small stitches and last but not least the leaves will be sculpted with lines to represent their veins.

The applique is now complete on blocks one and two of my Heart and Hand quilt.  Blocks three through six are already cut out and waiting assembly.  I can’t wait to work on them.  Here’s one more look at blocks one and two.

WIP Update

Very little progress has been made on my WIP list other than the updates I have shown you on my Heart and Hand quilt and the small quilt for my middle granddaughter Miss L.  Here’s my list as it stands:

*Quilt Tops Ready for Quilting*

My Colorado daughter’s king sized quilt; Simple Times quilt by American Crib Quilts; May Night from the Pineapple Passion Collection by Nancy Smith and Lynda Milligan published by That Patchwork Place; and Bear’s Paw Quilt by Eleanor Burns from the TRIO of Treasured Quilts Quilt in a Day Series.

*Fabric and Quilt Patterns Purchased For*

Autumn Quilt by Heart To Hand; Heart & Home by Heart To Hand (progress being made); Snowy Days by Heart To Hand; The Bundling Board by Primitive Pieces; and First Year Log Cabin by Acorn Quilts.

*Quilt Pattern Purchased For*

Cathedral by Villa Rosa Designs; Civil War Battle Series # 2 by Clothesline Quilts; Courthouse Square # 169 by Country Threads; Family * Home * Friends by Cottage Creek Quilts; Joyful Welcome by Threads That Bind; Martin’s Pennies by Civil War Legacies; Snow Drifts by Hanging by a Thread; and Tall * Small by Waltzing with Bears

*Fabric and/or Craft Pattern Purchased For*

Chelsea Tote by Lazy Girl; Elf Mittens by Button Stitch Designs; Encore Purse Insert by Studio Kat; Miranda Day Bag by Lazy Girl; Penny Mats thru the Year January, April and November by Buttermilk Basin; and The Sammi Grace Bag by Fishsticks Designs.

I also have fabric purchased to make a quilt for each of my three two grandchildren.  These quilts do not require a pattern.  7/3/12 Note:  one of the three quilts has already been made.  All that’s left to finish is the hand-stitching of the binding.

* * *

I’m linking up with Freshly Pieced.  Be sure to stop by her blog for more WIP fun.

Staples and Staple Removers

Raise your hand if you associate a stapler and a staple remover with quilting?  I don’t . . . well at least not until now.  Recently I enrolled in a BOM (Block of the Month) project through Acorn Quilts in Rockford, Illinois.  The quilt is called Heart & Home by Heart to Hand.

This is by all means not my first exposure to applique.  What made this project unique was the method used to affix the wool pieces to the background fabrics.  Previously I had used fusible web to secure pattern pieces.  Staples and a staple remover had never entered my mind.

Now that I have started the Heart & Home quilt I’ve learned that both a stapler and its friend, the remover, come in very handy.  Leslie at Acorn Quilts taught me her method of applique.  She led me through her steps one by one.

First I iron a fusible web to the reverse side of the pattern piece.

Next I snip away the excess wool, being careful to preserve as much of the unused portion as possible for future projects (hand dyed wool is very precious and costly).

Step three is to peel off the paper backing and place my pattern piece, right side up, onto my quilt square.

Now comes the strange part.  Using your everyday stapler place the quilt square and the piece to be applied into the stapler and press down.  Rather than ironing the pattern piece on you have just temporarily attached it with an ordinary staple.

Of course you definitely want to remember to remove it once you have finished stitching.  I’m told that stapling rather than ironing adds less bulk and preserves the texture of the wool.  Ironing can crush the beautiful nap of the hand dyed wools and who wants to distract from their awesome quality.

Having tried Leslie’s method I find it quite helpful.  However, I can’t say that I will use it all the time.  I still like the old standby methods of pinning or fusing.

So there you have it!  A very simple technique for a not so obvious project.

To keep up-to-date on my work in progress check out this

I’m linking up with Freshly Pieced.  Stop by and see what they are up to.

Another Windy Day

I just took a break for a bit of nourishment while working on my Heart & Home Quilt  from Heart To Hand.  I was getting hungry so I thought I would grab a banana to satisfy my hunger.  As I snapped the banana from the small bunch I glanced out my kitchen window.  Once again the trees in my backyard are briskly swaying in the wind.  So often we are bombarded by stately breezes.  We often joke that we must be living in a wind tunnel.  I have loads of plants waiting for me to sink their toes into my gardens but I just can’t bring myself to go outside and brave not only the gusty winds but also the cool temperatures.  My husband would say the temp is just right.  I couldn’t possibly agree because I have multiple layers on and I am still cold.  Oh well, I guess it’s back to work.