Monday, January 26, 2015

Slow Stitching Design Monday: FrankenWhiggish Rose and Amish Baby Updates

I haven't linked up with Slow Stitching Sunday in awhile because I felt like I was spinning my wheels and had no progress to report.  However, somehow I managed to get all 36 yellow petals stitched to the 36 coral petals, so yesterday I starched and pressed my brown fabric, traced off 36 petals, and pinned the first four units together so they are ready to stitch on the go.

I noticed a big improvement from the first yellow petal to the last, and I think that repeating the same applique shape over and over this way is going to be better in the long run  for acquiring and improving skills than if I were to complete one block at a time in its entirety.  The yellow petals gave me a lot of practice with slight outer curves and outside points, and now with the coral petals (the fabric is not so hyper bright in real life!) I'll have the slight outer curve and outside points again, along with a tighter outer curve and inside points to work on.  Also, once I get the rhythm of it down, I don't have to think about what I'm doing very much; it just becomes about developing and reinforcing the muscle memory -- very relaxing. 

I did stitch the first block in its entirety, though, to make sure I liked the fabric and shape combinations I put together.  The reason I call this the FrankenWhiggish Rose is that I hobbled several different applique patterns together Frankenstein style in order to create an applique project that incorporated all of the basic shapes and challenges I would need to learn before I could tackle more advanced needle turn applique projects: Inside and outside curves, inside and outside points/corners, skinny bias stems, circles, reverse applique, stuffed berries, and broderie perse for the ring of little rosebuds around the center of the block:

Completed Test Block for FrankenWhiggish Rose

This is for my FrankenWhiggish Rose quilt, which may or may not end up looking anything like this design:
My Current Plan for FrankenWhiggish Rose, Subject to Change

After completing the test block, I imported a photo of the finished block so I could use it to design the quilt in EQ7 software.  Unfortunately, after cutting out all of the dark brown petals, I see that I do not have enough of that fabric left to do 36 reverse appliqued tulips, plus the skinny sashing lattice and the border blocks.  Yikes!  Fortunately I have the manufacturer and pattern information from the selvedge, but I wasn't able to locate it online.  Hopefully the LQS where I purchased the fabric a few months ago will have more left on the bolt.  I do NOT want to change this design!

Amish Baby 54-40 Or Fight
Meanwhile, the Amish Baby 54-40 or Fight quilt is getting its borders sewn on today.  UPS should be delivering the black batting I ordered sometime today.  I also need to make a decision about which Minky Cuddle backing I'm going to use:
Minky Cuddle Zebra Print

Minky Cuddle Dalmatian Print

Minky Cuddle Zebra Print

I've decided that this is a "infant brain stimulating quilt," so I'll be using a high contrast black and white plush fabric for the backing.  I'm leaning towards the cute little zebras, as long as the black batting doesn't threaten to show through the white Minky background.  If show through is going to be an issue, I'll go with the Dalmatian or zebra fabric instead.  Although another consideration with the white plush backing fabric is how dirty and grungy it will get over time.  The baby's mom isn't going to be able to wash a predominantly black quilt with even a color safe bleach product, and I have used pale pink Minky backing for a baby quilt in the past and was dismayed by how it took on a decidedly icky gray cast over time (that would be the Zombie quilt for Princess Petunia).  Hmmm...

Well, I have a sick kid home with me today, spewing flu virus all over the house.  I think I will wrap him up in blankets in the studio and we can watch some classic cartoons while I work on quilt borders.  Hopefully I can take care of Lars and help him feel better without catching the flu myself, because I don't have time to be sick this week!  I'm linking up with Slow Stitching Sunday at Kathy's Quilts and Design Wall Monday at Patchwork Times.  I'm also linking up with Esther's WIPs on Wednesday.

Happy Monday and Happy Stitching!


MartiDIY said...

That is a gorgeous block! Good idea to do the same piece over and over until you perfect your technique. I still haven't learned turned needle but love the look.

What did you use to mark your lines? They look so perfect also.

Hope your little one gets well soon and you don't get it. Hope you have plenty of hand sanitizer and lysol spray. ;)

Quilter Kathy said...

You could also use a variety of browns and make it look like you planned it that way!
Enjoy your stitching... hope you don't get sick :)

Alycia~Quiltygirl said...

The Amish Baby quilt is gorgeous!! I love those colors!!!

Carrie P. said...

Your block is gorgeous. I Love the quilt design too.
I hope you don't get sick either. No fun!

Sue Daurio said...

what a great show you put on today, applique, modern baby quilt and those lucious strings. So much inspiration today, love it!

Béa said...

Very beautiful block !!!!

Jenny K. Lyon said...

That block is really gorgeous! I LOVE that baby quilt and if you put that repeating zebra print it will be so stinkin cute!

Deb said...

I love your appliqué! Doesn't look like you need too much practice! What is that little frog thing? Hope you find your fabric, as it all looks lovely together!

Karen said...

The Whig Rose block is well done. Very pretty.

Rebecca Grace said...

Thanks, Kathy. Tamaflu to the rescue! Lars is back at school and no one else in the family came down with flu, thank the Lord! I do think I need the same brown, though, because if I was going to use a variety of brown fabrics then each block should have a different brown, or each block should have several different browns. The first block is totally finished and it uses that same brown for the center, the largest flower petals, and the reverse applique tulips. If I can’t use that block at all due to fabric shortage, I don’t even feel like going on with the project!

Thanks for stopping by.

Rebecca Grace said...

Deb, the little frog is a needle keeper magnet for "parking" my needle when I set my project aside. It has a magnet under the fabric to hold it in place. Usually I just stick my needle in the fabric, but one of my kids has a major thing for frogs so when I saw this little guy, we had to have him. :-)

Rebecca Grace said...

MartiDIY, I marked my lines with chalk pencil, tracing around mylar templates that I made of each applique shape. My "little one" is fourteen and almost bigger than me now (!!!) but thankfully he's much better now and back in school, and the rest of the family escaped the flu unscathed this time around. Thanks for asking!