Friday, April 12, 2013

Let's Talk Stems . . .

So if you've been following along from the beginning of my Carolina project, you know I've not been over the top excited about the stems for my blooms.  But they've got to be done so I decided to work on  a few every day while I finish piecing my blooms.

3 blooms - 3 stems, no big deal really.

So the directions in the pattern said to use this template to place the stems in the correct place.

Getting the stems in just the right place is important, see how the left and right stems need to line up with that seam and base on the flower?  If the stems aren't in the right place that doesn't happen.  I don't know about you, but it would drive me crazy to have stems going everywhere but where they should be.

So I made this overlay out of pattern ease to attach my stems to the block.

I made the overlay by tracing the lines using the template in the pattern.

See those red arrows on the left and right stems? That is the all important edge.  My stems need to line up perfectly with that line, it would be great if the stem fit right in that canal perfectly on both sides, but it doesn't matter if the stem is over or below the bottom side, it just needs to meet that top line perfectly.

So I take my fabric and press a line down the middle, so I know where the center is.

Then I place the overlay on top of the fabric, lining up that center line on the overlay with the pressed line on the fabric, and line up the bottom of the overlay with the bottom of the fabric.

Then I put the side stems where they need to be,

then the middle stem.

Once the stems are pressed into place I  machine appliqué them on.

I'm using this bias strip guide for pressing the fabric and attaching Clover fusible bias tape to the back.

Two done, only 23 more to go!


  1. I love to see what you are sewing as your work is always so perfect!!

  2. OMG so that is what it takes to get perfection... but I totally understand the need to be the best you can when it comes to matching up seams.. sort of the same obsession a golfer has with his game score..

  3. Wow...this is labor intense and glad you have a plan to figure out the stems....I have the pattern and was going to start right after my schnibbles is done. Thanks for the fyi and will study before I get started. This may save me some stress and frustration when I do as I like they to match also. It would drive me nuts if they were all off.
    Thanks Thelma :))))

  4. Oh my....I had no idea this was such a complicated process! I was wondering how you were sewing the stems, but when I see all the stems laying on the table and how tricky this is, I immediately know I would hate it! LOL

  5. Good job coming up with that template! I didn't know about Clover bias tape and will have to investigate it.

  6. They are coming along nicely! I bet by now Friday, you have more completed!

  7. Awesome Thelma! they are looking great! Happy Friday to you.

  8. Great tip Thelma! The bias strip maker looks really handy too. I'm sure you'll have them all done in no time!

  9. They look perfect to me! You are so talented!! Have a great weekend!!

  10. It is so interesting to see how you do certain steps. I hadn't given the size of those stems much thought, seeing how small the parts are is enlightening. Good job with the template, wonky stems wouldn't work for me either. Thanks for sharing.

  11. Thelma...what do you do with all the quilts you make?

  12. You could easily make a foundation piecing pattern from that stem diagram. However what you've done looks perfect.

  13. Very interesting to see the construction - thanks for showing this.I am planning on making a Carolina Lily quilt - in yellow and green - as my next project so seeing your progress is wonderful!

  14. Wonderful ideas to get the stems perfectly placed.


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