Tuesday, June 11, 2013

My new quilt and some progress

It's no secret.  I am always freakishly productive in the early stages of a new quilt.  I always seem to lose interest months into it, when things have gone wrong, and I have become disenchanted with the design.  I am working rapidly on this new one, trying to get it to a point where it might actually be finished later in the year. Much if the work is done by hand, so that aspect of "when the heck will I piece this" doesn't happen.  As you all know, I have been feverishly busy with client quilts, and getting time to piece my own quilts can be a challenge.  But I like to be able to settle in the evenings and just hand stitch.  It may be slow, but it does eventually get done.  

Last weekend, I staged this much of the design so that I could get the medallion and 4 corners pinned/basted into place on the borders.  This was amazingly trying - the outer border is a print that must meet and match at the same point on all pieces.  Of course it needs to be square and centered, etc.  Eventually, I pinned the background to the wood floor and tweaked each appliqued piece until all were in the best places possible.  I know to most it would seem like stitching the corners on by machine would be simpler, but trust me, I don't think it would have been.  There were just too many things to align.  In the end, I starched the 1/4" seam allowance to the dark brown border, and just aligned everything with rulers for square and visual for matching the print.  This section is about 50" square.
A week or so ago, I started on the outer border design, which will have more applique.  I found the most perfect fabric for the outer border background while I was at Paducah.  If it hadn't been SO perfect, there's NO way I'd have paid what I did for it!  It will actually attach to the square above in a wave along where the vine stem is.  The idea with the applique is that I have mimicked the design of some of the semi-Jacobian styled flowers that are in the ivory print (center dahlia background), as well as bringing more of the floral to the border.  I have many pink and green prints that coordinate with the rose inspiration fabric (border of dahlia).  I hope to applique the intertwining ribbon from the Radiance - yup, I know I'm crazy for that one, but it will be beautiful it I can pull it off.

At this point, there is still a LOT of applique pieces to prep.  Three of the 20 dogwood blooms are done....no leaves or centers though.
 I have mad a TON of small dots in varying shades of cranberry and rose for these little berry clusters.  There are 16 clusters on the borders, requiring about another 100 dots I think!
 There are 5 or 6 varieties of flowers that hopefully appear to be in various stages of opening.  I have 4 (above) all prepared ...sigh!  Who would have though that the above flower came from this and this!!  I am making some flowers with Karen Kay Buckley's perfect ovals, and some I will prep with the Templar method.  I can prep applique until the cows come home when the kids are out of school next Monday.  It is easy to bring the iron up from the studio.  The sewing machine is another story.  Heck, I'll probably even bring a pile of applique to prep when we go on vacation next month!
 Each corner has these big open blooms, made from a kazillion and one circles.  I think I have enough circles prepped for 2 or 3 right now!  It is hard when your set of circles only has 4 of each size and you ultimately want 75 of them!  Next I need to pattern the ribbon to see if I have enough of the Radiance.  I know that hand appliqueing this fabric will be painfully slow :-)


Rhonda said...

Margaret, this quilt is already stunning but the outer border you're describing with all the dogwoods and dots and leaves....WOW...slow and steady will, as you know, pay off for sure. Amazing hand work!!

Strlady said...

Seriously Stunning! Another award winner in the making.

SeeingStars said...

An ambitious project! I'm just learning to applique and felt like it took forever to do about 30 leaves. Your project will be amazing. I'll look forward to more photos.

Susan Lawson said...

Margaret, you are crazy talented! :)