What a difference a day makes

It is fully 30 degrees Fahrenheit cooler today than it was at this time yesterday. Sheesh. A girl doesn’t know from one day to the next whether she ought to shave her legs or not! Back to long pants and long sleeves.

Aside from that difference, I am having a “new day” in the machine applique department. When I do machine app, I use the starch and heat resistant template plastic method of prepping my shapes. Of late, I have had problems with my applique shapes scorching while I am preparing them. I’ve changed irons, changed starch, lowered my iron temp, lowered it some more and was still having problems. Rassum frassum! Well, a light bulb went on today. When I use the starch, I cover my regular ironing surface with some foil and then some muslin in an effort to make the regular ironing cover last longer. Over time, the muslin had become SCORCHED and brown. Hmm, I believe the scorched muslin has been transferring the scorchiness to my applique shapes.

So, I refreshed my protective surface:

Voila! No more scorch marks on my applique shapes. Took me long enough to figure this out…

After that, I happily put together the center block of Pots and Dots:

And, happily, the mail carrier brought me 10 yards of 7/8″ rick rack today! Thank you, ebay! I know, it’s not the requisite 1″ rick rack, but 1″ black rick rack is a little tricky to find…and I’m a little picky about my rick rack (don’t want any of that unevenly woven, wrinkly stuff).

I’m not sure I totally love the fabrics I combined:

The various border fabrics may help bring this together…or not.

And I’m still trying to decide on the center for my medallion for the quilt-along. Janet Clare’s Whirling Peacocks post sent me looking for this on my bookshelves:

I found two very inspiring (and complicated…) possibilities:

This pretty little thing uses one of my favorite shapes in a very clever way. I don’t know if you can see it, but there are narrow orange peel shapes dividing part of the center. There are four peel shapes and four compass points making the divisions between the ice cream cone shapes. I have lost my mind.

But, there is also this lovely thing for which there is actually a pattern (this is the Sarah Johnson quilt):

The center nine-patch, if you will, finishes to 12″–just what I need for the medallion quilt-along. Yes, let’s leave no stone unturned for possibilities and get as close to the start date as possible and then pick something detailed. Why not? If the weather stays cool, I will want to stay inside and sew. I’d better check which hemisphere I’m living in…


  1. Lily Boot said

    ooh amy, what a lot to whet the appetite! Gorgeous books and patterns but your bright applique puts them all in the shade. I love the colours – and the ric-rac. Nevertheless, when you do your medallion centre I know I’ll be hopping around with centre-envy and will want to do mine again! I keep my legs hairy just to give the girls at school something to sneer at – they being so glam and perfect, me being so old and daggy! And as for your scorch marks, when I began working at a boutique many years ago, I used to diligently clean my shoes each morning so as to appear well-groomed, and wondered every day after being at work for a few hours why there were always strange dark scuff marks on the back of every skirt I wore! Took me a week to work out it was shoe polish from kneeling down to do something too soon after cleaning my shoes!

  2. Jackie said

    Amy, I am loving your pots and dots!!! I don’t know why you are doubting your fabric choices, they are terrific in my book. By the way, I am with you on this hot one day cool the next. It seems like it has been that way lately with the leg shaving bit. I love your rick rack and you know that 1/8 of an inch really makes a difference, you should have held out! (tee hee…only kidding) It looks great!! Love the medallion choices, I can’t wait to see what you pick!

  3. Jennifer said

    Thank you for the medallion inspiration this morning! I am seeing so many things I had not seen before, like the Shelburne Museum quilts, and your lovely book. Isn’t it fun that everyone is going in different directions for the center block? Those whirling peacocks are fun. (Thanks for the tip about the ironing surface when using starch. I just noticed some browning on my surface, that was getting my iron a little brown and then transferring onto other fabrics. Time for a surface freshen-up, I think!)

  4. Anita said

    Oh man, I love both of those center blocks. It almost makes me wish mine wasn’t done! Maybe a second quilt when the first one is done… 😉

  5. Cyndi said

    I wish I could master that darned statch method of applique. It’s so lovely!

  6. Kathy said

    Mrs. S, you know those fussy curvy pieces in the first medallion have your name ALL over them! Capitulate, and get to work.

    Off to shave my legs – to help me feel professional on my business trip. My entire packing process has been built around the maximum amount of handwork I can carry in my carry-on. The legs are an after-thought.

  7. pam said

    Rassum frassum! Now what’s that from? Sounds familiar but not something I watched, maybe the siblings.

    Anyway, love the pots quilt. Seriously. You have a way with those fabrics for sure. The books and patterns, well, crazy talk, 12 inch ‘9 patch’. ha.

  8. that is a wonderful book isn’t it? Have you been to the museum?

  9. lil said

    Amy, I can understand your thoughts about the Pots and dots, I hesitate too, but maybe as you said the border will bring these busy fabrics together

    love the pics from the book, they are perfect for the center of the medallion quilt, especially love the ice cone one, pretty tiny pieces for a 12″ block
    I’m still not sure about joining that quilt along, but thinking a lot of that possibility

    what fabrics did you choose, curious me, lol

  10. Nanette said

    We must be sharing weather. Same here. Love the quilts. Darling.

  11. Such a happy, cheerful applique – the first one that is. Then the mood changes 180 degrees! Lovely projects, but my favorite is the first!

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