My October Stitch Along Week 3

Posted by Ruth on 17 October 2016 | 0 Comments

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Stitching is always my favorite part and usually I tend to use free-motion to attach applique pieces but this time, I decided to fall back on the old familiar blanket stitching. I haven't done this in a long time, but I figured seeing as these blocks were going to be "baby" handled, they need to have very secure edges. Because of this, I decided the original variegated threads I'd selected were probably not ideal. I found some others to match the fabrics. I love these bright colors!

bright colored threads for applique stitching

So first up was to blanket stitch the applique shapes. I like stitching through layers for this so technically it quilts the block at the same time. The batting and backing also act as stabilizers to support the stitches. I chose a small blanket stitch of dimensions 2 wide by 2 length on my Bernina. I'm not sure what that is for other machines but it's perfect for this size applique on mine. I started with the red and stitched all the pieces in place.

blanket stitched jack in a box block

I then did the same for the lion block.

blanket stitched lion block

I thought, to really make the applique stand out I should outline all the edges with free-motion straight stitch. I did using black thread to do it...

free motion for outlining applique using black thread

I stitched very close to the edge of the blanket stitch and also added in any extra stitching lines like the spring, corner line on the box and eyes on Jack.

free motion outlined jack in a box block

Oops, but I almost forgot the mouth! He must have a smile...

oops missed the mouth jack in a box block

I repeated this for the lion and think he turned out real cute too! 

outlined lion block with free motion stitching

I added the dots with a pigma pen to finish off.

Now all I have left is the quilting and somehow I need to add in something "baby". I was really stumped here. I wasn't sure what to do. I certainly didn't want to take away from the cute appliques and I didn't particularly want to add a border of any kind to add some fancy quilting.

So, instead of making a quilting design around "baby" I decided to use a "baby" blue thread. I did think about using the pale baby variegated thread I'd selected in week 1, however since then, I'd started using it on another project and I didn't want to risk running out so I went for this plain blue thread instead.

baby blue thread for quilting

I used a medium sized stipple to quilt down all the background on both blocks. Here's my jack-in-a-box J block...

stippled background on jack in a box block

and here is my lion L block...

stippled background on lion block

This has definitely been fun!

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