Golden Days by Jen Kingwell
Washaway Applique Sheets Steps
Here is the process I used for my sample of the Month 1 Golden Days applique block. The same method could be used for any of the other applique blocks in the quilt. Or for any other applique project! It uses a product from C&T Publishing called Wash-away Applique Sheets. It is a leave-in material that softens with soaking and handling after the shapes are sewn down. You may find it interesting to give it a try sometime. ~Tracy
1. Trace around the outside of the template onto the Wash-away Applique Sheets. I like to use Frixion pens because the ink disappears. It will not be in a visible area anyway should it reappear if you subject your quilt to extreme cold. Cut out on the line. (You do not need to trace the image onto the right side of the fabric as is pictured above.)
Position the sparkly side to the wrong side of your shape fabric and fuse in place for just a few seconds. It is ok to press on the paper side. Trim the fabric about 1/4" away from the paper, or less.
2. Clip the valleys of the fabric, up to the edge of the paper but stopping just a couple of threads short. Clip in a few places along the curves as well. Use a water soluble glue pen such as the one by Bohin pictured below (similar to a glue stick but finer and easier to use) to apply a thin skiff of glue to the paper--avoid getting glue right on the edge. Press the fabric over the paper into the the glue. A Purple Thang tool is really useful for this process. Work your way all around the shape.
3. Use the method described by Jen Kingwell to make your circles for the center of the posies. Or you can use the same method demonstrated above, or a combination of the two. I put paper inside of my circle for extra dimension and to block the show-through of the seam allowance. Because I chose to use a fun printed circle fabric for four of my flowers, I used a slightly smaller circle from the Perfect Circles applique tool set by Karen Kay Buckley. Applique the circles to the center of the posies, either by hand or by machine. I used a gold fabric for the center of the other four.
4. The center of the block has two scalloped rings. The same method used for the flowers can be used for these shapes, clipping and gluing the fabric around the paper shape. In some cases you will just have a few threads that wrap to the back side. Carefully apply a little extra glue as necessary. Use the same method for the small diamond shaped leaves. This method allows for crisp points to be created.
5. While there are other methods, the stems in the sample block were created using a Clover 3/8" Bias Tape Maker. First cut a strip of fabric about 6" x 3/4" wide. Insert the strip in the wide end of the jig, right side facing the groove, and use a pin to help you get the strip started, pulling it out the narrow end. Take to an ironing surface and press just the small amount of protruding fabric. Then pull the jig a few inches with the iron right up against it and hold for a few seconds to press. Repeat until the entire strip is pressed. Allow to cool.
6. Follow Jen's instructions for pressing guidelines on the horizontal, vertical, and diagonal or your background fabric. These will help in positioning your shapes. I lightly pinned my centers first, then arranged and pinned my stems along the pressed lines, and topped them off with the posies. After pinning in position, I gently lift up an edge and apply a drop of Roxanne's Glue-Baste-It. I love the syringe top for the control it allows. I put single droplets underneath on the fabric at places away from the edge of the shape. It only takes a handful of minutes for this glue to dry. After gluing, the shapes are ready to be sewn down by hand or by machine. I generally use a fine matching color cotton thread for my hand applique but used Invisafil by Wonder-fil for my center rings. This thread is a cottonized poly thread in 100 weight. Yes, 100 wt, so it is extra fine. The faint sheen helps reflect back neighboring colors yet it won't stretch like silk thread. It was a perfect choice for my multi-colored fabric in the center of this block where no single color cotton looked right against it. I was really happy with the final results.
7. You could use this same thread or invisible thread for sewing down your turned edge shapes by machine with a tiny zigzag or blanket stitch. Our raindrop sample from the Row by Row 2015 used this technique and it gives the appearance of hand applique while being done solely by machine. After the shapes are sewn down, the block is soaked in a basin of warm water for about an hour. I agitated it a couple of times but could have used a little more stirring. Then it was laid flat to dry and was pressed about an hour later.
8. Of course you can also use fusible web such as Steam a Seam 2 Lite and stitch visibly with cotton. Our second example was done with that method.
All of the tools mentioned above are available at Piece by Piece Fabrics and you can see our sample blocks there on display. No matter what method you use, you are sure to make a lovely block. Happy Sewing!