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Sunday, February 6, 2011

A First For Everything

A first BOM (Block of the Month)
A first attempt at needle turn applique

"Wisdom House"
Designed by Jan Patek
Completed Quilt Size: 69" x 89"
Block #1 Size: 26" x 12"

I've always wanted to try a BOM... so, I guess 2011 is the year to do it! This block actually shipped to me the end of December... but, fear of messing up had delayed the actual stitching of it until this month. Yes, I do have two additional blocks waiting "in the que" so to speak... lol!

I got past my fear of messing up by admitting to myself that "of course there will be mistakes in this quilt... it's a first try... nothing finishes perfect on a first try!" I'll just take this a block at a time and enjoy the learning process. :-)

One thing I am a bit clumsy with is holding the seam allowance under the applique piece while stitching. The stitching (blind stitch) is pretty quick once I get going... but, holding the fold under is what's making this a slow process. This try I traced the image to the freezer paper and then folded the seam allowances under as I was stitching... the next block I will once again use freezer paper.... but I will iron the seam allowances under and then pin in place before stitching. I'm hoping this will make the process a bit less clumsy, which in turn will make it more enjoyable. Any tips or tricks on cotton applique would be appreciated...

As you can see, I still have yet to add the little bird... but, he will have to wait until the block above this one arrives since he overlaps the next block...

Are my stitches even?

Are my stitches invisible?

Are my points sharp?

Are my corners square?

Am I having fun?


What have you postponed trying because you were afraid to "mess it up"?


  1. Hi Sharon,
    With needle-turned applique you shouldn't have to press seam allowances under or use freezer paper. I wish we lived closer together so I could show you how I do it by basting it on and turning under as I stitch. The turned under seam allowance ends up being only about 1/8 inch. If you get books from the library on Baltimore Album applique they could show you the method.
    I love needle-turned applique, my very favorite!
    Good luck!!!

  2. Great job Sharon! Good attitude!! I use a different method of needle turn applique but I crease where it will turn under with my fingers and then use the tiny applique pins to hold in place. The tiny pins are nice as there is less chance for your thread to snag up on them. You'll get more relaxed with each one and be a pro by the end!! I think Jan's style is more relaxed and not "perfect" anyway so just enjoy the process. You go girl!!

  3. It is very cute. I'm glad you are having fun with it.

  4. oh, Sharon...that is LOVELY! Relax and have a good time with it and don't be all fussy. You'll get the hang of it with time and practice. I took a needleturn applique class once and the teacher was very proud of my tiny, even stitches. I never picked it up again. Takes too dang long and I don't have that much patience!

    So, if you turn under the edges and pin them, is it still (technically) called needleturn applique? Just asking...do whatever works for you. {grin}

  5. Sharon ~
    You are doing a GREAT job. Please keep us posted on your progress. It will be lovely.
    Keep on havin' fun with it.
    Hugs :)

  6. Try needle turn applique. It is much easier. And no pressing to freezer paper. There are lots of good sites for instructions at your fingertips.

    What did I put off because I was afraid of trying? Knitting socks. I just finished my first pair and I LOVE IT! They are so much fun, and I love the feel of them on my feet!

    I also put off learning to ski...tried it, and I think I should have learned earlier in my life. Now, I'm too cautious. So, I guess I will sit in the lodge and knit socks and watch everyone else.

  7. Well I think it is looking super. I enjoy needle turn applique and I agree it will get easier the more you do! Just have fun!!!

  8. Well i think it all looks great so you are doing something - i agree with everyone - relax - enjoy - do what works for you - same outcome!

  9. Oh it looks wonderful! can't wait to see more.

  10. Great Job!! Glad you enjoy it. I get to tense when I do applique, so I stick to piecing blocks. Can't wait to see the finished project.

  11. Good prim block. I so like Jan Patek desings.

  12. I think you are onto something good!! If it were perfect than it wouldn't be "handmade" !! Will patiently wait to see the next block!!! Your go girl!!!


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