Wednesday, 8 February 2017

How does your garden grow?

It's wonderful the way we can plan to make a block or quilt in a particular colourway, but as we are sewing, the fabrics speak to us, and take us in different directions. Especially when we are looking at the fabrics for so long, as we do when we are stitching by hand.

For instance, who could know that buying these pieces of Kaffe Collective and Tula Pink fabrics would take me in such a different direction to the original plan of orangey red flowers for the first block of the mystery quilt Secret Garden?

Oh! Tula! And this local fabric shop has ordered the whole range of Tabby Road. *happy sigh*
I see fussy cut applique in gorgeous bright colours.

I had decided to try a new (for me) technique of applique while making Esther's new BOM "Secret Garden".

I've been using the freezer paper method of needleturn successfully for about 15 years. It was my favourite. Then, after not sewing much in the last 2 years I just jumped in to Esther's free BOM "Diamond Hill" using the same technique... but I was out of practise.... and sometimes my leaf didn't even touch the stem after it was stitched down.... and sometimes my silk thread caught around the pins while I was sewing, which was annoying... and sometimes I didn't get the placement of the piece in just the right place.

The last of which, if I recall correctly, is why I didn't start her previous BOM full of very intricate cakes and sweet treats. My eyes goggled just looking at the first block.

There are tutorials on Esther's blog for freezer paper and Floriani stitch and wash fusible. They both looked sooo fiddly, I didn't want to try them before. But, I think while I am making a quilt to celebrate my 20 years of quilting anniversary (Secret Garden), I should try to do my best work.

And so, I took another look at the tutorials. I have soo much freezer paper already, and a whole roll of the Floriani stuff is probably about $40 (I might not even like the technique, what to do with $40 of product?), so I thought I would try the freezer paper with painted starch (I used Crisp from the supermarket), and baste the pieces onto the background with a washable glue (I bought the Burrows brand from Officeworks for $4).

Deciding to try out my new Tula fabrics for fussy cut leaves was not even questioned.

Part way through I started to trace the leaves with an indication of the directions of the leaf veins. It was much easier than an arrow to indicate the direction of the pattern.

Now the first stems and leaves are stitched on, I am happy to say I enjoyed the applique. It happened more quickly (obviously, as I wasn't turning and pinning and holding with 6 fingers while I sewed).

I am pretty happy with the way the 3 leaves met in the centre. Yes! Accurate placement!

Progress report on technique:

*Already discovered to place the glue only on the turned under seam, or the fabric is too hard (but it is fully washable glue).

*Still experimenting with how much starch to use. Started preparing more stems and leaves, and happy with the progress.

I am definitely not the kind of girl that bastes everything down, then stitches. I would be bored preparing for hours (and yes, it probably is hours) on end. For me this will be rolling sessions of preparation, basteing pieces and stitching.

I wonder what colour the flowers will be now.

This is soo fun!!

Linking up with Midweek Makers. Check out what everyone else is making.


Elaine said...

I normally do needle turn appliqué, but I am intrigued by Esther's method, I will have to give it a try. I love those Tula Pink fabrics!

Susan said...

Definitely too fun! Those fabrics will make great flowers - the you're start! Thanks for sharing on Midweek Makers

Joy from Days Filled With Joy said...

Lovely applique, I usually do raw edge on the machine... tried needle turn one day and it was really bad! I guess I need more practice... xx

Jo said...

Happy stitching. So you can teach an ol dog new tricks.... haha

Preeti Harris said...

Your work is so refreshing. And those Tula fabrics are so gorgeous.

Pam said...

This is the method I use for applique. It goes quickly, has very pretty results, and if you use elmers stick glue to glue down you applique after it is formed, you can move the appliqued pieces around if you decide to rearrange then-something hard to do if you stick them down with Roxanne's. Plus elmer's glue is very inexpensive.
Love your fabric and colors.