Monday, 8 July 2013

Bring Me Flowers and Needles

I have pined after Amities BOM when i first saw Lynne's blocks from the Circle Game BOM a couple of years ago.  Then Gypsy Wife BOM last year tempted me sooo much but I just couldn't afford it.  This time, Bring Me Flowers tipped me over the edge and I signed up.  I am in round 2 which means the fabrics are slightly different from the first set that has gone out but they are just as good.   
This BOM is a real skills builder.  It is designed to be hand sewn but I am combining hand sewing with machine wherever possible.  Jen Kingswell, (designer of the BOM and Amitie owner) mentioned a specific needle on an Instagram post, Jeana Kimball's Foxglove Cottage Straw Needles, size 11.  I am a total sewing geek and I love good needles and pins- they make such a difference, the unsung heroes of sewing.  I couldn't find a UK supplier so I bought mine from ebay and they were worth it.  Very fine and strong.  There will be a fair amount of needle turn appliqué in this BOM and these needles make life a lot easier. 
I have used Clover straw needles and Black/Gold needles for EPP but they are heavier than this and whilst they are excellent for the catching  the folds of fabric in EPP these are better for piecing and applique.  They have the added bonus that they don't seem to go through the end of my finger like Clover Black/Gold- if you have used those you may well know what I mean!
These are slow and steady block, not to be rushed.   I mixed a few of my own fabrics in to these too- a little red vintage cotton and some Liberty Lifestyle brown.   To reduce bulk at the centre of the pinwheels, I finished all the seams 1/4" before the end to allow the centres to swirl.  So satisfying when it works and the appliqué circles hide the ones that don't go quite so well.
I scan the patterns for these blocks and then I print them onto freezer paper to act as templates.  I hace a lazer printer so I cut a piece of freezer paper slightly smaller than printer paper and I iron the top inch of freezer paper onto the printer paper so there is a double layer.   This allows you to print on without melting the paper!  I then iron the templates onto the fabric and draw round with a Sewline pencil- my absolute favourite marking tool- I cannot recommend this more highly, I use it all the time.    The pencil lines are needed for accurate piecing especially when doing it by hand.  You can see a great demo of the method in this Kumiko Fujita video
These are the fabrics for month two and I think I will be cutting these ready for Fat Quarterly Retreat to hand sew whilst I am there.
You can email Lucy at Amitie to join the Bring Me Flowers BOM and I believe there might still a very limited number of places on Gypsy Wife BOM.
sib blog

17 comments:

  1. They are so cute, I love them!
    Bye from The Netherlands!

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  2. Love these blocks! Thanks for the info on the pen...it looks like a good one!

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  3. Notions are awesome :). Your blocks look perfect and I cannot wait to see your quilt grow!

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  4. I have Sewline pencils too. Can't say enough good things about how useful they are.
    I think I will order the needles per your recommendation.

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    1. I ordered the sampler $1.90 five needles in five sizes.
      Can't wait.

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  5. I too have problems with sewing needles puncturing my fingers and I've never gotten the hang of thimbles. They always pop off. What brand are the Straw needles you use?

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    1. They are mentioned in the post with a link, Jeana Kimball- still very fine but not as hard on my fingers , I don't get on with thimbles well either

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  6. I love the sound of these needles and can't wait to see your blocks!
    P.S. I prep all my hand piecing blocks in exactly the same way but I use a 0.5mm 'H' mechanical pencil instead. And a Sewline chalk (ceramic?) pencil for dark fabrics - I don't know how I managed without it!

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  7. Great post Kerry! I've made plastic templates for month 1 but I think I'll try your freezer paper method for month 3. And I know exactly what you mean about sewing through the end of your finger... Oops!

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  8. You are brilliant!!! I've been wondering how to deal with printing on freezer paper since we got a laser printer!!!! Ack! The endless possibilities that are open to me now - watch out world! Thankyouthankyouthankyou!!!!!

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  9. Your blocks are lovely. This is going to be wonderful. I'm very jealous. I love Jeana Kimball's needles. I have used every other brand and I come back to these. I like the strength of the #10 for hand stitching binding but the 11 is perfect for applique. I took an applique from jeanna. She's a master and I learned so much. She's all about perfecting technique. I slip back into my sloppier habits too often though. Love the needles.

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  10. That's it--I can't take it any more. I just e-mailed Lucy to see whether there are spaces left in the Bring Me Flowers BOM. It's just too lovely to resist.

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  11. I am also doing Jen's BOM and I'm having a ball. The fabrics are wonderful. I look forward to receiving that envelope in the mail every month.

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  12. Your blocks are so lovely, this quilt is going to be a true marvel!
    Greetings from France!

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  13. Thanks for all the lovely info! Love your blocks! Did you use backstitch on them? Your stitching is so even and perfect... Puts mine to shame! Oh, well, we improve with practice, right? Thanks for sharing.

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