|Frankensteined Applique Pattern from Back Issues of QNM|
I've been reading several books on different hand applique methods (reviews to come later, possibly, if I get around to it). My hope was that I could learn to do "old school" applique like they did in the 19th century, no irons or prep work required, just trace around the templates onto fabric and turn the raw fabric edges under with your needle as you go. The best books I found on this needle turn applique method were the Piece O'Cake Designs sampler books by Becky Goldsmith and Linda Jenkins. Their instructions are very clear and straightforward, and they even have some great video tutorials on their web site here. The only problem is that the cutesy off-kilter style of the projects in the book don't resonate with me. I don't hate them, I just don't love them enough to want to make them, you know what I mean?
So I turned to my Giant Binder of Magazine Clippings, compiled over the last decade or so, looking for a pattern with similar shapes but more formal symmetry. I found this Village Gardens quilt, made by Joyce Stewart, that I had torn out of the September 2006 issue of Quilter's Newsletter magazine. These are large, 16" blocks, with larger applique pieces than the ones in my Jingle project, so I think they should work for a beginner's foray into needle turn applique, don't you?
The only problem was the cutesy little hearts. I HATE cutesy little hearts. So I went back to my binder full of clippings and found a pointy flower element in a different pattern for an historic reproduction quilt, very similar size and scale to the heart motif that I can't live with, and I swapped it out, creating my own little Frankensteined applique block pattern:
|Swapping the Heart on the Right for the Flower on the Left|
Remember that children's book, No Roses for Harry? Well, No Hearts for Rebecca!
So far, all I have done is create this full-size master pattern from my photocopied magazine pages, marked the vertical, horizontal, and diagonal centering lines, and pieced one block background together:
|Pieced Applique Background, Ready to Go|
I am proceeding with no plan except that I am going to make one block using the Piece O'Cake needle turn instructions and see if I can achieve the smooth curves and accuracy that I want that way. Of course I bought WAY more fabric than I could ever use in just one block...
|New Fabric Goodies, Prewashed and Ready to Play|
I was experimenting with a new method when I shopped for this project. I brought a scrap of my kitchen drapery fabric with me, which I really love, and then selected fabrics in shades pulled directly from the drapery fabric as well as brighter and muddier shades of those colors. I ended up with a VERY different assortment than the bright, in-your-face fabrics that normally insist on coming home with me.
|Inspiration Print Fabric with Coordinates: Monado in Havana, Vervain|
(And no, the fabrics are not made in the U.S.A. I didn't notice that the ruler was in the picture until I posted it just now, and I'm too lazy to go back and crop it out).
So if this trial block goes well, and I make more of them, then whatever those blocks turn into should look great in my kitchen or in my adjoining keeping/family room, which has the same drapery fabric. And if the block comes out terrible and I wad it up into a ball or torture it as a free-motion quilting sample, then I'll just have to use all that fabric for something else!
|Hope Chest Prints, Laundry Basket Quilts Layer Cake for Moda|
I showed you what I'm designing on my work table today instead of on my design wall, but I'm still going to link up with Design Wall Monday at Judy's blog. I always love to see what all those other creative quilters are up to!