Monday 10 August 2015

Wheat and Woods

My new quilt is progressing quite quickly. I only showed a snippet last post as I had to sort a few  design "issues" (grrr) that I had with it. Now there is more to show. Might be a long very long post...

Here is the broderie perse centre for the quilt - all cut from Tree of Life by Mary Koval - in brown. I searched for a solid that would match the broderie perse background and found Moda Bella solid in 'natural' is pretty close. I cut a tree from the brown fabric and then added extra pieces to get the look I wanted - as marked on the photo above. 
It was a bit of a mess at first auditioning the pieces - so hard to visualise at that stage!

Once the broderie perse was done I wanted to frame the tree in a relatively subtle way, keeping a floating look. There was much research in books and sketching ideas, then sketching again..
Some drafting of patterns...
Am I making it sound simple? well I didn't find it that way! Having to resort to my very patchy memory of primary school geometry, and using a compass, some string, a calculator and a protractor it took a day to produce this...

then some needle turn applique...

That's when I thought the name 'Wheat and Woods' might suit this project - and become a theme.

I wanted the centre to be set in a square on point so I folded and pressed the piece vertically and horizontally, and used my Adjustable Square to mark the square.  
So it became this...

Adding another wavy wheat border - ready to needle turn applique..

Now for something in the corners. I toyed with more broderie perse but couldn't get it to look how I wanted so decided on applique trees. I love the look in antique quilts where large-scale fabrics are cut up and used in small-scale piecing or applique. So that was the aim and I came up with a simplified tree pattern. It has leaf shapes I plan to use in the rest of the quilt.

Can you recognise the fabrics? It took quite some 'courage' to cut up chunks of these lovely large prints but they have languished in the stash so long. I love the look of them in the applique so am glad it is done. 

So now the centre looks like this - with four applique trees between wheat borders.

Last post I showed the photo below and left you to wonder "what the heck?"
That was some experimental prep for the strips of border that will come next. 
I want to surround the centre with a very wide border of small floating brown squares and scrappy leaves. This could be achieved quite precisely by careful piecing, but I want to applique ( because I am applique-addicted and very stubborn about it!). So I know the result will not be precise - my squares are going to be 'organic'  - and I am OK with that...just so you know! 

This is the basic pattern of leaves and squares that I came up with - to be repeated in rows.

Marking strips of background fabric with my pattern
Here are the fabrics I have pulled from the stash - to use for the leaves. They're all the fabrics I could find with movement (ombres and favourite eccentric prints) and others that seemed to suit in wheaty and woody colours.

Applique in progress - this is prep for back basting which is then needle turn appliqued to the background. 

Here is a strip completed - it is organic but still looks quite structured from a distance don't you think? 
Making more of these applique strips will keep me happily busy for a while.  Meanwhile I'm thinking of a last outer border to finish off the quilt...more to come on that. 

Hand quilting of my Ann Randoll is over half way now. I've removed most of the pins which makes it a lot easier to move around on the lap. 

In the hoop at the moment
It keeps me pretty warm on these cold winter evenings. Can you see me frantically stitching faster and faster to keep even warmer? The heating thermostat is kept lower and if that's a saving on power bills then it's a 'win/win'!