Saturday, February 2, 2019

Bloom Block Two

This sew-along is a real learning experience for me. That is a good thing, but it is frustrating not to be able to do something well straight away!

The first step this week was to sew thin stems in an "X" shape on the block. That was a complete disaster.

I didn't take a photo of it straight away, but this shot after I had scrapped it and used it for a bit of experimentation might give you an idea of how wonky, buckled, just plain horrible it was:

It seems I couldn't sew straight, or stop the work buckling, without some help. The back view will give you one part of my solution:
Stabiliser! I used some Floriani "Stitch N Wash", which stopped a lot of the buckling. The stabiliser can be torn away, or if left in it will dissolve when the item is washed.

The second part of my solution involved slowing my machine down to the slowest possible speed (which is very slow!) and swapping to an open-toed foot:
Going at this super-slow speed I was able to make tiny adjustments as each stitch was sewn. Looking at the photo I think gives a clue as to why it wouldn't sew straight - the the edge of the green fabric is only just under the foot, and it had a real tendency to be pushed aside by the foot (except where there was a dot of glue). That meant that instead of sewing along the right-hand edge of the stem, I would find that the needle was hitting the green fabric.

So here is my block, back view:

and front:
I only added the stabiliser to cover the stem area, but it made sewing all the other parts easier as well. On future blocks I will stabilise the entire appliqué area.

Good news! I found somewhere in Australia that had one set of Bloom templates left, so for our future blocks I will be using the correct templates.

Linked to Cheryll's Bloomers Party #2. Check out blocks by people who are not beginners at this sort of thing.


  1. wow Vireya what a wonderful block,well done my friend xx

  2. It's wonderful when you figure out a problem... then solve it. Well done. I like your block too.
    I move my needle over to the right so the edge of the foot runs along the edge of the fabric being stitched.
    Thanks for joining in this party too... xox

  3. Pleased you worked out how to make it easier for yourself to do the block... Looks lovely.
    I use visoflex and like you an open toed foot to buttonhole stitch.

  4. Good to learn new things.
    There are so many tricks that others have discovered. Stabiliser is yours.

  5. It’s not easy is it, especially when it has to be machined appliquéd. Lovely simple block.

  6. I must say I prefer hand to machine applique, but I think you have just solved some of the problems/reasons why! This finished block looks great, so definitely worth persisting, especially now you have templates!

  7. Beautiful block after all was said & done! I use the blind stem stitch when I machine applique and also the open foot. This go-round though I'm hand appliqueing the pieces down. Great job!

  8. So glad the stabilizer made a big difference for you. I like to starch my background pretty stiff to do the applique instead of using stabilizer. In the end it turned out really well for you.

  9. An interesting project, I like it very much. Keep it up. M.

  10. Your block is cute! I don't applique, but I appreciate all the work that goes into it.