Ever since mid-semester break begun early last week, a strange and very exciting urge (or craving) came over me to get my hands moving and get stuck into some hand-sewn applique!
It’s literally been an age since I last did any hand applique. I’ve done little bits here and there when sewing on quilt labels and such, but nothing really intense where the project is solely based on or designed around this technique.
So over the weekend, the hunt began to find the perfect pattern to stitch! My first port-of-call (as always) was my book shelf: always full of fab ideas and glorious inspiration! It never lets me down! And I somehow knew instinctively that I would find what I was looking for in this book – Material Obsession by Kathy Doughty and Sarah Fielke.
From what I could remember, a lot the designs featured in this book involved applique pieces, perfect hand-quilting textures and brilliantly clashing fabrics to boot! So to my delight and happiness, after flicking through it once, my eye stopped on this cheery tulip pattern that perfectly summed up the exact thing I was looking to stitch up! (I was also hoping to find a pattern that was a flower or was centred around flowers as they seem to be very much my life right now!)
After a quick scan through the details for the applique block and what techniques needed to be used (this pattern can be created using either the hand-turned applique method or the raw edge method. I chose to do the later! Ooo, I always love a good button-hole/blanket stitch!!), I hurriedly picked out a few fabrics that I thought would go well, searched for some template plastic to trace the template pieces on to (a few pattern pieces needed to be reversed) and I rolled out my vliesofix (or heat-n-bond paper) and got stuck in!
Happily, it only took me one afternoon to get the first block completely finished! I had a whole weeks worth of The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon to watch, so I got comfy with a cup of tea and immersed myself into a world of sewing that I’ve missed so much over the past couple of months! (PS. These blocks are big ol’ boys – they measure about 18.5″ squared!)
I’m now currently onto the second block, exploring a different colour way and choosing another dominate floral fabric for the centre piece.
This one features one of my all-time favourite fabrics by Amy Butler – Gypsy Caravan in the print called Gypsy Mum! I think the colours are just so divine and I love the pop of those eggplant colour details throughout it!
At the moment, I’m not sure whether I’ll follow the pattern in the book or just make up each block as I go as a side project to all of my other side projects and then piece them into a quilt… Right now, I’m just looking at it as an adventure that will keep my hands busy while on break from my floristry course and that will continue to soothe my craving for some down-right good-ol’ sewing! (Plus, it’s just really nice to have a new project displayed up on design wall in my sewing room! For a while there it was looking quite bleak and unloved… But these gorgeous tulips are pepping it up nicely and giving the room a warm and welcoming glow again, making me one happy quilter!)
As always, I’ll keep you updated with the progress of this (yet another) quilt-in-progress on my social media pages (ie. Instagram). TBH, I’m really enjoying this one – it makes a great change from piecing a block together on the sewing machine to having to hand trace, cut, press and then hand-sew each piece down. It’s a process that I’ll always love doing!
Happy Sewing, Friends!!