Monday, February 21, 2011

Sampler Block, Fabric Choices and Template Preparation

I've selected my background fabrics for the Applique Sampler Quilt.  I chose grey-ish blues in batik/water color designs.  The two watery blues are for the background squares and the one with dots is for the border squares.

Since I chose this type of background fabric, I thought I should stick with batik type fabric for my applique pieces.  I've decided to follow the color scheme in quilt sample below (except the background of this one is all one color and is white where mine will be pieced shades of blue).

I chose one fabric for the blue tulip heads in Block #1 and 2 different green fabrics for the leaves.  I also selected a purple-ish blue for the stems.

Block #1 templates needed to be created so I could cut the pieces of fabric into the shapes that will be appliqued.  The diagram below shows the separated blocks in the quilt.  I think we will be making them in order.

First I had to wash the fabric.  It air dried - since I don't have a dryer - and then I ironed it smooth.  Next, I used the pattern included with the book and a Sharpie to trace the Block #1 design onto a piece of clear plastic sheeting.

I cut all of the blue background blocks according to the directions in the book.  Apparently, it's best to cut the background blocks somewhat larger than the actual size they need to be.  When you add applique, the piece shrinks up a bit.  Before piecing the blocks together, they are trimmed to the exact block size.  Fortunately, the pattern in the book gives me the exact sizes for the larger block sizes and the exact block sizes.

I made sure to use little sticky notes to label each block with the block number and the size I cut it.

Then, I traced each of the four shapes that make up this block onto freezer paper using a fine tipped Sharpie.
When cutting out the traced shape, be sure to keep the entire outside template intact - it helps with getting the exact pattern design you want!
Don't forget to label all your templates.  Put the quilt name, the block number and the applique piece number on each template - you can use them again if you make the same quilt or block another time.

Next, use the outer template by holding it over your fabric so you see exactly what pattern you will get.  Add your inner template and take away the outer template.  Now you can iron (shiny side down) the freezer paper template onto the right side of your fabric.  A template can be used several times before the iron on side doesn't adhere any longer.  For Block #1, there are four separate shapes and I needed four copies of each!

Once the template is ironed onto the fabric, use a white marker or chalk marker (washable!) to outline your shape.  I used a CLOVER brand marking pen.  It's kind of like magic ink - you can't see it right away but it gets whiter as it dries.  Once you've traced it, remove the freezer paper template.

I place the fabric on a piece of fine sandpaper so that it doesn't shift when I trace.

When I finish cutting all the fabric templates for Block #1, I'll show you the end result - stay posted!

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