basket full of wishes - part 3

These lazy summer afternoons are perfect for picnicking in the shade, or for sipping ice cold drinks on the edge of the pond. Flowering season is here to stay and baskets are spilling over with lovely fruit..

Let's have a picnic to celebrate :)

...I brought along a cake!

I like to bake!

 My dog likes to jump!!
a basket full of flowers..
and more flowers(Bees cannot stop smiling!)
I am making new summer clothes for my family
I also enjoy sewing matching buttons to new clothes :)

we are picking flowers to put in a vase.

What?! A Boot! Frogs think this is funny!  :(

I play music in the forest. My friends come to dance with me.

Most of the flowers I used in these baskets are from Vintage handkerchiefs. I got them at Brimfield Antique show last year and some on Etsy. I added some details with embroidery here and there.

We are going on a holiday to California next week. I have more baskets to share with you when we are back in a few days. 
Thank you for stopping by and leaving me such sweet comments! ( * v * )
I hope you have a fun-filled summer just like these cool critters here.. see you soon!


Machine applique' tutorial

Catherine is our local quilt shop owner (Button box) and a wonderful teacher. She is incredibly generous with her time & knowledge always and infinitely patient even with a slow learner like me! ^_^
I had this idea of doing a basket quilt for sometime but as my hands wouldn’t agree with hand stitching so much, I had to think about machine appliqué. But I was totally lost with what materials to use or even how to use that scary looking zigzag stitch! So I went to Catherine for help. Even while managing a busy bustling shop, she devoted an afternoon to teach me the basics of machine appliqué. I can’t express how grateful I am for her timely guidance and making it possible for me to dream this quilt.

I experimented a little bit with the materials & machine settings along the way and want to list them here in case anyone is starting out in Machine appliqué like me.


~ These Gingher 6-inch Applique' scissors were very helpful in cutting out finer details without putting any strain on the hands. They are very sharp and nice & heavy!

~ Using this Appliqué foot improved my stitches very much. I could clearly see where I was going and it made a big difference.

~ Lingerie & Bobbin thread is very thin. It comes in two colors, white and black. Since the thread is much thinner than the regular thread, using it in the bobbin gives you a much finer applique' stitch. I used white Bobbin thread for the Basket blocks as my background and most of the applique pieces were light colored. Even for the few dark pieces that I used, it is hardly visible to the eye. (I adjusted my sewing machine tension to 3)
 *You could also use Invisible monofilament threads instead, but I haven't tried them. 

~For the top thread, I used Mettler fine embroidery(60 wt.) cotton thread.

I prefered to cut my Applique' pieces from a fabric with a white or off-white background so that they would blend into my main fabric easily, but on occasions where they had a different background color, I tried to match the top thread with it like these macaroons or berries..

Here is an overview of the steps I followed... 

1. Pick one main fabric for the background and another one with a cute print that you want to fussy cut.

2. Roughly cut around the print you like to appliqué. It doesn’t have to be precise at this point.

3. Now trim around the piece accurately, you should be left with a little less than 1/8” seam (it also depends on how wide you want your zig-zag stitch to be. Mine is very small!)

4. Peel the paper on one side of your fusible and place this trimmed appliqué piece on this sticky surface. Switch to paper scissors and cut around this piece as closely as you can.

Note: You can skip step 3 and directly place the roughly cut piece on top of the fusible and then trim around the shape but I was switching between my applique’ scissors and paper scissors, so it took me two times the work!

5. Press on the fusible paper of the appliqué piece to set the adhesive following the instructions given for your product.

6. The easy way to remove the backing paper is by scratching it with a pin and then peeling it off. Keep this piece aside.

Prepare your background fabric:

1. Place your appliqué piece on where you want it on the main fabric and lightly trace around it with a pencil. Remove the piece.

2. Now position the sticky-side (shiny side) of stabilizer on the wrong side of the main fabric where you will likely appliqué. Press it following the instructions for the product. (Unlike the double stick fusible web, the stabilizer has one sticky side and one non-sticky side.)   I didn't always use the stabilizer in the basket blocks which worked out fine maybe because my background fabric was thick enough. But it especially helps with tight corners or curves, avoids any kind of puckers and keeps the applique' smooth.

3. Finally, position the appliqué piece on right side of your main fabric where you marked earlier and press in place.
Once the applique' is stitched you can tear away the Stabilizer.

Machine settings:

 My Sewing machine is Pfaff Performance 2058. So I am writing down the settings I’ve used on this machine.
Also, feel free to experiment with the stitch length and choose what fits your needs best.
Don’t forget to change your straight stitch throat plate to zigzag throat plate! ( " u " )

If your machine has these options, choose 'needle down' and also 'sew slow' to slow down the machine speed while stitching. Set the stitch-width to 1.0 and then set, how close you want your stitches to be, between .60 to .40
If the stitches are too close they might look lumpy.

 Choose "Tie-off at end" option.

Position the needle anywhere you like to start stitching.

Bring the bobbin thread to the top. Push the threads out of your way and proceed with the stitching.

When you are nearing the end, continue stitching 2 or 3 stitches into where you began and stop.

Gently tap this 'reverse button' to activate your "Tie-off at end option" and press on your presser foot.
This will tie-off the threads automatically.

Yay! we are done!! snip the threads and admire your lovely creation! ( * V * )

Add any cute messages or other details if you like..

There are really nice video tutorials on the web that explain how to do the zigzag stitch for applique'. So I didn't go into the detail here. I hope you can refer to these tutorials if in doubt.

I still have to put a flex frame in this coin purse. But the kitties seem happy with the progress ;)

Pattern is from this Japanese book - ISBN978-4-391-63131-9
It has clear step-by-step pictures for all the projects. So it is easy to follow even if the instructions are in Japanese.

Thank you so much for patiently reading through this lengthy post. I hope I didn't bore you..( ' u ' )
Have a beautiful day!