This month’s block was pretty quick and straightforward. One of these days I am going to get all my background pieces cut and pieced, but I haven’t gotten around to that yet, so for now I am just doing them block by block. I like that this block has a little bit of every background piece. I wasn’t sure how all my backgrounds would look together, especially the two checks, but I am okay with them.
First I gathered all the horse pieces. I already have all my pieces sorted into baggies, so it was just a matter of making sure I had all the pieces I needed. You will notice that I don’t cut the teeny tiny ones out until I am ready to use them. With a two year old in the house, I never really know how long I am going to be able to work in my sewing room, and those little pieces disappear so easily…
Again, I lay my applique pressing sheet over the layout guide. (I won’t go through all these details every month…just for the first couple of months in case someone jumps in now and wants to get started.) It’s very easy to see the design through the pressing sheet. I just can’t seem to take a picture that shows that.
The pressing sheet allows me to place the pieces exactly where they go in relation to the other pieces. It isn’t super critical with a design like this, because it would be easy to “eyeball” this pattern. But it is essential when you do more complicated or detailed designs. I built the horse completely on the pressing sheet, let it cool, and then peeled it off and placed it on my background. Then I repeated the process with the top…but I didn’t press down the very top piece of the top. That will get pressed down after I sew this block to the adjoining block, as the top overlaps the seam. You will notice I eliminated the dots on the background…just didn’t care for them.
Before I get too far behind, I am going to start stitching down the applique. Usually when I machine applique, I like to use a tiny zig zag stitch with Aurifil 50 wt. thread. I am considering doing this with a blanket stitch. I just got a new sewing machine (hip! hip! hooray!) and I haven’t tried out its blanket stitches, so I guess I will do that and see how I like them. The reason I like the zig zag is that the stitching goes through both the applique and the background, providing enough weight that I don’t get tension issues. A lot of the blanket stitch is done just on the background, which in the past has given me puckering. I know I could use a stabilizer to help with that, but that just seems like too much trouble….anyway, I’m going to play around and see which I like better…I’ll let you know what I decide. How do you all finish off your applique edges? I’d love to hear some feedback on this!