Wednesday, March 06, 2013
Patchwork for Breakfast
I haven't shot Isabela's quilt up on the design wall yet because I am still working on some significant applique elements that will contribute a lot to the final look of the composition. And also it's been dang dark and cold around here, with almost constant cloud cover. (Where are you Spring? It's safe to some out now.)
So rather I've been spreading this out on the dining room table to finish up those elements each morning after the house gets quiet. As you can see above, the fabric assortment is almost identical to Eleni's, and there are several "orphan" blocks used as well. While it's not on a grid like Eleni's is, it does employ lots of squarish details, so it calls on a different sense of order than Nicolas's does even though they are both mostly improv. (You might just spy a bit of my upcoming Linen collection up there!)
For Isabela, my old soul, I decided to dig into my stash of vintage scraps. Several years ago I bought a bunch of ziplocs filled with unsewn quilt pieces from the flea market. I've used some semi-finished Dresden plates from them in other projects, but (above) I finally made use of these tiny 2 1/4" squares that were cut and pinned together by print when I bought them. Oh, they are so sweet- those tiny prints! So a 25-patch was born out of them and wrapped with some borders of Denyse's fabrics.
From this side you can see a bit more of the "open fields" of larger more subtle blocks that I used to provide a background for a group of growing stemmed flowers. I am using vintage half Dresden plates as the flower petals- the real reason that I only used half to begin with, is because the hand piecing on them was imperfect enough that they just wouldn't lay flat. So separating them allowed them to lay however they needed to lay to be flat, whether it was a perfect semi-circle not.
Here you can see the one that is not on a stem, but peeking sideways out from behind another piece. To go ahead and include this to-be-appliqued piece into the patchwork, I simple turned the edges of the applique towards their wrong side by 1/4" only where they are included in the patchwork seam. So the straight patchwork seam is the only thing holding it in place until I have the applique finished.
For the stemmed flowers, I cut long 1 1/2" wide strips of bias and pinned them in place taking some subtle curves with just a gentle stretch. Then I machine baste them down 1/4" from their edges. This prevents me from having to use any pins during the applique process, and the piece stays entirely secure as I only clip out a few inches of basting at a time right before I turn the edge down and applique in place. And an additional bonus to this process is that the basting provides a lovely perforation of needle holes in both the applique piece and the foundation, so that you can see just where to fold it under and just where to sew it onto the foundation. You can see above that the left side of the stem is already appliqued while the right side is waiting to have the basting clipped and its edge turned under and sewn in place.
So that's where this one is. It's been fun to dissect them with you. It feels a bit like being in front of a classroom rambling on about my process, which has really become a favorite thing to do- especially when I see more nodding heads than confused looks.
Nodding with me?
I'll share the finished top soon. xoxoAnna