Friday, February 17, 2012

A Hearty Welcome to the Lilypad! (Giveaway closed)

Looking for our giveaway? Well, there's one here, and one on this post, too! (Giggle!)

I'm so happy to be hosting the Accuquilt "Go Ahead and Show Some Love" blog hop today, along with Sharon, over at Craizee Corners. Welcome to the Lilypad -- I hope you enjoy your visit, and that after you do, you'll hop over to see Sharon, and check out her project, too!

I have been watching as a growing number of quilters have been enjoying their Accuquilt Go! machines, and I have seen some wonderful projects out there! I'm no exception --- I love my Go! Baby, and keep a notebook handy for jotting down ideas for using the dies that I have. And I have a wish list (posted prominently in my house) for dies that I'd love to try!

The die that I used for these projects (oops, I let the secret out. I have two projects for you today, instead of just one! Yay!) is the Hearts die, pictured here:

This is even more versatile than you would imagine at first . . . lots of possibilities here, for hearts, flowers, and more. Today we'll make a table runner that I named "You Captured My Heart," and then we'll make the bonus project.

Now, since this will actually be two tutorials, let's get prepared, OK? I need my cuppa tea,

and I'll pour one for you . . . hmmm, you got any candy left from Valentines' Day? Gack! You ate all of it the very same day? Sheesh! Well, luckily, I have some cookies right here.

Now we are ready to begin! First we need to raid our stash (or win the giveaway at the end of this post. Grin) and find some "heart-y" fabrics . . . some real Valentine show-stoppers. I found these:

After you press them smooth, you'll want to cut some rectangles to place in layers, on top of that heart die. I cut mine at about 5.5 inches wide, and about 10.5 inches long.  Shhhhhh! I can hear some of you whispering that I'm being extremely wasteful here. Work with me, OK? You will see why I cut them on the large side, in a little while. Be patient. (Wink)
After we turn the crank a few times, we have an ample supply of cute hearts, in three sizes. I shudder to think of the time it would have taken me to trace around a template, and then mess up, er, pull out a few hairs, er, obsess about cutting directly on that line and getting perfect heart shapes! The Go! Baby makes it sew easy!  See?

By the way, hang on to those "outsides" . . . the outer edges of the rectangles of fabric. After you free the hearts from the die, gently lay the outsides over to the side, and don't let them escape. We'll get back to them later.

Now, take out some white fabric, or some white-on-white, like I did, and cut two 12.5 inch squares, and three rectangles. The rectangles will be 12.5 inches long and 6.5 inches wide.

Now, separate your hearts - you want to have a random appearance, not all of one color together . . .  four medium ones will go on each rectangle, like this:

I liked the way they looked when I let them twirl around a little, but if you like them all in a row, with the points going in the same direction, that's cool, too. (What can I say, I had Billy Joel bopping in the background and I just didn't feel like having them all in a straight line!)

Now, I know that many of you are quite expert at the steam-a-seam and other fusible methods of applying shapes for applique. I just want to 'fess up here, and say that I really took a short cut. Well, maybe not a short cut, but I definitely didn't play by the rules. I had some interfacing left over from sewing projects (you remember that stuff you put in collars and such, while the home ec teacher stood over you and glared) - and it was fusible. It was stiffer than the more "with it" fusibles, but I figured this was a table runner --- not a quilt or a wearable, so I fused that white on white rectangle to a smaller rectangle of the interfacing, and then machine stitched around the hearts!  

I love how crisp the stitching looks - and I kept the hearts on top in the right places with my trusty Lapel Stick (gotta love that little guy - he works great!). 

Next, I folded the 12.5 inch square in half, first north to south, and then unfolded it and folded it again, east to west. (If you have Billy Joel on your player, and decide you want to break some rules, you could fold yours south to north, and then west to east. I won't rat on you.) Then I had creases to help me lay out the large hearts. Like so:

See the creases? (Sorry, I forgot to snap an individual photo of that, before I stitched 'em down!)
I stuck the hearts in place with Lapel Stick, and stitched around them. Then I took the teensy hearts and put them in place, and did the same thing. Here is what I had at that point:

Now it was time to trim away the excess of the interfacing. That won't be necessary if you use the steam-a-seam or what not.

Just keepin' it real, here, folks. Yes, you can see the bobbles in my machine stitching. I was trying to make the deadline and didn't un-sew and re-sew that section. Just don't tell that home ec teacher. I really don't want to see her cry.

At this point, I searched my stash and found some Kona red left- overs, and cut 1.5 inch strips to place in between the squares and rectangles, and also around the outside. I joined the decorated portions and the red strips like so:

I pinned the runner to some batting, and using some red Presencia Finca thread, stitched "Hugs," and "Kisses," and "Love," and "XOX" on the large squares. I am a sucker for sappy stuff, have you noticed?
Then I used some Kona black for the backing, and outline stitched the hearts, and stitched in the ditch around all of the white areas. 
I used narrow strips of the black for binding, too.

Here's another look at the whole runner . . .

(Oops! Ignore the photographer's shoes in there!)

Now, it's time to show you that bonus project I mentioned. Need your tea warmed up? This one is called the "Trios MugRug."

Corral those "outsides" that you laid to one side earlier, and let's look them over. We want to choose two that we think will play well together. This is one of the ones that I chose:

Now you want to choose a fabric that will show behind the heart cut outs . . . place it carefully, so that your hearts are "filled up."

Now, flip it over . . . 

Voila!!  . . . yep, this technique its called reverse applique, and this is a cool short cut, all courtesy of your Accuquilt Go! machine! 
You want to carefully stitch around the hearts, but this time, you want to have your stitches overlap onto the top fabric --- the piece we called the "outside." Put some of that interfacing or a foundation fabric like muslin on the back side for stability. I'm not too good at explaining, so here are those pictures that are worth thousands of words:

There's the interfacing . . .

And here's the stitching. 

Now, after you stitch all the way around the trio of hearts on this one, do the same thing with the other "outside" piece that you chose, and then join them with a quarter-inch seam. You can now make your "sandwich" with the batting and the backing fabric.

Are you as OCD, er, Scrooge-y, er, green as I am, and save all those snippets of batting from other projects?  I was gifted with a wonderful product that helps me to utilize them:

If you want to see my review, it's here, and the web site where you can order is here.
After I got the sandwich made, I stitched around all three hearts with Presencia Finca 50 thread, choosing a color that would contrast nicely. 

Then all that's left is to bind the edges, and your Trios mugrug is done! Now, aren't you glad you trusted me about using the scraps from your Accuquilt? (Grin)

I know this has been a long post, and if you are still hanging in there with me, you'll be happy you are --- there's a giveaway today! I have an adorable fat quarter bundle of SIX wonderful Valentine-themed fabrics and a selection of pre-cut hearts from my Go! Baby escapades for you to win!

These cuties come from one of my fav ebay stores, so if you don't win, or can't wait, look for "Steel City Stitches" on ebay - they have an awesome selection and super prices, too.

Leave me a comment about your mostest-favoritest Valentine that you ever have received, for one entry. And then because we love, love our followers, you can have an extra entry if you follow Lilypadquilting. 

We'll keep this open till Sunday, and announce our winner on Monday!

Happy hopping! Go and visit Sharon now, if you haven't already stopped by Craizee Corner!

Oh! And I'm linking up today with the Valentine's Day Showcase, organized by the one and only Melissa at Sew Bittersweet Designs! Also linking with the Thursday Think Tank, too!