Friday, July 12, 2013

Wreath Block - Skills Builder

I like wreaths. I have made a few and they are fairly straight-forward. The wreath block for #12 Chester County Criswell quilt appeared easy enough...but wait...what about those tiny circles in center of flowers and slits in the flower buds (pomegranates)? Uh - Oh, time to S-T-R-E-T-C-H my skills. Here is a peek at on my progress and explanation about how I am doing it. I would also be happy to hear some tips from YOU about how to do it better!

I saw instructions on making those tiny circles and slits by building the block in hand and layering the fabric under the main applique piece. A little tedious but totally doable since I have completed reverse applique before (such as those long channels in CCC block #4). I have not however, tried it on anything so small as the cut-outs on the wreath block. WOW! It is time to stretch my skills, so I decided to make the center of my flowers this way. This worked pretty well to make a tiny circle. I folded the flower in half and cut a slit, then folded in half the other way and cut another slit resulting in a tiny X in the center of the circle that I would be reverse appliqueing. It worked fabulously! I am happy with the results. I decided to make the center flowers yellow and the buds the same color as the flowers. I think I'm going to like how it looks.

Now for those thin narrow slits of the buds - cutting the one thin slit went fine, but sewing not so easy. It is a little messy - frayed and almost button-hole satin stitch look on an edge. For a first try, I can live with it and have three more bud to "practice" on. HA!

UPDATE: No! ...wait.... I mis-calculated, I have FIVE more tiny buds to sew, with two slits each. At least I am getting better at it :)


Carole~Wheels on the Warrandyte Bus said...

Your reverse applique looks great. I used a very sharp seam ripper to cut the slits after I tacked the pomegranates down but I'm sure it's better to cut them before. I also tend to stab stitch around small inner curves.

Kathleen C said...

Thanks for describing your method-- I'm not at the wreath block yet. Your block will be lovely. Around narrow concave curves I stab stitch, too, as Carole said. I end up with the stitches showing more, as if I've used the thread to "remake" the fabric that raveled where I cut the slit.

Nancy said...

Your blick is looking great. I didn't even notice that the little circles were reverse appliqué until I started reading blog post about this block. Mine have the circle on to and it will just have to do.

Miriam said...

I did my reverse appliques last night. I first make a cut in the top fabric, then place the contrast fabric at the back. I use the tip of the needle to "sweep" the top fabric under itself, then use tiny stitches in a fine thread that matches the top fabric. All this is done before the pieces are placed on the background fabric.
Your block is looking great so far. I love the fabric you have chosen for your flowers.

Wanda - Scraphappy Blended Quilter said...

Thank you so much each one for the tips and encouragement! I think I'm on the right track - I now need to continue to practice.

Karen said...

I tried your "X" method when making the flower centers and it worked well. Thanks for the tip.