Monday, January 31, 2022

This, That & The Other -

Did you know that needles left in seriously old applique borders can rust themselves in place?

Like -  "Crimany, I can't get this needle to budge!" rust themselves stuck where you left them last?

Now you do.  

At least in the more humid climates of the south.

And why is it that 2008 doesn't sound like it was that long ago?  14 years is long enough for ANYTHING to rust in place.  Including people.  LOL!

Rusted needle where I left it.

It took PLIERS!

Now. my applique skills have never been that well honed.

I've tried every method out there.  My favorite on easy shapes is to cut my pieces from freezer paper, iron the shiny side of the freezer paper to the back side of the fabric, and thread baste around the shapes so that what-you-see-is-what-you-get.

As with my English Paper Piecing, I do not like glue on my fabric.  I do not like gluing fabric to paper.  So I consider myself to be a thread baster. No sticky fingers required.

For this border, I have appliqued the leaves and flowers using back basting, where the pattern is drawn to the back of the fabric, the larger than actual shapes are placed on the border, the shapes are basted on the drawn lines from the back side with hand quilting thread (Makes bigger holes) and then the shapes are trimmed and needle turned from the front, removing just a few basting stitches at a time.

I'm not great at it, but I like it.  The fabric edge just wants to automatically turn where the previous thread holes have been.  It's like folding a piece of paper before you tear it on the fold.

Not very pointy points/

I actually love the basted freezer paper method more because it gives me a firm edge to stitch down.  Things hold their shape.  This is a bit fussy, but I got a better result than if I just blindly needle turned by eye.

Things missing in the top photo - the dots that go in the center of the star shaped flowers. 

I used sticky dots (Like for pricing garage sale items!) and they were left behind at the QPO, so I'll pick them up today so I can finish the star flowers.

Then there is some fill-in applique to decide on to occupy some random border spaces that just look like something NEEDS to go there, and then this top will be ready for machine basting and hand quilting.  Yay.

Answers to questions I know someone will ask - 

My go-to needle for non-quilting hand stitching:  Clover #10 Applique Sharps.

Thread:  Bottom line.  It blends into everything like silk. It's kind of a sand color, matching my background.

Saturday morning's view

We didn't get nearly as much as the rest of the East Coast got in this Bomb Cyclone event.  We are too far west for once!

A little over an inch, maybe - and yesterday temps rose to 40 so we are back down to dirt.  The van is back on the top of the drive. Thank heavens!

My weekend was spent with much of this -

More Fish School block cutting.

Strip bin and organizing pan!

I finished sorting through the rest of the baggies of scraps I received from the daughter of a quilt who had passed away, and just like my Churn Dash project, I'm using those scraps to cut Fish School units in attempt to "Use them now!" instead of storing them away for later.

I can easily fit 30 block sets on here.

30 sets per baggie.

This makes it easy for me to keep count, and it is portable enough that I can leave one baggie for stitching here at the cabin, and take one baggie to the QPO for my stitching there.

My birthday flowers, one week later!

While the other flowers in the vase are looking pretty sad, I held on to these to give the lilies time to open up.

They did - in yesterday's sunshine!  I knew they could, if given just a bit of time and encouragement.

There is a life lesson in there - We can blossom too, with some time, practice and encouragement!

I'll enjoy these for a couple of days longer, even if the vase is looking more sparse every time I pull some stragglers well past their prime out of the bouquet every day.

One week in, and 60 feels fine!

Except for the weird dream last night where I had to explain to the doctor how I could be 60, 15 years past menopause, and pregnant.  LOL!  (That was not a dream, it was a nightmare!)

This is also done up to borders!

I don't know if there will be time to audition border fabrics today - I have a day out with Martha planned.

We've spent so much time IN through the holidays and January, that it seems a good idea to celebrate Ground Hog Day a couple days early just because.  We NEED TO BE OUT!

So there will be some antique mall wandering and lunch at a favorite place much enjoyed today.

What do you have on tap for your Monday?

Only a few days remaining!

TODAY 1/31/22 is the LAST DAY!

The introductory price for Cherry Crunch is marked 25% off in the digital pattern section of the Quiltville Store.  No coupon needed!  Price reduction good through 1/31/22.

I have placed some OTHER Winter themed patterns ALSO at 25% off with no coupon required!
Warm Hands, Warm Heart & Winter Blues are both 25% off through 1/31/22. TODAY is the LAST DAY!
Forever Mine PDF pattern includes the runner too!

On sale at 25% off through 2/13/22

Quiltville Quote of the Day -

Yes, I know there is a typo in Roosevelt, but I can't fix it at this point. I'm asking for some grace please, after all this post is about mistakes -

We tend to forget that mistakes are a part of being human.
We need to appreciate our mistakes for what they are, precious life lessons that can sometimes only be learned the hard way.
Each day is a new day to choose another way!
Vintage Goose in the Pond quilt from my collection, circa 1920.

Have a lovely LAST DAY of January, 2022!



  1. Have you tried using the freezer paper on the top and using the edge as a guide for needle turn applique?

  2. Oh, my, I sure do know that needles can rust in place. I've had it happen with neglected cross-stitch projects. It doesn't even have to take years and years, either. And one summer when I was super busy with a new baby (and a couple other tots!), ,there was no time for sewing. Imagine my consternation when I went to sew some months later and the needle would NOT move up and down. The needle bar of my sewing machine had rusted solid! Who knew something like THAT could happen in such a short time?? Lesson learned - I never kept my sewing things in the basement again. Glad the blizzard of '22 missed you, Bonnie.

  3. I didn't even see the type-o with Eleanor Roosevelt's name until you mentioned it, then had to go back and see it. LOL.

  4. A dear friend shared with me "you can either wear out or rust out, it's your choice. Thought that was a good question

  5. Have I been stuck inside too long when reading that you are going to do some antique wandering makes me positively giddy in anticipation of the photos?

  6. I know well about leaving pins in for too long. Had pin basted a quilt and when I finally decided to finish it a lot of the pins had rusted and were hard to get out. Luckily I was able to get them out without damage other than rust left in the fabric. I was able to get most of it off.

  7. You are so correct about not using the glue. With my son's family moving in temporarily I have discovered some older projects. One is an applique that I did in 2008 - must have been an applique year. A couple of places the glue got out of line. I put the 8 blocks out of 12 that I had completed and sashed it. It is done and out of the box. I may hand quilt in echo quilting around the applique.

  8. OMG - pregnant at 60 - that would be a nightmare! 3 hours with the grands and I need a nap... The dreams we have are sometimes so hilarious. I got Cherry Crunch purchased yesterday - thank you. And Rhododendron Trail is getting its borders today - thank you again for a lovely mystery!

  9. It's another family Birthday. Our Grandson and a neice celebrate. No party that I can attend. I don't like what Covid did while I was gone. I have a few more setting triangles to finish up. Then quilt top assembly can begin. Slow and steady, trying not to make mistakes that require 'reverse stitching' with JACK. Gotta make all those butterflies fly right. When did I become OCD? 😕 Happy Monday!

  10. Didn't notice that typo until you pointed it out! lol Wait a minute...isn't that a quilter's nono?

  11. You are doing fine at your applique. A hint someone gave me (the one who hates applique) was to come up from underneath and into the side of the shape and back down. Hope this helps a bit. Kudos to getting your old UFOs done. I should be doing that!

    1. I applique with a blind hem stitch. I pick up 2 or 3 strands of the back ground fabric and 2 or 3 strands of fabric in the applique fabric shape. I only move my needle about an 1/8 of an inch to start the next stitch. I love to applique and am kinda OCD about applique.

  12. Oh yes, I know about rust! A needle, straight pin, paper clip, or a staple can cause rust damage on fabric, on hand stitching projects such as cross stitch and embroidery, on paper, and on any porous material. Ask me how I know... Just remove any metal. It will be much easier to find a needle or fastener later than it will be to clean, cut around or even scrap a project because of rust. I often used Eleanor Roosevelt's quote when I taught middle school and high school, and still use it!

  13. Getting out here as well, to attend a ceremony for my daughter's promotion to First Sargent in the Army! Enjoy your Monday!!

  14. Thanks for all you share with us ☺️

  15. Bonnie, you are inspiring me to pull out a Hawaiian quilt I've been hand quilting on and off over the past two years. It's now almost done!

    1. I love Hawiian quits the quilting is so beautiful around the shapes of the design.

  16. You are not birthing a baby; you are continually birthing new quilts.

  17. Yup, rusty needles in all handwork. What I do is put the eye of the needle on a hard surface and push the fabric down. Love the applique you are working on.

  18. A quick way to deal with rust, pour some

  19. A friend gave me a quilt that her mom made. Mom had safety pinned everything together & started to quilt it. Decided she couldn't do it...folded it up & put it in a brown paper bag. It was a beautiful bargello! I had to take pliers to remove those safety pins. Replaced the backing, batting & borders & free motion quilted it. Daughter has it hanging on the wall in her home. It is truly a beautiful quilt & by removing the rust stained backing & borders it worked! Pins had been in the quilt 10-12 yrs.

    1. Wow good for you for restoring the quilt for your friend.

  20. my day was spent cleaning my sewing space and helping hubby hang new curtain rods in the bedroom. Also got my lap swim in after 2 weeks of slacking off of that.
    Tommorow my hubby and I celebrate 58 years of marriage. Holy Crap no one should be married that long. took lots of perseverence on both of our parts.

  21. I just got new glasses today, so I don't know if it's the glasses, or just me, or meant to be that way, but the 2nd picture in this post looks like it's 3D! :)

  22. Makes me think I need to check for rust on some of my UFOs!

  23. Belated happy birthday, and just a thought. 60 for me was my first COLONOSCOPY, hurrah hooray, and the required digestive clean-out made me sick for a week, so at 70 I refused and requested one of those mail-in testing kits. At 60 I couldn't refuse; by 70 I did1


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