Pile O' Fabric's Skillbuilder 2013 BOM is down to two more blocks and believe it or not so am I. Alyssa gave us a little extra time to catch up and it worked out great for me! For a while I was five blocks down but had been making progress in October. Unfortunately the last couple of blocks featured applique and I FEAR applique almost as much as the plague. For a great while, I just avoided even attempting them. But because I am committed to learning new techniques and Alyssa has certainly rocked at teaching more than a few new things this year and boosting my skills, I gave it a go. I unknowingly did the harder of the two first. The Liberty Floral block has some major curves at the ends and Alyssa had us glue the fabric to a foundation and use a wooden stiletto to smooth the fabric down around the corners. She also had us prewash the cut out pieces fabric but not the background because she says when we wash it for the first time the background will shrink and cause the applique to turn under slightly giving it the appearance of turned edge applique. Since I love the look of turned edge but would never attempt to do it, it sounds like a great alternative for me. I must say the wooden stilletto ( I think mine is plastic) works wonders. I bought it at a quilt show a few months back not even sure why I might need it but thinking it could come in handy. It was amazing and I think this technique would have suffered without it's help. Each foundation piece was then glued to the block and then zig zagged into place with a very small stitch using sulky monofilament thread. Boy, have I become a huge fan of glue this year. For the next two blocks, she even suggests using glue to get our paper pieced blocks to come back together perfectly aligned ... better then if we pinned the pieces in place. She may be on to something here and I will certainly be giving it a try. I consider myself a pretty savvy paper piecer so if she can teach this ol' dog another neat trick I will be wagging my tail in gratitude.
My Liberty Floral Block
My Modern Beauty Block
This one was much easier as the curves were much gentler. In fact, the edges could be glued down with no assistance needed from the stiletto. The end points however, did need the stiletto to turn over the ends and tack down with a bit of liquid stitch.
Here are a few of the other blocks that I think I have neglected to post on the blog before now.
My Geo Swirl Block
My Pixelate Block
My Phoenix Block
My Shattered Chevrons
Overall, I am sure that all of these BOMs have kept me from accomplishing some other goals I have set for myself that I should be focusing on. I wish I had more time for designing my own patterns. I bought EQ 7 a couple of months ago and need to focus on learning to use it. It seems to have a steep learning curve but I will find time soon ( I hope ) to set about learning to get the most from the program. I also wish I had more time for swaps. I am starting to make time again for them and will have to focus more of my time in that direction in the new year. I love making new friends with the same love of quilting and swaps enable you to do just that. Then there is the matter of making Becky's quilt. I have yet to really find my mojo and get a firm grip on what I want it to turn out like. I have a vision and just have to keep striving to create it. I just know that what I have done so far is not what I had envisioned for this project. However, I recently saw Tim Holtz's fabric line Ecletic Elements and it was love at first site. I am sure it is what I am needing for Becky's quilt, so when I won a $25.00 gift certficate from the Fat Quarter Shop for my entry into the linky party held by Kristy at Quiet Play for her And Sew On BOM I knew just what I needed to buy with it. A huge thanks to both Kristi for hosting the event and giving us such fab patterns to work with each month and another HUGE thanks to the Fat Quarter Shop for sponsoring such a great prize!!! I am over the top anxious to get my hands on all the fabric I have coming my way. Once ai got to shopping it was hard to stop. Fat Quarter SHop had such fabulous choices and I am thrilled with what I have coming my way soon. I was super stoked to see they had the Ecletic Elements line and can't wait to start creating with them. You can follow the link to see why these fabrics are the bees knees ( at least I think so ). I think by creating a paper pieced block and combining some applique techniques learned from Alyssa's Skillbuilder BOM, I will be able to acheive what I am needing to do to be happy with Becky's quilt. Now to just find the time with the holidays quickly approaching... I will post progress when I can just get that far with the process. Wish me luck!!!