Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Tahitian pareau: needleturn applique UFO finished

On our 20th wedding anniversary in 1999, we returned to Tahiti, where we had gone for our honeymoon.  I discovered there were no fabric stores on the main island of Tahiti ... certainly not any on the smaller islands either.

But, the one fabric item that was in abundance were pareaus ... the Tahitian version of a sarong.  I chose a dramatically colored black pareau with vibrantly colored tropical flowers around three sides.  I suspect that the flowers were wax-resist batik, as they aren't screen printed and they aren't machine printed onto the fabric at all.

Now, it was never my intent to WEAR the pareau ... I don't wear strapless garments.  :-)  I envisioned this as a lap quilt.  However, I did want to put "something" in the black area, as otherwise it just looks like a void.  I had no idea what that "something" would be, so I waited.

And waited.  And waited ... for the right "something" to hit me between the eyes or make its way known to my consciousness.

My patience was rewarded!   In 2013, I was incredibly fortunate enough to take a class with Nancy Lee Chong of Pacific Rim Quilting Company.  It is her version of front-basted applique that made me come to love-love-love needleturn applique.

At the class, I bought another pattern from her (and had her autograph it!  OOOH!!!  I'm such a fan girl!) which was for a tablerunner ... or a border.  There was also a subset of the applique suitable for placemats or a small wall hanging.  It was the small wall hanging motif that eventually caught my eye to fill in the black area of the pareau.  The pattern is "Crowning Glory".

I already had on-hand an incredible yellow-to-red-to-purple-to-blue gradient fabric.  It fit *perfectly* with the amazing tropical flower colors.

It took me one afternoon to do the prep work for the applique.  I began stitching on January 10, 2017 and finished on February 22, 2017.  I wasn't working on it all the time, which is why it took as long as it did.

As I stand back and look at it, I am so pleased with the colors of the applique.  I do wish, however, that I had placed the applique slightly higher and upon closer (much closer) inspection, I didn't put all the layers in the same position on both sides.  I *thought* I was being careful, but apparently not. In any case, it is what it is, and there the applique will stay.


another close-up

yet another close-up

Now, it goes on the pile of Tops to be Quilted, which is getting higher all the time.

OH!! That reminds me ... one of my online & real life quilting buddies inquired as to the height of the stack of unquilted tops I had.  Honestly, I have no idea how many tops there are, so I told her that when I got back home from our February Quilting Retreat, I would take pictures of those tops.  I gotta remember to actually DO that. :-)