Thursday, January 29, 2009

A Long Winter

January is almost over; it has been a long cold month here on Quilt Island. We have lots of snow, but the days are getting longer. It is no longer pitch black when I arrive home after work. Yesterday we had a big storm so the Town Office closed at noon. I got to come home and I spent some time working on my latest projects.

This little rose applique piece is from Teach Yourself Blocks from the Past by Marie Henry. The finished blocks are six inch square. This rose block is the first one I tried and I am hooked. I took an applique class from Becky Goldsmith of Piece of Cake fame a few years back. I learned so many useful tricks from that class. (By the way, the purple towel is NOT part of the design!)

I like to copy the design with freezer paper. Next, cut out the shape and iron onto fabric. Use a chalk pencil to make a heavy line around the freezer paper. Cut out with a scant quarter inch seam allowance. Finger press all along the chalk line and pin in place using applique pins. The finger pressing really makes the applique easy to do.

The next block I sewed was a pineapple and the leaves were curved and so tiny. I did not like the way it turned out so I paced around the Island a bit and came up with an idea. I enlarged the designs using my DH's photocopier. I set the copier at 125% and made up the pineapple block again, using the same fabrics. Voila! Much nicer. The finished blocks will be 7 or 8 inches. I will do the rose again (and line up those stems!)

My friend Donna has the same book and had already made twenty of the patchwork blocks when I bought my book. Her project had become a UFO, so she was encouraged when I suggested we do the applique blocks together. We'll see how far our enthusiasm takes us.

With thoughts of spring, I chose this fabric for my new bag. I love it! It went together so quickly.

Here's a close-up of the pleats and D ring trim. The bag is big and roomy, probably too big for a handbag, but just the thing to carry my camera, sunscreen, book, and whatnot for a beach day.

Lastly, my warm shawl which I made last winter. The pattern came from Cheryl Oberle's Folk Shawls. I like to leave it on top of the sofa where I sit to watch tv, but I noticed Merlin, our big cat, kneading his claws on it earlier. Sigh. One of my DD's friends calls that "makin' biscuits." Indeed.

Keep warm, my friends!


Gina said...

Like the block. It'll look stunning as a larger block.
What a great bag for the spring.

Love and hugs Gina xxx

SueR said...

As far as the weather goes, the only good thing I can say about January is that the days are getting longer. I would much rather wake up in the morning when the sun is up. Your tote turned out great! I struggled to get my January WISP done and haven't got to finish my tote yet. Your shawl is really cool too.

Margo in Maine said...

Your tote is very nice...I am hopeful to have mine done today...I changed some things so it made it took me a little longer...your block is favorite thing is to applique....hopefully I will get to do some this year...

Anonymous said...

Hi Beth,

I'm glad you stopped by Henbogle again, as I'd lost your link.

I love this bag, it is so cute? Did you design it or can you point me to the pattern?

Someday I will have time to quilt. That William Morris book is droolworthy....

Will said...

Very cute tote. Spring looking, just what we need on these winter days. Carolyn