Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Sarah Evans Applique Quilt

These two blocks are the start of an applique quilt that featured in Annette Gero's book The Fabric of Society, the pattern was designed by Kim McLean. My original intention was to make two quilts - one in reproduction fabrics and the other using Kaffe Fassett Collective fabrics, but when I finally decided to start, I had second thoughts about making two quilts so I'm making it with KFC fabrics as I have a much larger stash of those fabrics than reproduction fabrics.

I quite liked this Spot fabric that I used for the Tree block but seeing it here the leaves seem to disappear a bit.  The fabric background is actually a pale grey with a brown/rust spot overlaid so I will need to take a bit more care with my fabric selection for the next Tree blocks.

I have a very rough idea for the background colours in this quilt, there are four blocks of the bird and tree blocks, a centre block and a lot of smaller blocks. I will use Spots for the background of the large blocks and a mix of Aboriginal Dots and Spots for the background of the smaller blocks.

But wait there's more - each block has another piece of fabric on top which is then reverse appliqued into an oval shape, kind of like a picture frame, I can already imagine several fabrics that I will use for this part, I'm looking forward to making this quilt.

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Well, color me surprised ...

The last four days I have been at the Festival of Quilts in South Australia.  Tuesday afternoon I received a phone call telling me that I had won an award for my Flower Garden quilt that I had entered. Needless to say I was very excited and couldn't wait until Thursday night for Guild meeting, I went to the show on Thursday to visit with my quilt and see exactly where I was placed in the Predominantly Applique section.

I was lucky enough to get a red ribbon for second place, it was uncanny that thel three quilts that ribboned all had Garden in their quilt names and the first placed quilt also used Kaffe Fassett fabrics.

The quilting turned out better that I could have hoped even though it was a long job.  If I were to quilt an applique quilt again, I think I would take the extra step of doing a trapunto layer of batting, stitch around it  clip/trim it all back then put another layer of batting on and then quilt, I think that would take care of the baggin on the larger pieces.  The other extra step I could have done, would have been to block it, but a quilt this large requires a good sized area to block it on and time to dry as well.  I had the area but didn't really have the time, maybe next time.

My prize for second place was nice package of Karen Kay Buckley products, some of which I currently use but these ones will have special meaning for me when I use them in the future.

I have to thank Sheila for pushing me along on this quilt, I don't think I would have finished it otherwise :) and I would also like to thank Kim for designing such a lovely quilt, it had many lovely comments at the show, and also thanks to everyone who comments on the blog, it really makes a difference, knowing that others are following the progress.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Nearly done ...

It's been a long time since I (or anyone) last posted, I have been quilting away madly on my Flower Garden and I am pleased to say that the quilting is almost completed.

 It took me ages to decide how to quilt this, I don't have much free motion quilting experience so it was easier for me to do a sort of flowery stipple/meander over the background fabric.  I used Wonderfil Decobob for the top thread and The Bottom Line by Superior Threads for the bobbin, both are quite fine so any thread buildup wasn't too noticeable.

 After reading this blog post on Sandra Leichner's blog I thought that her method might work with this quilt, even though there are a lot of large appliqued pieces in this quilt,  and it has worked quite well although some of the larger pieces have a bit of "bagginess" in them.  If I were to do this again I would put an extra layer of batting under the larger shapes so I could do some cutaway trapunto, that would take care of the bagginess I think.

The binding is on but still needs stitching to the back, I do a little bit on that at the end of each day.  I'm currently doing all the outline stitching around each applique piece, I have 16 days left before the quilt must be finished for our guild quilt show.

Friday, July 19, 2013

The flimsy is finished ....

now to spend a bit of time trimming threads,
 removing cat hair etc etc, then onto the quilting.

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Right side border

As promised, here are the photos of the Right side border.  I started this border from the bottom and then worked my way up, adding in the bias stem as I went.

I think the longest piece of bias for the stem was about 12" long

I found it better to select all the fabrics for the flowers and leaves over one or two days,

it seems as if the brain switches on after an hour or so 
as the selecting of fabric becomes much faster and it seems easy

to pick the right fabric for each flower and leaf, it also
 helps if the fabric is spread out all over the sewing room floor :)

Friday, June 14, 2013


Both of these borders are now complete and I am working on the Left Hand side one now, the finish line is getting closer now, tomorrow I'll post photos of the Right Hand side border.

top border

 top border

 top border

 top border

 top border

 I found a photo of another Flower Garden quilt  here, you will need to scroll down a bit before you see it.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Top border

I've been working very hard recently, this quilt has to be finished by end of October (and by finished I mean quilted as well)

It has taken me at least twelve hours to do the applique on this part of the top border, not including the preparation of the pieces.  When I started this quilt I tried out a few different applique techniques, I found that I didn't like traditional needleturn and preferred to use the front basting method (as described here) although I hand baste the fabric in place as I find it easier to unpick hand stitching than machine stitching.

Of late though, I have been using turned edge, whole unit hand applique over a semi-soluble fusible (Floriani Stitch and Wash)  and am finding this much kinder on my hands. Regardless of which method I use there is still a lot of preparation involved and I find it easier to spend a day or so choosing fabrics and getting the pieces ready and then a couple of days on the applique, and repeat, sometimes it feels like Groundhog Day :)