Monday, January 10, 2011

A little weekend building in the neighborhood...

As Forrest Gump would remind us, "Life is like a box of chocolates..."  Since I only have 3 of 12 blocks left on "All Around the Town" (Sue Garmon), I am sort of working on all three at one time...kind of like snacking on a Whitman's Sampler box of chocolate and cramming multiple flavors in my mouth at one time.  But I can't help myself!!  This is such a fun quilt to do!

I just need to fill in the upper left hand corner, then I can add the inner border (the road), the outer border, the cars, and a few last-minute little "rogue" elements in some of the yards.

I got out some of my architectural fabrics so I could pick out my building materials.  That is the fun part!!  Then I have to coordinate the grassy lumps that form the bases of the blocks.  Once all the decisions are made, thing get easier and I can start prepping the pieces using freezer paper and my trusty washable Elmer's glue stick.

I am still planning a tutorial on how I do me...THIS isn't a beginner project for my method.  I am going to use "Stars and Sprigs" (Kim McLean) for that (and soon!)  Once my separate elements are prepped, I lay them out on my pattern and use my Roxanne's Glue Baste to LIGHTLY ("dot, dot, not a lot")layer and glue the pieces together. 

Have you ever used these little sewing weights before?!?  I received them YEARS ago as a gift and now use them to keep things from shifting while I work (I think they were intended to be used with tissue sewing patterns).  Fabulous gadget, and I am a gadget girl!
I leave some of the pressed on freezer paper in place to help me line up the pieces while I assemble.  I usually do this over my light box, but for some reason I didn't this time.  I definitely use the light box when I am glue-basting on to my background fabric so that I can really see my pattern through it as a guide.  I like to glue things together in units, then I will applique/stitch the units before either combining with other pieces or stitching to my background.  I do this both for convenience and because I like to trim the background away from behind my applique (if I will be hand quilting heavily).
The church doesn't have very many pieces and goes fairly quickly.  This block seems really crowded so I am removing the skinny little hosue to the left.  I will insert some trees, a rail fence and some animals on the other side of the church. 

The tall blue house had too many really skinny windows, so I made a few changes
I am making the last block's house into a "hick house," so I re-worked the block, scaling down the house and making some architectural changes to make it look very rural.  I don't mean to make fun of "hicks" - I am from Alabama, living in Michigan and have "hick" in my blood.  I have "hicks" in my family.  I know about "hicks".  (I could probably provide family photos for Jeff Foxworthy's "You Know You're a Redneck if..." books.)  I am adding a matching outhouse and a few other little rural touches.  I have this old barn-board looking fabric which will be perfect for this house.

The hardest thing about applique can be perspective...what part of the picture to put on top and what to feature to the rear.  I decided to do reverse applique on the windows and doors so they look "behind" the structure, so I glue in those features last.

 Weasley helped me with the windows and doors.
 After I applique these units together, I will embroider little things like window panes and door hardware.
Then I will arrange the blocks from the stitched units (houses, trees, etc.) and do the final stitching.  It felt so good to do a little work on this quarter of the quilt, as I had really developed quite a mental block for some reason.

Fence posts, fence boards and some trees...
Krause -Hobo Quilts
I want to share some pictures of a quilt from this book,  "Hobo Quilts: 55+ Original Blocks Based on the Secret Language of Riding the Rails."  My friend Mary Jones made it as a sample for Wendy's Simple Stitches in Howell, Michigan.

She put a train on the back featuring her labels and a picture of one of the gentlemen from the book.  The projects are cool and just reading about the history is really interesting.  GREAT book and great project for a man in your life or anyone who loves history!

While at Wendy's shop, I picked up this cool scrappy quilt pattern.  Their sample (which I forgot to take a picture of...oops!) featured the scrappy units in a vertical setting rather than the horizontal one featured on the pattern.  VERY cool!  Everything is based on 1.5 inch strips and squares.

ALWAYS looking for things that will whittle down my scrap bins!  Just another idea from my "box of chocolates" to nibble on this year...

In stitches,
Teresa  :o)


  1. I really enjoyed your post showing your appliqué in progress. Look forward to seeing your tutorial when you get it written. :o)

  2. it looks like we do our applique basically the I same I love the way it all comes together. I have some "wood/brick" type fabric too and love being able to use it here and there and there in applique.

  3. Love what you are doing with the Applique quilts, very ambitious. Something like that is on my "wish to do" list. Can;t wait to see the finished project. Oh and the Outhouse is awesome!! A great touch in "keeping it real!" ☺
    Have a great day!

  4. Love youre neighborhood quilt! Weasley is surely a big help because it is coming out wonderful!

  5. Your neighborhood is really coming along! It is fun to watch its progress.

  6. Love seeing your process of applique. I have some of the glue but I was wondering do you wash the block before you add it to the rest of the quilt or do you just leave the glue on it. I know it is just little dabs but I have wondered what it will do to the fabric.

  7. Your around town is amazing. I have a set of weights too and they are handy for holding fabric in place. I use them mostly for holding my quilt to trim the batting before applying the binding and when I'm sandwiching a quilt together.

  8. It's wonderful reading how you tackle applique. You need to put a link in your side bar so I (and anyone else....but mostly I) can come back and re-read your instructions :0) I'm going to have to look for those weights, they certainly would be handy to have.

    Oh and the house and church are great!!!!


  9. What a wonderful post! Weasley is the cutest cat ever - what a face on him. He seems very interested in everything you are doing.
    Are you hand appliquing these houses? I love the hick house, I also know and speak hick.
    You are having some fun around there!!

  10. You have a great collection of fabrics to use for houses. Wow! Love your house of these days I'm going to start one.

  11. O.k. girl I want to know how you managed to keep your cat from jumping into the middle of those nicely layed out pieces. Mine would have definately had a field day with thoseeeeeee lols with each picture I kept waiting for all those peices to be strung all over the place. lols


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