Friday, August 06, 2010

Moondance top finished - woo hoo!

I started Beth Ferrier's BOM "Moondance" in August 2009.  One year later, the top is done!  Oh, hooray (she says tiredly).

There are 9 big pieced blocks; they were easy to piece and were quickly done.  There were pieced connector blocks that were also easy to construct.  Ergo, the pieced part of the top was done in short order ... like in 4 days.  The top could be left just like that, as it's just so pretty.


Then came the frosting on the cake; Beth added some wonderful appliqued flowers and dragonlies.  There were a zillion flowers and slightly less than a zillion dragonflies.

Well, it SEEMED like a zillion of them.  :-)

There are a lot of different techniques for applique and Beth touches on her favorite machine method.  I chose to hand-applique (most) of them.  Why?  Well, at the time, this was my Forever Project.  As such, it needed to be portable and you can't just lug your machine around and use it in the front seat of your car on road trips. :-)

I made each flower free-standing by stitching them first on a base of water-soluble stabilizer.  This allowed me to make the flowers where ever I was and I could see all the different color combinations prior to attaching them to the top.

Ditto with the dragonflies.  Beth provided a pattern for fabric applique dragonflies but the body of the dragonfly was so doggone SKINNY that  after the bazillion flowers, I was tuckered out.  Instead, I found a machine embroidery dragonfly that was nearly the size of Beth's pattern and I chose to make free-standing machine embroidered dragonflies.

My first atttempt was to simply embroider the design onto water-soluble stabilizer.  This didn't produce a great result, as the stitches weren't dense or connected enough to hold together once the stabilizer was rinsed away.  All subsequent dragonflies were stitched onto a tulle base ... this gave the thread something to hold onto and worked out perfectly. 

This picture shows the dragonfly after the stabilizer has been rinsed away.  You can see the sheen of the water still on tulle.  Putting the dragonflies on a baking cooling rack allowed full air circulation to aid in the drying.

Once the stabilizer was rinsed out, the tulle was cut away ... VERY carefully!   Some of the dragonflies were hand-appliqued to the top (when I needed something to work on whilst away from home) and some were machine-appliqued using polyester monofilament thread.

Because I chose to hand-applique the flowers & dragonflies, the completion of this top took MUCH longer than it would have, had I done everything by machine.  This poor top has been dragged over Hell's Half-Acre in the past year and is now being gently washed to remove about 15 pounds of cat hair and miscellaneous dirt.  :-) 

It'll join the other tops in the pile of Tops To Be Quilted. :-)  Once it gets quilted, I'll make a webpage for it.  Don't hold your breath on that though ... there are a LOT of other tops already in the stack.  :-)

I've already started my (current) Forever Project ... hand-embroidered blocks which will then be set into a quilt top.  More on that in a future post.

1 comment:

  1. Me oh My. That is one beautiful quilt with lots and lots to look at. I so enjoyed reading about how you made the flowers and especially the dragonflies. Thanks for sharing the process. It is always a treat to read your adventures in quilting. Thanks Shelley.