Retro Wool Bundle

Block of the Month Sign Ups are Here!

Hello My Fig Tree Loving Friends-

Its that time of the year where we present our new BLOCK OF THE MONTH programs for 2018. This year we are doing 2 new ones and a redo of this year's RED & CREAM due to popular request... because who doesn't love a good red & cream quilt to add to their collection!

For those of you die hard Fig Tree fans, you know the drill... sign up as soon as you can while they are still available. For those of you new around here, here is some info about our BOM[Block-of-the-Month] programs:

  • We run a few each year. Most of them are 12 month long, a few [like the Red & Cream] are 10 month. Each month you get a package of fabrics and directions for the blocks you need to make that month. If you keep up, by the end of the year, you will have an amazing sampler that you will be very, very happy with! 
  • Why do a BOM you might ask? Most people do it for one of 3 reasons.. 1- Its fun to follow along with your Quilty friends via social media and work on the program together. We do a lot of posting on Instagram and now have a special Facebook group for everyone in one of the BOM programs. 2- Its a great way to make a more complicated quilt, a little bit at a time and it keeps you on pace all year, basically a way to be motivated to finish one month before the next one arrives and 3- You don't have to purchase all of the fabrics up front and get to do it a little bit at at time.
  • Our programs are one of a kind and are usually not redone, unless we have a huge wait list for the original.

So here are some photos to wet your appetite... and all the info you might need is in the shop under each program.  

 

MYSTERY SAMPLER FOR 2018: AUTUMN SPLENDOR

Autumn splendor

 

WOOL BOM FOR 2018: FARMHOUSE ON CREAM

 

Wool cream main


Autumn splendor

 

Woolthreads on wool
Woolthreads on wool

 

RED & CREAM SAMPLER 2018: REPEAT OF THIS YEAR'S WITH A WHOLE NEW ASSORTMENT OF YUMMY CREAMS AND REDS

 

Redcream updates

Redandcream2

If you want to shop, HERE is the link to our shop page.

Happy BOM's everyone!

 


Wool Tutorial II

If you are interested in seeing how I prepared the fabric and cut out the wool, etc., go and take a look at the Wool Tutorial I HERE.

Wool72

Okay… so your layout is complete, your pieces are glued down and you are ready to stitch.

 

THREAD OR FLOSS CHOICE

I use matching thread [or at least in the same color family if matching is not possible] but am starting to get more comfortable with floss and I love the detail it adds.

Supplies

… for this project, I am choosing to work with thread for the leaves because there is a lot of stitching and I don't want it to overwhelm the wool and as an accent, I am using coral floss for the blooms.

Threadchoices

Of course I choose to work with our Farmhouse Aurifil sets, either thread or floss [let us know if you are still wanting to add these to your monthly shipments or if you are just interested in purchasing them even if you are not in the program]

Alternatively, you can use matching floss. In that case, take your floss and unwind it [standard floss has 6 strands of thread] and divide it into either 2 or 3 strand sections. A strand of 3 will clearly be a bit stronger and more visible than one of 2 but both are good choices so I highly recommend that you make a small practice shape and try both to see what you personally like… that is what I did!

Seperatingfloss

… this is what it looks like when you separate the strands of floss.

I chose 2 strands for the coral blooms here below.

2strandsonneedle

 

STITCHES

For the look that I prefer, I stick to the simple whipstitch. I aim for small straight stitches, app. ⅛” away from each other, ⅛” into the wool and always straight to the imaginary center of your piece [if on a circular piece] or just straight in [if on a straight edged piece]. What this means is that you always want your stitches to be straight into the middle of your applique and not at a slant [although you will tend toward that because it is just natural]. 

Turning stitches

… shown here, stitches, turning with the shape to always be into the "imaginary center".

But please know…. I AM BY NO MEANS AN EXPERT STITCHER AND MY STITCHES ARE FAR FROM PERFECT. I am sharing them with you here so that you can see how I do it… even if quite imperfectly! I am sure that so many of you out there are expert stitchers so if you have tips or hints to share… please do!

Now I know that most traditional and primitive wool applique uses the traditional blanket stitch. This is a stitch that usually goes a bit further into the wool than I do and creates a rope-type border around the outside of your shape. I think this is beautiful and you can of course use this stitch if you like.

  Blanketstitch

For me, it is a bit too primitive looking for what I am going for and a bit too time consuming. I prefer the more simple stitch but again would recommend that you try it out before you get started to see what you might find as your preference.

READY TO STITCH

Step 1: Cut a piece up to 18” long and knot your thread or floss and trim the end. Knotting the floss is fairly straightforward. Knotting the thread is generally the easiest to do if you do a "quilter's knot". For me… that has too many steps and takes too much time! I literally take the end of the thread in my fingertips, roll it around a bit and usually get a simple knot. I trim the end off if needed. I know some of you are probably gasping out there! Just being real LOL!

Step 2: To start, bring your needle upward from the back through both the fabric & the wool app. 1/8" into the wool… remember that where you bring this first stitch out will be the determining factor for all the rest… as you work to have all of your stitches even in size to this one.

You can poke up through the fabric several times if you need to in order to determine where you want the stitch. Pull your thread all the way through until you feel your knot catch and then make a straight stitch right into the background -right along the edge of your shape. For the next stitch, repeat from underneath, matching the placement so that the stitches are the same length. This is simply a basic straight whip stitch!

Needlepositionfirststitch

… first stitch into the wool already shown. Now placing the needle into the background exactly in the "same position" as the first stitch in order to create a small straight stitch. 

Firststitch

… now coming back into the wool from underneath.

Secondthirdstitch

… and back again [shown drawn in white]. 

Step 3: Continue to stitch around your shape, knotting the thread underneath when done with the shape.

Greenthreadstitches

… the thread stitches more or less disappear into the wool itself, adding a small finished look.

Flossstitcheswhite

… the floss stitches are more decorative and a bit stronger [shown here drawn in white]

Floss stitchesreal

…  shown here actual [not as perfect as the drawing!]

Flossvsthread

… the difference of thread versus floss.

Step 4: Make sure your stitches are snug as you go along, but not tight and not loose.

Step 5: Knot threads in the back and leave a small tail. 

Backshown

Step 6: Gently press the block when you are finished and set aside somewhere flat.

INFO ON MACHINE STITCHING

If you want to mix hand and machine work, a small machine buttonhole also works quite nicely, making the process even more simple for those of you who are not avid hand appliquers. I use this method as well especially when I have long straight pieces, primarily stems [or the borders on our Woolies patterns] as I find that is the best place to utilize a machine.

Obviously you have to use thread on a spool and not floss for this type of stitching. Find something that resembles a buttonhole or blanket stitch. On my old, trusty Bernina, it’s stitch #26 and I adjust the width & length to mimic my hand stitches as much as I can. Most machines with a variety of stitches will have something like this.

Hope this helps! See you next time,

Joanna