Sunday, August 2, 2020

Old dog, new tricks....

Well, I wish I was someone who used the Covid time as an opportunity to work on their UFO's....but I've been caught up in a couple of sewalongs along the way.

I've said it before....I'm a sucker for a sewalong!

The latest one is hosted by @thenextstitch on Instagram. She started a sewalong a few weeks ago called @shutdownstitchalong....I think because her area in Melbourne, Australia had entered a shutdown again because of an uptick in Covid cases. (I just have to say....up until a couple of weeks ago, I'd never ever heard the word "uptick" before. Now I hear it all the time and here I am actually using it!)

During this stitchalong we are encouraged to slow stitch for at least 15 minutes a day. Hey, I start everyday with slow stitching, so I'm in!!

Somehow during the beginning of the sewalong I saw the quilt Hills 'n' Hollers being shown and remembered that I have this pattern and what a good opportunity to try it. 

Should have worked on a UFO, right?...oh well. 

I thought it would be a great opportunity to use my Jen Kingwell Stash....just needed a background fabric. So, I made my way to my local quilt shop, Quilt Junction. Well, didn't I find out that Lana has started carrying a couple of Cotton & Steel fabrics....and I have a lovely stash of C&S fabrics sitting in a box at home. So I switched thing up to use these fabrics.

You can see that I basted down all the pieces first to make sure the "hills" were spaced out nicely across the fabric. 

I baste in my applique once in a while....normally to attach all the "vines" in a piece of applique. It takes extra time, but I find it worth it in the end.

When I posted a picture on Instagram showing my progress in the sewalong, a friend commented that it looks like surfboards....I like that and I think this quilt will now be known as Beach Blanket Bingo!....anyone old enough to catch that reference???

Once the surfboards were in my head, my brain somehow leapt over to a pattern I bought recently and thought that if I incorporated part of that pattern it would kind of look like sun rays. The pattern is "Hunt" by Carolyn Friedlander...

So I read through the pattern and was surprised to find out that she uses a whole other method of applique in this design. 

It scared me and thrilled me at the same time, lol!!!

I've been a quilter for over 40 years now and I've got a lot of my methods down pat....but I always enjoy learning a new tip or trick that I may be able to add to my toolbox. 

Here are all the pieces pinned to the background...

The next step was to baste each piece down....with the stitches precisely 1/4" from the edge of the applique piece. Not difficult when you've been a quilter for a while as the 1/4" measure comes quite naturally, right?

Then I was to needleturn applique the pieces. But wait a minute....for years now I've been finger-pressing my seam was this going to work????....that was the scary part. I was prepared for the fact that this would not be my best work, but it would be a learning experience.

So I started this morning...on a straight section as the curves were going to be the messy part...

Well, here's the brilliant part of this method....those basting stitches really make a nice "edge" that my needle used to follow as I was needle-turning. So pleasing in an inexplicable way.

Then came the curvy bit, and it worked out just fine. I'm quite happy with my work this morning, and I can see using the "Hunt" pattern for a full-sized quilt.

I will digress for a moment.

A long time ago I read this book and I came to call it my applique Bible...

Almost everything in this book revolutionized my method of applique.

 When I have trouble with curves (and circles were my nemesis for a long time), I always remember this bit of the just make that next stitch a good stitch, concentrate on just that stitch...and this passage of the book served me well again doing the curves this morning. 

My design wall is full at the moment, but I had to see how Beach Blanket Bingo was really looking...

I like it....a lot!!! I can even hear Annette Funicello singing in the background as she dreams about Frankie Avalon.

This quilt has been quite the journey that has morphed in many different ways since I began the #shutdownstitchalong!!

On the design wall is my Halo quilt....a long-time UFO that will finally be a real quilt because of another sewalong on Instagram.

I put the blocks up haphazardly to live with for a while and shuffle them around when I see something that needs shuffling...

Already I know that this is a quilt that will call for hand-quilting.

Halo will be my One Monthly Goal for August. I am linking up with Elm Street Quilts for One Monthly Goal.

I am also linking up with Kathy for Slow Sunday Stitching


  1. Such charming quilts! Great use of your time!

  2. Piece O' Cake has been my applique Bible for years as well. I may have to try the 1/4" method sometime. :)

  3. Your halo quilt is lovely. I just love scrappy quilts.

  4. SO much fun going on over there!
    I'm way too young to get the beach blanket reference *snort*
    So awesome that after all this time, there is still another method to learn!

  5. Love your projects. They do look surfboards!

  6. Wonderful stuff in this post. I follow Carolyn and have eyed Hunter for awhile now. I use freezer paper for applique and needleturn scares me. I think I tried it once and it was so wobbly. But kudos to you for working it out. It's a great method and minus the papers.Meanwhile I love Halo too. Happy Stitching to you!

  7. That is great advice and I too have to remind myself when I applique! I watched so many Becky Goldsmith videos from Piece o Cake and that's pretty much her method a stitch at a time! Can't wait to see how this turns out!

  8. love the halo quilt I too am a Jen Kingswell fan

  9. Thanks for linking up with Elm Street Quilts One Monthly goal and good luck with your project.