Now this is the fun part! Grab a cuppa, your petal shapes, a 12" square of your background fabric, glue stick, applique pins, needle (size 11 straw), threads, scissors, a light box ... if you have one ... and lets go!
Placement of your applique shapes ...
You will need to position the placement guide, that you made in step one, on a flat, firm surface where you can place your background fabric over it and still see your placement makings through the fabric. Obviously, the easiest way to do this is by using a light box but if you don't have one there are other ways to do this .. such as securing your project to a window or to a glass top table etc. Alternatively, you could carefully trace over the positioning lines using a fine permanent marker so that you can see the lines through your fabric without a light source - although this will probably only work if your background fabric is white.
Tape both the placement sheet & the background fabric in place using a little masking tape to avoid movement during this step. Apply a little glue to the seam allowances on the back of one of your petals.
Once complete, carefully position the petal shape over one of the centre petal positions on your background fabric, making sure you match up your points.
Apply glue to the back of another petal and carefully position it on the outer edge of the block ... see below ... taking care again to patch up your points.
Continue in this manner around your block, carefully positioning your petal shapes making sure that the points meet as perfectly as you can manage ... this job will be made much easier if you have been able to create sharp points when you originally made the petal shape.
I use glue to initially position the petals because it makes it quick & easy to reposition them, if you need to.
Although the glue stick will hold the petals in place initially, because you will be manipulating the project around quite a lot while you stitch, you will need to pin the petals in place to ensure their stability until they are secured permanently with your stitching.
Applique pins are perfect for this purpose as they are lovely and small making it less likely that you will get your thread caught up in them while you are stitching. You will also need a couple of pins along the side of each petal in addition to the pins I have used in this photo.
Stitching your shapes in place ...
Before we jump into the applique stitch here are a few little tid bits that you may or may not have a hankering to know about ....
Do you sometimes have problems with your thread knotting up and becoming tangled while you are stitching? It may just be because you have threaded your needle with the wrong end of your thread!!! If you are left handed, like I am, you should thread your needle using the end that you cut ...not the end that comes off your cotton reel! If you are right handed you should thread your needle with the end that comes directly off your cotton reel.
Do you know how to make a 'Quilting Knot' in your thread??
Basically this is just a french knot of sorts .... thread your needle then take the eye end of your needle between your thumb & second finger ... place approximately 1cm of the long end of your thread between your first finger and the needle - holding it in place with your thumb.
Wrap your thread over and bring it back under your needle holding the loop in place on the needle with your thumb and first finger ....
Then while holding the loops in place firmly with your thumb and first finger .... use your other hand to carefully pull the sharp end of the needle through the loops of thread, while continuing to hold the thread loops firmly with your thumb & first finger.
creating a small knot in the end of your thread.
Which direction should you stitch?
If you are left handed you will find it easiest to stitch from left to right and if you are right handed you will find it most comfortable to stitch from right to left ... generally speaking that is!
Blind stitch ...
We will be using the exact same stitch that you would use if you were needle turning this applique ... but you obviously don't need to flick your seam allowances under with your needle because we did that earlier!
Firstly I will show you the actual stitch then we can look at the order that I sew the shapes down later. Anchor your thread behind your block under the applique shape you intend to work on. Pull your needle through to the right side of your project by coming out slightly under the applique shape, taking the needle up through the petal as close to the fold line as possible (the fold that was created when you turned the seams allowances under).
While holding your block with your non-dominant hand ... thumb on top and fingers under where you will be stitching - your first finger should be positioned directly under where you are stitching. Carefully take your needle straight down into the background fabric directly in line with your initial stitch.
Once you feel the tip of your needle pop through to the back ... tilt your needle back and take it back up through the background fabric ... only a millimeter or two from where you came through ...
... remember to come through your background fabric a thread or two under the shape then take the needle through as close to the folded edge of the shape as possible. Pull your thread through firmly.
Basically this is the stitch that you will be using through out this entire project. If you are careful and you match your threads well to your applique shape you shouldn't really see your stitches.
Remember that your stitches should only be a couple of millimeters apart. You should find the back of your project should look something like this ...
* your stitches are too far apart
* you aren't beginning your next stitch where the last stitch finished
* you are coming through your applique shape too far from the shapes folded edge
* you are coming up through your background fabric at a point that isn't slightly under your applique shape
This really isn't a hard stitch to master and once you get in the swing of it you will find that you will really motor along!
Stitching order ...
I start my stitching off along the edge of one of the centre petals about an inch from the centre point. I stitch toward the centre. Once I reach the centre I then anchor all of the other five points making sure that they all meet as closely as possible in the centre.
To do this... bring your needle up under the petal you are working on, just before the centre point of the block. Then take the needle into shape, slightly below the centre point, slide the needle along in between the seam allowance and the top surface of the shape coming out through the point. Now take the needle through the background fabric at the centre point bringing the petal point to the centre of the block. Continue to sew a few anchoring stitches along one edge before moving to the next petal.
Once all of the centre points have been secured select one petal and continue along one edge to the other point.
Continue stitching along the inside edge of the adjoining outer petal, then down the next inner petal, up the other side of that same petal and so on until all of the 6 inner petals have been sewn down and the inner edge of the 6 border petals. Do not, at this point, sew down the outer edges of the border petals ... this will be completed when the blocks are sewn together.
That's it!! I hope you can follow all of this ... it has been a challenge to get decent photos for this post as it is pretty much impossible to take photos myself while using both hands to stitch .... so Joshua spent quite a lot of time taking photos of my hands today! ... Oh and his brand new thongs!!!
... the first person to finish a block and post a picture of it on the Joseph's Coat flickr page .... will collect a How does your garden grow pattern. You will need to be listed as participating in the quilt along to play along.
... the first person to finish off 7 blocks and post a picture of them on the Joseph's Coat flickr page .... can select any one of my patterns to do with as they please. Don't forget that you will need to be listed as participating in the quilt along to play along.
Seeing the plan was 3 blocks every 2 weeks I think it would be great if we could all meet on Flickr at least every two weeks to share our progress.
Edit ... Edna has been checking up on you girls !!! (see comments) If you are joining in please;
* make sure your link is functional on the Mr Linky list - please check yours and let me know if it needs fixing
* make sure that you have at least linked to the quilt along on your blog if you have one ,,, fair is fair guys!
* if you have decided to opt out .. no problem ..just let me know so I can take you off the list.
I will run lots of random giveaways and incentives during the making of the quilt ...but you will need to be on the Mr Linky list to join in.
Congrats to Marielle was the first to complete a block! Well done Marielle ... it looks lovely too with the green background! Very dramatic!;
If you are in the UK and looking for something to do this weekend make sure you head off to the Chilford Autumn Quilt Festival .... if you happen to make it there please go and say hello to the Buttonberry Duo who have apparently rustled up a Meg's Garden & Oh Christmas Tree of their very own ... in their spare time!!!!
As for me ... well I am going to be burning the candle at both ends even more than usual this week as I have in a moment of total madness weakness decided that it would be a good idea to take a stall at the Quilt Market (trade show) here in Melbourne next weekend ... how everything is going to get done before Friday I have no idea!
Enjoy your weekend!