Welcome to month 2 of the Portage Lake quilt! Here are the fabrics used for this month’s block. This block features two appliquéd units and a pretty little embroidered bird.
The first step was to make the appliqué fan. I have been trying out some new methods for appliqué and recently discovered glue stick appliqué. I am really liking this method! For this block, I used wash-away appliqué sheets and traced the fan pattern on the top. This paper washes out of your applique when wet and completely disappears! It is thin enough so that you can easily see through it to trace a pattern or can be used in your inkjet printer.
This paper is fusible on side, so after cutting out your patterns, just iron on the back of your fabric. Cut out around the shape leaving about 1/4″ all around.
Now for the fun part! Take the glue stick (make sure it’s a washable one!) and rub it around a section of the fabric, trying to keep most of the glue on the fabric and not the paper. If it starts to dry before you get to it, just rub more glue on the fabric.
Now just fold over the fabric nice and smooth and press to the paper. You can use the cuticle stick to help press out any bubbles and really smooth it to get a nice edge. The paper gives a nice structure to the fabric and makes such a crisp edge! If you don’t like the way a corner or edge looks, just peel the fabric back, add a little more glue and try again! The glue is very forgiving! Flip it over to make sure it looks good to you and when everything looks nice and pretty, press with a hot iron to seal and dry the glue.
One thing that sewing has taught me, is that it’s ok to not be so perfect…you need to be close but as long as you are happy with your results, it is all that really matters. Here’s a good example…this finished block should have the points just barely touching right in the middle. For some reason, when I went to pin them in place, they were too big. I double checked that my patterns were the right size (they were) and that my background square was cut to the right size (it was.) I’m not quite sure what happened here, but I had two choices…either try and resize the new pattern pieces by guessing (yikes!) or just let them overlap and move on. So I decided to just let them overlap and not worry about it! If it doesn’t bother you, then forget about it and move on right!? I knew that once the quilt is complete, you will never know! Or maybe you will now that I pointed it out!
This flying geese ruler makes four units so quickly!
For the bird embroidery, I used a stem stitch in Aurifil 12 wt thread, color 2250.
There is also an appliquéd star unit and some simple block units. Sew them together and month 2 is complete!
Stay tuned for Portage Lake Quilt month 3 which has a beautiful, large flower applique!
*This post contains affiliate links. See my policy page for more info.