Wednesday, 27 August 2014

Filling the flower beds

Spring is on the way in the garden here so it seems perfect timing that I'm filling 'flower beds' in my version of the Ann Randoll coverlet. The borders I'm working on are like long narrow garden beds. Here are some flowers:

I wanted to do a little bit of fussy cutting with the flower petals so I made a petal 'window'  out of light cardboard - to place over fabric to audition. Don't be shocked by how rough cut this is - it was not used as a template - just for audition purposes! The flowers were then back basting prepped from the patterns I drafted (see last post) and needle turned. 

That selection ended up in the flower below:

And so here is my first flower bed planted and blooming ...

Talking of plants - I have just received an online plant order. I love the way they pack these little plants for the mail - in cardboard tubes and little pots taped over with pieces of card. Funny though, when you unpack them you often end up with what looks like a dead stick in a pot of soil (because they are dormant perennials in winter). They always grow beautifully when they go in the soil but it is a matter of trust when you unpack! 
So I had a laugh at the label included with this one.  I could use a label like that for myself some days?

Something else lovely came in the mail - a 'Perfect Adjustable Square'. I got mine from Legend and Lace and am thrilled with it - thanks Wendy. It is made by Karen Kay Buckley - that is the link for her Youtube video. 
I often have issues with squaring up blocks for applique (and piecing), centering  patterns for applique and trimming blocks - such as with my Benjamin Biggs BOM.
Unpacking the box drawer and its contents:
Removing the paper backings from all the pieces - like a pile of jigsaw pieces now:

They click together firmly in whatever size square or rectangle you want. The video suggests a hammer (!) to tap the links together but I just used the handle of a spoon to press on the joins and they snapped together fine. I made a square with 12 inch inner borders ( the size of the blocks I am making for Benjamin Biggs), attached cross pieces of thread as suggested and checked BB blocks I've completed - looking  pretty good. 
12 inch inner length square

I love it and I think the pattern marking stage is now going to be that much easier for me. 
I also think it will be useful to trim up all my BB blocks to 12 1/2 inches ready to sew together. The jigsaw pieces can be changed/ swapped to form a 12 1/2 inch outer border. Then all you do is rotary cut around the outside. Pretty versatile?
changing to a 12 1/2 inches outer length square
And pretty too, don't you think?


  1. What a cool ruler! I've never seen anything like it - a great idea! Your flower border looks gorgeous - the fussy cutting is so effective! Yes, I too can relate to the sign with the pot - lol!

  2. What a great idea. This will make trimming so much easier. Your border is looking wonderful and I love your fussy viewing 'tool'

  3. I've seen those funny pieces by Karen Kay Buckley but never knew how they worked. I can see where they would be a very useful tool in my tool belt. I love the tag in your plant order. Too funny! And your flower border is looking pretty sweet.

  4. KKB makes so many clever tools. So glad you have Wendy to offer them in AUS. I love your flower border. You've made such great use of fussy cut fabrics. Looking forward to the rest of the borders!

  5. Looks like you have made good progress with your appliqué. I love reading about ' how Spring is coming' in Australia, just as Autumn is showing its face in the UK.

  6. Your flower border is looking stunning. You must have a huge range of scraps at your fingertips to get so much lovely variety. Good luck with your new plants, I've never tried that before (probably because I'm not much of a gardener). The adjustable square is an interesting new tool.

  7. your fussy cutting of the fabrics is just wonderful, I love having a "window" like that to see what my fussy
    cutting will look like! I cracked up over the sign on the plant, your right somedays I need that sign too.
    I am so glad to hear your opinion on the KKB block trimming kit. I have been thinking about it.
    I love seeing your blocks, just beautiful, the border is amazing, your making wonderful progress, keep going!

  8. What a neat ruler! It sure would make things easier! Your flower garden looks like it flourishing! I think there are a lot of quilters that could use a label like that to put in with their UFO's! LOL

  9. Your flower border is very beautiful and so long! I love all of your fabric choices. This is going to be another amazing quilt.

    I've never seen or heard of the KKB ruler. What a great idea! Was it expensive?

  10. What an interesting ruler. I can see how it would be helpful.
    Your quilt border is looking absolutely gorgeous!

  11. Have been waiting to hear reviews on this ruler - it looks amazing! Love how your "garden" is growing and as always how you pull unique design motifs from fabrics....I learn so much from visiting your delightful blog. Can't you just see that great plant label printed on a T shirt

  12. The flower border is just beautiful but all the quilt projects on your blog are. I'm enjoying following your progress. Thank you for sharing with us.

  13. I just love that flower bed of yours. You do gorgeous work! I was at my mother in law's a few years back when she got a plant delivery. It was just as you describe, in a box, and looking very dead. She assured me it would survive and bloom. That ruler looks fabulous. Aren't we lucky to have such wonderful tools to help us in our craft?

  14. Such a lovely flower bed! I do love that sign - yes, it could be me some days too. What a clever set of rulers - thanks for showing that.

  15. your fussy cutting is adding so much to your wonderful project.
    I've never seen those pop together pieces from KKB - interesting. Thanks for explaining it. This must be new for her as she didn't offer them the last time I saw her lecture.

  16. Your flower bed is bloomin' marvellous (you have to say that with a Cockney accent). I always love your fabrics and using the template is a great idea that my sister always uses. That plant sign sums up my Auntie Green, though she's showing signs of growth as Spring emerges. You've sold me on that ruler, I think I'll have to get myself a very early birthday present ;)

  17. Your flowers are gorgeous! love the way you fussy cut!! I have never seen that tool if I ever get into hand applique again I will have to get it.
    have a great weekend

  18. I love your Applique. I`m still learning and I have problems with sharp tips.
    Greeting Grit

  19. You are just amazing! I am sure the hours are longer in Australia! :o)

  20. Hi, Hilda. Carole from Quilter On the Hill pointed me to your blog because I was looking at the Perfect Adjustable Square Set and wondering if it was a worthwhile investment. (I just botched trimming a 26" applique medallion). Thank you for showing how you can make centering cross hairs with thread and how you use this system. Now that a few years have gone by, are you still using this method of trimming applique blocks and do you still recommend it, or have you found a different method for trimming blocks to size that works better for you now? Your applique is spectacular, by the way!