Help me save this UFO!

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Help me save this UFO!

flamingo house (1)

I need help! You may remember Flamingo House from about a month ago. Since the last post I have managed to cut and apply all the appliques AND make the required yo-yos. I’ve hit a wall though. See all those appliques? So much blanket stitch and hand work. Quite frankly, I don’t want to do it and just can’t force myself through. I mean seriously, look at those crab legs… ARGH!

flamingo house (3)

I don’t want it to land in the pile of unfinished projects. I really do want to finish it and I really do want to donate it to the bee. If I’m being honest with you all and myself, it ain’t happen with all this handwork. So, what’s a girl to do? I’m seriously considering doing a free motion straight stitch around the edges of the appliques with clear or color matched threads. It gives me pause – the wall hanging is built on fusible fleece which means I’ll be “quilting” the appliques. What do you think? Cool effect or total disaster? flamingo house (4)
Second problem, all these yo-yo’s! They have to go on. It just doesn’t look as engaging and complete without them. But it is MORE handwork, y’all. Any inventive ideas for adding yo-yos? Should I try to tack them on via FMQ WITH the appliques? It will create a little ring around the yo-yos, but if I act like it is totally on purpose and planned, it becomes OK, right?

Just because I like progress pictures – here’s a few bonus images along the applique way!

flamingo house (2)

PS – Jessika, when I get to yours, I promise, handwork until my fingers fall off. Maybe sitting on a beach, maybe with a frosty beverage, maybe in a pink house…..

33 Comments

  1. So cute! I quilt around all my appliquΓ© shapes on the machine free motion – it’s fine! I f you really want to go fast use monofilament thread so you don’t have to change thread color. And tack those yo yo s on machine also. Get her done!

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    • Get her done indeed! I think you’re exactly right. πŸ™‚

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  2. This is so super awesome!!! definitely do not let it languish unfinished. I hardly do any hand stitching and do lots of raw edge applique. Two things I’ve done- one is to stitch around like you suggest (in either clear or matching thread) which I think will be fine; the other is to just FMQ all over the appliques so that they stay down well (but not go around the edges specifically). I tend to do the second since I’m not very good at staying close to the edge without going off. Regarding the Yo-yos- I think stitching them down around the edge would be fine, but if you’re using clear thread you could also FMQ onto one, go into the center, do an asterisk pattern, and then stitch off the other side- that way they’d be stuck down but it wouldn’t necessarily be a circle around the edge. Good luck!

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    • That’s a pretty genius idea! Didn’t even think of tacking them in the center. The bigger ones have a bit of room to fit the needle right in too. Thanks for the suggestion!

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  3. I think doing an FMQ outline of the crab is a great idea! I like the way that style looks. And think of how much faster it will be!! I don’t know about the yo-yos… But if it won’t get done by hand, I say do it by machine so it doesn’t languish forever in a pile of UFOs because that would be tragic!

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    • heh, crooked banana. funny! I will work on it, You all have convinced me I must!

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  4. It looks like really fun at first sight but yeah I hear you girl. So much work goes into it. Anything that works for you will be fine. FMQ why not? Give it a go!

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    • It is beautiful, keep going. Try a small zig zag on the crab and flamingo if you feel the blanket stitch is too big for the pieces. That is what I do. It secures them down well, just make sure your thread is a good match and you won’t even really see it.
      Keep going and post pics of the finished project!

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      • Zig zag is a really good suggestion too. I was thinking I might try clear thread, but I’m never happy with how it catches the light.

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  5. Wow, it looks gorgeous.. as for practical advice.. I have none, since I’m such a sewing newbie. πŸ˜‰ Good luck on making decisions on how to finish it.. it’s going look great either way!

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    • Thanks for stopping by and being so supportive, I obviously need it. πŸ™‚

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  6. I adore your little quilt – the flamingos are so cute. I love doing handwork while watching old movies. But, if it’s not what you want to do, then go for FMQ. I wonder if you could pull up the edges of the yo-yo’s and use the machine stitches to catch the back part only. Then the edges of the yo-yo’s are still “free” I’m not sure if that would be any less time consuming than hand work but it’s worth a shot.

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    • Usually when I’m watching TV/movies, I’m working on web stuff or work stuff so that time gets sucked up. I dont hate handwork… this one just seems so overwhelming! I’ll try the yoyo trick you suggested – it might just work. πŸ™‚

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  7. Do what you can on the machine with the appliques, Then just hand tack the yo-yo’s. Can’t wait to see it finished, It looks too cute!

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  8. I totally hear you about handwork – definitely not my thing. When I bought my first sewing machine, a blind hem stitch was a must have as I had no intention of hemming anything by hand. The good thing about having several WIPs is that you can always set one aside when you get a little bored with it and move on to something else for awhile. I have a luncheon cloth that I was hand-embroidering and I’ve been working on it for DECADES!. Not even sure if it’s still around, since not everything survived my last few moves after my marriage ended. Actually, it might even be at my ex-husband’s place. I know I still have a small stash of fabric there….

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    • I like handwork – when I feel like it on small pieces if the sun is at a 30 degree angle to mars. In other words, rarely. πŸ™‚ I have a cross stitch like that. I think I’ve officially had it 15 years. It is so not my style anymore and I suspect I’ll never finish it, but I just can’t let it go!

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  9. You know I will wait years to finish, but if on a deadline, just give yourself some small goals like…tonite I will do the crab and that is it. I would def FMQ the parts I could. It looks great so just drop the parts you don’t want to put on. YOU CAN DO IT! Be a zombie and destroy that thing…oh wait, your a bored zombie, do it anyway:)

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    • ha! That’s the problem, I bore too easily with projects and tend to trail off a bit when they get tedious. Good advice though – eat brains! πŸ™‚

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  10. as far as the yo-yo goes how about sewing down the center and have the sewing covered by a button. if you use a flat button with holes you can do that on the sewing machine. I don’t think I would like the yo-yo’s tethered. they need to have some kind of freedom . you could have used circles if you just wanted to sew around them.
    how do you feel about paint? if you used a heavy wonder under it would be too hard to stitch through you could paint the crabs legs and use seed beeds for their eyes and the flamingo eyes.. have you ever appliqued? this is the way I do it on the machine. practice on a scrap first to get the tension correct. If you have a bobbin case that comes out and then you put in the bobbin and reinsert it to the machine this will work. I don’t know how to do it with a drop in bobbin. look at the bobbin case and the little arm should have a hole in it towards the end. wind a bobbin with a light weight thread . I usually use negligee thread before inserting the bobbin casing back into the machine thread the thread through the hole back to front. this will help pull the top thread more to the underneath so you won’t have the showing of a bobbin thread. thread the machine on the top normally but be sure to replace the needle. always start with a new needle on a new project like this. Put your stitch length to almost zero and and the stitch width could be adjusted to any size as long as it will zig zag close together. and have a fun time sewing. I have used variegated threads. metallic threads with another thread the same weight and thread them sepratly through the tension and then together the rest of the way. use a metallic needle. if it starts to split you needle has a burr and you’ll need to change it. hope this spurs you to not throw it into a ufo box. it’s really a pretty square and you have done all the hard work. enjoy! hope i didn’t overwhelm you or offend you. just answering a cry for help not knowing your skill level. kathleen

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    • Of course you didn’t offend me! I asked and you delivered. Takes a lot of time and I really appreciate it. I have a drop in bobbin so I’m not sure how it works either. Sounds similar to some of the tricks I used with Free Motion in a previous quilt. I guess I need to take your advice and try it out on a sample piece and make sure it is working like I think it should and then just do it! You’re completely right, it would be sad to lose it to the UFO monster completely. Thanks for the push!

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  11. The only thing I can say is….anything goes when we are the designer…you can do it!

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    • I like the way you think! πŸ™‚

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    • That’s a really interesting technique! I wonder what it would do with the fusible. I have some extra, I should just try it and see what it looks like, might be awesome. πŸ™‚

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  12. It is adorable! I don’t mind hand work so I’d do it by hand, personally. I think you.should totally fmq outline the crab, those legs! For the yo yos though I’m not sure that fmq would work with the effect it would have. Its your block though, if you want that effect on the yo yos its totally OK! I say go for it!

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    • It’s my first go at yo-yo’s too. I actually really enjoyed making the yo-yos. They are pretty simple and nice busy work for TV time. Not sure why attaching them can’t be good down time too… Maybe I just need to do SOMETHING!

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What say you?