Greetings! If you’ve been reading my blog for a while you probably know that I really enjoy the challenge of designing my own quilts and try to do so on a regular basis. However, there are sometimes patterns created by other talented quilt designers that really catch my eye and there are times when I just want to follow one rather than make one up. For me, this is especially true for appliqué. This is one of those “comfort seeking” rather than “challenge seeking” times. I’ve loved this quilt since the first time I saw it years ago and thought I might make a version of it some day:
It finally occurred to me that this might be a good pattern for using those Tilda fabrics that have been haunting my thoughts since last summer! I do plan to make some changes – of course :):) I love that it has a combination of appliqué (lots!) and piecing (not difficult!). These sprigs are the perfect, soothing, appliqué I need right now.
My first challenge was what to use for a background. I tend to buy yardage for backgrounds and borders as needed so the only thing even remotely suitable already on hand was 5 yards of solid cream fabric which didn’t excite me. The background choice is a BIG one as it strongly affects the overall look of the quilt. I decided to cut small rectangular pieces of most of the Tilda fabrics I had then arranged these in random overlapping rows and then placed these on various pieces of fabrics I thought might be the right color and value. I started with this cream with tiny blue dots – one of the Tilda fat quarters:
Not bad, but I wasn’t sure I wanted a light background and really wanted to see how darker fabrics would make the colors shine so I tried these grays and blacks:
I liked the medium grays A LOT. They fit my mood of “stormy weather” these days because of the pandemic. The blacks were too dark. I also tried some other colors for backgrounds but none looked as good to me as the gray. The background also needed to appear as a “tone on tone” because any pattern in the fabric would tend to overwhelm and hide the patterns in the Tilda fabrics. I didn’t want to use a solid – “tone on tone” provides more interest, in my opinion.
So…I had no gray of the right color and sufficient amount in my collection and had to go shopping! Online usually doesn’t work well when one is trying to find specific colors, tones, shades or values so I chanced a visit to the Portsmouth Fabric Company – my closest shop. I wanted to take the fabric samples with me so I sewed the little rectangles together into strips and also took a strip of each of the 2 grays with me. My hope was to find several gray fabrics of similar value and use a variety in the blocks. The shop space is relatively small though packed with fabrics and I think I must have glanced at almost every one and found only ONE that was perfect color and value! It’s a Jennifer Sampou fabric and you can see in the pics below it is very close to the Jinny Beyer pinecone fabric sample I took with me. It’s really amazing how many different grays there are!
I bought 4 yards of it – enough to do all the sprigs appliqué blocks. I will probably eventually use something else for the stars and borders. In fact I have ideas about possibly substituting some house blocks for some of the star blocks and possibly doing a different border. The center of the quilt is 72 inches square. The border is 12 inches wide making the quilt 96 inches square – really big!! I may narrow it. We’ll see where this goes….. Here’s a sneak preview of the first of the 40 appliqué sprigs:
I’m going back to needle turn appliqué (rather than prepared edge) with paper on top this time around. Am so enjoying this simple appliqué and happy to be embarked upon a new project! And happy to be finally using those Tilda fabrics!!!!!
Update on the Trio of Silk Minis project – I appliquéd lines of orange silk down the center of each border strip and embroidered a gold line on each side of the strips:
Next step is to layer the quilt sandwich and hand quilt. I’m feeling kind of “meh” about this mini so far and hoping the hand quilting will add some interest.
Al and I have decided to “chance” a one week vacation for which we are leaving tomorrow. We have rented a cabin on the East Penobscot Bay in Maine on Cape Rosier, about a 4 1/2 hour drive northeast from here. We took our kids there many times when they were growing up but haven’t gone back for several years. It’s a family run camp with 13 widely spaced out cabins right on the water with gorgeous views. Social distancing will be easy and Maine has one of the lowest # cases of coronavirus in the country. We will have kayaks and access to excellent places for interesting walks. It will be wonderful to have a change of scene. Of course I am taking some hand work with me, in addition to a few books to read. Remember this project which has been “simmering” in the cupboard for months since last seen?:
English Paper Piecing always makes a good travel project. I’m taking this and will keep adding the tan “background” diamonds to those top 3 rows so I can sew those rows together. I’m also taking the EPP flowers to work on for the center of the “half square triangle” quilt:
Seen on recent walks: Wild turkeys, “natural yard garden,” and ever-changing sky:
Will next post after vacation, but I might put some pictures up on Instagram while we’re away. Hope you are all finding ways to enjoy the summer, which is flying by!
Be kind, be grateful, and cherish each day, Gladi