Tuesday, November 30, 2010

making a start

Last Sunday morning was spent preparing my background squares for BTCT. Self discipline lasted long enough to get about 15 cut, squared up and pressed into quarters, before the lure of applique took a hold. After reading some posts about needing to squeeze the pattern onto the background, I elected to cut my squares a little oversized, then they'll be trimmed down later.
This is Block 4 but my first, not interested in doing them in order! I really liked this block and enjoyed the gentle curves of the oak leaves and the fine bias hooks.  Not too time consuming either, one afternoon and two evenings, I can see it feasible to get 1-2 made each month.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Bias Stems and Vines

Hi Everyone,
I thought I'd show a couple of pictures that explain my bias strips. My method is pretty simple, I spray starch my fabric quite well prior to cutting the bias strips. After cutting the strips, my go to method is the Clover Bias tape maker. Simple and it keeps my fingers from getting burnt! I slowly pull the tape maker with my left hand and keep the iron nose pressed very close to the tape maker. Slow and steady wins this one. Once the fabric is through the tape maker, I let the iron sit on the bias stem for another minute. Then I leave the bias stem on the ironing board to cool. I will make 3 or 4 pieces before I move the first one.
Then I take a paper towel tube and wrap the bias stems and secure them with applique pins. Now I have lots of stems to use when I need them. I'm using one fabric for all bias stems and wreaths in this project.

Mary's block 4

Block 4

Moving right along. . . .  This block didn't hold my interest all that much and I had trouble focusing on it.  I think it's the repetition of the large shapes.  I like the finished block but it wasn't as interesting to stitch.  Did anyone else have this problem?  

I'm curious about how you all are doing your vines, stems, etc.  I'm making bias strips.  Are you all doing the same or cutting the shapes instead?  Some of those curves are tight!

Block 5 is going to have to fit itself in around Christmas preparations today.  I have to get some things wrapped so I can have my dining room table back.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Cherries, cherries, cherries...

My paper pieces finally came in the mail today so I am giving them a try with the cherries that I had gathered a little while back. 

I wasn't sure how I would like the paper templates.  I have never used them before, but they seem to be working well, so I am glad I took the jump.  Hopefully I will have all 130 gathered and pressed this evening.   

Happy quilting. 

Friday, November 26, 2010

Another #2

Well, I'm relieved it's over.

This block looked so easy.  In fact, I thought it was rather plain.  After checking my books on older quilts, I found it is a common block and instantly recognizeable.  So I couldn't add any fancy doo-dads.

Just to make it more interesting I decided to piece the leaves, Susan McCord style.  I've always admired the quilt hanging in the Henry Ford Museum.  I can't remember it's name but you probably know the one I'm referring to.  That bit wasn't hard after I discovered it appliqued easier if the seams were pressed open.

Fitting the design in a 17" background proved awkward.  Anyone who is doing this quilt may like to comment on how big they are cutting the background.  The pattern says 17" but for block  #3 I have cut my background 17.5"  Now I am moving right along on #3 and hope it, too, doesn't slow me down.

Mary's block 3

Block 3

I had the camera at a strange angle so the picture looks a bit off.  I really expected to struggle with those 'fingers' at the bottom of the pineapples but they didn't seem all that bad - a nice surprise!  Now on to block 4.  

I'm tearing my background squares so today I'm truing them up and blocking them.  It's amazing how far off grain bolts of fabric are wrapped.  My big shopping trip for Black Friday is to my LQS in a few minutes for more fabric for this quilt.  Wish me luck!

Block 14 all done

I did take another photo - much clearer.  Must be time for a camera service.  WW

I managed to get the block finished at my sewing group today.   Sorry about the clarity of the picture again.  I think someone has been messing with my camera focus!  I will try another camera later on.

My block is made just from scraps out of my basket, and is remarkably like one a few blocks back.  Now, back to my other applique projects for a couple of weeks..  Wendy

On Track with Block #4

I hit my deadline of Thanksgiving day. I actually finished this block at 11:45 pm.
Now I'm off to bed to sleep off my turkey dinner. I hope everyone has a very good Thanksgiving weekend. I'm thankful for many things, but the internet and blogging is simply amazing! I enjoy all the posts from all over the world.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Mary's block 2

Block 2

Block 2 is complete and block 3 is prepped.  I can see a stray thread in the picture but it's just a stray.  Block 3 may take me a while.  

I zigzagged the edges of the first block and put it in the washer on gentle.  I had nothing to lose so just went for it and it came out good.  No more halos.  I think I gave it neither enough water nor enough time to discharge the fugitive dye in the red so it just bled onto the closest fabric when I dunked it but all's good now.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Block 5

Block 5 completed and I've started block 6. I'm hoping to work on it as I'm visiting with family this week.
Have a wonderful week!

Block 1

Block 1

Thanks for inviting me to join!

Here's my completed block 1.  I can see red halos around the flowers and I'm surprised.  I rinsed it out to remove markings before I pressed it, so that my be the problem.  I've always just waited till the quilt was finished and tossed it in the machine without a problem.  I'll try re-washing it and hope that works.  Otherwise, I'll redo the block.  The rest of my reds are in the washer with Retayne as I type.

Block 2 is about half done.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Time to think of Thanksgiving....

and I now have time to do that because #14 Cherry Tree block is done. 

I am going to have to rethink using this fabric in this quilt again though.

I think if I have used it three times in this quilt, then that is it.  I won't be using it again, unless  it starts to really drive me crazy. Then I will be replacing them.   We will see. Only time will tell. 

Something to think about....this block takes us (or those that are this far I should say) over the halfway point.  Still seems like a long time when you think there are still 11 blocks to go though. 

Sure hope December's block is an easy one.  I think I am tired of doing the little hairpin turn flowers.  I want to move onto something different

By the way, I finally ordered the Paper Pieces 1" circle templates.  I am anxiously awaiting them and giving them a try.  I do have 130 of those babies all ready to be gathered on.  

Ok....off to plan my dinner. 

Have a great evening. 

Friday, November 19, 2010

Much to Learn

Thank you for the invitation to join the group. I haven't started my blocks yet, but this week I coffee dyed some muslin for the background.

Reading everyone's posts before making the blocks is going to really help. This pattern is perfect and I'm looking forward to working on it. A winter project when the snow blowing here in on the plains. Lori in South Dakota

First Block

I have finished my first block and am happy with the results.

This was technically my first block that I started last year. I was not happy with the fabric. It was too thick and just did not lay right so I gave up and put it in the "to do someday" pile. I am much happier now that I have decided to use prints!
I am so glad I found this blog it is spurring me on to work on the blocks.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Block 6 question

I have to know what you ladies think of this bird in block 6. I went back and looked at the block photos on this blog and someone (sorry, I can't remember who) did it in red and it looked good in their block, but it looks so out of place to me on the drawing. Have you noticed it? What's your thoughts about it?

I'm trying to get this next one prepped because it is the easiest hand project I have to pick up while company is here next week.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Block #4

I got the finishing touches on block #4 this weekend. I've never used a solid so predominately in a quilt, but I'm liking it!! I prepped block 5 and started it while waiting for my car to get serviced yesterday. I'm moving right along with it.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Block #3 is done

Block #4 is prepped and ready to stitch down. I'm loving this project, I hope everyone is enjoying these blocks as much as I am.

My First Block

Okay, it is official now...have just completed Block #1 - even though only 1 of those large cherries and 17 small gold centers, I can see the advantages of the paper pieces vs. Perfect Circles...especially down the road when tackling that border! I chose to do the little centers raised rather than reverse applique.

Thanks Sharon for all the patience and assistance in describing how to set up the blog. I am brand new to Blogger and don't even have my site up and running....still playing with the arrangements. There were some glitches with our Mozilla but everything is okay for now. In the meantime, I am still posting on WordPress also - just put a lengthier post up this afternoon at that location. Drop by for a visit (http://taylorsoutback.wordpress.com)
Have a good week and Happy Stitching all those cherries.


Pictures of the Whole Quilt

If you want to see what the whole quilt looks like, here it is.
I printed off the bottom photo and counted the border cherries, 167 is my best guess.
Now I'm off to count the leaves. You can guesstimate their size by looking at the whole quilt.

I've finished block #3 and prepped #4, whoohoo. These photos should keep your mojo going!

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Number 14 off and running!

I have got all my first level of pieces basted in place, and ready to start stitching tomorrow.

 This is not a very clear photo - sorry.  Have been at it for ages, and can't get it clear.  Will tray again later
This is the back, where I have traced the block, and tacked in place. 

I took a better photo - at least you can see the fabrics now.  WW

Friday, November 12, 2010

Here are the last two....................

Here is block five, and my block six, below. I know it isn't from the quilt, because I just didn't like block six, so I did something different. I'd like to add some more birds into the upcoming blocks, too. I know a lot of you change your blocks to suit your personal preferences as well, and isn't it fun?

I have stopped marking my outer parameters with a pencil for obvious reasons. Duh. What was I thinking? I look forward to seeing more of everyones beautiful work.  Michele
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My first Beyond the Cherry Tree blocks................

Hi everyone, my name is Michele, and this is my first post on BTCT. I know many of you already from your blogs, and I was delighted when this blog started up.  These are the first of my blocks. I had become a little discouraged because no one else seemed to be working on the quilt, other than Wendy, and I put it aside, but my interest has been revived by all your wonderful blocks.

For some reason Picasa/Blogger won't let me load more than four photos at a time. Does anyone know how to get around that? I see more than four pictures all the time on other blogs. Well, I'll just do anoth short post to show the other two..............please scroll down if you'd like to see them. Michele
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Thursday, November 11, 2010

3 out of 4 on #3

I'm making headway on #3. This block does get easier, but I recommend doing a dry run with at least one section. My goal is to do 2 blocks per month to catch up and I will have this block finished by the 15th. Block 4, here I come!  Edit: I am back basting this block and a bit tip is to keep a round toothpick in the corner of your mouth.  With the little bit of moisture on it, the toothpick is super handy in turning under the tight inside curves.

I Am Ready To Go!

I have my stack of fabrics and am ready to go! I have been collecting this block ever since it first came out last year. I made the first block and really did not like my fabric choices, so I put it away. I have always wanted a red and green quilt but have never been able to find a nice red and green solid I like. I think these are going to work. I am planning on getting the first block together tonight.

Wait no Longer

Block 14 is posted!!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Waiting for Block #14..

What do you do when you are waiting?  Make hundreds of cherries!

At least I have started to make all those cherries that are going to be needed for the border.  Right now I have traced out 1" circles, cut them out and have started the running stitch on several of them.  I guess I can see the reason for ordering the paper templates that was suggested, because all I have are the four plastic Perfect Circle templates and I can see that  is going to be a bit of a chore.  So...I guess I will place an order for 200 of those paper ones.  Once these are done, I guess I will have to start thinking about all those leaves, too. 

Sunday, November 7, 2010

#13 is finally done with three days to spare

Ok....don't get too excited.  I am on my own schedule, so don't feel any pressure.  I found this quilt when there were  four blocks available and not ONE of them was blocked out where you had to buy them. So I lucked out.   Once I discovered them and printed those four, within a matter of a couple days  the first three blocks were blocked.  Now the gal who is posting them (Gay) only has one up at a time. 

Anyways, my plan is to get one block DONE each month, so I quickly caught up to where I was supposed to be and I have been pretty much on target except for the last two months (lots of family stuff, funeral, etc. going on).   

So...tah dah...here is #13.

Not so sure about my light colored leaf here.

Love the upper flower even though I complained about all the fingerlings in the previous block.

....and here is the completed block.

Now I have a couple of days to breathe before block #14 comes out.  Except, Sharon has me thinking about all those cherries for our borders, so I am sitting here with all my reds in front of me  and am actually thinking of at least tracing out  a ......few.....or maybe more.....cherries this evening...just to save my sanity later. 

The Whole Quilt

If you want to see the whole quilt, click HERE, a new window will open and scroll to the bottom of the page. I just checked to make sure the link is still correct and it is. I noticed that Gay has revamped her website. The photos are excellent.
As for the paper circles, I got them from this site, Paper Pieces. They were excellent to deal with, and will cut you any size circles you want. I ordered 200 of the 1" so I could make a few here and there, use up bits of scraps from blocks and have the 165 or so done for the border. I won't be working on the border for at least a year, so I figure the circles will be easy to work with by then. I'm not pressing or starching, just gathering and leaving.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Block Three and Border Cherries

No, don't get excited thinking you are going to see my Block #3 finished. This one is a lot of work. Here is my progress, I have 2 more stems to applique, then to back baste the bottom part of the motif. What are these, anyways?
This has been much easier, making cherries for the border. My paper pieces arrived and this company did a custom cut for me so they may have the 1" circles on their website now. This is an easy project to do while at a guild meeting or watching tv.
I hope you have all had a few minutes to stitch this weekend. We get an extra hour tomorrow, yeah!