Sunday, May 05, 2013

Hawaiin Applique: top *now* finished; new project started

The handwork for one applique project is done; another one is started.

I like to always have a handwork project in-progress.  It's my Grab-n-Go project, continually ready to be snatched as I head for the car.  If I know I'm going to have substantial downtime someplace, I like to be able to productively occupy my time.

It was only this past January that I started the needleturn applique for Nancy Lee Chong's "You are in our hearts" Hawaiian applique.  The project, as determined by the pattern, is about 40" square.  I finished *that* part of it last February.  In terms of Forever Projects ™, that's a pretty pathetic one.

I also don't particularly care for small square quilts; they aren't useful for me.  So, instead of leaving this pattern as-is, I decided to put a top & bottom border on it.  Fortunately, I had extra background fabric and extra applique fabric.  Using the Hawaiian applique design as the base, I made my own linear border.  The picture to the left is the top only, hence the wrinkles.

*NOW*, I'm pleased with the final, overall dimensions.  At 42" x 63", it's a more useful size.  It'll decrease slightly once it's quilted and bound, but it will be nominal.  The quilting part will need to wait it's turn behind all the other previous projects.

Because I knew that the Hawaiian Applique was coming on an end, I started the prep work for my next handwork project.  This one is called "California Poppies", which are one of my very favorite wild flowers.  I purchased the pattern and fabric at a local quilt show recently.  The pattern is designed by Bobbie Y Jarrett of Shingle Springs, CA and it was she, who was manning the vendor booth at the show.  When I realized this was *her* design, I asked her autograph the pattern for me; she graciously signed her name.  I'm such a fan girl. :-)

This project was originally designed as the center medallion of the 2012 Opportunity quilt made by the Gold Bug Quilters of El Dorado county.  Unfortunately, I can't seem to find a picture of that Opportunity quilt. 

But I do love this center medallion!  At a finished 18" square, it will make a wonderful throw pillow.  I'm thinking I might do "something" in the border area; I'm not sure at this point.  I'll need to wait until the applique is done to see what it says to me.

I did have one nitpick about the kitted fabric: the green batik for the background was perfect; the step-value oranges for the poppies were perfect.  But for the stems and leaves, the fabric was a bright BLUE.   Yes, that's right: blue.  It was incredibly jarring.  Apparently, this coordinated with the other blocks in the Opportunity quilt.  It may have looked fine in that setting, but as a stand-alone?  No way.  I substituted my own gray-green fabrics from my stash.

You can see that I have front-basted the stems and leaves onto the batik background.  Since the orange poppy petals will overlap the green parts, the stems and leaves need to be done FIRST.

As far as my (infamous) List of 17, I don't have anything loaded on Lizzie right now.  Later this week, I'm having an internet quilting list member come to my house where I will share with her how I do things on my Lizzie.  She has the same machine and was asking on the list if there was anyone "nearby" who could show her some hands-on things.  I'm always happy to share (and, as Mr. Pirate will tell you, talk.  And talk. And talk.  :-)  )  so I invited her up.  She wants to know about everything from the ground-up: loading a quilt, pantograph, ruler work.    I've told her that I can show her how *I* do these things but that's not necessarily the ONLY way to do it.  Even if she ultimately decides that the way I do things isn't working for her, the time isn't wasted: she learned something new, decided against it and would then be able to look for a different method.  But, I hope that what I show her is actually helpful.

If I load a quilt onto Lizzie for me to work on, I'm not sure I would get it finished before my internet list buddy arrives.  It's better to simply defer my quilt until after the visit.  It's not like I have nothing else to work on. :-)


  1. Shelly,
    When you are appliquing I didn't realize you just cut a junk of fabric and front baste, do you trim it to the shape once your ready to applique the item?

  2. Jackie ... that's it *exactly*! At least the way I learned from Nancy Lee Chong.

    You can either cut away the excess, leaving just the turn-under seam allowance *as you go* (about 2" ahead of your stitching) OR trim everything away before you start stitching. Either way get you to the same goal.

    What I just LOVE about this technique is that once the fabric pieces are basted down, there are NO PINS to stick you! woooo hooo! :-)