Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Still stitching...

I've been stitching nearly every day but it's on the same project so I don't have anything in the way of results to share yet.  Instead, let's focus on the process.  Personally, I love a peek inside others' supply boxes and am very attached to my own little box of tools so I thought I'd open it up for you.

I am working with a group of very talented stitchers to make a reproduction of a friend's antique album style quilt.  I mentioned it in my last post.  Well, you know how these group projects can go - life happens and volunteers get distracted - so the organizers might wind up sewing more than they thought they would.  For now, I've got all four border to stitch and I'm still on the first one!

This is my applique supply box.  All my current applique projects are a variation of red and green so thread inventory is pretty simple.  The box is the Tupperware sandwich box and everything I need fits perfectly inside.

My applique method of choice is back basting.  I know it isn't for everyone but it works for me.  I like to use a high contrast thread color and am fond of the Mettler cotton 30 weight thread.  It leaves a big enough hole that it sort of perforates the fabric which makes it turn right along the basted line.  Once a piece is basted I clip the curves and every other stitch and pull them out as I turn the fabric under and stitch along the edge.

This project only has five different shapes so I cut squares and rectangles in advance which makes the basting part pretty fast and the project very portable.  I take it everywhere with me these days.

Here is a portion of my border that is partially basted and partially stitched.  When doing repetitive work I like to have a system.  For this project, I baste 8 leaves one night and then stitch them down the next night.  Then I add a stem, flower and center to enjoy a color other than green.

Here is my seemingly endless border.  Doesn't red and green play well together? 

I'd love to see inside your little tool box and hear how you organize your stitching.


  1. I love red and green quilts. I don't know why I've never tried to make one. That border is going to frame the quilt so nicely. I just ordered a new Yazzii double organizer to put all my applique threads, thimble, scissors, and pincushion inside. I hope it works better than the bag I've been using. I prefer the back basting method too. I am able to get the applique exactly where I want it.

  2. It's such a lovely border design. Looking wonderful so far! Nobody would want to see my messy workbag. I keep my threads and thimbles in a ziplock bag, scissors in a little tin and my 1970's pincushion my mom made me when I was a little girl - all jumbled together in a quilted bag. I do love my 40 year old pincushion :0)

  3. That is the cleanest little tool box I have seen. Mine has little bits of thread and probably some little snips of fabric as well. I tend to sew on airplanes, cars, school bleachers etc. I end up using my tool box as a thread catcher.
    Love the quilt, can't wait to see it.

    1. Hi Jill,

      My reply kept bouncing back so I hope you get it this way. I'm guilty of leaving thread snips behind (or stuck to the front of my shirt). I do try to clean them up but they sometimes get swept to the floor. I keep them out of the box, though!


  4. I too enjoy seeing how others organize their sewing tools. Neat idea for a post! You have a great system going for keeping the pretty green and red project portable and rolling along.

  5. IT looks beautiful so far. I love this quilt. You will have a beauty when it is finished. Love your tool box. It is just perfect.

  6. Gorgeous! I love seeing how others do their applique. My method is similar except for the blue pen. Do you wash yours out frequently or wait until the end of the project? I had a bad experience in the 1980's with the purple pen so I am scared to use one now. I'm sure they have perfected them by now!

  7. You are quite organized with your little sandwich box. Me....not so organized. I have not been anywhere away from home that I would have been stitching. So my supplies are a mishmash on top of a folding tray I keep in front of the chair I do all my handwork in.

  8. Very pretty border!
    Since applique is not my thing, I am unfamiliar with the back basting method. But you appear to have it mastered. Your work looks beautiful!

  9. So excited...because I can see you have a tiny piece of a fabric I am trying to buy. Its the chrome green with tiny yellow star flower print - I just need the name if you know it please. There are not many reproduction shops where I live and its impossible to search online without a name! Thank you for the explanation about back stitching. I am making Warm Regards by Kim Diehl and the method of applique I am using sometimes doesnt suit the shapes, so I will try this method for the flowers. You can see my blog motherpatchwork and search for warm regards, you can see I am one leaf short of this gorgous print...but I want to buy metres more if I can track it down. Thank you!

  10. Your red and green is such a classic and everything is so neat and lovely. You look very organized!


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