Friday, October 28, 2011

We All Start Somewhere, Now If I Could Only Stop... Plus, Meet Ricky!

First Applique Block
As I was cleaning out a drawer in my sewing room I found the applique block that I stitched in class with Jeana Kimball a little over 13 years ago.  It was during this class that I learned Template Free (Back Basting) preparation and needle turn applique.  It was during this class that I fell in love with hand applique.  And the rest, as they say, is history. 

Fast forward to today.  Here is the latest block I have finished.  It is the Poppy block designed by Jeana Kimball for the Cottage Garden quilt.  I also completed the House Finch block.
House Finch

Basted and Ready to Applique
I am also working on the Civil War Bride quilt by Corlis Searcey.  I have completely basted block one. 

Fist layer basted

This is the perfect pattern to pre-baste the entire block because there is minimal overlap of the applique pieces.  How does she do that you ask?  Well, first I baste everything I possibly can without overlap of the stitching line.  Where applique pieces are very close, I move the seam allowance out of the way before I baste the piece next to it. 

Possible overlap areas pinned out of the way to continue basting

In some cases I may even applique a portion of the piece down so that I can baste another piece on top of it.  The idea is to baste as much as possible to have the greatest amount of uninterrupted applique time!

Speaking of applique time....  Jeana's class, where I fell in love with hand applique, was also the beginning of my obsession that has led to a houseful of quilting UFO's (UnFinished Objects).

Realizing that many of my quilting brethren suffer from this same obsession, I wanted to pass on a technique for finishing projects that was recently passed on to me.  Now, before I share, I need to state that this came directly from my yahoo group.  I tried to research the originator but was unsuccessful.  I only found numerous references to it appearing in various blogs and quilt related newsletters.  I would like to share  THE POWER OF 10.

The "Power of 10" in quilting does not refer to a higher mathematical formula. Instead, it is a simple way to complete quilt projects that we want to finish before.

1. Simply find the projects that you are no longer interested in completing and pass them on to someone who would love it as much as you once did.

2. List 10 projects that you would like to complete. Now remember "Only 10" projects are to be on the list.

3. Begin working on the projects on the list and spend three hours toward completing it.

4. Keep a list of projects and the hours worked.

5. Once three hours are spent on a project move to the next. A quilter's interest wanes and is usually spent after three hours. Now if a project requires two to four hours it doesn't matter. Simply finish the project. Feel good about finishing it.

6. Find another project and add it to the list. Remember, only Ten Projects are your focus.

7. Continue to rotate the projects you are working on.

8. List the supplies needed to finish your projects.

9. Shop at Local Quilt Shop for items needed to finish your projects.

10. The `Power of Ten` becomes reality when you are able to share your project.

Ricky on the left, Lucy on the right

On a different topic altogether, I would like to introduce everyone to Ricky Savage.  Ricky is a 16 week old German Sheppard puppy and my birthday present.  He has bonded quite nicely with his harem, Lucy and Ethel, and is quickly realizing females rule the home!  And before you ask, Fred is going to be a goldfish!
All of our puppies have grown up to be excellent Fabric Guard Dogs.  Here is Ricky taking his Fabric Guard Dog Oath.
I promise to protect Mommy's sewing room!

Fabric Guard Dog on Duty!
 And here is Ricky on his first guard dog shift! 

Until next time...

Best stitches,
Mercy in Miami


  1. Mercy, I love your projects.
    I should get me a guard dog to check up on my cat-kleptomaniac. My cat, Mandu, loves fabric and laces and hides them under the piano.

  2. Thanks Margaret! I recommend pet sewing room guards fir everyone! LOL!!!

  3. Thanks for the tips of the order of basting! Love that block!

  4. I have been looking through your blog at the applique blocks for the Jeana Kimball Cottage Garden quilt blocks you have been making. Evidently she never put the patterns into a set or a book for selling. Lovely blocks. Did you finish the quilt?