Thursday, August 4, 2011

Dad's "Plaids"

A-7 Dad's Plaids
Dear Jane® book reference: Block A-7, page 20

Jovita's Method: hand "normal" and reverse applique, hand pieced

My comments: This is another block that can be constructed many different ways.  I am quite certain that Jane used traditional hand-piecing. In fact the Dear Jane® CD reflects this with lines drawn from the ends of the melons to the closest corner. The diagram in the book doesn't even closely resemble the picture of the block. So the first decision was which I thought would be more attractive .. hands down, Jane's block of course, but those extra seams would be very short and I wasn't in the mood.
So I decided to applique. Hmmm, normal applique for all four squares or two "normal" and two reverse?

I considered two things: 1) would how I appliqued make any difference to how I choose to quilt later? and 2) would one of my fabrics show through the other when I appliqued one on top the other?

Wait, what? I'm thinking about the quilting already? Yes! That's what got me started on this whole crazy Contemporary Jane ride ... I saw THIS QUILT along with a whole bunch of you drooling folks!

What I loved about this quilt from the get-go is that it is only quilted in the white "background" so if I want to do that (or have that lovely Judi of Green Fairy Quilts do that) then I am making sure I plan a little ahead now. Look closing at blocks B-1 Bachelor Buttons on the left and C-9 Jane's Tears on the right. It's quilted IN the white ... so to get this effect reverse applique will be necessary ... or in my case "fake" reverse applique - but I'll explain that tomorrow.

But I digress .. right now we're talking about A-7. I took a minute to think about quilting in the background and decided that yes, to get that look I'd need to do two in normal and two in reverse applique. Here's a picture to make it clearer.

So yesterday at Jovita's Patchwork Atelier I wrote a little FAQ / Tutorial about reverse applique and showed a few of the steps in picture format.

"normal" vs. reverse applique
Down-load a printer friendly version of this picture tutorial here.

A-7 PrepI prepped for the block by cutting:

Background (black):
Two 3-1/2" squares with the melon shapes marked* diagonally
Two melon shapes
   * My favorite marking tool for dark fabrics is the White Marking Pen Fine (Item # 517) by Clover.  

And I just read this tip: Save your melon template to use again for block E-10 .. although I'll probably be skipping that block (wink).

Print (green):
Four 3-1/2" squares

Place two melons diagonally onto two green squares and baste in place (see diagram above).  Your basting should be a bit more than a 1/4" inide the marked line on the melon.

Place each marked black square on top of a green square.  Baste around the outside edge of the melon shape a little more than a 1/4" from the line (see diagram above).

A-7 Reverse PrepCarefully clip away the inside of the applique shape taking care that you leave adequate seam allowance and don't cut into your applique shape below.

Now, you can turn these shapes over and trim away the excess green or leave it until you've finished your applique. I did one each way and noticed no difference.  There's a photo here of the backs of the basted pieces.

A word on clipping your seams ... since I'm not going to do a full blow-by-blow how to applique here, I'll just say this ... clip as seldom as possible. I know this may go against the grain of so many tutorials you've seen of hearts being clipped every 1/8" all the way around it. But you don't have to, trust me ... a heart needs one clip - in it's valley. Your melon's don't need a single clip. When do reverse applique on the melon you'll need a few more - I clipped six times. One in each "valley" end and twice on each side. Here's a pic where you can see me taking the first clip on a reverse-appliqued melon .. see the angle of my scissors? I'm not clipping straight into the seam. I'm clipping with the grain of the fabric between the threads to prevent as much fraying as possible.  Want to know more about applique but live too far to come visit me, then I recommend "The Applique Sampler" by Becky Goldsmith and Linda Jenkins as a jumping off point. Then take as many classes from as many different teachers you can - you'll be amazed how you pick up a bit here and a bit there until you find your style that fits you perfectly.

A-7 TrimGeez, I almost forgot .. after you have all four quadrants appliqued, you need to trim them.  Use a square ruler and make sure that diagonal line runs right through the center of your melon. Trim each quadrant to 2-3/4" square (for me that meant the points were each 3/8" from the corner). Then hand or machine piece your 4 blocks together. Personally, I found it much easier to hand piece since the melons are just 1/8" from the edge.

Wow, so that was one long-winded post about this little block .. but I hope it helped and that my waffling on about things I think about helps you rather than gets in the way.

Please comment, ask questions or request a tutorial on a block that's stumping you. We look forward to hearing from you.

A-7 (reverse)Oh, and here's a picture of the back of my block .. well, not my block .. I made this one for Maria but didn't tell her and so she made one too while she was on vacation. Check the flickr group tomorrow, I'll have a pic of my block up and a post here about how I "faked" the reverse applique on those other two blocks.

  • Minka made this block and then went back and re-made it using a different technique, you can read more about it here.
  • Anina, from That Quilt walks you through her approach here.


Krisquilts said...

you're right Jovita. The quilting just in the background fabric is breathtaking. Even without it, I'm thinking the all-white background with only one other color in each block is striking.

thewillowsnest said...

this looks so impressive but really hard!! You quilters amaze me with your patience and skills!

Kirsty said...

I must have been living under a rock because when I stumbled over your site I had never heard of a Jane quilt. A few moments reading your blog and following my fingers has me all clued up and amazed. What an extraordinary project! I love the use of Kaffe fabrics to breathe new life into this amazing endeavor, and look forward to following your progress. I confess the thought of 200+ 4.5inch blocks is pretty scary to me right now. I have about 20 quilts on my list of TO DO's, but thanks to your inspiration and initiative perhaps I will take the plunge add a Jane to that list. Well done and happy quilting.

suzanne said...

Good morning Jovita

Thank you so much for visiting my blog. You have me drooling over that quilt. I have never quilted before but I have all the fabrics on the ready to start my first one soon.

Have a great day

Julia said...

Yes, I saw this quilt there too...Love DJ in Kaffe, mine is more traditional, but that was 4-5 years ago. but, hey today I would do it in Kaffe..
Thank for visiting my blog.
Julia ♥

Chay said...

Did you ever do a tutorial on "fake" reverse applique? I was inspired by Green Fairy and am making a DJ with KF fabrics - I have about 90 blocks made. I'm doing all the paper pieceing first and saving the hand applique for later so I'm compiling applique tips. It's a great project. I will look forward to following your blog.