Its been a stitch.

Let’s put this learning project out of its and my misery shall we.  This project ended up being way more difficult and frustrating than it needed to be.  What made it difficult and frustrating you ask? Several things actually.

Let’s start at the beginning.  In order to find resources, I went to trusty google and searched for hand applique patterns to find something I wanted to create and came up with this football banner.  I needed to know how make this so I searched beginner hand applique, beginner needle turn(alternate term for hand applique) and when those didn’t yield the level of instruction I was wanting and needing I switched beginner for learn to.  I came across this blog I didn’t read it depth but it looked like a good tutorial so I proceeded.  When I was scanning through I noticed this blog said to trace the pattern directly onto the material, I didn’t want to do that.  It is much cheaper to toss paper than fabric.  So I went in search for directions to create a freezer paper pattern and found this blog.  The pictures looked good and the instructions seemed to be clear on first reading. As I proceeded through using both blogs there seemed to be an assumption of a certain level of skill and understanding of applique.  That is when I should have stopped and moved on looking for other directions. But I didn’t and I got really frustrated and lost focus on the whole point of the project. Once I got back to the true purpose of this assignment, I took another avenue, looked at Youtube and found this lovely ladies tutorials lovely ladies tutorials and in a matter of two hours I was stitching the piece. Had I gotten out of my own head I may be close to having a great piece done, but oh well.

I didn’t learn as much as I wanted to about hand applique but I did learn something about learning online.  The first thing is that certain things are harder to learn online than others. I have had success in the past learning other things, so was a bit surprised when this was difficult.  I also found that for nearly all the resources for my project even though I found them under a learn to search there was an assumption of some skill and understanding.  I also found it difficult not to be able to ask questions because when I searched the comments to see if the question had been asked and answered, I discovered that both blogs I was using were no longer active.  I think if you are going to keep the information up and not deactivate the blog take a minute and put a warning that the blog is not monitored.  I think it took me so long to get to Youtube to search was because google didn’t for some reason have any Youtube videos in my initial searches.

In fairness I do like learning certain things online and will continue to do so mostly using Youtube for detailed instruction.  If it is a little more complicated I will be looking to make sure the blog is being monitored to answer questions.  I wish it had been more fun like my last 2 posts but I learned a few things, so it was not a fail.



Almost done, sort of, kind of.

This is my last post before I wrap up my applique learning project for ECMP 355.   I am going to do this post in two (hopefully) brief videos, because these steps are easy to show than tell. I found this video on how to do the actual applique stitch.  I love the tips she gives for making yourself comfortable while stitching.  Sore back and an uncomfortable position is one of the reasons I hate hand sewing.  I will have to try her tips and see if it makes a difference.  So lets get this show on the road.

Part 1


Here is Part 2 actually sewing something.  I am not very good at the close up videoing but hopefully you get the point.


So there you have it.  A bit of the project.

Rethunk, Reset, lets do this, again.

Before I get into this post, I just want to clarify something.   My last two posts about this project were written and worked on 2-3 weeks ago.  They have been sitting in my rough draft folder waiting for me to figure out what to do.  So I have been mulling over my next course of action for that long.  I don’t want you to think that I am that good and got over and on with this project in less than 24 hours.

Now that you know I have mulled this over for a few weeks I had some clarity.  The big one was that I got so caught up in the project itself and got hyper focused on the end result of the project forgetting the true purpose of the assignment.  Once I refocused on the purpose, which was trying different avenues to learn the project, the light began to flicker.  My brain also messed with me and for some reason, I was convinced that turning to Youtube was some how cheating.  We will just attribute that flawed thinking to life circumstances colliding head on with school this semester and the end result a brain fart(maybe I shouldn’t write that).

With my new focus, and now under the gun to get a couple more posts in before midnight today, I turned to youtube.  I found some really helpful ones.  The first one was on how to use my seam gauge.  This handy little gadget found here and how to use it here.  Problem one solved.

My next and biggest issue was prepping the pieces.  The issue surrounding the pieces was how big to create the seam allowance(the part that is turned under in sewing, to prevent fraying) and how to measure it.  There has been some discrepancy between the seam allowance being 1/8 in and 1/4 in.  In this video, that I found the most helpful, she uses a 1/4 in, so that is what I am going to use as well.  The next issue was to create that seam allowance as close to 1/4 in as possible.  All the videos and blogs I have used have told me to eyeball.  We have seen what a disaster that is here.  I will measure the 1/4 in straight on to the fabric before I cut the pattern out. I did a brief video to make it a little clearer check it out.  I have a piece to work with and show you the next step. Stay Tuned.


Not having fun yet.

In the last learning project post I talked about how frustrated I was and that I had a few realizations about the pieces going together.  I have to say I was really ready to quit this project and if the project wasn’t a big part of the class mark I pretty much would have.

I decided to continue on and try to follow along from this blog and combine some of the ideas from this blog.  Well the only 2 things I got from the first blog was the necessary items to use and more confusion.

In this blog the tools of the trade are listed and most are the same as in my orginal list found here. There was also the addition of a light table, which isn’t entirely necessary, you can use another method for tracing the pattern.  I happen to have one and it made my life easier, I used it to trace the patterns onto freezer paper in the post last time. The item that was missing and began to send up red flags was a measuring tool.  With a sinking heart I realized that this blog was also going to tell me to eyeball the seam allowance.

In the blogs I have been using there is a discrepancy between how big the seam allowance should be.  The first blog is 1/8th inch, reasoning that you don’t want anything bigger because there will be too much material making the piece bulky.  The other school of thought is a 1/4 inch allowance because its the standard seam allowance and it doesn’t fray as much as the smaller allowance and its easier to work with.  Now what do I do.

I chose to use the 1/8th inch.  That was a huge mistake and this is me trying to fold an 1/8th inch seam allowance over.  Its not working.  So its time for a rethink.  Stay tuned.20170603_201001

Frustrations and Realizations!

I am going to put this out there, I am not having fun with this learning project right now.  First off, I am perfectionist, so when I don’t understand or get things right the first time that ups the frustration level right there.  When the instructional material, is not very user friendly that sends me over the edge.  I am there with both things right now.

Now that is off my chest, I chose to go the blog route first for instructions.  I tend to learn best by reading about something and then doing it.  In the blog I got the pattern from there was no mention of having to cut out the white stripes and laces on the football as separate pieces.  I didn’t realize that until I had cut out my football and looked at it.  The laces and stripes are quite small and will be difficult to add a seam allowance and time consuming to sew. There were also no additional instructions on the site on how to prep the pieces.  So I did another search and found a couple of more blogs.

I chose this one because I did a quick scan of the blog and it appeared she was very well versed in applique by photos of her work.  I followed the instructions on making my template from freezer paper and that went well. However I should have read thoroughly all the way through.  She didn’t tell me how to measure the seam allowance, you just kind of had to eyeball it.  I don’t eyeball anything ever, for a very good reason, it never works.  I have no sense of measurement that is what rulers are for. Needless to say it was a disaster.

Here is a short video of my eyeballing and realizations.

Time to rethink and reboot.  Until next time.

Applique 101

For my learning project for class I have decided to expand my quilting skills.  Quilting is one of my passions, although since I returned to school, I have very limited time to engage in my hobby.  I would considered myself a decent quilter, not an expert but middle of the pack.  Most of my quilts are what are referred to as patchwork.  Patchwork is simply taking the material and cutting it up into smaller pieces or patches and then sewing them together to create something completely new.  In patchwork most pieces are cut into triangles, rectangles or squares because they are easiest to sew.  Circles, curved pieces and other shapes can be used in patchwork as well. This is what makes the quilt top.

this is an example of a type of patchwork quilt. It is a king size quilt I made


Applique is another way to create designs on quilt tops.  In applique you cut a more intricate shape, such as a flower, a house, an animal, the possibilities are endless to what you can applique. After you have the shape cut out you attach it to the quilt top in a way that the edges of the shape look finished and don’t fray.  There are two methods of applique I am going to focus on if everything goes well, I may only get to one.  One is needle turn applique and in my opinion is the bigger challenge because you have turn a very narrow hem under the shape with you needle as you hand sew.  I am not usually very precise or patient when it come to hand sewing.  The second is machine applique, and you finish the edges of your shape with your sewing machine.  The trick here is often to move a large piece of material in a limited space while staying very close to the edge of the shape. We will see how it all goes.  I have tried applique once before and lets say its a good thing 2 year olds don’t care.