Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Baltimore Christmas

I've always wanted to make a baltimore album style quilt, but I knew I'd never do one because hand applique is just so slow for me. Then Pat Holly and Sue Nichols came out with their book on machine applique, and I knew it would be achievable for me.

Three of us bought this set of patterns last year for "Baltimore Christmas", and because we all had a lot going on already, we decided we'd start it in 2012. It is available as a 12-month block of the month program with fabric packs, but I bought a complete set of patterns only, because I have plenty of scraps to make this with on my own.

This is what Block 1 is supposed to look like.

These are the fabrics I've chosen for my first block. The pieces for the first angel are fused, and I'll add the pieces for the other three before I start any sewing. I'd like to do a machine buttonhole stitch, but some of the pieces are so small I may end up using a tiny zig zag.

There is a small amount of stem stitch in some of the blocks, so I'll have to achieve some proficiency with that too.

I hate to trace onto my background fabric for anything. In the past I read of a method where the pattern is traced onto template plastic or something similar, then it's pinned to the background fabric, and you can place the pieces under the template plastic with a pair of tweezers and line them up.

Wax paper is cheap and readily available, so I traced one complete angel on my wax paper; plus a few places from the other three angels, like the wings and feet; and a few registration marks to mark the quarter points and center of my pattern.

Once I fuse all the pieces for a complete angel, I can simply rotate the wax paper, line up all my markings, and I'm ready for the second angel.

Because each angel is not symmetrical, reversing the design for tracing is necessary to maintain the same orientation as the original pattern. Of course if there were lettering (and there's not), reversing the design would be crucial so the letters would read correctly. Tracing my design on wax paper allows me to flip the wax paper over and trace my actual pattern pieces onto the fusible. I traced my design onto the wax paper with a sharpie, so it shows up well through the fusible.


Barb D said...

Very clever ~ the idea of using the wax paper! Never thought of that!!

Judy S. said...

This will be so beautiful, Sue. Glad to see you're still knitting, too! At the moment I'm working on a pair of socks, 2 at a time, with one skein....1 from the middle and 1 from the outside; it seems to be working. Sue of alderwoodquilts suggested it and I was skeptical, but it IS working. Yay! (Looks like my preventative for SSS, LOL!)

LynCC said...

aaah! Great idea with the wax paper. I really need to buy the Baltimore Christmas patterns. I keep drooling over that quilt. Like you, I have a huge stash at my beck, so I'm not keen on getting the full fabric BOM kit.

Purple Pam said...

When I saw that pattern, I decided I had to sign up for the BOM. When I received the first block, the angels, I looked at those tiny black shoes and freaked! I do hand applique and I could not figure out how to make those tiny black shoes so that they would really look like shoes. I guess I should do the iron-on method so I can finish it in my lifetime!

Margo in Maine said...

WOW this is ambitious...I use parchment paper to copy on and use for placement....sounds like a tedious 'fun' project...will love to see it...'

Shari said...

I haven't used waxed paper, but I have used baking paper. This looks like such a fun project. Good luck!

Helen in Switzerland said...

This is going to be amazing - I can't wait to see how you progress!

Ulla's Quilt World said...

Your quilts/crafts are so fantastic! It's so nice to find other quilters all around the world!
Hugs, Ulla (from Finland)

Ulla's Quilt World said...

Your quilts/crafts are so fantastic! It's so nice to find other quilters all around the world!
Hugs, Ulla (from Finland)

moollin said...

I to have that pattern too. I bought it last year, still haven't touched it. The wax paper is such a good idea. I'm already making a christmas quilt for my daughter in Australia. Baltimore Christmas will be my next Christmas project. I love your Angels block the fabrics are so pretty.
Lin from across the water in NS

Quiltingreader said...

I use the freezer paper method mostly and my light box. I did fuse some ov the little pieces, but also made some of the bigger ones bigger. For instance, I made the dress whole instead of having three individual pieces. I also made the head and neck connected.