So… What Do You Think? Applique 1, 2 or 3

My String Circles project has stalled. I am still undecided on how to proceed. A week or so ago, I thought I knew what I wanted. I merrily appliqued the circles to the background fabric. You can see the ones done here on my design wall.

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I was still not thrilled. So I continued to experiment. (Actually what I was really doing was making a mess of my background fabric. Lots of ripping out and redoing.) πŸ™‚

So… These are my current options. What do you think?

Applique #1: Top stitched directly to the background fabric.

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Applique #2: Muslin circle sewn to the back of the String Circle, turned inside out, stitched down.

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Applique #3: String Circle sewn to background fabric face down, background fabric trimmed all around leaving about 1/4″ to expose string circle, stitched down.

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I want all to have the same applique technique. So I am at a standstill until I decide which way to go. 😦

There are probably more ways to do this but of these three, which do you like?

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Selvage Project… 2 Years Of Collecting

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Making something using selvage strips has been on my mind for A LONG TIME. Almost two years. That is how long I have been collecting them. Slowly my collection began to build. Until my bin started to overflow.

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It was time to get started. (Just what I needed, right? Another new project. πŸ˜€ )

Sorting through them all took several days. I separated those with color coding dots from those with just the manufacturer/designer names.

I decided to work with a 7″ width since that was about the average length of each “section” with color dots. Which meant I would be making something long. Rectangular. A table runner or wall hanging. Quilt-As-You-Go seemed the best method. So I sewed the strips to muslin.

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After two days of sewing, I ended up with 134 strips, 65 inches.

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OK… That’s long enough!! At least to get started on my First Selvage Project.

These are the fabrics I selected to go with the selvages.

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Three Log Cabin borders.

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And hanging on the wall. Love it!! It will for sure become a permanent fixture on my craft room wall. A new addition to the Donna Wall.

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And of course, I couldn’t make just one item. Not after sewing selvage strips for TWO WHOLE DAYS!!

I made a basket.

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Table Runner and Basket

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Table runner/wall hanging measures 46 1/2″ by 18 1/4″. (75 selvage strips)

I still have quite a few strips left. Especially those with just the designer names. So look for more projects using these cute strips.

What do you do with your selvage strips? Hopefully you aren’t throwing them away. (You can send them to me. I’ll take them.)

My plan is to do a tutorial to show you how I made my set. Maybe you will join me and create your own table runner/wall hanging. Now Go. Collect up your selvage strips. πŸ˜€

Linking up to…

“If I Didn’t Know Better”

OMG!! My newest obsession. Chills.

No sewing getting done. Can’t do anything but listen to this song.

I saw it when I watched Nashville on-line before it premiered. Then I watched the premiere on ABC network TV last Wednesday. That song has been playing over and over and over and over… in my head ever since.

So I found it on YouTube today. BTW, kudos to Civil War, the original artists, great song.

I also found the words to the song.

Now I can sing along with them, since I was having a hard time understanding what they were saying. Hard to concentrate with her curly pouty lips and his sexy looks and high notes. πŸ˜€

Did you watch Nashville on ABC last Wednesday?

If not, go check out the episode on-line and be sure to tune in this week. Hopefully we see more of Scarlett and Gunnar.

Testing, Testing… Dipping My Toe Into The “Applique” Waters

HELP!! I am so out of my comfort zone. Going to applique my String Circles.

I have only done mostly zig-zag stitches around raw fabric edges. I have to rewind back to St Pat’s Day to remember the first time I tried something different. Blanket stitching. Remember? But this time I wanted to try the applique stitch.

Got my sewing machine ready. Cleaned out the bobbin area. Put in a new needle. Swapped my quarter inch foot for the “F” foot and practiced making a few stitches to see if I needed to adjust anything. Nope. Stitch length seemed about right.

The first string circle I practiced on was one of the yellow ones.

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I pulled it from the pile for two reasons. It wasn’t my favorite. Kind of pale looking and I had been thinking it wouldn’t make the cut. Wouldn’t be used in my quilt. And also the strings crinkled when I ironed them. Meaning either bad fabric or bad sewing. So I figured, what the hay, stitch around it to see what happens.

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Not happy. Nothing to write home about.

On to the 2nd one. Turquoise/Aqua. A circle I liked and for sure wanted it to be part of my quilt.

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I got about the same result. Pulling in around the edges of the circle. Not the flat look I was trying for.

OK.. so what gives.. what was I doing wrong?

Ah, Ha. I know!! Something in my head said “stabilizer”. Some sort of backing. Off I went to dig out what I bought YEARS ago around the same time I purchased my sewing machine (which BTW, embroiders).

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Since I was clueless on which did what, I experimented with both, using the same background fabric.

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And they both turned out the same. No pulling, no ruffles. So… that is what I needed. A stabilizer. (It appears I spent WAY too much on one of these.) But glad to know I could achieve a flat look.

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These aren’t the best applique but with practice and perhaps using my embroidery thread, I should get better at it.

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Questions for you applique experts out there.

  • What stitch do you use for applique?
  • Do you use any special thread?
  • Any tips for me, the Newbie?

Thanks in advance for any help you can offer. πŸ˜€

American Heroes Quilt Update and String Circles Status


If you remember from my post back in July, I made a quilt top for charity, American Heroes. It was patriotic themed and would be presented to a wounded American soldier returning from the war. (Original post at bottom)

Just wanted to show you what my quilt top looks like now after being quilted. It was quilted this month by the amazing Nancy, from one of the many quilt guilds around the country working with charities.

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If you look closely, you can see the design. Banners and stars.

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Isn’t it wonderful!!

Pretty soon, my quilt will be headed to one of the hospitals charged with mending our wounded soldiers. It warms my heart knowing it will go to someone who almost gave their life making it safe for ME. To allow me the freedom to write this blog. Craft all day. Do as I wish. For that, I am truly grateful.

Thank you, American Hero Quilts, for founding such a worthwhile charity. Thank you, Nancy, for giving of your time, talent and supplies. Also thank you for the photos.


I haven’t done much with my String Circles since I last showed them to you. BUT… I did decide on how to connect them and make them into a quilt. I am going to top stitch (applique) the circles onto a 10″ fabric square of beige/cream/ivory.

This is what a portion looks like.

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Lots more to do. I am hoping for a this year finish.

Well, that does it for me. Working on more stuff but none at a stage I can share. Soon.

What are you working on? Do tell….

Go here to read my post on my American Heroes quilt top.

Halloween Or Strings Winners Are…… Susan and Sheila

Comment #2

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Susan said:
October 4, 2012 at 1:57 am

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Comment #21

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Sheila Belveal said:
October 5, 2012 at 8:12 pm

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Congrats, ladies. Please send me your name and address so I can get your prize mailed. You have 48 hours to contact me, or sadly, I will pick another comment. Go check your e-mail.

Thanks so much to everyone for entering my giveaway. As you know, I love giveaways, so if you didn’t win this time, there is always the NEXT TIME!!

Pick One: Halloween or Strings… Giveaway

CONTEST IS NOW CLOSED. All 24 comments are eligible to win. Thanks much for entering my giveaway. Winners TBA shortly.

OK… time for a new giveaway. (I just LOVE giveaways!!)

I have some Halloween Spiderweb fabric I bought last year that I love but since it isn’t 100% cotton, more of a knit, it won’t work with the project I had in mind. It is just over two yards, 54″ wide. I am thinking perfect for a table covering for your Trick-or-Treat candy. Or a couple of cute capes for kids. Soft and fun looking.

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Also, I have 20 String Blocks to giveaway. I made WAY TOO MANY of them during my string making marathon these last few weeks. All of these can be yours. Looks like there are enough blocks to make a little wall hanging or table topper. Each block measures between 6 1/2″- 7″ square. The strings (fabric strips) are sewn onto a square of white muslin.

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How do you win, you ask? Just leave a one word comment.

Halloween or Strings. (The word EITHER works too.)

That’s it!! One word. And if your comment is picked by Random Generator, I will know what to send you.

How’s that!! Cool, huh!!

I will leave the giveaway open until Sunday, 10-7 midnight EST, and announce the two winners on Monday, Oct 8.

And in my best Sophia Vergara voice… NOW GO. Enter my giveaway. Thanks!! πŸ˜€

My September Roundup

Not many projects were finished in September. But if there had been a contest for pieces made, I probably would have won.

I made….

  • 22 charity pillowcases
  • 126 Hugs and Kisses blocks
  • 12 String blocks
  • 40 String Circles
  • 3 Birthday mug rugs
  • 1 Quilt top quilted

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This was my last finish for the month. A Birthday Mug Rug. When you last saw it, it looked like this.

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I decided to go smaller and ditched the other half-square triangles (HST’s). Just went with the yellow dotted ones for the front. For the back, I used royal blue HST’s and fussy cut a square of balloons. I love how this turned out and probably would have made more but boredom forced me to move on.

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Whew!! Made it!! Met my monthly goal of 20 charity pillowcases. I actually made 22.

Here’s Batch 7.

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My favorites in this batch are the basketball pillowcase and the yellow one. The yellow one is pieced and fabric strips sewn onto muslin. It took FOREVER so I only made one.

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I like seeing them all piled high in a great big stack. Makes me feel like I really worked hard. πŸ˜€

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Now I am up to 128 total pillowcases. I am 28 ahead of schedule. (I started in May.)

These are up on my design wall. No clue YET what I will do with them.

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I guess you would call them String Circles. I was just in a “get rid of some of these scraps” mood and made one, then another and another.

And before I knew it, I had been making them for two days. I do think whatever I make, I will separate the darker ones from the rainbow colors and make two different projects. No rush on whatever I will make. They can stay up on my design wall until I need the space for something else.


Right now, this has my attention.

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Yep, working on basting it.

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Do you see the purple quilt top I was telling you about? The one I made last year. It will now be the backing for my umbrella quilt. So glad to finally use it for something. It had been folded for so long, I had to press out the wrinkles.

Well, that does it for me. Got to go plan my projects for October. I know I want to make up a couple Halloween things. Maybe a table runner. Also I want to use up more of my HST’s. 16 down. 1000 to go. Plus I want to finish up at least two UFO’s. Lots to do. Lots for you to see. BBL

OHHH… I forgot… do come back in a day or two. I feel a giveaway coming on. πŸ˜€

Take care. What Fall projects are you working on?