Friday, September 30, 2011

Memory Garden #2

YIPPEE! It has taken weeks but I have finally cut out all the million and one fiddly shapes for the 4 borders. Just the templates, mind you, now I have to do the fabric selection and cut them out all over again.

I dont use freezer paper to make my templates. Instead I buy Marbig Quick Laminate Self Adhesive sheets (packs of 5 A4) from here. The ever helpful Kathy passed on this excellent tip.
The templates are then permanent which is wonderful if you want to make Flower Garden #2!

The sheets cut like butter, remain stable and flat in the hand, which is great whilst wielding the scissors around all the tricky curves. Once the template is placed on the fabric, it is thick enough to draw around and the paper side (face down) clings to the is not slippery. It is like cartridge paper: a nice surface on which to draw and, the sheets are transparent enough for use with a window or lightbox.

This is one of my early blocks. I was happy with the needle turn, however, notice the shadowing adjacent to the reverse applique due to strength of contrast of infill shapes, and despite careful trimming back of those seams before needle turning the whole flower down. Not so happy.

Cant seem to snap the colour correctly. Background is dead white and solids are much brighter than this shows.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Weather turned foul but the Flowers continue to Bloom

These look fairly similar in shape but are different in size. They both took a while to do with the wavy top and the inset segments. I had a real sense of achievement on completing them.
I used a single piece of the Rainbow Lily fabric i mentioned in a previous post and basted across the whole area that included the inset segments. i then back-basted the main fabric and needleturn appliqued the piece in place. I decided to leave the basting for the inset fabric insitu. It can't be seen and it will prevent any rolling of the underlayed fabric during use of the quilt.

Back to the "Gardening" ......

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Another one bites the dust...

This is my fifth block (number 24 on the pattern sheet) now, all needle turn applique with a little bit of reverse applique.

I've spent part of today prepping two more blocks ready for next week, while I was doing that I kept thinking I should be following Sheila's example and making a start on my sashing, something to do tomorrow perhaps.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

10-11-12 and i am half way through the centre blocks

And so they bloom. Three blocks this week.
I have used a little reverse applique in this last one. It was a lot of fun to do.
I ordered some Rainbow Lily fabric by Freedom Fabrics , I thought it would work with the Kaffe. Most of it would not work for the blooms but i found it perfect for the under layer of the reverse applique and it may be good in small areas. It is the same weight and "hand" as the Kaffe. I also got a fat 1/8th Bundle of Michael Millar "Ta Dots" which will work well.

Tried to work out how much sashing fabric i would need. i think it is around the 1.000 inches, which means i need to prepare 250 more inches. It shouldn't take too long and is a good job to do when i have time for sewing but not for anything complicated.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Another bloom

I was determined to finish this block last night so I burnt the midnight oil finishing this one.  I'm going to have to save up for a better light, it would make it so much easier on my eyes :)

I had a lot of fun selecting the fabrics for this flower, some of them jump out at you and say "pick me" whereas other fabrics just sit quietly in the background until you notice them. 

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Spring has Sprung and my garden grows

These blocks are so much fun . I spend quite some time going through my fabrics looking for shapes that reflect the design,
In the first photo above i was so pleased when i found Kaffe's Dahlia exactly mirrored Kim's oval bloom.... co-incidence or deliberate, i felt as if i had just solved a secret puzzle. The little circle is not quite the shape in the pattern, but this lozenge seemed just right for the spot. Because it was all looking a bit "matchy matchy" i used the yellow fans.
With the placement of the fabric in the lower picture i found using a light box very useful as i wanted to use the red tulip fabric as the t calyx or sepals of the flower and to have it cup the spotty petals.
I have now made a big roll of sashing and think doing it this way ensures each sashing strip is random. Its amazing how they complete the blocks, can't wait to start joining them together.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Memory Garden #1

I have decided to make all of the Flower Garden blocks with a dedication to a different female relative. This was my first block and the needle turn is messy. Using Kona Solids with their looser thread count is quite hazardous if aiming for perfection.
The background has little white stars printed haphazardly across the surface. Fortunately it doesn't matter which way the block is cut with this fabric. However when I was buying the required amount, another quilter was there....she had raced back for more of her chosen fabric for the Flower Garden had little anchors, all going in the same direction. The cutting placement for blocks in the pattern packet does not account for directional prints. Fortunately she was able to purchase extra, having noticed this in time.
Much later I will add embroidered detail, either to each block or the back of the quilt, regarding those special women in my family.

After a few blocks, my needle turn skills had improved thankgoodness, and I began to enjoy seeing the concept come alive. I couldn't wait to get to a new flower and choose the colours!
Sorry about the photo of blocks strewn on the floor.

Once I had laid a few blocks out, I decided to embroider a block with Perle No.8 threads to add some detail. I wasnt sure whether it was all looking too plain and attempted half of a block.
After much contemplation, I think that the stitching detracts from the applique shapes.

Any advice on whether I should unpick the embroidery or continue the embellishment?

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Third block completed

I've had this block half finished for a while now and decided that I had better knuckle down and get it finished this week, so I can start another one with a clear conscience.

The fabrics are both batiks (pre-washed, which was fortunate because they ran quite a bit) and the fabric for the stem is the same as my other two blocks here and here.  This block was done by the back basting method and I think that will be how I do the majority of my blocks.