Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Manzanita: an applique project

I had finished my Hawaiian Applique project and needed a new handwork Forever Project™.  Looking in my pile(s) and list(s) of projects that I really want to do (someday, sometime), I spied a very interesting pattern, Manzanita by Random Threadz. 

[aside: there is a very similar pattern, Branching Out.  That one looks to be the same applique tree as Manzanita but the finishing details are different.  For whatever reason, I chose Manzanita .. I suppose I must have liked its finishing more than Branching Out.  I think it's too bad that we consumers would need to buy essentially the same pattern just to get the different finishing options.]

While the overall impression is rather dark and stark, the leafless branches intrigued me nonetheless.  As with any new project, I'm also trying to use supplies from my stash.  Not that I don't want to support my local stores, but I *do* have All This Fabric and should make an effort to use it.

At the beginning of this March, I found two different toned blacks for the tree and a multi-colored batik for the background.  Using the front-basted applique technique I learned from Nancy Lee Chong of Pacific Rim Quilting Company, I basted my trees to the batik background and started the applique process.

This particular project is small; the finished size is 25"x29".  The applique part is only 12"x16".  It fits nicely in my Forever Project™ box that I take with me in the car.  When I visit with my Dad on Wednesdays, it comes with me and I'm trying to *KEEP* this as a portable, away-from-home project.  (If I work on it at home, then I'll finish it in short order and then, not only will I have another top to be quilted but I'll need ANOTHER Forever Project™!).

So, progress was going slowly .. but that was OK.

Then, I was watching some TV movies and some TV shows that I had recorded but hadn't watched yet.   Generally speaking, I like to be working on some sort of hand-work when watching TV, otherwise I feel as though I'm not being productive.  Well, the only hand-work I had available was Manzanita, so out it came.

Needless to say, the applique work is now finished.

I must say that while it might not be award-winning work, *I* am exceedingly pleased with the overall look of it.  I really do love the gnarly and non-symmetrical look of the branches and stubs.  I love the little bumps and lumps.  Even with the dark fabric, these bare branches somehow feel more "alive" to me than a perfectly symmetrical and perfect design.

Now that the hand-work is completed, I have the machine piecing to do .. which means that pretty soon, I'll have another top to put on the pile.  This isn't exactly what I had in mind ... while at home, I really do want to work on the List of 17 tops to be quilted and *NOT* add another one to it!  Therefore, employing the ostrich head in the sand methodology, I am going to set Manzanita aside for a while.  All the fabric and pattern instructions are bundled together so I can easily pick it up again at some future point ... but for now .. into the UFO stack it goes.

And .... I now need a new hand-work Forever Project™!

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