Wednesday, June 21, 2017

RIN QAL ~ Layout Ideas

 Looking for some other ideas for setting your Rin Blocks? Check out Cheryl's post at Meadow Mist Designs.

I'm loving how this block turned out! I was complimented by a few people on how well I fussy cut the circles and aligned the design perfectly. Truth is, I didn't try to do that - it just happened! But you might want to try if you have a similar or directional fabric...

I love when things like that happen!

Only a couple more weeks until the prize drawing. You can email a photo of your finished block to me at any time: cindy at hyacinthquiltdesigns dot com

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

RIN QAL ~ Invisible Hand Appliqué Stitch

Would you like your hand appliqué stitches to disappear like magic?

Well, there's no magic involved, but I'm back today with 3 tips to get the perfect invisible hand appliqué stitch!

1.  Use the correct thread ~ Choose a very fine thread (cotton, silk or poly will work) in a color that matches the appliqué fabric (not the background fabric) as close as possible. I'm loving the 80 weight Aurifil!

2.  Stitch the appliqué piece on the edge of the fold ~ When your needle comes up from the back and catches your applique fabric, just take a small bite (a few threads of fabric) right on the edge of the fold. When you go back into the background your thread will roll the edge of the appliqué piece under.

3.  Go back into the background EXACTLY where you came up ~ Once you've taken a stitch up and into the applique fabric and are ready to go back down into the background, be sure you are right at the same spot where you came up. You don't want to be to the right or the left of your stitch in the appliqué piece.

Bonus Tip ~
Probably the toughest spots are those inside valleys and you may have to be a bit less perfectionist there. I find it helps if you take a little bit bigger bite of the appliqué fabric (maybe 3-4 threads), then go back into your background at the same spot, but a bit underneath the appliqué piece. When you pull your thread, that edge will roll under. Honestly, some always look better than others!

The biggest tip of all ~ Practice!

Be sure to check on Cheryl's progress at Meadow Mist Designs!

Thursday, June 8, 2017

Canvas Lines Quilt

It was a beautiful day today and I took advantage of the nice weather to explore an historic site in South Carolina and photograph my latest quilt.

The bridge in the background is the Poinsett Bridge, built in 1820 and the is oldest standing bridge in SC.

The quilt is Canvas Lines, pattern by Cheryl at Meadow Mist Designs.

The pattern is in the 2017 Quilter's Planner, but Cheryl also offers it as a stand alone pattern.

I just love the diagonal lines and the negative space in the design...

I quilted it pretty heavily with a paisley fill in the negative space and lines on the pieced portions...

The backing is a lightweight soft flannel that I had on hand and the binding is a solid navy.

Couldn't resist getting a shot in the trees!

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

RIN QAL ~ Basting

We're back for our weekly tips for the Rin Quilt Along!

Cheryl at Meadow Mist Designs has some good ideas for basting this week.

And here's my design wall with my 4 Rin blocks! I have one more edge on the lower right to appliqué, then I'll be putting them together. Yay! (Sneak Peek at another project :)

Remember to share your progress using #RinAlong.

Feel free to email your finished block to me any time - cindy at hyacinthquiltdesigns dot com OR
Cheryl - MeadowMistDesigns at gmail dot com

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

RIN QAL ~ Tools for Appliqué

If you're participating in the RIN QAL, I hope you're moving along and having fun!

I'm here today with some tips on the tools that may make your appliqué a bit easier. Be sure to check in with Cheryl at Meadow Mist Designs for her progress!

When it comes to appliqué, there are all kinds of techniques and tools! The great thing about it is that they all work very well. It just comes down to what methods and tools work best for you! I've been appliquéing since the early 90s and have tried many different techniques. So I encourage you, if you're struggling at all, try a different tool or method. It may make all the difference in the world!

Today I'd like to share my current favorite tools...

1. Needles
My favorite needle is a straw needle in size 10 or 11. These are very fine and long needles that are strong enough to shove the fabric around when you need to.  I took a class many years ago from Jeanna Kimball and started using her needles. I've tried others, but always come back to these. I always use a thimble ~ the cheap, simple ones since I'm always losing them :)

2. Scissors
You'll need 2 pairs of really good, sharp scissors. One to cut all those layers of fabric ~ I found that my biggest pair of Gingher scissors worked great, using just part of the blade closest to the handle for lots of leverage. You'll also need a smaller pair of scissors with a super sharp blade all the way to the tip for cutting into the inner points. I love this Omnigrid pair ~ they cut perfectly right to the tip.

3. Pins
Any nice sharp straight pin is fine for pinning your appliqué pieces to the background, but I do love these appliqué straight pins. They are shorter and thread doesn't get as easily caught up in them when hand stitching.

4. Thread
In appliqué, you want your stitches to disappear as much as possible. A fine, thin thread is really going to help with that. I've used silk thread in the past, but it is slippery and a bit hard to work with. I recently switched to my go-to sewing thread, 50 weight Aurifil and found it worked really nicely. Aurifil recently came out with an 80 weight cotton thread {80 weight is finer than 50 weight} and they sent a few spools to Cheryl and I to try. And just as I expected ~ I love it. It's very fine and easy to work with. I'm definitely going to have to order some more colors. And speaking of color, you always want to match the color of your thread as closely as possible to your appliqué piece. 

I also like to have some Thread Heaven on hand. It's a thread conditioner and really helps if you find your thread tangling. It's like a wax that you simply run your strand over.

There you have it! My favorite supplies! Let me know if you have a favorite or a question in the comments...

Don't forget to share your progress using the hashtag #RinAlong.

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

RIN QAL - getting started!

Who wants to start a RIN quilt?!

I just finished my 3rd block and it's a wrinkled mess, but here are my first two...

Number 4 is basted and ready to appliqué...
See how a couple of my inner scallops aren't cut quite deep enough? As Cheryl mentions that will happen from cutting so many layers. I'll just clip those as I do my needle turn appliqué.

My plan is to do four blocks for a wall quilt, then add some hand quilting.

Be sure to share you progress on Instagram with the hashtag #RinAlong. Can't wait to see yours!

Monday, May 22, 2017

Pop Star Quilt

Pop Star is a quilt I made last Fall when I won {rarely happens!} a fat quarter bundle of Garden Dreamer fabric by Maureen Cracknell for Art Gallery. I'd had the pattern from My Quilt Infatuation for some time, just waiting for the right fabric to come along.

The star blocks are big and really show off the pretty floral prints in the line...

I really wanted to quilt straight lines on the outer pieces of the star block, so I waited several months until I was able to get Bernina's new ruler foot {#72}. It was a good place to practice my straight lines using the ruler and although I have some wiggles, I'm pretty happy with the way the quilting turned out.

I could give you all kinds of tips on ruler quilting on a domestic machine, but my friend Cheryl at Meadow Mist Designs already did a great post with tips. I purchased all the supplies she recommended and followed the guidelines she gave in this post: Five Tips for Successful Domestic Ruler Quilting.

The backing is a simple floral I found at my LQS on a Christmas sale and the binding is a navy Art Gallery stripe I had purchased earlier.

It's a quick and easy pattern! I highly recommend it!