This month's SVBAQ block is the Tulip A-5
Not too tricky to applique and I love the pattern.
It set me thinking about the many skills involved in making quilts and the very many different ways we make them. Many learning curves that look a bit like this graph. The plateau is where we'd like to be - that comfortable spot at the top. Doesn't mean we are 'the best in the business' - just at our own 'happy' point.
|(image borrowed from mind-muffins blogspot)|
I'm on a comfortable plateau with hand applique
- not perfect, but good enough to make it a happy process. Totally addicted to the process actually !
English Paper piecing (EPP) is another technique I love - never really had a 'slow beginning' phase - just charged straight on up that slope as the whole process suited me so well. My first project was the queen sized Cream Tea in 2011 (pictured in my Header).
And hand quilting? Well I had a very, very 'slow beginning' phase that lasted about 20 years LOL! and then last year I rediscovered it with new tools, different technique and hit the 'steep acceleration' stage in a big way. I'm now thinking I may have reached my 'plateau' and am totally addicted to that process too. It's not a judgeworthy plateau but it is my happy point.
We all have our own skills and different 'happy points' don't we?
As I mentioned in January , this year I'm hoping to hit that learning slope with American piecing ( as distinct from EPP or Foundation Paper piecing). There are huge gaps in my knowledge in this area and that is why I signed up to Sarah Fielke's BOM.
So - how's it going? Definitely on the 'slow beginning' phase but enjoying it.
Sarah gave us a bonus video on making a block book - great idea and great tutorial. First to make a design to decorate the front of my book. I went with a combination of EPP, applique and quilting - staying in the comfort zone here :)
And here's my book:
While I was motivated I also made a portable block pad too - to make sure my block pieces stay in the correct places while stitching. It is just a piece of strong cardboard and scraps of batting stuck on the front but very useful now:
Here it is in action with the 12 inch Churn dash block - first month's pattern pieces cut out (with great care) and laid out ready to stitch.
I decided to try hand piecing but how to mark the seams for accuracy? Rummaging in a drawer I found a handy block tool that seemed made for the job - don't know how many years this has been lurking in there LOL! It allows clear dots to be marked at corners with 1/4 inch allowance. Then I penciled in seam lines too - taking no chances here. The prep was slow but I think it paid off as the blocks came together quite well.
First month's work - a 12 inch Churn dash and two 6 inch stars - not bad for the Beginners slope?
I'm using a combination of solids, prints, toiles and some linen for texture. They're mostly from the stash but the beautiful Le Marais toile is a new addition. My colour theme is what you might call 'Antique English' - based on a Pinterest session where I pinned pictures of antique English quilts (with the look I liked) on a board. Here is a sample screenshot of my pinning.
Quilting on my Civil War Bride quilt is going surprisingly quickly - now I'm doing the background. Thanks so much for all your thoughts on what might work for the background fill. I decided a half inch cross hatch would be good. But when I started it (just a few diagonal lines) I loved the look of that and left it there! So the background to all the blocks is now finished - 1/2 inch diagonal lines. And I am working on a double parallel line in the border.
|border quilting |
There are some larger applique pieces that need a little extra quilting too. I tried some stippling on a table cloth - just single stitches placed at random and carried through the layers:
...and some 1/4 inch parallel lines on a vase :
...and this vase is about to get some curving lines. See the lines marked with the hera marker?
Phew - sorry for the long waffling blog post. Might be overcompensating for tiny snapshots on Instagram!
Have a good stitching week.