Thursday, March 12, 2015

Irish Chain Quilt-A-Long - Appliqued Chain Block - Assembling

**  NOTE  - This post is part of a series of posts for the Irish Chain Twist Quilt-A-Long.  If you would like to join (and have a chance to win $100.00 or $75.00 Gift Certificate grand prizes sponsored by The Intrepid Thread and Fat Quarter Shop ) you can find a list of the post links here :)  Here is the schedule:

Appliqued Chains Block - Assembling - Mar 12th
Appliqued Chains Block - Stitching - Mar 19
Piecing Top and Grand Prize Linky - Mar 26th
Parade and Grand Prizes - April 23rd

Before we get any farther,  we need to pick a winner for last weeks Modern Patchwork Block assignment.   And great job to everyone that finished up their Blocks!!!  That was a lot of stitching and it is so fun to see another finished set of blocks!!!

The Modern Patchwork Block winner who gets 2 April Showers Charm Packs  from The Scarlet Thread Quilt Co.  is . . .
# 10 -  Liz!!! - Congrats :)


So here we are ready to start some Applique!     If you are just finding this QAL, it's never to late to join in the fun :)  Just see the schedule above for the posts you missed and start quilting along ;)  


Now I know many of you are a little nervous about doing applique as it is new to you.   But no need to worry. we are going to have so much fun and you are going to find just how easy, raw edge applique is ;)  I just know your going to love it!!   So let's get to it ;)  Today, we will prepare our applique and get the block all ready for stitching ;)


For our applique we will be using a very basic Petal shape.   4 of these together give the look of a flower and will also continue our Chain ;)  

So to start, click here to be taken to the Petal Template.  Print a copy of the template.  I always like to print my templates on cardstock or cover stock, just so they are a little sturdier.  So if you happen to have either handy, use that.  If not, it isn't necessary to go out and buy a pack ;)  Before cutting out your template, use a ruler to double check that the template printed to accurate size.  The little square should be exactly 1".  Once you have double checked it, go ahead and cut out your Petal Template.  

So you have your template now, but I still want to share with you how you would make this basic template if it weren't provided.  So the next little bit is basically FYI, you don't have to do this ;)  To make your own template, you will need a piece of cardstock, scissors, ruler, and a math compass.

You start by making a square that is the size space you want to fill up on your "finished" block.  Our blocks are 10" x 10" finished and we will be putting 4 petals on each block, so quarter the 10" x 10" and we get a 5" x 5" space to fill.   So measure 5" x 5" on your paper and draw a line around the edge of the ruler and then cut our the square.

Now, take your compass and put the point in the bottom left corner.  Then extend the arm until your pen end is in the top left corner.

Holding the point end in place, draw an arch down to the bottom right corner.   I had to go back and forth a few times to make the line dark enough to show up in the picture ;)

Then simply rotate your paper 180 Degrees and align the point end of your compass on the opposite corner.  You shouldn't need to change the width of your compass.  Simply draw another arch from corner to opposite corner to finish the Petal Shape.

Then cut our your template ;)   Easy as that ;)  Now you all know how to make your own petal template ;)  Just in case you decide you like it so much you want to make lots, lots more in lots and lots of sizes :)


And with our template, we are ready to make some appliques ;)  So grab your 5 1/4" x 5 1/4" squares and your template.  I will be showing your 2 types of applique, one using Starch and one using an Adhesive like Heat N Bond (my personal favorite) or Wonder Under.

There are pro's and con's with each method.  The nice thing about the Starch Method is that you don't get any stiffness in your quilt once the starch is washed out when you are done your quilt, the draw back is it means lots of pinning and a little bit more tricky when it comes time to stay stitch.  And the Adhesive Method is just the opposite.  Easy and convenient to put the block together and easy to stay stitch but the appliques will be a little stiffer because of the adhesive :)   I will go over each method and you can choose a favorite :)


For the Starch Method, start by spraying a generous amount of starch on the wrong side of your fabric square.  If you get any little white bubbles, don't stress.

Press the square with a hot iron.  See how those little bubbles go away with the heat ;)

Now, repeat with another layer of starch and another hot pressing.

You will continue to repeat this process until your square is super stiff, like you could throw it as a frisbee stiff.  Depending on the thickness of your fabric, this will take 2-4 times.

Place your template on the wrong side of your stiff fabric square.  Using your favorite marking tool, trace around the template.  The template itself won't have a wrong or right side ;)   And your marking tool doesn't have to be a disappearing one.  You can always use a pencil or chalk, that won't show up on the wrong side.

Now carefully cut along the line.

And just like that, you have a Petal ;)


For the adhesive method, you want to start by cutting 5 1/4" x 5 1/4" squares from your adhesive yardage.  This is just like cutting fabric, cut it into strips and then sub cut it into squares ;)

Now, move on over to the ironing board.   Your adhesive squares will have a glue side and a paper side.  Place the Glue side of the adhesive square onto the wrong side of your print fabric.  So just to double check that, the glue and the wrong side of the fabric should be touching ready to be adhered to one another.

Press the pair to adhere them together.  Now every adhesive is a little different, but most will tell you to press for about 6-8 seconds and to use a Dry Iron.   And trust me, if it says Dry you want it to be Dry.  Otherwise you are going to spend some frustrating times trying to get the paper backing off.

With the two squares adhered together place the Petal Template onto the paper side of the pari.  Trace around the template.

And then carefully cut along the traced lines.

And just like that, you have a Petal!!

Regardless of what method you choose to do, you will want to make the following number of Petal Appliques.   And, making applique is like anything in quilting, you are going to save a lot of time if you do it assembly line ;)  So repeat each step for your total number of appliques to speed things up :)


And now, it's time to get the Petals onto your blocks.  Grab your 10 1/2" x 10 1/2" Background squares.  We need to know where the center is so fold the square in half and finger press a line.  Then unfold it and fold it in half the other way and finger press a line.

Your square should look like this now, with the small finger pressings showing you right where the center of the block is.  And now you are ready to add 4 Petal Appliques to each square.  Once again, we are going to go over both methods :)


If you are using the Starch Method, place your 4 appliques as shown below with right sides up.  Take care that each of your petal appliques is aligned with the center of the block, where the finger pressing meets.   Then align the corner so that is is 1/4" away from either edge.  You don't have to measure it perfect, just be sure it is centered to the corner and it will be 1/4" away :)  With your Petal Appliques in place it is time to pin.

I like to pin my Applique so that I will be able to stay stitch it wiout moving pins to much.  So I try to keep them away from the very edge.  I use about 4 pins per Applique as I don't want them shifting around when I go to Stay Stitch them.   A quick note here - I know a lot of quilters who use glue sticks here instead of pins.  It will work and you are welcome to do that, but I find for me I prefer pins as the glue stick doesn't always hold everything tight and you can get some shifting, especially where we won't be stitching these for a bit.  Just FYI :)

And just like that, your block is all done and ready for stay stitching next week ;) 


Once again with the Adhesive Method, we are going to start out at the Ironing Board.   Begin by removing the paper backing from 4 Petal Appliques.  This should just peel right off , but if you have some problems getting it started, use a straight pin so stick through the paper but not through the fabric.  Tear up to make a slit and give you a starting point :)

Place your 4 appliques as shown below, with the right sides up and the glue side on the square.  Take care that each of your petal appliques is aligned with the center of the block, where the finger pressing meets.   Then align the corner so that is is 1/4" away from either edge.  You don't have to measure it perfect, just be sure it is centered to the corner and it will be 1/4" away :)  And now you are ready to press.

Place your hot, dry, iron on the center of the block first, that way all of those 4 edges coming together are adhered first.  Once again, use 6-8 seconds in one place.  Then lift the iron straight up and place it straight down on another part of the block.  Never use a back and forth method of your iron when adhering appliques as it will cause it to shift.  Always up and down ;)    Repeat this until the appliques are completely adhered.

And just like that, your Petal Appliques are all adhered in place and ready to be stay stitched next week ;)

And that is how it is done ;)  You can choose to use either method you like.  If you aren't sure, try them out on something scratch and see which results and technique you like better ;)  And just get the blocks to this point and you are done ;)

Whichever method you use though be sure and assemble the following number of Blocks ;)

And with your Assignment all complete, you are ready to link up for a chance to win the Weekly Prize!!!!

This weeks Weekly Prize is being sponsored by Olie and Evie and a huge thanks goes to them for their support of the Irish Chain Twist Quilt-A-Long.

This weeks prize is 2 Bella Solids Charm Packs!!!  One is Bleached White and the other is Snow.  So perfect for a quick start to your next project!!!! 

So what do you have to do for a chance to win these charms?  Simple . . . Just link up your Assembled Appliqued Chain Blocks at the end of this post :)  You can link to a blog post, flickr picture, Instagram, Facebook . . .  or whatever.  Just make sure to link up by next Thursday morning as I will be announcing a winner at the beginning of next weeks post :)

If you don't get your Assembled Appliqued Chain Blocks done by next week you can still link it up :) (just not in time for the prize :)    The linky will remain open until the end of the Quilt-A-Long.  So if your out of town, or just had a busy week, no worries!!!  Just link up when you can :)

And Don't forget to add your assembled blocks to the Happy Quilting Quilt-A-Long Flickr group and to post it on social media with using #irishchaintwistqal.    I am so excited for this week, Hooray for Applique!!!!

So let's do Applique!!!  And if you have questions, don't hesitate to email me at  Have a Happy Quilting Day!!

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  1. What type of Heat n Bond do you use????

  2. Totally unrelated, but I'm looking through my SUU Alumni magazine and see your picture. I'm thinking she looks just like the lady whose blog is doing the Irish Chain Quilt along! It is you! (SUU Grad class of 99)

  3. That was a great tutorial on your petal appliqué methods. Thank you, Melissa. And congratulations on your book. I'm a day late, but it looks fabulous! So very exciting. And yes, yes, yes on a tutorial.

  4. Hi
    I am just starting the quilt a long, do I need to post to the prior linkys before I post my picture of this weeks assignment?

    1. HI Shannon,

      Sorry, I tried to reply to your email but you are a no reply blogger. No you don't have to post all of the weeks, but you can if you like ;)

    2. Thanks Melissa's! I have changed my status now as well:-)


Thank you so much for your sweet comments. I just love hearing from you!!
Have a Happy Quilting Day :)