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Thursday, December 19, 2013

4th Block of the Mystery Sew Red Sew Along

Welcome back to the Mystery Sew Red Sew-a-long! We know you've been chomping at the bit for the next block, so without further ado, here is the Fourth Block in the Sew Red Sew-a, designed by Marcia Harmening!


All About Marcia

Marcia Harmening is the talented designer behind Happy Stash Quilts and Queen of All Things Applique! Marcia says she fell in love with quilting many years ago as a means of staving off insanity during the long, dark Alaska winters. What better way to beat the long, snowy season than by surrounding yourself with colorful fabric! In 2010, after 23 years in Alaska, Marcia, her husband and their three children relocated to Reno, Nevada. We are lucky to have Marcia as a frequent visitor to our shop! She has commemorated our local are in The Tahoe Collection of “Flip & Fuse” Fun, which includes 4 quilt patterns and a table runner. You can keep up with all of the exciting things Marcia dreams up on Facebook and her blog at www.happystashquilts.com.
Marcia's design from Sew Red


Marcia and Sew Red

Marcia and Sew Red are a match made in the stars! Marcia came into our shop to browse fabric shortly after moving to Reno, and it happened to be the very day we were looking for designers to be a part of Sew Red. Talk about being in the right place at the right time! Little did we know that when Marcia's father was just 50, he suffered his first heart attack; 10 years later he underwent quadruple bypass open-heart surgery. Watching her father's health drastically improve through exercise, dietary changes, and weight loss has been a major motivating factor for Marcia! We're so glad she chose to be part of Sew Red. We were simply blown away by her Queen of Hearts mini quilt for the Sew Red book—it is pure elegance in applique form!


Marcia's block for the Mystery Sew Red Sew-a-long

If you love Marcia's Queen of Hearts quilt as much as we do, you will be blown away by her block for the Sew Red Sew-a-long. It is a beautiful hand-appliqued heart motif that would make a staggering visual centerpiece for the quilt top. If needle-turn hand-applique isn't quite your thing, consider raw-edge fusible applique as an alternative!

To get started, check out Marcia's blog (
http://www.happystashquilts.com/blogs/news) for her tips and tricks, as well as a tutorial for making perfect circles! You'll also need to download the heart block template from http://www.jimmybeanswool.com/sewRedSAL/Heartblock.

Ready, set, applique!

Heart Block from Happy Stash Quilts

Materials:
1 Fat Quarter of Red Fabric
1 Fat Quarter of Cream Fabric

Cut Red Background Fabric 7” x 17”.
(This will be trimmed to 6 ½” x 16 ½” after the block is appliquéd and pressed.)

White Appliqué Pieces
A Make 1
B Make 1
C Make 1
D Make 1
E Make 6
F Make 6
G Make 37

Needle-turn Hand Appliqué Technique

1. Trace all shapes from the Appliqué Diagram onto the matte side of freezer paper. Make sure to write the identifying letter of each piece on the freezer paper templates. Only one freezer paper template is needed for each shape.

2. Cut freezer paper templates out along the lines using paper scissors.

3. Place the shiny side of the freezer paper template on the right side of appliqué fabric and press with an iron.

4. Draw a line on the appliqué fabric around the freezer paper template using a water-soluble pen or chalk pencil. For dark fabrics, Clover makes a water-soluble pen with white ink.

5. Peel off freezer paper template and cut out appliqué shape a scant ¼” beyond the marked lines. (Templates can be used multiple times.)

6. Tape the Appliqué Diagram in a brightly lit window. Center the background fabric over the diagram and tape to window. With the window as your light box, use a water-soluble pen to mark the appliqué placement.

7. Appliqué pieces onto the background in alphabetical order using matching colors of light-weight thread. Start with piece A and finish with the G circles.

8. To appliqué, select a long edge on the appliqué piece to begin your stitching. Avoid beginning at an inner V or outer point. Finger press the appliqué piece along the drawn line. Bring your needle up through the edge of the appliqué piece where it has been turned under. Then make a downward stitch into the background right next to the turned-under edge of the appliqué. The thread travels on the back and the upward stitch comes up to catch the turned edge of the appliqué piece. Pull your thread taut enough to sink the stitches, but not so hard that puckering occurs.

9. Hand-stitch the edges of the appliqué pieces, turning the edge to the marked line as you go.

10. Continue in this manner until all of the appliqué is complete.

Stem Stitching

Now that the appliqué is complete, use DMC or other brand of embroidery floss to sew a stem stitch to create the stems to the little heart flowers. Refer to the Appliqué Diagram for dashed stitching lines. Cut an 18” segment of embroidery floss and separate out 3 strands of thread. Thread needle and make a small knot on one end.

To sew a stem stitch, work from left to right in ¼” or smaller increments. Bring the threaded needle up at point A and take it down at point B along the stitching line. Bring the needle up at C – halfway between A and B. For the second stitch, insert at D and pull up at E. Continue in this manner until the stem is created. Keep the thread either above or below the stitching line while sewing.

Happy stitching everyone!

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