Friday, June 15, 2018

Applique Placement Tutorial

In this postFusi I am offering a few suggestions for doing fusible web machine applique on a dark background fabric. My favorite method is to use an applique pressing sheet. This is a Teflon sheet which can hold up to high heat, and does not allow the fusible web to stick to it. I use this method when making applique motifs which have parts that overlap.

Method 1: The pressing sheet is placed on top of the full sized applique placement guide, on a pressing board or surface. The two are then pinned to the pressing board so they do not shift. The applique pieces are positioned on the pressing sheet (over the placement guide) in the correct order called for in the pattern. This usually means that the background pieces are placed first and then the motif is build from back to front. Once all the pieces are properly positioned the pieces are FUSED TO THE PRESSING MAT.
When the pieces have cooled, the mat is removed from the applique (don't pull the applique from the mat, pull the mat from the applique) and the completed motif should stay together, as all overlapping parts are fused together. Then the whole motif is carefully placed on the background fabric, centered as necessary, and fused in place. The guide and mat can be used over and over this way to do multiple motifs.
Method 2: If you have a light background fabric you can pin the placement guide to the BACK of the actual background fabric and position the applique pieces by looking through the fabric to the placement guide. If you have a tightly woven or printed fabric, it may not be easy to see the placement guide through the fabric. You can use a black marker to redraw the lines in the placement guide so they are more visible.
Method 3: You could use a light box under the placement guide and fabric to make the placement lines easier to see. However, chances are you cannot iron on your light box, so you will have to lift and move it to a pressing surface AFTER placing all the applique on the background but BEFORE you fuse it in place. Yup, it could shift or pieces could fly away in the transfer process. YIKES! To prevent this use Steam A Seam 2 Lite fusible web. It has a sticky surface that will stick to your background fabric. It won't shift or fly away when you move the blocks to the ironing board. Then you can permanently fuse it without losing all your pieces.
Method 4: If you have a pattern where the parts do not overlap, such as the Deco Garden quilt blocks, and you are using a dark background fabric, the best solution is an Overlay. In this case you cannot see through the fabric to use the placement guide, even with a light box. You can't use an applique pressing sheet because the pieces do not overlap. To make an overlay, use a piece of tracing paper, or even wax paper or parchment paper. Tape pieces together to make an overlay as large as needed for the pattern.
Tape the overlay sheet to the placement guide at the top only, allowing the tape to act like a hinge, allowing the overlay to lift and lower. Be sure you have at least 1/2" of space on all sides of the placement guide and overlay sheet beyond the edge of the block. Using a Sharpee or other permanent marker, trace the placement guide onto the overlay sheet. Be sure to include the block outline on the overlay. Draw a light horizontal and vertical line down the center of the overlay sheet marking the middle of the block.
Place the dark background fabric BETWEEN the placement guide and the overlay sheet, on a pressing surface. Center the background block fabric precisely beneath the overlay sheet, using the center lines you drew on the overlay to line up with the center of the block fabric. Pin fabric and placement guide to the ironing surface. Remove the paper from the applique piece and locate its position on the overlay. Using a pair of long bent nose tweezers, place the applique pieces beneath the overlay, using the overlay to line them up. Lift and lower the overlay to get all the pieces in position. The tweezers are a must to adjust the pieces beneath the overlay. When in place, fuse the applique with the iron. If you use tracing paper or parchment paper, you can press right through the paper. If you use wax paper or deli paper, lift the overlay before fusing.
I hope these 4 methods of positioning applique will help you create a successful project. If you have any additional tips, please leave a comment below.
Next week I will be on the road speaking at a Guild in Rose Hill, KS and then on to the Common Threads quilt show in Wichita, where I will be vending.  Hope to see you there!

Sunday, May 27, 2018

Memorial Day Sale

One Day Only!!

Monday - Memorial Day

All Fair Isle Winter Blocks and Bonus Blocks

Half Price!!!

Click Here to shop the sale!

This is a great opportunity to pick up any of the blocks or bonus blocks you may have missed last year when this quilt was the featured Free Block of the Month.  Or pick up all of these digital blocks.  They are gorgeous and easy to make, and the bonus blocks are all applique.

Thanks to all my readers, subscribers, and Facebook fans.  Hope you enjoy the sale!

Thursday, May 24, 2018

August 16-18 Lancaster Fiber Fesitval

This August I am thrilled to be teaching a series of 6 classes at the Lancaster Fiber Festival

It will be at the Marriott Hotel & Convention Center in Lancaster, PA.

Enroll by 5/31/18 for a 10% discount

I will be teaching:
  • Half Hex Charm Pack Class
  • Color Confidence for Quilters
  • Sewing Curves without Pins
  • Diamond Star Quilt
  • EQ8 Preview and Boot camp

I hope to see you there and make lots of new friends in PA!

Quilt Nebraska July 26-28, 2018

Quilt Nebraska 2018 
July 26 - 29 
 Hotel RL 
Omaha, NE

If you are in the Midwest in July, consider attending Quilt Nebraska, the annual show for the Nebraska State Quilt Guild.  I will be teaching several of my most popular classes.

July 27, 2018   - Merry Go Round Class by Reeze Hanson - Kit Fee $25 (includes: Sizzlin’ Sixties by Anka’s Treasures, by Heather Mulder Peterson (pattern book) and From Marti Michell™ Small 60° Triangle Ruler)

Merry Go Round Quilt
Make a fabulous pieced hexagon quilt using a jelly roll. You will learn a simple strip-piecing technique, rotary cutting with a 60° triangle ruler, and super easy construction techniques. The project makes a great throw or crib size quilt. Use 2 jelly rolls for a larger project. 
Benefits of Class: 
• Hexagon quilts are popular but piecing can be tricky. This quilt has NO set in seams and is easy and fast to make. 
• Strip piecing and rotary cutting with triangle ruler are techniques you can apply to lots of other projects. 
• Jelly rolls are fun and fabulous, and this is a great project to use one or two of them. 
• In class, learn to do design placement, bias binding, and how to bind inny & outy points 

Supply List: 
• 1 full size jelly roll (40 strips). 
• Basic sewing supplies: fabric scissors, paper scissors, pins, seam ripper, thread, thimble, pencil and paper 
• Rotary cutter and (rotating) mat 
• Small 6” x 12” acrylic ruler 
• Portable design wall: flannel-back table cloth or piece of thin batting to arrange hexagons

July 28, 2018 - Color Confidence For Quilters - Reeze Hanson - Class Fee $20 

Color confidence is produced when you combine knowledge about color, fabric trends, and your personal preferences to the art of quilting. A very different color class which will train your eye and lighten your heart. You will learn color theory as it applies to fabric and how to combine colors to get beautiful quilts. 

Supply List: 
• 24 - 3” squares of fabric from your stash that you love, a picture from a magazine with colors that you love.

Monday, May 21, 2018

Coming Soon: June Block of the Month

Coming June 1 is another new Block of the Month installment for the Starbursts Blossoms BOM.  I hope you are enjoying this bright cheerful set of blocks.

June is full of flowers and this Dresden Fan Flower block is no exception.  You will be able to download the free block pattern for the entire month of June.  A brilliant green background star surrounds the sweet little Dresden fan flowers for a whimsical look.

If you subscribe to my newsletter you will also be able to get the June Bonus Block for free.  This month the bonus is a pink beauty called simply - Pink Posey!  Isn't she cute with her tiny little buds?


Common Threads Regional Quilt Show - June 21-23
Century II Expo Hall, Wichita, KS

I will be vending all three days so be sure to stop by the booth #29-30 and say hello!

Monday, April 2, 2018

Fusible Web Tutorial

Time for another mini tutorial. This one is on fusible web.

Fusible web is essentially fabric glue. It has fine strands of cloth or paper embedded in it to hold the glue together in a sheet and a piece of paper on one or both sides of the glue sheet.

Pretty much its only purpose is to hold your applique in place while you stitch it down. It is not meant to replace stitching! HOW you stitch it down is the topic for a later tutorial.
(1) There are several variables to consider: THICKNESS. Thick sheets have a LOT of glue and work great to hold big things, like patches on the knees of jeans. Most quilt projects don't need thick sheets. Medium or light fusible is great for quilting. If a product has a "Lite" version that will be the best choice for most quilt projects.
(2) Another variable is the MELTING TEMPERATURE of the glue sheet. Some products require a moderate (wool setting) temperature to melt the glue. Heat N Bond is a brand that requires a moderate heat setting. If you use a HOT iron with Heat N Bond the adhesive properties of the product are gone and you are left with "falling applique".Some products require a hot (cotton setting) temperature to melt the glue. Products like Steam A Seam and Soft Fuse are in this category. Steam A Seam requires a very hot iron and moisture from a steam iron or wet pressing cloth. Soft Fuse (by Shades) and Misty Fuse work best with a dry iron.
(3) The third variable is TIME. Some glues are melted more slowly and require the use of a pressing cloth to avoid scorching (burning) your fused applique or background fabric. Slow melting glue will need to be pressed from both side of your piece before a complete bonding has occurred. Some glues bond quickly because they melt fast, and a quick touch of a hot iron is all that is necessary to hold them in place.Here is the bottom line: READ THE DIRECTIONS! I know, you sound just like the hubs who never wants to read the directions and takes twice as long to put stuff together as needed. But all fusible web products are different and you need to know the TIME and TEMP for the product you are using.
(4) Yup there is another variable you may not have considered. STICKINESS. Most products don't have it. They don't stick to your fabric or background until they are heated. But Steam A Seam 2 is different. It has a slight sticky surface, like what you would see on a sticky note. It will stick to the applique pieces and the background fabric with a light press of your fingers. It is repositionable which makes it a perfect choice for applique pieces that would otherwise slide around while you positioning them on your block. This is the reason my favorite product for this block of the month is Steam A Seam 2 Lite. All those little applique pieces are a booger and this product keeps them in place until you are ready to fuse them down. It uses a hot iron with steam, which I am already using, and does not add bulk to the applique.
My second favorite product is Soft Fuse (available on my website). It is NOT sticky, but when I am layering applique this is the product I want. It is so thin that it is perfect when you have 2 or more layers on top of each other. I love the way it feels under my applique. It is a bit expensive, so don't get sticker shock when you go to buy some.
Now, a few words about how to use fusible web. Buy a roll or yardage off a bolt of fusible if you can afford it. It will be way cheaper compared to buying it by the sheet. However, if you buy fusible sheets you can run them through your ink jet printer to trace your applique pieces. NO you cannot use a laser printer. I you buy yardage you can cut pages to size for your printer. Load them one page at a time for best results. Make sure you are printing on the PAPER side of the fusible sheet. Let the ink dry before trying to use the printed templates. Don't get it wet. Ask me how I know this. The ink runs and will ruin your fabric.
You don't need a light box to trace applique patterns, but if you have one, it is nice. You don't need a fancy expensive one. Home made works just fine. I have a piece of plexiglass I got at the lumber yard glued to 2 cut pieces of 2 x 4 pine. I can set it on my desk and put my Ott Lite under it to make a great improvised lite box. Use blue tape to tape the template page to the lite box. Move the fusible sheet around as needed to make the most of your fusible sheet.
Save the big leftover chunks in a zip bag for those times when you lose a piece and need to retrace it. Trace in pencil, not ink. And work from left to right on the sheet if you are right handed. If you are left handed, work right to left so you don't drag your drawing hand in the pencil lead you just deposited on the fusible backing paper. Keep an eraser handy for those lines that need redrawn.
Don't use a heavy hand when tracing. A light line is all you need.
LABEL each piece after you have traced it. Trust me on this. You will NOT remember where each piece goes after you have cut them out. Label each piece with letter or number from the template page and the fabric color.

Leave space between each tracing. You need to cut out your traced applique templates AROUND the traced line, NOT ON the traced line.
Windowing is a technique where you cut the middle out of the fusible web of large pieces and leave about 1/4" of fusible around the outer edges of the shape. Do this to keep your fabric soft and flexible.

Once they are cut out, sort the pieces into zip top bags by fabric color. This way you can fuse all traced web pieces of one color at the same time. Position all the Color A templates on the BACK of the Color A fabric and fuse them down. Leave a little room between each template so you have room to get your scissors in there without damaging nearby pieces. Sort the cut pieces into new bags by flower or motif, so all the parts for flower A are all in the same bag.
Ok, that's enough for now. Next time I will show you how to use an applique placement guide to perfectly position your applique on the background fabric.

Saturday, March 31, 2018

April Block of the Month & Half Price Patterns

New Blog Post
I am redecorating my house!  Wow, what a fun job this has turned out to be.  I have lived in my house for 25 years and have not spent much time or money on new furnishings or finishes.  We have fixed things that have broken, repaired things when needed, and replaced appliances when they died.  But this year we are doing a MAJOR remodel and putting in new floor coverings -- carpeting, rugs, and kitchen and bathroom floors.  It was about time.  I was tired of pink carpet.

Ok, it was sort of mauve colored, not really bubble gum pink, but while I like pink as a color, I was not fond of it in my living room, hall, bedrooms, stairs, kitchen, bathroom. . . .etc.  You get the idea.  Now it is officially gone, and the new carpet is a very soothing light bluish gray that makes me feel peaceful.  I love it!

The dining room is a beautiful wood planking and a new round rug sits under my table and chairs.  New curtains hang on the patio door leading out to the back porch.

So, with new carpet, I had to get new curtains and sheers for the windows, new shades for the lamps. and new flower arrangements for the living room.  And because my large screened-in back porch is such an important part of the house in the spring and summer, I felt it needed updating and got all new rugs, seat cushions, and plants for it.  Wow, it is looking really nice.  I am not much of a shopper but I have enjoyed scouring the internet to find just the right pieces for my house redo.

Where are the pictures you ask?  Uh, it is still so stinking cold here in Kansas that I left the plastic on the new cushions until I am sure the snow and rain are mostly over.  We have snow in the forecast for Easter so the covers are staying on for a few more days.  When the covers come off I will post some pretty pictures of my newly refurbished back porch.

Other new things in my life are 2 new patterns I just published.  Hot off the presses are Eye on the Sky and Golden Garden.  Both patterns are now available on my website and fabric lines are shipping to shops around the country.  Both are made with the new lines from Banyan Batiks by Northcott.

Golden Garden is cut out using the AccuQuilt Winding Ways die for the GO! Cutter.  The gentle curves are really easy to sew and the quilt can be cut out in an hour or so with the Go! Big.  I upgraded to the electric Go! Big and love love love it.  The completed quilt is 48" x 48" and makes a great throw size quilt or a large wall hanging.

Eye on the Sky is foundation pieced, which makes those points crisp and accurate. A pretty wall quilt made using Banyan Batiks Ketan Multi collection.

And of course, the Starburst Blossoms Free Block of the Month for April is now available to download.  Just click on the 2018 BOM Tab at the top of the Blog page to download the free block.

Want the free bonus block?  Subscribe to my newsletter and get the bonus block exclusively from a link in the newsletter each month.  Only subscribers get the secret link to download the bonus block for free, and only for 30 days.

The newsletter is sent out on the first and fifteenth of each month.  So if you sign up after April 1 you can still get the link on the 15th.  Of course you can purchase the block all month long on my website.  Past blocks and bonus blocks are available as well.

Coming soon. . . I just finished writing the pattern for Chilly Nights, and the fabric ships this summer to your local quilt shop.  Tempted?  Nancy's Notions will be carrying kits!!  

Panels are really hot this year and many of the lines I am designing for have panels featured in their collections.  While I am not a big Polar Bear fan, I love the blue colors and textures in this collection named Northern Solitude.

If you are in the Kansas City area stop in to the Kaw Valley Quilt Show Saturday and Sunday April 7-8 in Lawrence at the Crown Toyota Car Dealer.  Yup, the show is in a car dealer show room that is huge, and is a great venue for the quilt show, well once you get past the cars!  hehe

I will be vending so stop in to see what's new.

Reeze & the critters at Morning Glory Designs

Sunday, February 18, 2018

And the Winner Is. . . . .

I love giving away stuff, and as promised, to celebrate my 10 years of BOM-ing I am giving away not one, but two prized each month.  The winners get a charm pack and a free pattern.

Winner One:  Carlita Brown - who left a comment on my last blog post.
Winner Two:  Robin Goodgoin - who posted a picture of the January block on my Facebook Group Page.

Congratulations!!!!!!  Please contact me with shipping info so I can send your gifties.

NOTE:  Winners are chosen at random from all pictures submitted and all comments published.  A winner for February will be posted the end of the month.

So do you want a sneak peak at the next Block in this year's Block of the Month??????

OK, but don't tell anyone.

And yes, it is orange.  Don't we all need a little bright tulip nonsense on the Ides of March?  Coming to a blog near you (this one) the first of March.  Which is not that far off because February is a short month.

Thursday, February 1, 2018

Starburst Blossoms Block 2 - Periwinkle is now available

On gray blustery days (like today in Kansas), where the threat of snow is in the air and my birds are flocking to the feeders, you need something bright and cheerful to lift your spirits.

Well, at least I do!

So what better cheer-me-up than a new free block for the 2018 Block of the Month 
Starburst Blossoms!

I thought it would make you happy!  Hehe

So here it is, the February installment of Starburst Blossoms: Periwinkle

Block 2: Periwinkle

Download this block for free by clicking on the link on the 2018 BOM tab at the top of the page.  Or go to my website.  It will be free for 30 days so be sure to pick up your copy by March 1.

Can you stand more cheerfulness?

Then pick up the second Bonus Block too!  It is free to Newsletter Subscribers.  Others can purchase it on my website.

Bonus Block 2: Sunflowers

What?  Not a subscriber????  
Well you could be!  
It's free and fun and furry.  
Ok, not furry.  
But its free and you can sign on by clicking on the 2018 BOM tab 
or on the top left sidebar of this Blog Page.

Ok, now smile big!  Thanks 😊😊😊😊

Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Fabric Chart for Starburst Blossoms Available

Every year I am asked what the yardage requirements are for the new BOM.  Most of the time I give sketchy (but generous) fabric lists, usually because I change things throughout the year as I post new blocks and finalize all the yardages and fabrics when I post the border patterns.

Well, after 10 years of doing block of the month  patterns, I got 'er figured out.  At last!  Check out the 2018 BOM Page on my blog for the complete list.  I am using Toscana textures and blenders by Northcott for my sample.  I will also be making another version in batiks from kits offered again from

Kits will be available on a monthly subscription from  The kit includes all first quality gorgeous batik fabrics for the top, border and binding, and includes postage.  You will be able to go to to sign up for the monthly kits very soon.  Kits will ship in February.

Several shops have contacted me about carrying fabric for this pattern, so check with your local quilt shop to see if they are carrying Toscana or if they are putting together other fabric packs for this quilt.  I will list the names of the shops I know are promoting the BOM and have fabric set aside for it.

Happy Sewing!