Tuesday, 28 July 2015

More applique please!

Since finishing my red and white CWB quilt I have suffered grievously with that horrible condition called Applique Withdrawal.
Yep we applique addicts know the panicky feeling that has us diving into cupboards looking for any UFO's to relieve the symptoms!
Phew ... I found something -  Benjamin Biggs Block 18. Those fiddly needle turned stems kept me going for a while.

Then what? another block of Harrison Rose. I tried a slightly different order of needle turn applique - still using back basting prep. The taupe pieces went on first, then the red. Then for the centre - trying to find the easiest/neatest way to keep the points sharp.

At this stage there are three layers of applique on the indigo points so I have cut out the back just to make it easier for quilting later.

Here are the two blocks finished together and you can see I varied the cheddar solids. I have six fabrics to choose from - all solids called "cheddar" from different suppliers. So I think I'll put them all in the mix for a little variety.

I love this project and will work on it bit by bit but I want to tackle another large applique with lots of fussy cutting and different techniques.

So - here is something I am working on - my own design and only in the 'working-it-all-out-tortuously ' stage so here is just a peek till I know where it is going. I'm  calling it Wheat and Woods and it should fix the applique withdrawal issues.  
Starting with some broderie perse using this wonderful Tree of Life fabric by Mary Koval. 

And then... 

Got you guessing?! more next post - I hope. 

We had a rare fall of snow a few days ago - so pretty. Of course we don't cope with it too well when it happens only a couple of times a year - traffic chaos, schools closed and power cuts (and yes, that was only 3 inches of snow). I woke up to a lovely garden view but the downside was getting ready for work with no power - which meant no heating and no hair dryer. I guess that is just a tiny inkling of what it must be like for those around the world who are regularly snow bound in winter.

Sunday, 5 July 2015

Those borders are on

My red version of Civil War Bride top is finished.

And I'm missing the needle turn applique so much already. I'm sure that sounds crazy to some  but any applique-addicts will know what I mean. There is that withdrawal stage when it is done. It was nice to clear away the prep though - boxes of red fabrics and small mountain of almost shredded scraps!

Most of the blocks are straight from the Threadbear pattern by Corliss Searcey,  but three blocks and the border I drafted myself using elements from the blocks. To quote Corliss from the pattern notes, she says "feel free to alter or substitute shapes from block to block, making this quilt unique to you" - so I had a bit of fun doing just that.

Middle of top border 
Middle of bottom border

It is now having time out in the hand quilting queue . 

Speaking of which ... hand quilting Ann Randoll is going well. It is a large quilt but I'm managing fine by working around the outer borders first, leaving the centre for last. Here it is stretched out for some progress pics with one edge done. I might not be able to resist adding some fill in the open areas but they are not large so maybe not needed....
There is a great variety of fabrics as well as techniques in this medallion quilt - which can have its pluses and a minuses.  A plus is it is not boring to quilt, and a minus is that each little border needs thought and a different approach to the quilting.
 Outlining the applique shapes on the cream background is easy going and I have used a cream thread to match the background. 
I decided to outline the outer edge of each clamshell to make them pop out a little, and using a tan thread  as I like the look better than cream on the darker browns/blues. 
The Half Square Triangle (or pinwheel) border had me thinking. The HSTs have edges that are about 1 1/4 inch so there is a lot of seam tucked under there that I really do not want to quilt over.  I decided to quilt inside the seams to form a square of four HST groups, and using a tan thread again.

Perhaps the complexity of this quilt had me itching to do something simpler, something more random and comparatively unstructured ? And I've also been itching to get back to some EPP after seeing the lovely EPP projects that Susan produces so expertly. So I picked up my Grandmothers Garden again. Now these hexagons are l a r g e - an edge of 1 1/4 inch on a hexagon is pretty big as they go!

Here is a reminder picture of the start of this project against the half inch hexagons from the Ann Randoll quilt.

How it looks now - only two garden beds but already 1 metre across (about 40 inches)! 

This picture found on an internet search is what first inspired me to start this project. It is a gorgeous antique quilt shown on Quiltville Quips and Snips in 2012. I just love everything about it, the way it is hand quilted in rows, and the colours are pure Spring don't you think?

Lovely yellow path on a Grandmother's Flower Garden! Antique Quilts, SIsters Oregon 2012

The next garden bed round prepped ready to paperclip to papers and stitch together. 
I've a feeling this could get large quite quickly and threaten to get out of hand. I think I'd prefer to stop at a 'cottage garden' rather than a 'country estate'?!

I've got my gardening clothes on but it was just too frosty to start out there early. Now the sun is shining and there is no wind -  should be just right - so off I go. Enjoy the rest of your weekend!