Monday, May 15, 2017

Kid Giddy Sizzix Doll Appliqué Sew Along - Block 1

Hi everyone,
Sometimes the best laid plans are still not enough to give me more time on the clock. Last year I finally got around to finishing my Ballerina Doll Quilt, but wanted to have even more fun and make 9 applique doll blocks to put into one huge quilt. I thought there might be some other sewists out there that would join me in sewing together. You can make your blocks into a quilt as I am planning on doing, or you can make 9 different blocks and use them individually. As individual blocks, they could be great as tools in a Homeschool or Montessori style class room. They can be fully sewn or made to be a "get the doll dressed" style block that helps to teach specific skills.

This is the first Kid Giddy Doll Applique block using my Kid Giddy Sizzix Doll die for a fun 9 block quilt along I'm hosting throughout the rest of the year. This first block represents April Showers. You can make each of your blocks similar to mine, or you can create your very own blocks. Later on, some of my blocks may use a combo of the Sizzix Kid Giddy Doll die (for the head and body) and the Sizzix Kid Giddy Fox die (for the arms and legs) as I did for the first Ballerina Doll block above.

Before we get started, here are some basic tidbits of info you may find helpful:
In order to use the die, you'll need a Sizzix Big Shot Machine (if you can get the Big Shot Plus - you can use all of my dies on it) and the BigZ XL 25" cutting pads. You can use the smaller cutting pads for some parts, but not for the legs as they are longer than the shortest pads.

What you'll need for each block:
1) 1 Fat Eighth of skin tone fabric of choice. Depending on how you choose to sew your doll applique blocks, you may need less. (1 Fat Qtr will be enough for 2 doll blocks, or 1 stuffed doll).
2) Background Fabric (I used white) - 13" x 18" (or larger if desired). 
3) Other materials will depend on the doll you wish to make (additional quilters cotton prints and wool felt for hair if desired).
4) Glue, Fine glue tip and Iron are helpful for glue basting your pieces in place.
5) Bright thread for stitch basting and matching thread for needle turn applique or raw edge applique.
6) Create A Pattern paper for designing any extra pieces (as I did for the jacket, hood and raindrops).

I have decided that I am going to needle turn all of my blocks. I just love the look of needle turn applique, but understand some others may prefer to raw edge applique. For those that also wish to needle turn applique, but haven't done so yet, I learned some great techniques from Carolyn Friedlander's CreativeBug class (not an affiliate link). If you are going to raw edge applique your blocks, you should use an iron on fusible stabilizer prior to cutting out your pieces on the die. Some steps may vary for raw edge appliquers but may not all be noted.

To Start sewing your block:
Step 1: Sew the doll and head pieces together, placing right sides together and using a 1/4" seam allowance. (You may notice in the later pics, I also sewed the boots to the bottom of the legs and the raincoat sleeves to the hands. I cut off the excess skin colored fabric underneath)
Step 2: Place your doll pieces down on your block background as desired (mine are centered but your design may not work best if centered). Lightly glue baste each piece to be sure correct placement at first (as this can be moved around if necessary). Using your brighter thread, stitch the pieces in place 1/2" away from the seam allowance. Clip and notch your curves (within the 1/4" seam allowance - not at, and not more than) to reduce the bulk around the edges (see pic below).

Step 3: While I am needle turning, I love using the two products: the Dritz squishy Thimble grips, and the Thread Cutterz ring. I have bought many and have them all scattered throughout my house and may mom and sister's houses too. lol.
Turn under your edges and stitch in place.

Step 4: When sewing the arms in place, make sure they are going to still be under the body portion when the body is turned 1/4" under too. Note that the little thumbs are pretty awkward, but the stitch basting here really helps.

Step 5: If you hold your block up to a light source, you can see one of my corners just barely makes it under the body edge (on the right hand side). I'll be sure to tuck it in the better on the next block. You may also see here that I have tucked the legs further up than normal. I wanted this one and all of mine to look younger and therefore shorter. Again, you can make your blocks as you would like, just be sure your blocks are all the same size in the end if you want uniformity, and that your blocks are large enough to accommodate your design.

Step 6: Continue adding and sewing all of your detail pieces as you'd like, as I'm doing with the hood, jacket panels and raindrops to complete your block, staying within the 1/4" - 1/2" seam allowance. I've decided to leave the jacket pieces unsewn on the inside and bottom edges. This will allow her jacket to move around. If you decided to add this type of feature, double roll the edges, glue baste and top stitch to secure the hems.

Step 7: Add a face as desired. This can be drawn with fabric markers, sewn with an embroidery machine (test on an extra face piece first), or hand embroidered (as I did for the first time ever below). I haven't decided how I am going to do their faces - I think I need some embroidery lessons or something - so the faces may come later. This one is from my Ballerina. Unplanned and noticeably so.  But I loved her little heart lips and those eye lashes!

Step 8: Once you have all of your pieces sewn, you can cut off the excess background from the back if you prefer, following the basting thread stitches. Be sure not to cut the front pieces and do not cut too close to the sewn edges (not shown). Remove the basting stitches.

Because this tutorial and sew along was supposed to start in April, I'm already a month behind my own schedule. I will be posting two blocks in June, unless I get May's block done sooner. As you can see, this is a pretty casual sew along. If you have any questions about this tutorial, please leave me a comment below so I can answer it for all to see and benefit from as well. I would really love to see your doll blocks. Please be sure to tag #kidgiddy on IG. I will be opening my KidGiddy Group up again on FB for sharing as well after I return from Quilt Market.

Thanks so much for stopping by. Please be sure to sign up for my emails to get info about new patterns, new dies, future sales and other fun stuff.


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