I was excited and honoured when these two lovely ladies (Jane and Pat) asked if I would make a
6" block for this fantastic project - The Splendid Sampler.
Yippee....its finally time for me to reveal my Splendid block, its called 'Grans Button Jar'.
I know I am not alone in my memories of playing with my gran's buttons and so when
Jane and Pat asked me to do a block for The Splendid Sampler what better theme for me to choose for my block.
Jane sent me some fabrics to work with... the colours were a bit out of my comfort zone but I
enjoyed working with them none the less.
I still have a lot of my grans buttons and many other buttons that over the years I have collected!! One of my
favourite treasures is this wonderful old tin with 'Mother' written on it which I imagine originally
came with chocolates inside in which I keep my 'special, never to be used' old buttons.
For my block I have combined some tiny appliqué (dont panic its easier to do than you think),
a little embroidery and some narrow log cabin strips for the border.
Where shall we begin? First you need to gather your fabrics, black design mat, threads, fabric glue pen
perfect scissors and tools. I am going to show you
how simple it is to use the Apliquick tools to do these tiny pieces as appliqué.
Print the pattern sheet out, you will notice that the templates have not been reversed. Thats fine, there is an easy way to do this.
Working with a soft lead pencil (I like a 2B) place the appliqué paper shiny (fusible) side up,
trace the appliqué shapes. By working on the shiny side of the paper you are automatically reversing the designs :)
Cut the shapes out on the drawn line, make sure as you cut you cut nice smooth shapes - this Appliqué paper is going to be staying in - its water soluble and does not have to be removed.
Fuse each appliqué shape (shiny side down) to the wrong side of your chosen fabrics.
Then cut each shape out, a scant 1/4" out from the paper shape, this is your seam allowance. Its easy to think by cutting a smaller seam allowance it will be easier but trust me its not!
As with all appliqué if there is a curve that goes in you need to clip it. Clip to the paper.
To see what to do next using the Apliquck rods check out my YouTube tutorial
Working with either the light from a window or a lightbox trace the stitchery lines onto the right side of your background fabric, on my pattern the black line represents the stitchery lines that need to be traced. I like to work with a fine tipped Pigma pen, these lovely fine lines which are permanent are easily covered with your embroidery stitches.
If your using stitchery stabiliser now is the time to fuse it to the wrong side of your background piece.
Stitchery stabilizer is generally a single side fusible lightweight fabric which when fused to the
wrong side of your background fabric helps stop the shadowing from carrying the embroidery
threads across the back of your work. Once you start using it you will never want to stop!
Now you are ready to position and glue in place the appliqué shapes, I use Roxanne's Glue Baste It to
hold the appliqué pieces in place which I discovered many many years ago when my boys were still young.
It saves fiddling about and getting your thread tangles in pins!
Next step: stitch the appliqué pieces in place using a fine thread - I love to use either my own
brand which comes on old fashioned wooden spools in a taupe shade or if your not sure what
colour you like to work with then the Bottom Line super bob packs are a great alternative.
Now I suggest you find a good movie, sit back and enjoy the embroidery. I
love working with the 6 ply Valdani hand dyed threads, I generally use 2 strands to embroidery with.
Valdani threads have a subtle change of colour within each skein which
perfectly matches my fabrics. I have put together a pack of my most used 20 shades,
here is the link to see the colours I have chosen.
P.S If you like the wooden thread holders I am using you can order them here.
A big thank you to Hugo who takes great pride in checking my work and personally
road/sleep tests each and every quilt that I make.
To shop everything Apliquick follow this link.
I hope that you enjoy stitching my Splendid Sampler block as much as I enjoyed being part
of the design team.