A while back I put the first four blocks of my Ireland quilt up on my wall and felt like something was missing. It took some time to put my finger on it, but I finally realized that my quilt needed some appliqué. The quilt I’m designing is super-scrappy and I also think of it as a kind of sampler quilt, which means that I want to use lots of different techniques in the blocks. Appliqué can be done in many fun ways and these next three blocks are going to show you some of my favorite techniques.
Block #5 is my Fairy Ring Block. We’ll be posting instructions for it later this week. Here’s a photo of it! Feel free to pin it to your Pinterest boards!
I used English Paper-Piecing to make the ring of hexagons and then used wool thread and my machine to blanket-stitch the ring to a 14″ square of fabric. Then I centered the fairy hexagon and stitched it in place. Finally, I trimmed the square to 12 ½” x 12 ½” to finish the block. On our trip to Ireland in June we’re going to be teaching English Paper-Piecing… how’s that for a fun place to learn something new?! Which reminds me, if you haven’t reserved your spot on our Ireland trip, click here for all the 2012 McCall’s Quilting Ireland Tour information.
I had a lot of fun choosing the fabrics for this block from the Irish-themed fabrics I’ve been picking up (this is THE time of year to get them, isn’t it!!). Of course sometimes I get a fabric home and realize that it just doesn’t fit into my quilt, especially now that my quilt has settled into a jewel-toned palette that doesn’t seem to play well with fabrics that have any gray tones to them. When that happens I’m left with lonely fabric. Here’s a photo of one of my lonely fabrics:
I have a couple of squares of this fabric to give away! They’re both big enough to be an appliqué block background (at least 13″ square). If you think one of these squares could find a happy home with you, just enter by commenting below from now through March 18, and we’ll pick 2 random winners on March 19. Winners will be posted here.
Block #6 is my Irish Cross Block. We’re hoping to have the instructions for it posted by St. Patrick’s Day, March 17th. Here it is:
If you look in the center of the cross, you’ll see a little circle of shamrocks. I used the broderie perse technique to make them. Broderie perse simply means cutting a motif out of fabric and appliquéing it in place. I cut the little shamrocks out of this fabric:
It just so happens that I have 17 pieces of this shamrock fabric to give away! Each has 5 full shamrocks in it in case you want to use them for your block center. Enter by commenting below from now through March 18, and we’ll pick 17 random winners on March 19. Check back here to see who the lucky winners are.
Block #7 is my Seven Lucky Shamrocks Block. Instructions for this one will be posted later this month. Here’s a photo of it:
All of the appliqué in my blocks can be stitched traditionally or fused in place with fusible web. I chose to fuse these shamrocks and then satin-stitch the edges with a tiny zigzag stitch. I didn’t add decorative stitching because I wanted to keep the block looking really clean to echo the simpler feel of the Lucky Clover Block (Block #1). Now, on to Block #8. It’s another pieced block and as scrappy as can be! Oh, by the way, feel free to pin the block images in my posts onto your Pinterest boards.
3/19/12 Congratulations to winners – please check your email for instructions to claim your prize!
Winners of Harp fabric:
Barbara (3/9/12 post of 8:09 am)
Winners of Shamrocks:
Carla Riley Bell
Kathy M. Boice