Monday, January 25, 2010

Knitting Guild meeting the 27th

The Cashiers/Highlands Knitting Guild is meeting again at Buck's Coffee Shop in Cashiers at the Crossroads at 10:00 - 11:30. Bucks wants the group there, so is willing to get more chairs, etc. to please the lovely ladies. Helmet liners for the troops are still needed desparately for the ones in Afghanistan and Iraq. KEEP KNITTING!

Quilters' University Lesson #2: Freezer Paper Applique

Freezer paper applique is the easiest method for appliquing by hand or machine. Freezer paper is found at the grocery store in the same section as aluminum foil, wax paper, etc. REYNOLDS paper goods discovered that quilters were buying boxes of their product for this purpose, and now even give directions for doing so on some of the boxes. I buy several boxes at one time, as I am always afraid that I won't be able to find it when I need it.
For the Amazing Flower Quilt, the patterns given in the newspaper should be enlarged to the sizes suggested. Trace the pattern onto the DULL side of the freezer paper. Cut out the shape and iron onto the wrong side of the fabric. Cut out the shape leaving a QUARTER inch seam allowance all the way around the shape. For shapes with little notches like leaves or flower petals, trim the seam allowance down to no less than 1/8". Clip the notch with sharp scissors, but not all the way to the paper. The fabric might fray.
Using Elmer's glue stick (the purple one that dries clear is wonderful for this purpose) smear glue along the seam allowance, NOT THE PAPER! Gently press the edges of the fabric onto the paper, making the edges very smooth, especially where there are curves. I clip the fabric on all curves, nearly to the paper. Let dry, and pin pattern shapes to the background square with tiny applique pins.
Using a thread color the same as the fabric, knot the end of the thread, and come up from the bottom into the edge of the shape, not catching the paper if at all possible. Always take the next stitch entering the fabric directly under the thread that is coming out of the shape. Take as tiny stitch as possible in the direction that is easiest for you. Pull the stitches VERY TIGHTLY so they disappear in the fabric. They should not show at all.
Once you get the feel of this type of applique, you'll never do any other kind. It is the easiest for ones suffering from arthritis.
After all shapes have been appliqued down to the background square, turn to the back of the square, and with very sharp pointed scissors, cut away the background fabric leaving only a quarter of an inch seam allowance. Once that is done, using very warm water and a wash cloth, dab the freezer paper with the cloth, and let sit for about 30 min. Using a pair of tweezers, gently pull the paper out of the shapes. Don't worry if a dab of paper is stuck in the points of leaves, etc. It will eventually work itself out. Once dry, the block may be gently pressed from the right side with a dry iron. NOT STEAM!

Friday, January 8, 2010


We have so many new quilters in our Ocean Wave Quilters' Guild in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida and Cashiers' Quilters' Guild in Cashiers and Highlands, NC, that I think it is time that we start learning more about this wonderful art of quilting.
I am going to start teaching Quilting skills on my blog that will help you in your seek for perfection in this wonderful art form, and it IS an art.


I decided to start this by improving your skills of applique. The first skill is to learn the use of BIAS BARS that may be found in most Quilt Shops in the areas.
Most appliqued flowers require the use of tiny stems. Making these stems without Bias Bars is almost impossible. Most packages of BB have sizes from 1/2" stems down to 1/16". The plastic ones are heat resistant and do not burn your fingers as badly as the metal bars, needless to say. I have tried both, and highly recommend the plastic ones. Follow the directions on the packages for the best results with the ones you have bought.
Making uniform size stems makes any applique piece look more professionally done! This is a MUST HAVE set of tools for quilting!


Wow, the knitting guild has taken off with a bang. Every week there are more eager knitters meeting together. Most of them are knitting feverishly on the helmet liners for our troops in Afghanistan and Iraq. Tess Cowen has written to me that the next meeting, Jan. 13th will be at Buck's Cafe in Cashiers at 10:00 - 11:30; however, the group is growing by leaps and bounds, and she has found out that the Cashiers Library will let the group meet there in the future. Just be sure that you go to Buck's on Jan. 13th to find out the details. Happy Knitting, ladies! (gentlemen welcome, too naturally!)

Saturday, January 2, 2010

New Year, 2010!

I have made a list of goals that I hope to reach this year. Most of them have to do with quilting, knitting, and stitchery of some kind or other. For ones who are making the Amazing Flower Quilt wall hanging, my goal is to get all of the blocks finished by June 1st so I can share them with you in the mountains and on this blog. Putting the blocks together will be done in June and adding the borders will come soon after that. I want to start hand quilting this in July. I love hand quilting, and this flower quilt will be such an easy one to quilt.
Now that I have made this known to the world, I shall be obligated to reach my goal if I can stay well, Lord willing!
I have learned that if I get the block all pinned onto the background, I can applique in the evening while watching TV. Try this, as it really keeps one on track.