Spring on Bleecker Street Sew-Along: Part 4

NOTE:  If you are just now hearing about the Spring on Bleecker Street Sew-Along, and would like to find out more, click HERE.

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Hello Friends, I hope you have been well since our last Spring on Bleecker Street post (Part 3).

Let’s enjoy some progress pictures you have sent in?

Billie of http://billiebeesblog.blogspot.com (I have “known” Billie for quite a few years.  I have affectionately called her the queen of BOM’s because she works out the coolest BOM projects.  So, it is an honor to have her join my humble little sew-along).

Alice has a nice round sun for her quilt, and she also has pinwheels happening at different stages.  I like her method of operation a lot – it’s pretty much what I do as well.

And here is Gail’s progress picture!  I am loving the 30’s fabrics Gail has used.

Before I go on, I want to share with you my excitement when I found out one of Gail’s quilt is a Paducah winner this year!!!  How amazing is that?!  Take a look at Gail’s absolutely amazing quilt.

I love that Gail took the time to write and share with me the exciting news, and a little snippet of her life.  I want you to know you are all free to do that!  I love hearing about your personal stories!!

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I am VERY happy that you are sewing along.  You can send me pictures of your quilt at any stage at any time, and I will just include your pictures in the next posting of Spring on Bleecker Street.

Remember, this is a sew-along for those of us who have more projects we can count, all going on at the same time. :-) So, absolutely no pressure to get things done on time. More importantly, I just want you to enjoy the project as I have.

Part 4 deals with applique (I am using fusible machine applique method) and hand stitching — and the whole applique and stitching portion of the bunny block took me about 5 hours.

Disclaimer – you may choose to use the method of your choice to tackle the applique and stitchery! What I am describing henceforth is by no means dogmatic. :-)

1.  Prepping the background fabric

We are supposed to cut a 8″ x 17″ white background fabric.  I normally press-starch this multiple times until the fabric piece takes on the feel of a solid sheet of fabric for the following reasons:

a.  There will be multiple times of pressing – so if I “squared up” the rectangle first, I run into less chance that the rectangle will be wonky and out of shape after I am done with the applique and stitchery.

b.  For fusible machine applique, if the background fabric is starch-pressed well, I don’t have to have a stabilize the piece when I stitch the applique pieces in place.  The multiple rounds of starching stabilize the piece well enough for me that I don’t get any puckering.

Once you have your 8″ x 17″ rectangle prepared, eyeball at about 1/3 from the bottom and mark with a sharp pencil a “wave-shaped” landscape boundary.  It doesn’t have to be exactly like mine.  I realized that Quilting Treasures hadn’t included a placement guide for the applique or the stitchery.  I am not sure why.  So, we will just use this picture below as a guide.  So, you will use the pencil to mark the landscape boundary, as well as the flower stems once you cut out your flower pieces and figure out where you want them to go.

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2.  Prepping applique pieces

I am using machine fusible applique method.  I prefer to use the “window” method concerning the paper-backed fusible.  You can easily find tutorials on this method.  I have also written briefly about this method here.   Make sure you use a very sharp applique scissors to cut out the shapes to prevent fraying on the edges.

I showed a black and white photo below to show you the faint pencil marking I have done on the background rectangle.

When fusing the pieces, be sure to use a pressing cloth.

3.  Stitching applique pieces

I have traditionally used Aurifil 50wt, but ever since Aurifil released their 80wt last year, I have been wanting to try out the 80wt for machine applique.  Now, the 80wt was initially developed for hand applique, but the wooden spools will go on your machines nicely as well!  In the picture below are shown the 80wt and the 50wt thread spools.  The 50wt spools are pulled from my Subtle Strings collection.  Click here if you haven’t heard of the 50wt collection I had curated for Aurifil.  You can now purchased the collection of 12 large spools for $99.99 instead of the usual $149.99 from https://pumpkinvinecorner.com/aurifilcollections4.htm (be sure to scroll to the bottom of the page).

For the 80wt, I used matching threads for the top and bobbin threads, and I absolutely love the very fine effect. Now, the 50wt already gives an amazing look, but I think I might even like the 80wt better!  I do love both the 50wt and 80wt.

Now, you may choose to zig-zag, satin stitch or buttonhole stitch around the applique shape.  I personally like to buttonhole stitch because the stitches tend to not look overpowering around the applique shapes to me.  For these rather small applique pieces, I used W = 2.0 and L = 2.6 on my Bernina’s setting.

4.  Hand stitching

I took my piece back to the ironing board after I stitched my applique pieces in place.  And for the stitchery, I used colors from my Marmalade Meadows collection.  You may also order from https://pumpkinvinecorner.com/aurifilcollections4.htm for $38.50 (be sure to scroll to the bottom of the page) since at this point there is a wait list on Cinnamon’s Quilt Shoppe.

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I definitely hoop my piece before I stitch.  I also use a John James Embroidery Needle 8, and stitch over 2-ply of the floss.  That means, each strand of floss comes in 6-ply.  I would separate out the floss, and would stitch with 2-ply. Click here to find out why I like stitching with Aurifloss.  Remember, there is a free stitchery wallhanging pattern with the purchase of Marmalade Meadows thread pack – shown below!!

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And here is how my bunny block all stitched up — you will notice that I have used different shades of green instead of just one shown in the sample quilt.  I decided to add more colors to mine!  You may choose whichever colors you would like to stitch, and the number of leaves you stitch on the stems are up to you too!

And I have a confession – I actually wear a pair of jeweler’s (magnifying) glasses when I stitch!  I like that I can see better, and judge my distance better — and thus, my stitches end up looking much nicer!  Now, you just about know all my secrets! Hehe!

This concludes Part 4 at my end – it’s your turn now!  Looking forward to see your progress pictures!

Happy Monday, Happy Week – and I hope everyone had a blessed Mother’s Day!