Be My Neighbor Quilt Along – Block 3

It is the first Wednesday of the month, time to show the next block of the Be My Neighbor quilt along. It seems like block three has the most pieces of all the blocks, some really tiny! Plus it has appliqué, my nemesis. But, I am determined to do this. After all, the only way to grow is to practice. So, I cut pieces of scraps, keeping in mind that I wanted the background to be sky.

Be My Neighbor Block 3 ~ From My Carolina Home

This time I read the directions instead of jumping in. The roof section was pieced, then I started on the mailbox and windows.

Be My Neighbor Block 3 ~ From My Carolina Home

So far, so good, laying out the elements after each step.  Tiny bits make the mailbox, and I was happy that they went together as they designed.

Be My Neighbor Block 3 ~ From My Carolina Home

I like the purple for the house.

Be My Neighbor Block 3 ~ From My Carolina Home

Looking good, all done with the piecing.

Be My Neighbor Block 3 ~ From My Carolina Home

Oh, crap. Do you see what I did wrong? Of course I didn’t notice it until I took the picture. The bottom has sky fabric, so the house appears to be floating in the clouds. The bottom background pieces should be green to create a ground. So, I frogged off the bottom, and resewed it with green. Then turned my attention to the appliqué.

I started the circle on the birdhouse with a yo-yo, but that didn’t work. There were too many points instead of a smooth circle and it was too big.  Yep, you guessed it, a bit more frogging was in order.  I got out several applique books and decided on the fusible interfacing method for the appliqués. Templates were cut out of Golden Threads Paper for both fabrics and interfacing.

Be My Neighbor Block 3 applique ~ From My Carolina Home

Then the interfacings were lightly fused to the cut out bits. The hope is that I will be able to have something to guide the needle-turn and make a smooth edge. I did clip the inside curve on the bird body.  This gave the appliqué pieces a bit of body and helped create the edge as I sewed.

Be My Neighbor Block 3 applique ~ From My Carolina Home

My book says to use tiny stitches for the best result on curves, so I did my best.  Still not happy with this, the bottom edge is a bit ragged where I have sewn.  You can see the raw edge at the top where I haven’t turned it under yet.

Be My Neighbor Block 3 Applique

I pinned all the bits to the block so I wouldn’t lose any of them, and put it next to my chair for stitching on Sunday.

Be My Neighbor Block 3 ~ From My Carolina Home

The bird began with its rosy breast, I am hoping it will look like a robin.

Be My Neighbor Block 3 Applique

I couldn’t get the turned under areas to stay put, so I tried more pins. Some of these were a help, and some got in the way.

Be My Neighbor Block 3 Applique

The little tiny beak was the most trouble. I hate working with tiny pieces. I put a French knot in black for the bird’s eye.  It doesn’t look that good, but as I like to say, finished is better than perfect.  Perhaps after the entire quilt is done I’ll go back and add a tiny bead or button for its eye.

Be My Neighbor Block 3 Applique

Now it is done. I need to iron it, but it is done in time for the meeting today, yippee!!

Be My Neighbor Block 3 Applique

How’s your quilt coming along, or whatever you are working on?



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30 thoughts on “Be My Neighbor Quilt Along – Block 3

  1. This will look fine with jus a little step back! My favorite method for doing an applique circle it to back the fabric with freezer paper, leaving a quarter inch to turn. Then run a basting stitch along the edge and pull it up. The fabric snugs up against the freezer paper and makes a beautiful circle, which stays nicely after a good press. After removing the freezer paper, I use a basting glue stick to tack it in place so I don’t have to deal with more than one pin. The first time I tried this I was successful, and for me that’s saying something!

  2. Shirley

    Oh my, what an adventure! Your bird looks very good:) I belong to a BOM where the focus is to learn a new technique every month. Some of the techniques I will probably not try again, but it has forced me to try new things.

  3. I have a tutorial on my blog for how to do circles it is on the side bar under tutorials if you want to have a look. We all do them differently. doing little pieces is challenging. I find glue basting a little easier as the pins aren’t in the way and you can easily pull the piece up and reposition if needed.

  4. Melanie

    I’m working on Block #7. That bird beak made me decide to use fusible web and satin stitched edges on all my applique pieces. I love applique, but not torture. LOL Your block looks great!

  5. Hello Carole! Your block is great, along with your bird! After reading each comment, which all have great tips and suggestions because there is no right or wrong in applique. It really ends up being a choice you make along the way that you find the best for you. One way that I love to do turned under applique is to draw the pieces on a light piece of cardboard (like a cereal box) cut out the piece right on the lines drawn. Next, lay the cardboard piece on the fabric that you are going to use and draw a light line, next cut out leaving at least a fourth inch. Now lay the cardboard over the fabric and spray some Heavy Starch into a bowl, now use Q-Tips getting one end really wet and push up the edges of your applique. Do a small area and then press it dry (which takes only a moment and also hold the very edge down with the end of something as you raise up the iron, else wise it will stick and lift up with the iron). Just continue around like this. Another thing, for circles or small slopes I use a knotted gathering stitch around the cardboard and then starch, the shapes come out so perfectly. I know this sounds like a lot of work and would take a ton of time, but after you have done it a few times and have figured out the process, Carole, it really does work fabulously. Plus, it does go quickly and works great for a few pieces or loads of pieces. Have a great time with this BOM and learning new techniques. Have a great day!

  6. dezertsuz

    That’s a great block. I like the purple, too. Your bird came out really cute. The blocks are bigger than I thought they were.

  7. Rosemaryflower

    You got this all cut out last week, and then pinned it all up for Sunday stitching. That’s nice…. in church?
    It would be nice if we could work on some projects in church hahahaha but that whole standing up to sing, and etc hahaha
    😀 just kidding
    I love the bird beak. It looks like it got in a big fight 😀
    No really it looks excellent. I love all of the comments above. I had Sarah over today for a couple of hours and she was hilarious as usual. Now I am going to look at my sewing…

  8. Love your lavender house!

    I have two words to share regarding a one-off itty bitty applique – wonderunder and mistyfuse.

    I have done a lot of “prepared edge” hand applique in the last couple of years, my #quilty365 circles and orange peel units. For the circles, I use a basting stitch in the seam allowance, gather a la shower cap around a circle of heat-resistant Mylar, then paint the seam allowance with sizing, press, pop the template out. For the orange peels, I did not baste but did the same press with sizing (using the spray sizing places in the can cover and then applied with a stencil brush) technique without the prebasting. I got smooth edges both ways and they can travel,in a little box until I stitch them down.

    For other things, I am a serious user of wonderunder, followed by a decorative edge stitch, like blanket or feather, on the machine. When I do fusible applique,, I do back the base fabric with a piece of iron-on lightweight interfacing, so I have no trouble with bunching…

    Having lived near Baltimore for nearly 15 years, I know quite a few folk who compled the whole ‘Baltimore Album Quilt by hand’ thing, but not for me… @susansquiltstudio aka SusaninDublin on flickr

  9. lois92346

    You are truly an artist (in my humble opinion). I wonder if some of your talents would rub off on me if I were ever to be in your presence. 🙂

  10. Clare Moore

    Your block is quite lovely. Considering you trials with the applique I think you should pat yourself on the back. It came out so well. All the tips are great too.

  11. Love your Block Three! Theses blocks are indeed a ton of work, but don’t they come out so cute! It looks really good! I appreciate the comments that give some guidance! Thank you for sharing!

  12. Such a fun block with so many details! I think you would enjoy using the tiny applique pins (by Piece ‘o Cake designs) so the thread doesn’t get tangled up when you’re hand stitching.

  13. That’s a fun block, Carole! I love how rhe mailbox is situated right in front of the house. Looks to me like your bird is turning out great! I don’t do very much applique either, but once in awhile it is fun for a change, and to add to a block like yours.

  14. Robin

    I think it looks great. That little bird is singing up a storm because it’s so happy. You were really brave to start out with a circle. I gather my circles around a heat resistant plastic circle and then starch and press it. I undo the gathering thread, take out my plastic circle, and then sew it down. Nice Job!

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