Tuesday, June 24, 2014

A Winner and Arizona Block Tutorial

First, I loved reading all the comments and apologize for not responding to each and every one of them, but the response was overwhelming!  It seems visiting the Grand Canyon is high on everyone's list, as well as going to Sedona. I enjoyed the fact that the Indian ruins scored high as well. Thank you for taking an interest in my adopted state...I was born in California and we have retired in AZ.
And the winner of the AMB fat quarter bundle is Abbigail, who has been to AZ and would love to return to see the Anasazi ruins. 
Brenda is the winner of the bundle of my leftover AMB solids.  She has visited the Desert Botanical Gardens near Tucson and enjoyed learning about the Saguaro cactus.
Congratulations ladies!
I have notified you by email. 

And now for the block tutorial...
The background of the block was made by piecing together strips as follows:
1 1/2" x 12 1/2" strip of AMB #34 dark aqua
1 1/2" x 12 1/2" strip of AMB #23 aqua
2 1/2" x 12 1/2" strip of AMB #32 light aqua
1 1/2" x 12 1/2" strip of #10 dark yellow
1 1/2" x 12 1/2" strip of #69 dark gold

I pressed the seams open.
The background should measure 6 1/2" x 12 1/2" after it is pieced together.

Go here to download the pdf of the applique. When I printed the file, the mountain shape was a tad short.  Just extend the shape about 1 1/2" so that you have a 12 1/2" long shape.

 The shapes are reversed for either fusible or the starch & freezer paper method of making applique shapes.  There are plenty of good tutorials for either method. Here is one for the freezer paper method.  Here is one for fusible applique.  Both tutorials are from participants in the tour.  I used the starch & freezer paper method and hand appliqued the shapes to the background, but you can also machine applique it down.  Here is a great tutorial on how to machine applique. 

To make the Saguaro cactus, begin by tracing the shape on to the paper side of a piece of freezer paper.
Iron the shape on to the right side of the olive fabric (AMB #24 olive) and cut it out on the drawn lines.
Repeat 3 times.
Glue all three shapes together.  I used a glue stick.
Place the three layers of olive fabric on the background and secure with a little glue.
Using a fabric marker (I used a Clover white marking pen), draw a line in the middle of the arms and body of the cactus as shown (the arms measure 1" wide, so draw the line at 1/2".)  
Decrease your stitch length to about 20 stitches per inch.
Using a matching cotton thread, stitch down the drawn lines and 1/4" on both sides of the lines.  Note that the stitching of the side arms stops where the arm joins the body of the cactus.
Using a sharp, small pair of scissors, cut the top two layers of the shape between the stitched lines.  Note that I also cut where the arm joins the body of the cactus.
Spray the shape with water and use a chenille brush or other stiff brush to fray the cut edges.  I find it works best to move the brush side to side.
Once you have achieved the desired amount of fraying, trim any long threads.
And there you have it!

Now make the lettering using the reversed shapes on the pdf found here.

 I used AMB#3 black to make the letters.
I applied them using fusible web and then stitched around them with a tiny zigzag stitch and matching thread.

Hope you enjoyed the AMB blog tour as much as I did. 
Thank you to Clothworks for asking me to help promote this wonderful AMB fabric line!

P.S.--if you have difficulty opening the files and wish to make my block, just email me and I will get them to you! 


  1. thanks for the tutorial I enjoyed seeing how you made those cactus!

  2. Great tutorial and very cool way to make your cactus

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  4. I LOVE the cactus! Thanks for sharing.

  5. What a fabulous block Cheryl!
    I really enjoyed the tutorial and LOVE your Cactus.

  6. Love the tutorial. How can I get the pattern?


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