Saturday, January 26, 2013

Photos of Reuben Stubbs' Block

Here are the first six blocks.  How many do you have? Are you ready for Block 7 on 1st February?

Here are the links to the photos of each block.

And here are the photos for Block 6.  You can add your photo here if you show it on your blog.

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Thursday, January 17, 2013

Welcome to My Needleturn

While working on this quilt I have been amazed by the many different ways there are to sew one piece of fabric to another.  Needleturn, back basting, freezer paper on top, freezer paper underneath, starch, gel pens ....  the list goes on and on.  A number of readers have shared photos of their Work In Progress - we love to see how you do what you do - and I thought it was time to show you how I tackle the applique blocks.

I had the Chester Criswell quilt in my possession for about 25 years before I started the current project.  I was frightened by the thought of all that applique.  When my patchwork group did a session on needleturn I found myself busy doing ... anything else.

Facing my fears, I signed up for a course with Quilt University titled Hawaiian Quilting 101.  It was wonderful.  The instruction was clear, starting from zero and moving step by step through the hand applique and the quilting process.  My piece is still a UFO, but this is my first ever needleturn project.

Hawaiian Quilting UFO

I use the instructions from Hawaiian Quilting 101 to make the CCCQ blocks.  This is how I made Reuben Stubb's block.

I fold the fabric in half and in half again, pressing lightly, and pin the paper pattern to the fabric.

Cutting from folded fabric

I cut out the fabric adding a quarter inch allowance to the pattern.  I do this by eye without marking the fabric.

Fabric piece cut from paper pattern

I baste the applique to the background using a contrasting 'ugly' thread (so you want to get rid of it as soon as possible.)

Basted applique

Then I start sewing, turning under the seam allowance and checking with the paper pattern as I go.  That's all.  I don't use freezer paper and I occasionally use a marking pen.

The pattern emerges from chaos
I love the way the pattern appears as the sewing continues.  I've also found that the more I sew the more I enjoy it.  Needleturn applique is just like Green Eggs and Ham.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Quilts in the Baltimore Manner

If there was one exhibit I could go to this year it would be to Colonial Williamsburg and the Quilts in the Baltimore Manner exhibition.

There are some pictures of the gallery on the Quaker Quilts blog

and here.

Barbara Brackman has some great closeups from the exhibit on her blog

Barbara has focused on the detail of the applique and the stitching around each shape.  We usually try our best to hide the stitching but many of the quilters here used the stitching as embroidery to add to the design.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Block 6 Reuben Stubbs

The pattern for Block 6 was sent out through cyberspace this week, so The First Year is halfway done!  I hear from a few people who are keeping up with the blocks, how are you fairing?

Reuben Stubbs, Peach Bottom
I've chosen Reuben's story to go along with this block.  Can you see that it's the top left hand corner of the original quilt?  Reuben was a Quaker and is recorded as a conscientious objector in the American Civil War.  I love the name 'Peach Bottom'. I've tried to find our what 'bottom' means in a place name, but you can't Google 'what does bottom mean?'

There are two more blocks in the quilt made from the same pattern.

Ellen Cummins, West Philadelphia
Humphrey Hood, West Philadelphia

Here the applique is made from a single fabric and the design is slightly stretched.  I can't find any information about Ellen or Humphrey.  Who knows, Humphrey Hood could be the name of Ellen's cat!

Martha Watkins, West Philadelphia

Martha's block is at right angles to Ellen's block.  The strongly striped fabric is an interesting choice for this applique pattern, I like the floral in Ellen's block better.

If you haven't started the Chester Criswell Quilt you can join in at any time.  You don't have to sign up for the whole year, each pattern is available separately.  You can find all the pattern  here at .