Sunday, January 15, 2012

Playing Catch Up

Hello, ladies,

I hope everyone had a good holiday season! I've had a couple of these blocks done for weeks now, and yet haven't managed to mail them. I'm so very sorry!


First up we have Jessica's HST's  Lovely, easy, and Done!

 Next up are Helen's Snowballs.  I have a bit of confusion as to if I was supposed to sew these four blocks together after seeing everyone else's posts, so I can unpick these seams if you would like!  I did use all different red fabrics, though so it is scrappy!

 And then, last, but certainly not least, is Shelly's block of torment.  Just kidding, kind of.  You should know that until I started this block, I hadn't done a stitch of applique.  And never planned on trying.  I've been practicing on some scrap fabric, and I would like to think that my skills have improved enough for me to jump into this for real, but your opinion matters, Shelly.  Let me know if you think I need more practice.

 It is straighter than the picture shows.  This piece of fabric was beautifully pressed until I started holding it in a death grip while stitching.

 And a close up.  Are these stitches too visible?  I feel like it looks like a really big, red millipede.  Any advice?


 So, Mary's block is up next and I'm very excited!  I so appreciate the extention of time on your part, Shelly, and the patience on the part of Jessica and Helen, as well.  

The thing about bees for me is that I want to put my absolute best work out there.  I'm very happy to be a part of this group and will try to mail in a more timely manner! 


  1. thanks Tara~
    the HSTs look great! I also had issues with my red stem in shelly's block.. I ended up drawing sewing lines on the white with water soluable marker and machine stitching the first seam.. (hoping the judges won't notice when shelly enters it in a "hand applique only" category at a show..)

  2. Looking good, Tara! Not the easiest block to applique for a beginner! So, I'm really impressed that you're giving it the go ahead! I think your stitching is looking pretty good! Just make sure when your needle goes down into the white fabric that it's as close as possible to the red. "Kiss" the red fabric with your needle. What needle are you using? I like a straw needle. I'll have to check the size. Maybe a 7?

    I didn't sew my snowball blocks together for Helen. I wasn't sure either! Hope it's okay I didn't!

    Are you doing needle-turn applique, by the way? I find that really challenging. It's much easier for me to do the "starch method" for turning under the sides and then stitching them down. I get much better results. If you need more info, let me know.

  3. Thanks, Jessica! I'm glad I'm not the only one!

    And thank you Mama Pea! I bought applique needles, but will look for "straw" needles as well. Amanda Jean suggested using a thinner thread, which may help too, I'm using a 50 wt thread, because it's what I had, but will try something thinner. I'm not expecting to be a pro at this, but do want it to look as good as I can make it!

  4. LOVE the snowballs you made, Tara! I see some really great red prints here. Sewing the blocks together was optional. If I need to un-sew any for the final assembly, I will be happy to do that myself, thank you!!

  5. You are so funny! Millipede?! It looks fine. I also don't care how long you take. I haven't even started on my border yet, and I'm about to decide to make some additional blocks to make it bigger (yes, I'm a glutton for punishment). You know, the more of it you do, the better you'll get -- you'll be an applique expert by the time you're done with this block. And now I'm off to try some more paper piecing and see if I have any better luck with Mary's block than I did with yours!