Show and Tell Day For The My Happy Place Row Along…

My Happy Place RAL 2018While today is the final day of this event… Events like this to me never really end because the future will come and hopefully you will make the patterns offered during this event and you’ll show us what you did with them. That’s why I do a show and tell day for this event because I would like to give you some ideas of what you can do with your rows.

Today’s designers have created something with there row, or rows from other designers. It’s always fun to see what they came up with and show off the patterns that were presented over these last six weeks.

Today’s Schedule

Words & Stitches | Upstairs Hobby Room
Elizabeth Coughlin Designs
Clever Chameleon | Creatin’ in the Sticks | Sew Joy Creations
Seams To Be Sew

The Winner of Electric Quilt 8 is K. Johnson
She won with her entry by visiting Barbara Dieges Shop.

Electric Quilt is offering a 20% off coupon until October 23, 2018 for any of there products except EQ Academy. This is a great discount if you’ve been thinking about purchasing or upgrading EQ, or even purchasing some of the addons. The coupon code is:


All other winners for Oct 2, and Oct 4 will be announced tomorrow morning in my post.

Today’s Last Giveaway Is For The Fat Quartershop
the last $25.00 gift certificate I have to hand out.

You can enter below

a Rafflecopter giveaway

My post today…

I didn’t create a project, just didn’t have the time between my infection in July, and having no ability to get up the stairs to sew with I just didn’t have the time to get to it once I was upstairs. So I’m going to give you the tutorial I mentioned about creating my row. These are mainly tips and tricks for working with various parts of the pattern, but these tips and tricks could be applied to any project you’re doing in applique.

As I mentioned in my post on my featured day, no part of my row was done in the embroidery hoop, not hand or machine. I want you to know that you can do embroidery without owning an embroidery machine although they do come in very handy. 🙂

Choosing Fabrics

First, you want to pick out your fabrics. Many people I know try using the same colors that the sample of a pattern is created in. They may not use the same prints, but sometimes they stay within the same colors. I know when I buy a pattern part of what impresses me about a pattern is how the colors work with the pattern and we all know that just changing one color can dramatically affect how a quilt or pattern will look. I have rarely used the same colors in a quilt that the pattern has also been made in because I really do like creating my own look. Sometimes it’s good to make a “sample” first so you can test your colors, just a few blocks so you can see how they are going to work with each other. I tend to like dark colors, it’s funny since I opened my blog, I have rarely used dark colors in my projects which is so not me. If you look at my past projects you’ll see that I really love working with black instead of white or cream. But almost every project I’ve made since opening my blog really necessitated a lighter background as Morning With Coffee did. I like the winter, it’s my favorite season, so I wanted the background to depict that love of Winter. Thus you have the greyish snowflake batik.

I’m not an overly big fan of the color blue, yet it’s one of the fabrics that I have the most of that color in and I end up rarely using it. With the inclusion of the Northcott Fabrics tho, I needed to use blue, as one of the Northcott fabrics is the sleeve and belt of the dress. So it needed a matching blue in a darker color.

Don’t ask me why I chose black hair, because I had brown hair growing up, but I have always loved black hair or red hair. At one time in my life, I actually had red hair and even black hair, the red looked better on me, but I did love the black hair look for the week I had it. Thus I used blacks because I felt I could get a lot of texture with black over any other color and I believe I achieved that with the black batik prints I chose.

Because the dog is a silhouette, I went with a lighter black/dark grey color. My little Boo’s hair is mostly black so it makes sense that I’d use something that fits her well. I also wanted the dog to be seen, so this is where it’s important to have a color where that part of the pattern is going to be seen also. You don’t want your colors to make everything just blend so that it all looks the same. Each part of your colors should be significant enough to make a difference in your project.


Auditioning your fabrics next to each other can help you make a decision.

Once you decide on your fabrics, you then have to test the fabrics for bleeding.

Personally, and I’ve said this before, I do not pre-wash. but I do pre-test for bleeding.

If I have to wash, I wash in hot water, with Synthrapol, which I’ve used since my dying days.
Synthrapol helps set the fabric color so it will never bleed, to this day I’ve never had an issue with anything I’ve set using it and I have quilts that are over 20+ years old. They have been washed and dried many times with no issues.

Preparing To Cut Your Shapes

I have often said I LOVE my cutting machine. I can’t even imagine what I’d do without it after all these years now of owning one. They are fabulous, especially for the applique quilter.

While I do traditionally cut my fabric also on my cutting machine, this time I chose to cut my fabric with my scissors, because I wanted to do turn edge applique on this pattern, however, I could have still cut the fabric on the cutting machine, I just was too lazy to add the offsets to the shapes to cut the fabric. It was faster for me to cut the freezer paper shapes and then use my scissors for the fabric since I could iron my shapes onto the fabric

No matter what brand of cutting machine you use, the techniques are all the same. When you cut Freezer paper on your cutting machine, you want to place the waxy side on the top of the mat, and your paper is on the top.

I will precut my freezer paper tho to the 12-inch mat size

I do this for several reasons. First is that it allows you to easily place the freezer paper onto the mat within the lines so it doesn’t interfere with the registration marks on your mat and machine. If it’s inside the sticky outside lines there is also no need for painters tape on your edges.  I also set my shapes so that while they are as close together as possible, I always allow a 1/4-inch inside area of the cut file inside the lines.

Fabric Mat

In other words, all my shapes outside edges are within a 1/4-inch inside lines of the outer edges. Thus my shapes get cut within inside the mat and I don’t have to worry about having a straight edge on what should be a curve.

When you’re using any kind of medium that isn’t fabric, you should have what I call a non-stick mat. It should still be sticky, you want it to hold the freezer paper or stabilizers in place enough to cut well, but you don’t want it to be like new sticky. I keep a mat specifically for freezer paper when I have to re-glue the mat, it moves to a fabric mat for a few cuts then becomes a freezer paper mat again for several cuts.

When your cutting with Freezer paper, your knife can be quite low, mine was set on 3 for my SNC. this is much lower than what I cut fabric at. The fabric is usually set at between 5 and 6.

After I cut my shapes and before I remove them from the mat, I open my SVG file on the pc in my software, I then mark the shapes on the mat so I know what the keys are for those shapes. All my SVGs have the Shape marked.

Image 2018-1009-003

In every software for cutting machines, there is a part of the software that’s called layering.  Designers normally label the layers of each shape so you know how to put something together. In my case, I label the shape key letters and numbers. This allows you to mark those mat shapes before you lift them off the mat.


While it may be easy to lift some shapes off the mat, I do like to use my spatula to do that for me. You’ll have less crinkling of paper by using the spatula.

Printing Layouts

I don’t use my printer anymore to do this. To me, I’m just wasting ink that could have better use and with ink as expensive as it is, I just don’t see the point. Why also should I use a printer when I have a perfectly good cutting machine that will do it for me. It’s also a lot cheaper, a 5.00 pen versus a $32.00 cartridge of ink says to me, go the cheap route.

Every cutting machine on the market that I’m aware of has the ability to print also.

Many people use fancy pens and or painting sticks to accomplish their projects, but I just use a normal pen and usually either fusible interfacing or tearaway stabilizer. With this pattern, I used the tearaway.

You still want to use a non-sticky like mat. You’ll need your cutting machines pen holder if it is attached separately.


My SNC uses a separate pen holder attachment, but my Silhouette and my KNK have them automatically attached to the machine. The Silhouette and KNK both can use alternative pen holders for larger pens but I have never needed these.

This is an awesome video on how to use the SNC pen holder. (newer version)

I cut my stabilizer at the size of the mat, which is a 12-inch mat

I lay the stabilizer on the mat, using my brayer to make sure it’s absolutely flat. You want this to be attached well to the mat, and absolutely no bubbles or wrinkles. Your drawing here, you need this to be as accurate a printout as possible, wrinkles and bubbles will affect that.

Once your pen is in place, you can then print out the layout on your paper or stabilizer.

Pens not to use are anything that bleeds, non-permanent pens, Sharpie like pens and your pen needs to be lined up well enough in the holder that it doesn’t drag across the paper, it’s good to test first to make sure your pen lifts off the paper when it needs to during the printout.

Once all of my layouts are printed out, I will then set them aside until they are needed.

Shape and Fabric Cutting Preparation

I am now ready to match my shapes to the fabrics I’ve chosen. I separate the shapes into what they are in the pattern. For instance, all shapes that are for the coffee cup, are stacked into a pile, the hair shapes all in another pile, etc… I then place them with the fabrics they are going to go with.


I lay them just side a  folded piece of the fabric, thus they won’t blow off the table while I’m working with the other parts.

I will then pile the fabrics into a pile and set them aside while I start to iron the freezer paper onto the fabric’s wrong side.


I try to use scraps whenever possible, but if I can’t, I always cut a piece of fabric from the yardage that will fit the shapes. I don’t want to work with the full yardage, just the amount of fabric I need for the shape.

I do all my ironing at once.

and stack each of the fabric and shapes on top of each other.

I then cut around each shape giving myself a good 1/4-inch seam allowance. if I need to cut further later, I worry about that at the time I am turning my edges under.


Again, they are all stacked together


I then get out the supplies I need for turn edge applique

I use my Clover Fabric Folding Pen technique which you can find how to do in my tutorial here.

Supplies That Are Helpful
Clover Fabric Folding Pen
Clover Fabric Folding Pen Liquid Refill
optional but extremely helpful are the Appliquick Tools
Iron (I do prefer a small iron over a large one)
Ironing pad (I now just use a plain towel on my ironing board)

I use a towel because I am using liquid to turn the edges under, not that the liquid stains anything, but I am putting my hot iron down on the board a lot, I do not want to ruin a perfectly good ironing board cover that is not easily replaced. My June Tailor mat is usually under the towel.


As you can see, the stains from the iron just really hurt this board and there is no easy way I have come up with that would replace this, so I use a towel on top of this mat board.

You may want to have a glue stick handy also. My preference is Elmer’s Purple Glue sticks, you can see the purple going on, but it dries clear. I do tend to use the glue sticks on points because while the fabric folding pen is amazing, being able to keep the fabric turned under on the points is done better with the glue stick. I also use a glue stick to line up my placement papers and will use it to stick shapes in place prior to sewing them.


I then get all my shapes turned under and keep my shapes organized by what sections they are used for. With small shapes, I’ll put them in a sandwich bag so they don’t get lost.

Once that is done, I put my placement printouts together.

You will need some flathead pins, and Elmer’s Purple Glue sticks.


While I do have placement lines to help you line up the placement, I actually prefer to line up via matching shapes.  I use flathead pins to do this because it keeps the placement paper laying flat. This won’t happen if you use a ball type pin.

Once they are all matched, I remove a pin at a time and lift the layers at the edges to glue them together.


I put enough glue on to hold it in place.


I will then put the top down, and run my hand across it to make sure there are no wrinkles or bubbles.


Once it’s done, I cut around the paper/stabilizer to get rid of what I don’t really need in my way when I’m sewing it all on.

I fold my fabric then into a quarter section and lightly iron it so I have a center point and know where my middles are. I put the placement paper on top and line it all up. I then use flat head pins to pin the stabilizer onto the background.


I then start to place my shapes into place. While I will usually stick to the key, I sometimes will do my own thing also. In this case, I did my own thing and started with the hair.


I use flat head pins to put my shapes in place, and when I know they are correct, I will then use some glue stick to put them in place for sewing.


When I get to my machine, I never start any kind of zigzag stitching until I’ve tested it to be sure I have the amount of space and width I need. In this case, I’m using a blind stitch, so I want a tiny zigzag, but I wanted my stitches close together, so I fiddled with my settings on my machine until I got what I wanted.


Testing allows for several things, the accuracy of your stitching, it allows you to see if the bobbin thread color is going to come up at the top if the color is different and it allows you to see how your colors will look on your project.


I don’t use a blind stitch foot, instead, I use an open toe foot. It’s important for you to see how the stitch is working while your sewing away, so having an open toe foot is really imperative for your stitching in this technique.

When I did the dog, I chose to use the ragged edge applique technique and stitched about 1/8-inch on the inside edge the dog. Thus at some point, the edges will fray a bit and give the dog a more realistic look.


With the face, I used permanent marking pens to draw the eyelashes in place. I free motioned the eyebrows.

I used the triple stitch on my sewing machine to stitch the smile. and the finger outline.

DSCN2834-largeand once all done you then have your pattern all ready for your project to be finished.

By no means do you have to follow my techniques? There are plenty of good and amazing techniques to try different ways to do applique. These are just my little tips to help you along the way.

Today is another new shop day for Wooly Block, so be sure to check their website around 10 am est.

Wooly Block 2018

Have A Great Day

stbs-2018 sig

I am an affiliate of the above companies when you click one of these links and purchase something, I earn a little bit of a commission with it. I use this money to help maintain my website and offer my free patterns to you. Every little bit helps, thank you so much for clicking and for your support. I don’t just offer up these brands to you I actually use their products and shop at these places. I would never partner with someone whose products I didn’t use.

Please remember it takes 2 minutes to comment, please say Thank You, whether you downloaded a free pattern, read a tutorial, or just learned something new.  It takes time for people to write a post, take pictures, make a project or even write a pattern.
Let them know you appreciate it.

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52 thoughts on “Show and Tell Day For The My Happy Place Row Along…

  1. Thanks! A cutting machine is on my list, and this certainly will make it easier to understand how to use one. Your design was great and this tutorial is helpful. I appreciate the wooly block link, too. I was out of town for four days, so missed at least a couple of blocks, but I’ve mostly been keeping up with them. They’ve had some great ones, too. My FQS prize choice arrived today and was waiting for me when I came in tonight from my trip. What fun to have something wonderful I wouldn’t have had otherwise!

  2. Loved this Happy Place Row-a-thon!! Learned alot & had so much fun!! Thank you all you did to bring this to us all!! & thanks for tutorial here too 🙂

  3. Thank you Marian, for all the work that you have done to host this incredible Row Along. This is my first one and it wont be my last. Thank you to all the other designers who put their wonderful designs into the Quilt Along. It has been a wonderful adventure.

  4. Thank you for all of the work you do in bringing us many wonderful hops and sew a longs. I sure do enjoy them. I was not able to do any rows, but I have saved some, and hope to get to do them in the near future.

  5. Thank you for the tutorial and a cute row. You have done so much in organizing this Row Along, thank you, it is always so fun.

  6. Thank you that very detailed tutorial. And thank you once again for all your hard work in putting together a fantastic blog hop. One of my Happy Places is Marian’s blog hops. 🙂

  7. Thank you for the tutorial on how to do applique. I don’t like handwork so knowing how to do it on my sewing machine is perfect!

  8. Wow these instructions are fabulous. I admire you especially when your health is not up to par. Thanks so much for hosting this roll along. I look forward to the next.
    Elizabeth, Silverdale, WA

  9. Thanks for the tutorial and I hope you’re up and running again soon. The hop has been a blast with so much creativity and being a winner of one of the prizes was definitely a highlight for me. Thanks for all you’ve done!

  10. I hope you’re feeling better each day. I loved your honesty about just not being able to get a project done. I know the feeling. But you sure did a complete tutorial instead.

  11. Thank you for the great tutorial and all of your work putting this hop together. You introduced me to several new to me bloggers and some fabulous blocks. I am looking forward to getting moved in to my new studio space so I can get busy make ng some of these great blocks.

  12. thank you so much for such a lovely blog hop! I have several patterns in my ‘to make’ pile now, and I can’t wait until I have the time freed to get to them.

  13. Thank you for the tutorial! You always do such a great job with your blog hops and you have some of the very best patterns. This has been a great hop! Thank you for sharing your talent with everyone.

  14. Thanks for the detailed tutorial. I wonder what kind of cutting machine you have. I am new to cutting machines. I just won a Crossover which is a fabric and paper cutting system, but I am wondering if another system would be better for my needs. I do more piecing than appliqué. I do enjoy seeing what you do.

  15. Great tutorial. I got so many wonderful tips from it. I especially liked those for use of a cutting machine. Thank you for all the time, energy, and hard work you devoted to making this row along so successful.

  16. Thank you for the great tips! I don’t appliqué very often, so I will print this out to have. I love your row! I’ve enjoyed seeing all of the great rows everyone made.

  17. Very helpful tutorial and very clever idea. I enjoyed the blog hop and sharing of patterns/ideas.

  18. Just an idea, I washed my Quilter’s Cut and Press Iron board with dawn dish liquid and a scrub brush and put it in Full sun to dry, the sun’s bleaching power actually works! It may take 2-3 times for really dark stains. I have found that the darkest stains will lighten a little bit more each time you wash and put out to dry.
    You can also Try adding lemon juice, mix the lemon juice in a spray bottle with water (about 1/4 cup lemon juice to 2 cups of water) and spray that onto the worst of the stains. The lemon juice reacts with the sun to whiten even more effectively.

  19. Marian, thank you so much for the wonderful blog hop. I’ve gotten so many great ideas from it. Now just to put them into action!

  20. Thank you for such a fun blog hop! I found new blogs to visit and got reacquainted with some I had forgotten!

  21. Marian, thank you very much for the amazing row along you hosted. Also, the very helpful tips and tutorial you shared with us today. I appreciate it very much.

  22. Wow, Marian! Thanks for sharing your process for applique! I just took a Karen K. Buckley class sponsored by my guild, and learned so much. I love learning how different people applique! Thanks for sharing – and thanks again for such an awesome hop!!

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