Tuesday, January 29, 2013

current Forever Project: Hawaiian applique

I always have a Forever Project ™ going.  My Forever Projects are hand-work that I do when I am away from the sewing machine or quilting machine, such as on road trips, doctors appointment waiting rooms, Little League games, skating practice ... you get the idea.

It gives me something constructive to do with my hands and eventually results in a finished project.

The Forever Project that I *had* been working on (a hand-pieced, vertical diamond column top) was finished about 2 weeks ago.   Therefore, I needed to start a new Forever Project.

I chose Pacific Rim Quilting Company's "You are in our hearts", a Hawaiian applique wall-hanging (photo at left is from Pacific Rim Quilting Company's website).

I just absolutely LOVE Nancy Lee Chong's method of needle-turn applique.  I originally taught it to myself, using her "Peace" wall-hanging (scroll about half-way down that page).  It was the first time that a needle-turn applique method "clicked" with me.  The first time I made that wall-hanging, my oldest Dear Daughter expressed her liking for it, so I gave it to her.  But that left ME bereft, so I eventually made a second one for myself.

I also made "Grapes" (same page as "Peace" ... scroll about 2/3rds the way down the page), which is the project that is currently loaded on Lizzie for quilting.

I had the FANTASTIC opportunity to take a hands-on applique lesson from Nancy Lee Chong herself, when a slot opened up in a guild's workshop.  I am not a member of the guild, so I was very, very happy and grateful to have that opportunity. 

Nancy Lee Chong is simply a wonderful instructor.  Very patient, very thorough, with lots of samples to show the students and ever-willing to show each student how to properly use her technique.

I LOVE LOVE LOVE her technique because you don't have to use pins to hold down the applique!  The raw edges are hand-basted down.  You may think that this is a wasted effort but it is NOT.  Once you have those edges basted down, your portable needle-turn project will never EVER stick you.  :-)   I *highly* recommend her patterns and if you ever have an opportunity to take a workshop or lesson from her, do not think twice about it; sign yourself up immediately!

So ... back to my current Forever Project, "You are in our hearts".  This pattern had been sitting in my To Do file for quite some time.  From my stash, I found what looks like a hand-dyed batik for the applique and a mottled, neutral Fossil Fern for the base fabric.  It took me one afternoon to do the preparation for the project and it was then folded up and put into my Forever Project tote box.

The tote box has all the supplies necessary for the current Forever Project, whatever it is.  The basic supplies remain the same: small, sharp scissors; pin cushion, needles, thread.  Other supplies vary with the project.

I have been working on this project only for about 2 weeks.  Under normal circumstances, this sort of project would last me quite a while.  These days, I only work on it when I'm at my Dad's house for my weekly visit.  As a result, the progress is understandably slow.  This isn't a problem because, after all, this *IS* a "forever project"!  :-)

But, as events happened, I had a weekend of airplane travel and considerable downtime once I arrived at my destination.   During the waiting time at the airport, during the flight and at my hotel room, I was able to work a considerable amount on the project.  As a result, I don't think this specific Forever Project is going to take "forever".  :-)

Here is my progress so far ... the light pink outlines are the edges that have yet to be needleturned.  As you can see, it's not a whole lot of work to be done.    I have a quilting retreat that I'm going to in February ... this project is coming with me, as the retreat involves more airplane trips .. so I suspect that this project isn't going to take quite as long as other Forever Projects.  I might even need to find a NEW Forever Project once I return from the quilting retreat!  :-)


  1. This is going to be lovely! Such a pretty pattern. What's the size?

  2. The pattern is 42" square, but I'm entertaining vague thoughts of putting some more appliques at the top & bottom to make it rectangular instead of square.

    I have some of the fabric left over, so it wouldn't be difficult to add a piece to the top & bottom. I'll need to do some research to see what kinds of motifs would be appropriate.

    That is ... if I decide to go that route. :-)