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Archive for August, 2010

Proverbs 3:13-14

I really like the simplicity of block four.  I’m a comfort dresser so the a-line dress holds  appeal for me.  Are you ready to cut into some more girly fabric?

Paper Doll Quilt Block 4

Before constructing block four, take a few minutes to read the introduction to the series where you will find helpful information.  You may also want to read through the instructions for previous blocks since one tutorial builds upon another.

Download the following PDF files from BOX in the right margin:  10_A-Line Dress Applique and 11_Pointed Collar Applique.

Roughly cut out the printed applique pieces and adhere them to card stock.  Now cut them out true-to-shape.  These will serve as your templates.

Take the A-Line Dress (10) and Pointed Collar (11) templates and outline them onto double-sided fusible web.  Peel away the paper backing, stick the shapes on the back of your fabrics, and cut them out with short-nosed craft scissors.

Outline On Double-Sided Fusible Web

From a pastel cotton fabric, cut a 7 ½-inch background square.  (Kona cotton is a good choice.) Starch and press the square and adhere a light tear-away stabilizer to the back.

Mark the center of your square background block.  Measure the height of the applique and place a piece of tape at the top and bottom placement points.  This insures that the applique will be centered correctly.

To mark the vertical lines where the ric rac will be placed on the dress, fold the dress applique in half.  Fold again about half way and finger press a crease.  I’ve included a picture of the backing paper so that you can see where the lines fall.

Fold Creases for Ric Rac Trim

Applique with Crease Lines

Now position the A-Line dress on the background square.  Cut two 3 ¾” lengths of thin ric rac trim.  Apply a few dabs of fabric glue or basting glue to the back of the trim to help keep it in place as you place it along the outer fold lines.  Tuck the bottom ends under the dress hemline.

Place Ric Rac on Outer Fold Lines

Cut two 1 ¼” sections from 3/8” wide white satin ribbon.  Fold in half and finger press.  Place one folded tab on each side of the lower dress by carefully lifting the edge of the applique and tucking the raw edges of the tab underneath.  Finger press the area to re-adhere the fusible.

Place the collar in position.

Position Collar

Following the package instructions, press the applique pieces in place.  Always use a pressing cloth for this step.

Set up your sewing machine with thread that matches your ric rac and collar.  Using a straight stitch, begin at the hemline and sew the ric rac down.  When you reach the collar, travel along the edge of the point until you come to the second length of ric rac.  Sew down to the hemline.

Sew Ric Rac with Straight Stitch

With a self-threading needles, take the thread tails to the back and knot them.  Trim off excess thread.

Take Thread Tails to Back

With a blanket stitch set at 2.3mm length and 2.0mm width, sew around the raw edges of the collar.

Blanket Stitch Around Collar

Change the thread in your machine to a color that matches your dress.    Now blanket stitch around the raw edges of the dress.  If you don’t have blanket stitch, use a zig zag stitch to secure the edges.

Blanket Stitch Around Dress

Gently remove the backing stabilizer.

Block four is complete!  Save your templates so that you can mix-and-match more paper doll outfits in the future.

Check back soon for block five.

Blessings,

Nancy

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Psalm 9:9-10

What fun I’m having coordinating one little outfit after another for this paper doll applique series.  Today’s block is graced with a long sleeve top, round collar, full skirt, and apron.

Paper Dolls Quilt Block 3

If this is the first block you’ve clicked on, please read the introduction to the series as well as the instructions for block one.  You’ll find helpful information in those posts regarding the download of needed files and the necessary supplies to insure success.

For block three, download the following files from BOX in the right hand margin:  6_Long Sleeve Top Applique,  7_Full Skirt Applique,  8_Apron Applique,  9_Round Collar Applique.  Follow my previous instructions for making templates.

Outline the templates onto double-sided fusible web, such as Steam-A-Seam Lite 2.

Outline Templates on Fusible Web

Peel the backing paper off and stick them to the backside of your selected fabrics.  Carefully cut out each piece with short-nosed craft scissors and set aside.

Cut Out Applique Pieces

Cut a 7 ½-inch background square from a pastel solid cotton fabric such as Kona cotton.  Starch and press the square and adhere a light tear-away stabilizer to the back.  (I use a 50-50 mix of starch and water.)

Mark the center of your square background block.  You may find it helpful to measure the height of the applique and place a piece of tape at the top and bottom placement points.  This insures that the applique will be centered correctly.

Peel off the remaining backing paper and position your applique pieces on the background square, working from back to front.  For example, place the long sleeve top on the background square first, then the full skirt, collar, and apron.  The pieces are repositionable so don’t worry if you don’t get them positioned correctly the first time.

Placement of Applique Pieces

Cut two 1 ¼” sections from 3/8” white satin ribbon.  Fold in half and finger press.  Place one folded tab on each side of the lower skirt by gently lifting the edge of the applique and tucking the raw edges of the tab underneath.  Finger press the area to re-adhere the fusible.

Using a pressing cloth, heat set your applique according to package directions.  These will vary depending on what brand of fusible you are using.

Cut a thin piece of trim for the apron waistband.  I chose ric rac and used a light dab of basting glue to help keep the trim in place.

Cut Trim for Apron Waistband

Beginning with the apron, sew a small blanket stitch around the raw edges using a matching thread.  I set my blanket stitch at 2.0mm width and 2.3mm length.  When you reach the ric rac areas, switch to a 2.0mm straight stitch.  (Test the decorative stitch on a sample fabric first.)  If your sewing machine does not have decorative stitches, a simple zig zag stitch works quite well.

Straight Stitch Ric Rac

Blanket Stitch Around Apron

Switch to a thread that matches the remainder of the ensemble and blanket stitch around all raw edges.

Blanket Stitch Raw Edges

When you come to a sharp corner, leave your needle in the down position and pivot the fabric; then continue stitching.

Needle Down at Corners

With a self-threading needle, take all the thread tails to the back and tie them off.  Trim off excess thread.

Take Thread Tails to Back and Tie Off

When your block is complete, gently tear away the backing stabilizer.

Since the quilts I make are donated to crisis pregnancy centers, I don’t embellish them with any small objects that could come loose over time.  On this particular block I did add a crocheted flower at the base of the collar.  It is glued and sewed down to the point that it will never come off.

If you are making this quilt for a wall hanging, consider embellishing the blocks with  beads, sequins, Angelina fibers, yarns, or other decorations you have on hand.

Have fun and stayed tuned for block four.

Nancy

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2 Peter 1:3

Thank you for your kind comments and emails regarding the new block series.  I hope you are enjoying it as much as I am.

Today we move on to block two, which is a very simple applique design using only two pieces but the results are cute as can be.  One piece is a puffed sleeve top.  Whenever I think of puffed sleeves, my mind immediately goes to Anne of Green Gables.  Remember Anne’s desire for a dress with puffed sleeves?

Paper Dolls Block 2

Before constructing block two, take a few minutes to read the introduction to this series where you will find helpful information.  You may also want to read through the instructions for block one since one tutorial builds upon another.

You will need the following items to successfully complete the paper doll blocks in this series:

  • Small print cotton fabrics
  • Pastel fabric such as Kona cotton for background blocks
  • Fusible stabilizer
  • White satin 3/8” ribbon for tabs
  • Embellishments such as ric rac, ribbon, lace, etc.
  • Embroidery thread
  • Sharp short nose craft scissors
  • Steam-A-Seam 2 Lite or other double sided fusible
  • Card stock for applique templates
  • Sharp thin-leaded pencil for transferring designs to fusible web

To construct block two:

Download these files from BOX in right margin:  4_Puffed Sleeve Top Applique, 5_Jumper Applique.

Roughly cut out the printed applique pieces and adhere them to card stock.  Now cut them out true-to-shape.  These will serve as your templates.

Take your puffed sleeve top (4) and jumper (5) templates and outline them onto double-sided fusible web.  Then peel away the paper backing, stick them on the back of your fabrics, and cut them out with sharp, short-nosed craft scissors.

Outline Templates

Cut a 7 ½-inch background square from a pastel solid cotton fabric.  I recommend Kona cotton.  Starch and press the square and adhere a light tear-away stabilizer to the back.

Using a quilting ruler, mark the center of your square background block.  I find it helpful to measure the height of the applique and place a small piece of tape at the top and bottom placement points.  This insures that the applique will be centered correctly.

Peel off the paper and position your applique pieces on the background square.  They are re-positionable, so don’t worry if you don’t get them right the first time.  Start with the puffed sleeve top. You may want to trim the lower part of the top to reduce bulk.

Trim Top

Decorate the edge of the sleeves with a thin trim such as ric rac.  I use a light dab of fabric glue to help keep the trim in place.

Trim Sleeves with Ric Rac

Now position the jumper over the top and run your fingers over the surface so that the fusible will stick to the background fabric.

Cut two 1 ¼″ sections from 3/8″ wide white satin ribbon.  Fold in half and finger press.  Place one folded tab on each side of the lower jumper by gently lifting the edge of the applique and tucking the raw edges of the tab underneath.  Finger press the area to re-adhere the fusible.

Take the block to your ironing center and cover it with a pressing cloth.  Follow the package instructions for the setting and time in which you press the applique pieces in place.

Set up your sewing machine with embroidery thread; loosen the upper tension slightly.  Choose a decorative stitch and embroider the center area of the jumper from neckline to hemline.  (It’s always a good idea to test your stitch on a sample fabric to make sure the tension is correct and the stitch is to your liking.)  If your machine does not have decorative stitches, use ric rac or some other embellishment to decorate this area.

Add ric rac around the neckline.

Embroider Center of Jumper

Although I didn’t add pockets to the jumper, I think they would be a cute addition at this point.

Now sew a small blanket stitch around all the raw edges.  I set my blanket stitch at 2.0mm width and 2.3mm length.  When you reach the ric rac areas, switch to a 2.0mm straight stitch.  (Again, test the decorative stitch on a sample fabric first.)  If your sewing machine does not have decorative stitches, simply sew a zig zag stitch around the raw edges.

Blanket Stitch Raw Edges

Carefully remove the backing stabilizer.

Since more wardrobe pieces will be coming in future block tutorials, you might want to place pieces #4-5 in a zip-lock bag for safekeeping.  It won’t be long before you can mix-and-match the pieces to create unique paper doll applique outfits.

Block three will be coming soon so check back frequently.

Blessings,

Nancy

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James 3:17

This is the first block in my new paper doll series.  Please read my introduction to the series before starting this tutorial.  You will find important information in that post entry regarding the download of necessary files and their approved uses.
Paper Doll Quilt Block One
First, you will need the following items to successfully complete the blocks in this series:

  • Small print cotton fabrics
  • Pastel fabric such as Kona cotton for background blocks
  • Fusible stabilizer
  • White satin 3/8″ ribbon for tabs
  • Embellishments such as ric rac, ribbon, lace, etc.
  • Embroidery thread
  • Sharp short nose craft scissors
  • Steam-A-Seam 2 Lite or other double sided fusible
  • Card stock for applique templates
  • Sharp thin-leaded pencil for transferring designs to fusible web

To construct block one:

Download these files from BOX in the right margin:  1_Frock Applique,  2_Low Skirt Applique,  3_Peter Pan Collar Applique

Roughly cut out the printed applique pieces and adhere them to card stock.  Now cut them out true-to-shape.  These are your templates.

Paper Doll Quilt Templates

Use Card Stock for Applique Templates

Transfer the applique shapes to your fusible web by drawing around the edges with a sharp pencil.  Follow package directions to determine which side of the fusible to draw on.

Outline Shape on Fusibile Web

Peal away the paper side of your fusible and place the sticky side on the back of your fabric.  Cut out your applique pieces with a sharp pair of craft scissors, carefully following the drawn outline.  Set aside.

Cut Out Appliques

Cut a 7 ½-inch square from a solid pastel cotton fabric that coordinates well with the fabric prints you have chosen for your appliques.  Starch and press.  Partially back with a fusible tear-away stabilizer.  You can find my favorite stabilizer for quilting purposes here.

Back with Fusible Stabilizer

Mark the center of your square background block.  I also find it helpful to measure the height of the applique and place a small piece of tape at the top and bottom placement points.  This insures that the applique will be centered correctly.

Mark Center of Background Block

Peel away the paper backing on applique #1 (frock).

Peel Away Paper Backing

Position the frock on the background block.

Position Frock

Cut two 1 ¼″ sections from 3/8″ wide white satin ribbon.  Fold in half and finger press.  These are your tabs.

Place one folded tab on each side of the skirt by gently lifting the edge of the applique and tucking the raw edges underneath.  Finger press the area to re-adhere the fusible.

Placement of Tabs

Using back to front order, position the remaining applique pieces on the background block.  For example, place the frock on the background square first, the low skirt second, and the collar third.  Add embellishments as you go along.  I chose to place a ribbon embellishment down the front of the frock.

You can cut away some of the frock that is under the low skirt to reduce bulk.  Add any additional embellishments you would like to accessorize the outfit.

Take the block to your ironing center and covering it with a pressing cloth.  Follow your fusible instructions for the setting and time in which you press the applique pieces in place.

Set up your sewing machine with embroidery thread and an open toe foot; loosen the upper tension slightly.  Choose a nice decorative stitch and embroider the area where the lower skirt meets the frock.  (It’s always a good idea to test your stitch on a sample fabric first to make sure the tension is correct and the stitch is to your liking.)  If your machine does not have decorative stitches, this would be a good place for ric rac or some other embellishment.

Now sew a small blanket stitch around all the raw edges.  I set my blanket stitch at 2.0mm width and 2.3mm length.  Again, test the stitch on a sample fabric first. If your sewing machine does not have decorative stitches, simply sew a zig zag stitch around the edges.

Blanket Stitch

Gently tear away the  backing stabilizer.

Block one is complete!  I hope you had as much fun as I did constructing this adorable block.  Since many more wardrobe pieces will be offered in future block tutorials, you may want to place pieces #1-3 in a zip-lock bag for safekeeping.  It won’t be long before you’ll be able to mix-and-match the pieces to create unique paper doll applique outfits.

Stay tuned for block two, which will be coming soon.

Happy stitching,

Nancy

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Applique Paper Dolls Preview

I don’t know when I’ve had so much fun designing quilt blocks.  It all goes back to a few months ago when my little granddaughter came for a visit.  She’s all girl, lives in a world of pink, and loves paper dolls.  Before she arrived, I purchased the Princess set of “paper” dolls made by Melissa & Doug.  Of course, they’re not paper at all but sturdy pressed wood with magnetic ability to hold all the clothing to the doll.  Where was Melissa and Doug when I was young?

As I watched her dress the doll this way and that, my brain began translating the activity into fabric and fusibles.  So I went to work drawing simple little dresses, skirts, tops, vests, jackets, collars, and other clothing items on paper.  I then adhered the pieces to card stock and cut them out to serve as my templates.

Paper Doll Quilt Templates

Since the pieces were small, I did a test block to make sure the entire process “worked.”  Worked it did, and so I’m now beginning a new appliqué quilt block series that I believe you will thoroughly enjoy sewing and quilting along with me.  At this point, I’ve only constructed two blocks so this is a work-in-progress.  I haven’t even come to a final decision on lattice or block borders.  But first things first–on to the blocks.

Every time I post a new paper doll quilt block, you will find the necessary appliqué files in the blue BOX in the right margin of the blog.  Click on the file you need and choose “download.”  The files are in PDF format and copyrighted for your personal use only.  Feel free to use them for quilted gifts and charity items but not for commercial use of any kind.  If you have any questions regarding use of the files, just email me.

Once you’ve downloaded the files, print the appliqué pieces, cut them out, and adhere them to something substantial like cardstock.  (I find that spray adhesives that gum up your needle and you wouldn’t think of using again with fabric work great for this purpose.)

I hope you enjoy making these paper doll blocks along with me.  In fact, I would love to see all the cute outfits you come up with from the various mix-and-match appliqué pieces I’ll be posting.

Blessings,

Nancy

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Ecclesiastes 3:11

To complete the X-Box quilt top, I chose quarter-square triangles for the alternate blocks because I like the secondary design they produce.

Quarter-Square Triangle Block

You can follow my Quarter-Square Triangle tutorial to construct the four alternate blocks, plus the X-Box, Part Two tutorial for the block border.

First, make four quarter-square triangles.

Make Four Quarter-Square Triangle Blocks

Add borders to each block.

Position all your blocks in sewing order. Sew the blocks together in groups of three. I find it helpful to pin where seams need to match up.

Press the new seams of each row so that they butt up against the seams of the row they will be sewn to. For example, first row pressed to the right; second row pressed to the left; third row pressed to the right.

Sew the rows together. (I pressed the row seams open to distribute the bulk.)

Sew Rows Together

Add a contrasting border if you like.  My outer border measured 3 inches.

Add an Outer Border

Press the quilt top carefully, put together your quilt sandwich, and quilt as desired.

I quilted X-Box in a close diagonal grid pattern, using a wavy stitch and Valdani 50 wt. cotton thread (Color 6).  The stitching is about an inch apart.

Grid Quilting

Here’s a close-up of the quilting.

Closeup of Quilting

Another happy ending with a colorful quilt for a little boy (or girl).

X-Box Quilt

It’s seems so effortless to make quilts for girls since most fabrics just “work.”  Boy quilts, on the other hand, take a little more planning on my part.  Have you found this to be true?

X-Box Quilt Folded

Have a great week of quilting!

Nancy

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Proverbs 16:2-3

In part one of the X-Box quilt block tutorial, we constructed the main units of the block and sewed them together.  We’re now ready to add a border.  I think you’ll like this easy sew and cut method, which can be used for any quilt block you’re making by adjusting the measurements.

X-Box Quilt Block Border

The following instructions will create a border for two X-Box blocks, which will in turn become lattice when you sew your blocks together to form the quilt top.

Border Strips, Set One:

(1)  From two different fabrics, cut rectangles  4″ x8″.

(2)  Place one rectangle on top of the other, right sides together.  Sew the two short sides, using a quarter-inch seam allowance.

Sew Short Sides of Rectangles

(3)  Cut this unit in half, parallel to the seams.

Cut Unit in Half

(4)  Stack the units together with the seam allowances at the top or bottom.  Cut the units in half as shown (perpendicular to the seam allowances).

Cut Units in Half Again

(5)  Press open.  You should now have four strips that measure  2″ x 7 ½″.

Four Border Strips

(6)  Sew two of these strips to the sides of your block as shown, matching the center seam allowances.  Repeat this step for the second block.

Sew to Sides of Quilt Block

Border Strips, Set Two:

(1)  From two different fabrics, cut rectangles  4″ x 11″.

(2)  Follow steps #2 through #4 above.

(3)  Press open.  You should have four strips measuring  2″ x 10 ½″.

(4)  Sew the strips to the top and bottom of your block, matching the center seam allowance.  Repeat this step for the second block.

Wasn’t that easy?  I love the way this method creates a double lattice effect around the blocks.

I’m off to complete my X-Box quilt.

Happy quilt making!

Nancy

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