Friday, April 22, 2011

Good Friday for Sunbonnets

Here's the five Sunbonnet Sue blocks I appliqued. I also added black embroidery thread to separate the fingers in the hand and added a chain stitch with a lazy daisy on the hat.

All 32 blocks are laid out here. I attached the red plaid sashing to one side of each block.

Next I'll sew the rows together diagonally, then add sashing along the diagonal. Setting triangles will be added to the edges to complete the top.

Copyright ©2011 ,Sharon Baggs

Friday, April 15, 2011

Hand Applique--Sunbonnet Sue

Many months ago, I finished a Sunbonnet Sue quilt for a delightful lady named Betty. Her niece, Jan, recently contacted me to work on another one, which will be for Betty to enjoy. The quilt will feature more red and perhaps have slightly different quilting design. Of course, I'm thrilled to be involved with the process once again.

This time I'm hand appliqueing five blocks. A total of 32 are needed for the quilt. My red block is on the left; the blue block on the right was completed by the original appliquer of all the blocks on the first quilt and 27 for this one.

Like handquilting, hand applique doesn't see much of me. But I do love the handwork when I have the opportunity! When I applique, I like to use YLI Silk #100. Another good choice is Superior's Bottom Line polyester for it's slick application. I've also used cotton thread and recommend a bit of Thread Heaven, a thread lubricant to avoid those nasty tangles.

I do what's called "needle turn" applique where you use your needle to tuck under the raw edge, about 1/4" and sew it to the background fabric. Using a bit of fabric glue and a toothpick can also help to tuck under stubborn edges, particularly corners. I also like the small applique pins (Clover brand, white heads) to keep a turned edge in place.

 I started with the shoe and layered the dress over that.

Once the blocks are completed, I will attach sashing, quilt, bind, and label. This will keep me busy for awhile, but I'm pulling together some other projects to work on as well, including more costumes!

Copyright ©2011, Sharon Baggs

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Handquilting the Doll Quilt

First of all, Happy Birthday to my little doll, who is 13 today! My quilting journey started when someone left an anonymous gift of a Moses basket on our porch with a little quilt inside it for her. I thought, "hmm, I'd like to learn how to quilt someday..." Now, 13 years later, we've both made many quilts and enjoy it together. That person probably has no idea the legacy that was started with that little pink quilt. We're so thankful!

Everytime I do any handquilting, and it isn't very often, I need to re-educate myself on the process. It takes a little bit of practice to get back in the swing of inserting the needle, rocking it back up through the layers, and making a nice row of stitches.

The goal isn't to get 12-14 stitches to the inch but to focus on consistent size and spacing of the stitches. Click on the photo for a closer look.

So far, I've stitched 13 of 17 horizontal lines through the light squares of each block and through the setting squares. I'll finish off with a few vertical lines and then put on the binding.

Copyright ©2011, Sharon Baggs