To clip or not to clip, that is today’s question.

Quilting professionals have differing opinions on how to handle clipping. Here’s my personal best advice on the subject.

clip-notch.gifNOTCHES
V’s, valleys, inside points, crannies… they go by a lot of names. Whatever you call ’em, some teachers advocate clipping all the way to the bottom. I clip almost to the bottom. The way I stitch notches, by taking a slightly bigger bite with the needle, then snugging the stitch down, it works out better to have a couple threads to grab.

clip-no-clip.gifCURVES
Inside curves: Again the divide… to the line, or almost to the line. I’m a fan of a series of shallow clips on inside curves. If you’re using a small 3/16″ turn-under margin, you shouldn’t have to clip deeply to get the fabric to turn under nicely.

Outside curves: No, I say, no clip! Again, the scant margin allows the fabric to go under without wrinkling up on itself, causing “the pokies.” If you clip this outer curve, the fabric has a tendency to go loosey-goosey.

In either case, notches or curves, a full 1/4″ turn-under margin may cause you to have to clip where you don’t really need to. Go for the scanter margin. This small margin makes some quilter nervous, but fine work is achieved through this closer trim.

This information applies to hand appliqué. The machine appliqué method that uses freezer paper and glue is not among my skill set, so I’m not sure about best clipping protocols there. And of course, for raw-edge machine appliqué, there’s no clipping ever!

Until next time,
Kay
Quilt Puppy Publications & Designs

… just barely. The DH had a hectic day and got to the flower shop 20 minutes after its official closing time. But there was still a trail of men going out the door with bouquets, so though they were sweeping the floors, Dana was able to pick up the beautiful flower arrangement he had ordered. His record stands.

flowers.jpg

seedlings.jpg

“Seedlings” — for next year!

Until next time,
Kay
Quilt Puppy Publications & Designs

Happy Valentine’s Day! The chocolate has been bestowed, and now I’m anticipating the bouquet. This has been a tradition throughout our 18 years of marriage, chocolate for him, flowers for her, and he hasn’t missed one yet. So although there aren’t any flowers yet, the day is young :).

Here’s another of my favorite blocks from Growing Heart to Appliqué.
I call it “Fly Away.”

fly-away.jpg

Freezer paper on top, hand appliquéd, hand-embroidered stems.

Until next time,
Kay
Quilt Puppy Publications & Designs

Here’s another block from Growing Hearts to Appliqué. A fun one, yes?

seed-packet.jpgWhen brainstorming on a theme,”growing hearts” or whatever, it’s so wonderful to let your imagination roam free and think up all sorts of notions about how to portray your ideas.

For this crazy design, I used freezer-paper templates on top, and I hand-embroidered the letters. The little black heart seeds are inked on with a permanent fabric marker.

And don’t faint, but maybe you can see that this quilt is hand-quilted. It still happens now and again.

Until next time,
Kay
Quilt Puppy Publications & Designs

Valentine’s Day is coming up. I’ve already got the heart-shaped box of chocolates for the DH stashed away. Like many quilters, hearts are a favorite motif of mine. I love them so much that I published a whole collection of heart designs, Growing Hearts to Appliqué. Here’s one of my favorite blocks, which I call “Cutwork.”

cutwork.gifTo make this, I used freezer-paper templates on top. In this method, you trace the shapes onto the paper side of the freezer paper, cut them out on the drawn line, then iron the templates to the right side of the fabrics. Cut out the shapes, adding a 3/16″margin all the way around. Then you can baste them in place using a tracing-paper overlay as a placement guide, either leaving the templates on as stitching guides or taking them off for good old-fashioned needleturn. There’s been a lot of appliqué under the bridge since I made this, but I think I probably left the templates on for the straighter parts and removed them to work on the intricate parts.

I’ll put up some more of my growing hearts blocks as the month goes along.

Until next time,
Kay
Quilt Puppy Publications & Designs

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