Sunday, January 26, 2014

January 26, 2014

I'm working on block B1 George's Cherry Tree of the Baltimore Garden Quilt. It is a very tricky block! There are many layers of leaves, stems and birds and it is challenging to figure out which layer to apply first.

I realized after my first bird was done that I mistakenly placed its tail over a stem. I'm not sure I want to rip it out and do it over.

This is the point in these hand applique blocks where I get most frustrated. I've put in hours of work, sewing down these tiny legs and stems, but not enough is finished for the block to really come together yet. I try to trust the design and the process, and I just keep working and it all ends up balanced.

I'm liking my decision to make the birds into cardinals. It required a few changes to the pattern. I added a crest to the birds' heads, and I drew a black "mask" for each face.  I found some Christmas fabric with pears on it that make truly excellent beaks for my cardinals. The pears are just the right scale.

here's the original fabric

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

January 21, 2014

Starting a commissioned quilt. It is always exciting to start something new, despite the boring necessity of laundering and ironing the fabric.

January 10, 2014

I finished my second block!

Saturday, January 4, 2014

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

January 1, 2014

About two months ago, I started my newest hand applique project. I like to always have something to carry around with me, on which to work in spare moments.

It took some debating but I decided on the Baltimore Garden Quilt.  I bought the book from Barbara Burnham at a Baltimore Applique Society meeting, and it's nice to have her available to answer questions (along with so many other very talented applique artists.)

I am making this as a 15th anniversary gift to myself and my husband, which gives me until July 2015 to complete it. I'm using scrappy Christmas fabrics, red, green and gold, mostly out of what I already own. I'm keeping all the stems the same green. I did buy yardage for the background fabric.

I finished my first block today, and prepped two more.

I have learned a lot already, just making the first block.  This is the first quilt I've made using patterns on a CD, so there's a learning curve there (thank goodness for a techie husband).  I've tried several markers for marking the background, but have found I just prefer a pencil. I have learned how to make lots of stems at one time.  I picked up a set of these bias press bars and have mastered them.

I also started a journal about the process for this quilt. My friend showed me one that she made for her Dear Jane quilt, and I just knew I needed one for this project.  I have two sheet protectors for each block in a binder.  One is for notes, and the other holds the printed pattern and any pieces I've prepared.