Saturday, September 29, 2012

The postman was kind yesterday bringing me a huge envelope packed with the backing fabric for my Flower Garden quilt.

The fabric is a Westminster fabric designed by Melissa White and the range is called Fairlyte Garden,  I have looked at several fabrics for my backing but they were all a bit ho-hum until I saw this one, now I just have to find the binding fabric (and finish my quilt).

I've also been busy prepping two blocks to take to New Zealand with me.  I couldn't use my normal method of back basting as I am only taking a carry-on bag and I'm fairly sure that scissors are still banned on air travel, so I used Floriani stitch and wash and have turned all edges under, glued and basted the shapes on to the background fabric so now all I have to do is thread my needle and happily stitch away.

Friday, September 28, 2012

Sssh quilting underway ....

I was lucky enough to get some photos of Sheila's Flower Garden quilt yesterday.  It is such a large quilt that it is quite difficult to find somewhere to display it, we resorted to using my undercover clothes line to hang it from.

It was a very bright day yesterday so the colour is a bit washed out, the quilt looks quite different in real life, much more vibrant.

In this photo you can see the shadows from the echo quilting that Sheila has done around the flowers, it is quite effective and really makes the blocks pop.  It is a major undertaking doing all the quilting on a quilt this size, there is so much fabric and batting to move around, I'm thinking that I have made a good choice by deciding to quilt my Flower Garden in blocks.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Flower Garden Blooms Again

It is approximately a year since my Flower Garden had an airing...but spring has sprung and the bulbs need attention!
All of the middle blocks had been appliqued and I wasn't very happy with needle turning cheaper solids. So before commencing appliquéing the borders or piecing the sashing, purchase of better quality solids became the focus. This took a year of visiting shops in 4 states to add to the spectrum.
Then I made the decision to cut all of the sashing first whilst new fabric was relatively straight ( and not looking like mice had nibbled the edges)
I singled out 35 colours for the sashing...and not wanting an even coverage of colour made sure that more 1 1/2 inch strips of some colours were cut than others.
This involved some maths!
1139 1 1/2 inch squares...equals 40 rows of 28 squares, plus 19 extra.

I divvied up the long 1 1/2 inch strips of colours and placed them on two trays as I cross cut. No particular sequence of colour. As you can see I want more "cools" than "warms"
Then I collected one square from each row and placed them in baggies marked 1-28 (plus the one of 19)

As I come to each baggie of 40, I play around with "constructing" 4 rows of 10, sew them, and then put these rows back into the baggie. I will chose baggies at random to construct the long sashes
Here are 6 rows Done! 
But this is the silly bit... I am sewing them all by hand. To be absolutely sure they all measure evenly and eventually line up beautifully I need to ignore my arthritic sewing machine and just get it done. Note the nifty plexi ruler of 1 inch increments, purchased from the shop I originally booked my Kim McLean workshop through.
This little ruler is making the job very accurate.
With 1139 squares to do, I need to sew about 40 per day for 5 weeks to get them done. Why 5 weeks??? I have one daughter doing final school exams in about 5 weeks and one daughter due with a baby in about 5 weeks. The garden might have to go into hibernation again after that.