Monday, October 31, 2011

Applique an Airedale, Part 3 - Cutting the Pattern Pieces

Step 1 - Cutting the Paper Patterns

Carefully cut out the pattern pieces you traced onto freezer paper earlier. Carefully, on the lines. It will seem like you have puzzle pieces because of all sizes and shapes.

Step 2 - Evaluating Layers

As you've been working with your pattern (and if you're appliqueing by hand) you may have realized that some pieces will overlap others. In the photo to the right I think you can most easily see that with the front legs on the right side of the photo. One front leg is attached to the dog -- it's the right leg. The other front leg -- the left leg -- is unattached. On the unattached left leg you can see the outline of the right leg. That unattached leg will be stitched before the leg/chest/head piece.

Look at the saddle/upper tail and hind leg/under tail. The hind leg/undertail will be stitched first, then the saddle/upper tail will be stitched on top.

Hold this thought while I tell you the next step or two. You may need to come back to this to look again.

Step 3 - Ironing Paper Patterns to Fabric

You used freezer paper to trace and cut out your patterns because the wax on the underside of the freezer paper will melt and hold onto fabric when ironed.

Lay your cut out paper pattern pieces shiny side down (drawn pattern side up) on the front of the fabric you've chosen for each piece. Heat your iron to the setting appropriate for your fabric (probably cotton) and place the iron on the paper and fabric. Do not slide the iron, just press. Hold for about 10 seconds, then lift. Let the paper cool for a moment and check to see if it adhered. You don't need to work at separating the paper and fabric, you just need to be sure the paper doesn't easily lift from the fabric.

You can iron all your pieces at the same time or iron them as you go.

Step 4 - Cutting the Fabric Pieces

The paper pieces you cut are the exact shape and size of the finished quilt block.

When you cut the fabric around the paper pieces, you should cut 1/4" beyond the paper. That 1/4" will be turned under and you'll stitch along that edge.
But that's not always true in hand applique. Because of the layers I mentioned above, some pieces or parts of pieces can be cut exactly on the line. In the photo to the right you can see that one leg has 1/4" of fabric to turn on along only one side and the curve at the bottom. The fabric on the left edge was cut along the edge of the paper pattern. That's because another piece will overlap it and cover that raw edge. You can see that the other leg has the 1/4" of fabric all the way around its edge. All of its edges will be turned under (except the top where the body will overlap it).

The photo at right shows both legs. You can see that the back leg stands alone and is turned under all the way around. The front leg is overlapped by another pattern piece.

Sometimes it's easy to see which pieces will be stitched first and have others overlapping them. Other times it's not so easy and you have to make a decision about how easy or hard it will be to do it one way or the other.

Step 5 Turning Under

The 1/4" of fabric around the outer edges of the pattern pieces will need to be turned under before they can be stitched to the background fabric.

Turn the fabric under along the edge of the freezer paper pattern and either iron it in place or finger press it (by scraping your using your finger or fingernail along the edge). Some pieces with tight curves may need to have a little glue from a water soluble glue stick dabbed into the fold.

Other posts in this series:
"A is for Airedale" Quilt Patterns Available Now!
Applique an Airedale, Part 1 - Tracing the Pattern
Applique an Airedale, Part 2 - Auditioning and Choosing Fabrics
Applique an Airedale, Part 3 - Cutting the Pattern Pieces
Applique an Airedale, Part 4 - Stitching, Finishing
Applique an Airedale, Part 5 - Photos

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Applique an Airedale, Part 2 - Auditioning and Choosing Fabrics

This is the second in a series of posts explaining how to applique a quilt block using patterns from "A is for Airedale." You can buy the patterns online.

Step 1
Audition Fabrics

Hannah helped me audition fabrics because I wanted ones close to her colors. You can see that some are too light, others too bright. Even though you may think your Airedale's tan parts are all the same color throughout, using a slightly lighter fabric for the parts that seem closer to the viewer and slightly darker fabrics for those toward the back (which will probably be in shadow) will give a feeling of depth and interest in the blocks. If you look at the individual blocks of "A is for Airedale", you can see what I mean. Bee members generally use batik or printed fabrics to give additional interest and depth.

It's a good idea to choose all the fabrics for your block before you begin. Lay them out together and see if you like the effect. Sometimes it might help to cut them to shape and lay them on the pattern where they belong to get a better idea how they will look together.

Step 2
Prepare the Background Fabric

Often the stitched Airedale appliques show up better on a light or medium light background. It's definitely easier to see where to place the applique pieces with a lighter background fabric.

Begin by cutting a piece of background fabric that is several inches larger than the pattern and than you want your finished block to measure. It should be large enough to cover the stabilizer on which you traced the pattern earlier. If the fabric is larger you will be able to applique beyond the border and have no worries about whether you'll have loose ends on the finished piece.

Carefully iron the background fabric so it is smooth and without creases.

Step 3
Layer and Attach the Background Fabric to the Stabilizer

Carefully lay the background fabric over the stabilizer pattern. Try to center the background fabric over the stabilizer pattern as much as possible and keep it smooth and unwrinkled. You can see why the pattern which was drawn on the stabilizer needed to be drawn with a dark pen.

When you stitch your applique, you will align the applique pieces with the pattern on the stabilizer and stitch through both the background fabric and the stabilizer.

With a needle and thread, use a running stitch to attach the background fabric to the stabilizer, keeping it smooth as you sew.

Next: Appliqueing a Quilt Block, Part 3 - Cutting the Pattern Pieces

Other posts in this series:
"A is for Airedale" Quilt Patterns Available Now!
Applique an Airedale, Part 1 - Tracing the Pattern
Applique an Airedale, Part 2 - Auditioning and Choosing Fabrics
Applique an Airedale, Part 3 - Cutting the Pattern Pieces
Applique an Airedale, Part 4 - Stitching, Finishing
Applique an Airedale, Part 5 - Photos

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Applique an Airedale, Part 1 - Tracing the Pattern

This post and several more will give step-by-step instructions explaining how to applique a quilt block by hand using the "A is for Airedale" quilt block patterns.

Note: there are links to specific products below. I have no association with any of the companies and don't recommend any particular brand. I included the links so you'll have an idea what you need when buy supplies.

Instructions below assume you have already purchased your pattern.

Materials needed
  • Paper pattern in the correct size. If your pattern is not the size you want it to be you can enlarge or reduce it with a photocopier (or you may be able to scan it and print it at a different size).
  • Stabilizer - water or heat soluble are available; or choose the tear-away kind

Step 1
Once you have your paper pattern ready, draw a border around it with pencil. This border will become the sewing line for finishing your block. If you make it larger than you want, you can always make it smaller but if you make it small, it will be harder to enlarge it.

Tape the paper pattern onto a window so you can trace it. It's important to have good light outside since you'll be tracing through two different translucent layers (separately). You can use a light box if you have one.

Step 2
Trace pattern onto stabilizer.

Stabilizer is a little like interfacing but, unlike interfacing, it will be removed when you've finished appliqueing. It gives you a stable background on which to sew your applique pieces. I suppose you could sew the pieces onto the background fabric without the stabilizer but if the fabric stretches or pulls, the applique pieces won't lie flat.

There are several different kinds and brands of stabilizer. Decide what you think will work best for you. If you're going to hand applique, you might like to have a lighter weight version. You can buy stablizer online or at most fabric stores.

Cut your stabilizer larger than you want your finished block to be and large enough so that you have at least 1" all the way around beyond the border you drew on your pattern. For instance, if you want a finished 10" block, cut your stablizer at least 12" x 12". This will allow working room.

Tape the stabilizer over the pattern on the window. Using a dark, indelible marker such as a Sharpie or Zig Writer, trace the pattern, including borders, onto the stabilizer. It's important that you work accurately on these tracings so that your finished applique looks like the pattern. When finished tracing onto the stabilizer, carefully remove the stabilizer and lay it aside.

Step 3
Trace pattern onto freezer paper.

Tape or very securely hold freezer paper over the paper pattern with the waxy size toward the window and the paper side toward you. You'll know if you've got it wrong because you can't draw on the waxy side. This freezer paper will need to be moved as you trace the pattern.

Using a pencil, carefully and accurately trace the pattern giving each section of the pattern its own space. Look at which parts of the pattern have confined sections so you can see which will become individual pattern pieces.

In the tracing to the right you can see that the saddle and upper tail were one piece; the near back leg and tail, another; each front paw was its own pattern piece; etc. At this point you can decide whether you want to applique or embroider the small parts like ears and nose. Bee members often embroider the eyebrows and sometimes the nose.

If you can't visualize this now, you'll be able to see it better in the next part of instructions.

Other posts in this series
"A is for Airedale" Quilt Patterns Available Now!
Applique an Airedale, Part 1 - Tracing the Pattern
Applique an Airedale, Part 2 - Auditioning and Choosing Fabrics
Applique an Airedale, Part 3 - Cutting the Pattern Pieces
Applique an Airedale, Part 4 - Stitching, Finishing
Applique an Airedale, Part 5 - Photos

Friday, October 28, 2011

Rocket Dog's TuckButtRun

My mum thinks this Rocket Dog is an Airedale doing a tuckbuttrun. Do you think so, too?

I think I look like that when I do tuckbuttruns. My ears go back and my tails sticks out. I go super speedy fast. I go so fast that my mum can't take a picture of me. She tried to take a video of me once when I was tuckbuttrunning but all that showed up was bits of me. I'm fast and she's slow.

Do you do tuckbuttruns?

Posted by me, Hannah.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Do Not Forget Me!

Most mornings my mum and I walk with our friend Janni.
When we first get up my mum makes me go outside
and she goes back inside. Sometimes I'm afraid she'll forget me.
I stand at the breezeway door waiting for it to open.

Then I spot my mum through the window.

If she doesn't let me in immediately
I tell her how important it is for me to come in because
I don't want her to go for a walk without me.

If she still doesn't let me in, I start to grumble,
then I complain, then I bark, then I howl.
My mum's never left without me but sometimes I'm afraid she will.

I love to go for walks because
I get to see and sniff those nice, soft, chewy cats.

Posted by Hannah.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Man of the Hour - Norah Jones

"It's him or me." That's what he said.
But I can't choose between a vegan and a pothead,
So I chose you because you're sweet
And you give me lots of lovin' and you eat meat.
And that's how you became my only man of the hour.

You never lie and you don't cheat,
And you don't have any baggage tied to your four feet.
Do I deserve to be the one who will feed you breakfast, lunch, and dinner
And take you to the park at dawn?
Will you really be my only man of the hour?

I know you'll never bring me flowers.
Flowers they will only die.
And though we'll never take a shower together
I know you'll never make me cry.
You never argue, don't even talk
And I like the way you let me lead you
When we go outside and walk.

Will you really be my only man of the hour?
My only man of the hour, my only man of the hour.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

The Gill Brothers Airedale

Isn't he a handsome fellow? I found him in the August 8, 1913, edition of The Bemidji (Minnesota) Pioneer.

I love finding Airedales in ads, no matter the year. I know they were very popular in the 1920s but I hadn't realized that they were already popular in the 19-teens. These days it's uncommon to see Airedales in ads -- but I know all ADT lovers perk up when we see them.