New Orleans House Project

Friday, May 20, 2022

Gathered Harvest(s)

 As I discussed last week, I have been sticking with my plan of devotion to UFOs.

The hand quilting is going slowly, mostly because I'm reluctant to stitch more than 20 - 30  minutes at a stretch.  Longer stitching times lead to hand and wrist discomfort - as in carpal tunnel symptoms.  One eagle is almost completely quilted, so that's something! 

I finished machine appliquéing the first vine block of four needed finish the Gathered Harvest BOM.  The block still needs a good soak, then blocking and trimming.


I immediately started the prep work for the next block.  

I have a system worked out for prepping the appliqué pieces.  I lower my ironing board so I can sit while I'm working, and cover the surface with a large piece of cotton canvas fabric.  The fabric soaks up excess starch, and protects the ironing board cover from scorching.  I can just move the fabric around when I need a "clean" work area.

Before sitting down at the ironing board, I've already traced, cut and pressed the freezer paper appliqué patterns/shapes to the wrong side of the different fabrics being used.  I use my trusty Karen Kaye Buckley 4 inch Perfect Fabric Scissors to trim around the appliqué shapes, leaving just the right amount of seam allowance.

I mix my own starch solution using liquid starch and water.  I have no favorite starch brand, I just use whatever I can get at the local grocery store.  I mix the starch solution in the black sprayer bottle,  then spray small amounts of it in the little plastic medicine cup.  Using a very small paintbrush, I brush the starch solution around the seam allowance of the appliqué piece.

Once the appliqué piece has been starched, and while the starch is still wet, I use the cuticle stick and the Clover Mini Iron to press the seam allowance to the wrong side of the appliqué piece.  The starch helps hold the seam allowance in place after the freezer paper has been removed.

After working diligently yesterday, I've got most of the pieces prepped for the next block - even the circles!

To help keep me motivated, I cleared off the design wall and pinned up the completed appliqué blocks.  The pattern is Gathered Harvest from the book Fresh Picked by Barb Adams and Alma Allen, aka Blackbird Designs.


In other gathered harvest news, we are already in the throes of summer here, with daytime temps in the upper 80s and low 90s.  Very little rain, so we've been watering our container gardens faithfully.  

The peppers seem happy with the weather, as they've been producing like crazy!  This is just a 2 - 3 day harvest of banana and jalapeno peppers.  I sliced them all up and pickled them; wound up with 3 pints of each type of pepper.  I wish the tomatoes would come in so I could make some salsa!


  1. Isn't that always the case, everything is ripe for salsa-making except the tomatoes! We've never been able to get the cilantro in sync with everything else either. Your applique blocks are gorgeous! It seems like a slog at the time you're making them but so worth it!

  2. Just lovely applique blocks--I also like that prepared applique method. I haven't mixed my spray starch with water, but that is a good idea...'))
    Hugs, Julierose

  3. Your applique blocks are gorgeous! As I read your description of the preparation process I realize why I don't appliqué. I am just not patient enough. But I love the look. Every single one of these blocks is incredible. What a quilt this will be!
    Look at all those peppers! It is just barely planting season here.

  4. It's going to be a gorgeous quilt! Are you using a particular line of fabric? The prints are fabulous.

  5. Beautiful blocks!! My appliqué process is very similar to yours. I iron freezer paper templates to the wrong side of the fabric and cut out with approximately 1/4 inch seam allowance. I use sizing (from the grocery store) instead of starch and an awl instead of a cuticle stick to iron over the edges. I also protect my ironing board with an extra layer of fabric. I stand rather than sit to prep my pieces. I used to do needleturn but now prefer prepared edge! Thanks for your always interesting blog!

  6. Thank you for showing your prepared edge method! Your results are fabulous!! It's going to be a gorgeous quilt. Nice crop of peppers!

  7. You've got a good system worked out for prepping those applique pieces. Doesn't it seem to take forever to get all those pieces done, but then the applique stitching is pretty speedy. The blocks are beautiful. You can't go wrong with a Blackbird Design.

  8. Your applique' blocks are amazing, Angie. I look forward to seeing this quilt come together. Good for you, continuing to work on UFOs.

  9. ooh my! your blocks are so gorgeous. The design is just lovely.
    what a nice crop of peppers.

  10. Marvellous progress! I enjoyed reading about how you prep your applique pieces!

  11. OK I am sooooo late, but I love your blocks and what a beautiful quilt. I feel for you on the CT! Do not recommend any surgery as it comes back - I had it done 2 times and regret the last one. I am cross stitching and it is killing the CT so here comes the braces which allow me to continue on!

    How are you doing in the Rain dept? We are dead in the water. This week all 100’s. But here in LV our thermometer has been reading over 100-107 since 1 May - We need a good tropical disturbance but not for Louisiana - we need one from Mexico so we can be on the right side of it and get flooded! Hugs