Tuesday, December 3, 2013

I Miss My Camera!

The hardest part of blogging for me is the photos. I forget to take them during the process, and then when I'm done it's usually the evening and the light is terrible. And for the past few months, my beloved little point and shoot has been missing.  I just did another sweep of my house and still can't find it.  Where are you, little camera? If you are reading this, please come home! I miss you!!

In the meantime, I've been using my boyfriend's fancypants SLR. I thought it would lead to better photos, but it turns out even a good camera can take bad photos in the hands of a novice. So, without further ado, here are some bad photos of my two latest applique blocks:


and Carrots!

The color on the peas block is not quite right. I should not have mixed my two green color families.  I always tear my hair out over which colors to put where and end up just throwing things together in the end and they don't always come out great.  It's so hard to tell until the thing is put together, and then it's obvious to me which colors I should have done where. Sigh.

However, I am very, very proud of my carrot block. This was the first block I attempted on the quilt, and I quickly discovered that turning all those tiny curves using the press and starch method was extremely difficult, and led to questionable results. So I put it aside for a while until I felt my skills were up to it.
The one and only leaf I tried to prepare with the starch method.
For the past few weeks, I have been taking a hand applique class at my LQS, focusing on the needle turn method. I will be honest: I am not a fan of this method. I find it makes the stitching incredibly tedious and difficult. I much prefer to get the tedium out of the way in advance through starching and ironing all of the sides under, so that when I sit down to stitch I can just enjoy the process of sewing.

In this case, a little bit of needleturn was exactly what was needed. Manually turning under the edges allowed for more precision and far less fraying than the starch method did. The problem with the starch method is that everything is turned under at once, from the start. With needleturn you only do a teeny bit at a time, which allows for those curves.  There are still frayed bits, especially at the inner curves, but in general I am very happy with these leaves.

The one downside is if you look at the frontmost carrot, there is no stem coming directly out of it! I should have lined things up a bit better. However, I doubt many will notice so we'll just keep that error between you and me. ;)

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