That block that was ready to be stitched down, ultimately became one of four dresden plate decorative pillows that were given as Christmas gifts this year. I couldn’t share them before now, because we hadn’t had our final family celebration yet. Despite a false start or two where the block didn’t want to stay put while I was stitching it and bunched up badly, I eventually used fusible adhesive to hold the center of the blocks in place while I hand appliqued the edges down. It worked like a charm!
I must say that I was fairly intimidated by the idea of hand applique with a hidden stitch. I had done hand blanket stitch applique before, but after my friend, Beverly, showed me the proper stitch, it just felt like something that I would be willing to try.
I am proud to say that all of the pillows turned out beautifully and were happily received!
It’s been a busy week with a bit of success in the dresden plate department. I was able to use some of the (much needed and appreciated) advice that readers graciously left me in the comments last week to find a way to correct my problem with the blocks.
I used a circle of Wonder Under fusible interfacing to affix the blocks to the background fabric. This left the points at the end of each blade free for hand applique, while eliminating the shifting problem. It worked beautifully and I had four completed in the time it took to watch a Netflix movie.
Limited progress on the ornaments, though. It’s harder to stitch them (without actually catching the back layer with the needle) than I thought, so I may have to rethink what I am doing with them. But, they will get finished, one way or another.
I did a tiny bit of hand sewing with friends while working on some other Christmas gifts, but nothing that I can really share right now.
Hand stitching did happen at our cabin this weekend, but it didn’t all turn out as expected. After pinning and preparing the dresden plate blocks, they shifted during stitching. While I was fretting over making sure that my stitches were small and hidden, my block started sliding in a bit of a spiral pattern. Some un-stitching is definitely in order so that I can try a different technique next time. I really didn’t see that coming. I am used to pinned fabric staying in place.
After I posted the above photo to the Celebrate Hand Quilting forum on Facebook, I got several helpful tips to help me in moving forward. I think I will try to fuse the blocks down with some Wonder Under (stopping a half inch or so before the ends so I can still hand applique the blocks). I am hopeful that it will hold the blocks firmly in place while allowing me to practice the tiny, hidden stitches that looked so nice (before I noticed the shifted blocks). Oh well, it’s all part of the ol’ live and learn philosophy that I have and that I will continue to have until it becomes a major time crunch–then it’s time to panic! For now, time is not an issue, so I will soldier on for another week and see how things go.
I hope that all of my American friends were able to celebrate Thanksgiving this year with an open heart and a stuffed tummy! For my international friends, I hope you were able to spend some time with family this week also! Love to all the stitchers out there!
What are you working on this week? Are you a Slow Sunday Stitcher?