April Stitch Along week 1

Posted by Ruth on 3 April 2016 | 2 Comments

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Did you miss my stitch along challenge rules this week? This month we are going to be doing something very different. You see, it is Autism Awareness month and I thought of a wonderful way to spread the word by showing just how creative autistic people can be. My son is autistic and he has been doing some drawings so I thought I would turn those drawings into quilt blocks and present one each week for the month of April.

The first drawing is of a crab and here's my finished block.

the crab applique block - drawn by H Blanchet for Autism Awareness

I decided that this was a great little block, what do you think? In fact, this block turned out so well that I decided to take it another step and add it in our applique patterns at ArbeeDesigns.com and any purchase will go straight to my son. When I told him this, he was quite excited so I'm sure he will be making more very soon. If you want to support him in his efforts, you can download this pattern here: The Crab Pattern.

{edit} I've since made two more of these creature blocks: The Walrus & The Parrot

So the challenge this month is, how will you support Autism Awareness month in a creative or quilty way? I hope you will send me a photo of what you do so we can create a special gallery for Autism Awareness.

In the meantime, here's how I constructed the block.....

I used fusible webbing to put the crab applique together. So first, I drew the pieces from the reserved side of the drawing and pressed it onto the back of my fabrics.

fusible webbing applique pieces

The block is quite easy, however, there are a few little fiddly pieces. Tweezers make them easy to handle and Baking Paper (found in New Zealand, I'm not sure if it is in other countries) is ideal to use in place of a Teflon Sheet. It is somewhat like Parchment paper found in America, but better as the pieces adhere to the Baking Paper where they don't to Parchment paper. This just stops the pieces moving around as you put them in place.

baking paper for constructing applique

I use the light-box to assist. It makes it easy to see the mouth line through the fabric so I can draw it ready for stitching. 

drawing mouth with quilters pencil

I like using free-motion and my technique of soft-edge applique (included in the pattern), but any stitch is suitable to attach the pieces. I also used free-motion to stitch in the mouth, but of course, you can also use a Pigma pen to draw it on too. You can see here how I double stitched the mouth.

embroidered mouth and eyeballs

Just in case you missed the link for this pattern, you can find it here: The Crab Quilt Block

quilting classes available at the Academy of Quilting

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  • Barbara, you made my son's day! He is so wrapped that someone would do that. Thank you!

    Posted by Ruth, 04/04/2016 5:26pm (5 years ago)

  • What a wonderful idea. I have a grandson with autism. My granddaughter will make me a great-grandma in September. This looks like something I can turn into a baby quilt. Will gladly download the patterns.

    Posted by Barbara, 04/04/2016 12:01pm (5 years ago)

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