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Thread: Piecing the Apple Core or "Double bit ax" by hand

  1. #1
    Super Member #1piecemaker's Avatar
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    Piecing the Apple Core or "Double bit ax" by hand

    Hi there. I was asked a while back to show a member on the board how the apple core pieces were sewn together by hand to make a quilt. I took these crude pictures to demonstrate how it was done for her. I thought I would share this with the rest of you, who might want to learn the joys of hand pieceing.
    Although much slower than machine piecing, you can carry it anywhere with you that you might have to wait. (doctor's office etc.) It is relaxing. You can carry enough for hours of work in a zip lock bag along with your needles, thread and sissors inside your purse or bag. It also helps keep your fingers limber, especially if you are beginning to get a little artheritis in your hands. It is relaxing. You can also do it while watching TV.

    1. place two pieces right sides together with the curved areas together. One will be up and down and one will be across. Working from the right to the left , sew a running stitch ------- 1/4 of the way from the edge of the two pieces working the curve in as you go. (If you need to , you can pin these pieces together before you start or you can use you fingers to gently ease them together as you go.) With a little practice, you won't need the pins. When you reach the end take a couple of stitches in the same place to stay stitch. Move on to add your next piece.
    2. After you have sewn the first two together continue until you have the piece as long as you want your quilt.
    3. Make your next row beginning with the first core facing the opposite direction as the first one on the first row. That way when you sew them together they will fit
    Continue making your rows alternating the first and second blocks to begin each row until you have enough to make it as wide as you want your quilt.
    4. Take your first two finished rows and place the right sides together and begin sewing them together with the same 1/4 inch seam allowance, making sure your seams all match up. You can gently pull to stretch your fabric to make this happen if you need to, for same amounts. This will get easier and easier as you go along. Continue until all rows are sewn together.
    Congratulations. When you get the last row sewn together, you will have a completed quilt top.
    Attached Images Attached Images




    Last edited by #1piecemaker; 01-13-2012 at 12:52 PM.
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    Super Member Teddybear Lady's Avatar
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    Thanks for the pix. I like about 2 rows having mine finished. I'm fascinated by this pattern for some reason. I guess because I like scrappy quilts.

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    Super Member #1piecemaker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Teddybear Lady View Post
    Thanks for the pix. I like about 2 rows having mine finished. I'm fascinated by this pattern for some reason. I guess because I like scrappy quilts.
    Me too! Here is a picture of my last one.Name:  100_3278.jpg
Views: 5306
Size:  58.3 KB
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  4. #4
    Super Member sewbeadit's Avatar
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    I like those too but have never done one.
    Sewbeadit
    W. Washington

  5. #5
    Super Member Val in IN's Avatar
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    Thanks for the tute #1piecemaker! And that is a GREAT quilt!!!

  6. #6
    Super Member Weenween's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by #1piecemaker View Post
    Hi there. I was asked a while back to show a member on the board how the apple core pieces were sewn together by hand to make a quilt. I took these crude pictures to demonstrate how it was done for her. I thought I would share this with the rest of you, who might want to learn the joys of hand pieceing.
    Although much slower than machine piecing, you can carry it anywhere with you that you might have to wait. (doctor's office etc.) It is relaxing. You can carry enough for hours of work in a zip lock bag along with your needles, thread and sissors inside your purse or bag. It also helps keep your fingers limber, especially if you are beginning to get a little artheritis in your hands. It is relaxing. You can also do it while watching TV.

    1. place two pieces right sides together with the curved areas together. One will be up and down and one will be across. Working from the right to the left , sew a running stitch ------- 1/4 of the way from the edge of the two pieces working the curve in as you go. (If you need to , you can pin these pieces together before you start or you can use you fingers to gently ease them together as you go.) With a little practice, you won't need the pins. When you reach the end take a couple of stitches in the same place to stay stitch. Move on to add your next piece.
    2. After you have sewn the first two together continue until you have the piece as long as you want your quilt.
    3. Make your next row beginning with the first core facing the opposite direction as the first one on the first row. That way when you sew them together they will fit
    Continue making your rows alternating the first and second blocks to begin each row until you have enough to make it as wide as you want your quilt.
    4. Take your first two finished rows and place the right sides together and begin sewing them together with the same 1/4 inch seam allowance, making sure your seams all match up. You can gently pull to stretch your fabric to make this happen if you need to, for same amounts. This will get easier and easier as you go along. Continue until all rows are sewn together.
    Congratulations. When you get the last row sewn together, you will have a completed quilt top.
    Thanks a heap I am going to try it my maternal late grandmother pieced her baby son one years ago,she has been gone since 1977 I just love it.In hers they were no 2 blocks exactly the same.She saved every little bit of fabric.No wasting with her.Thanks a million I really mean it.

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    This is my favorite quilt to make and your instructions are right on the money

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    I am working on an applecore too, BUT, I have a GO die cutter for the cutting of these pieces--it is so precise and I am using a sewing machine to piece it........just as much fun and I agree it is a fun way to use scraps........oh, and I will machine quilt it when done.........it will be a queen size..... along with the scraps I have put in two lines of white cores to give it a kind of inside white border....saw it in a mag last year.........like the way it looks, works in quarters, then they are put together to make the large bed quilt.

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    Super Member SunlitenSmiles's Avatar
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    ok i am hooked in.....will start mine today....estimate four years, but will carry it everywhere just like i did the GFG

    the magazine a previous poster mentioned is the quilter magazine issue feb/mar 2011 page 64

    just picked it up at the donation ($0.25) table at guild last wednesday...think this was ment to be!!
    Last edited by SunlitenSmiles; 01-14-2012 at 08:34 AM.

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    Love it. Have you seen it in a larger apple core? Fantastic. Saw it in Bountiful Utah in30's fabrics and it is darling. Owner told me she got the pattern off the internet. Found it and am going to do it. Fun quilt.

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    Super Member GailG's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Geri B View Post
    I am working on an applecore too, BUT, I have a GO die cutter for the cutting of these pieces--it is so precise and I am using a sewing machine to piece it........just as much fun and I agree it is a fun way to use scraps........oh, and I will machine quilt it when done.........it will be a queen size..... along with the scraps I have put in two lines of white cores to give it a kind of inside white border....saw it in a mag last year.........like the way it looks, works in quarters, then they are put together to make the large bed quilt.
    Great tute, #1piecemaker!! That's a lot of hand stitching. I have question for Geri B: For machine stitching, which curve do you put on the bottom? I am not a friend of sewing curved seams and it's a technique I'd like to learn.
    One step at a time, always forward.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Weenween View Post
    Thanks a heap I am going to try it my maternal late grandmother pieced her baby son one years ago,she has been gone since 1977 I just love it.In hers they were no 2 blocks exactly the same.She saved every little bit of fabric.No wasting with her.Thanks a million I really mean it.
    You are welcome and Good luck! I'd like to see it when its finished!
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    Super Member #1piecemaker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Geri B View Post
    I am working on an applecore too, BUT, I have a GO die cutter for the cutting of these pieces--it is so precise and I am using a sewing machine to piece it........just as much fun and I agree it is a fun way to use scraps........oh, and I will machine quilt it when done.........it will be a queen size..... along with the scraps I have put in two lines of white cores to give it a kind of inside white border....saw it in a mag last year.........like the way it looks, works in quarters, then they are put together to make the large bed quilt.
    thanks Geri B. I like the idea of putting white blocks around the outside! Great idea!
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    Super Member #1piecemaker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by primbears View Post
    Love it. Have you seen it in a larger apple core? Fantastic. Saw it in Bountiful Utah in30's fabrics and it is darling. Owner told me she got the pattern off the internet. Found it and am going to do it. Fun quilt.
    I haven't seen the big one. I'll have to hunt that one down. Thanks
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    your applycore quilts are very lovely. I hope to make one using all plaids one of these years. Until then, I'll just have to admire them here on the board.

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    Super Member needles3thread's Avatar
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    Sunlitensmiles, I love your avatar. Please show larger pic & tell us about. Your colors are the greatest for this pattern.

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    i AM A NEWBIE TO QUILTING SOOO CAN U EXPLAIN In MORE DETAIL AND WHAT IS AN APPLE CORE QUILT? THANKS

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    Quote Originally Posted by #1piecemaker View Post
    Me too! Here is a picture of my last one.Name:  100_3278.jpg
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    Simply amazing. I made one, but very small because I got tired of hand sewing. Love yours

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    Junior Member Ginny B's Avatar
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    Uh oh, I see something new being added to my WIP's. I have lots of apple decor in my kitchen (from my days as a Preschool teacher) so I'm seeing a tablerunner or placemats in my future. And I love having handwork to do while watching tv with dh at night. Thanks for the tute and the idea.
    Ginny B

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    Very interesting...and helpful!
    Penny aka PLS 1946

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    Awesome, love it, all the beautiful colors, makes your eyes go all over it.

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    Super Member #1piecemaker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by NannieBS View Post
    i AM A NEWBIE TO QUILTING SOOO CAN U EXPLAIN In MORE DETAIL AND WHAT IS AN APPLE CORE QUILT? THANKS
    Hi NannieBS. I'll do my best. The "apple core" or "double bit ax" is a very old pattern that our grandmothers used and probably their grandmothers before them. It gets its name from its shape. The curved edges on the ends fit exactly into the curves on the middle. So if you sew them together, one is laid on way and the other is up and down. Take a look at the pictures. You can sew as many of them together as you like to make it as song as you want, For instance, for a lap quilt, you might only sew10 in a row whereas for a King size quilt, you might sew 25 in a row. On your second row, start off with the opposite laying position of the block on the first row, alternating each beginning row the oposite. Once you do a row or two, you will get the hang of it. If you have problems, just PM me.
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    Super Member terri bb's Avatar
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    okay lady! you won me over. can you email me a copy of the template and ill start cutting and piecing just so i can make something that i did by hand?? love you!!!!!
    A rolling stone gathers no moss

  24. #24
    Super Member #1piecemaker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by terri bb View Post
    okay lady! you won me over. can you email me a copy of the template and ill start cutting and piecing just so i can make something that i did by hand?? love you!!!!!
    I sent you one. Now, all you got to do is get cutting and stitching!! I'm going to send you some already cut too. so, you can have a little part of Arkansas in your quilt!
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    very cute quilt. ALL hand work YIKES

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