Saturday, September 9, 2017

Slow Stitching Progress: Frankenwhiggish Rose Applique

Finishing Up the Last of the Layered Petals
Good morning and happy weekend to you!  I've reached a mini milestone in my hand applique project.  One block is completed in its entirety, and I have now stitched down stems and all three layers of petals on my eight remaining blocks.  Those petals took me a LONG time, all needle turned and secured with tiny hand stitches in silk thread.  I have certainly had some practice with inside and outside corners!

Here's a reminder of what the first block looks like, and where I'm headed with the remaining eight 16" blocks:

Block One of Nine, Completed in October of 2014
I finished that block in October of 2014, nearly three years ago.  I began planning the project in March of 2014, so the first block took me 7 months to complete.  Can you believe that?!

Of course, it's not like I've been working on this nonstop.  I take this hand stitching project with me when I know I'll be sitting around waiting somewhere for an extended period of time, and when I get tired of it, I put it away and do something else.

Although the layered petals are all needleturned, I am using a prepared edge, starch and press technique for the circles at the centers of my Whig roses to ensure that they are perfectly round and smooth with no wobbles or pleats at the edges.  I ran a gathering thread through the turning allowance of each circle, pulled it up taut around a heat proof plastic template, wetted the edges with Mary Ellen's Best Press starch alternative, and then set the crease around the edges of the template with a travel iron set on medium.  Once it's completely cooled off, I loosen the gathering thread to remove the template and press it flat again.
Prepared Edge Circle Ready with Drops of Glue
So instead of pinning the center circles in place on each block, the way I pinned all of my petals to the block background, I'm gluing them with tiny drops of Roxanne's Glue Baste-It.  Another nice thing about a preturned fabric edge is that I am able to position the circles more precisely.  I had already marked the petals with a chalk line showing where the circles should overlap.

Chalk Line on Petals Indicating Circle Placement
The biggest challenge was that the stitching of the petals makes the block want to pull in to the center slightly, so I weighted down the block on the horizontal and vertical grains as I was positioning and glue basting my circles in place.

Block Weighted to Keep it Flat and Square
...and then goes the circle:

Circle Positioned and Glued
...ready to stitch!

At some point during the stitching of my first block, I did carefully cut away the layers of fabric behind these stacked petals and flower centers, but I don't remember when i did that.  I started stitching the first flower center down but accidentally caught the background fabric in one of my stitches, so I'm thinking that I might trim all of that away before attempting to stitch the remaining circles down.

Meanwhile, I want to get another quilt up on my longarm frame this weekend so I can get some more quilting practice under my belt in advance of my APQS new owner class a week from Monday.  Can't wait!

Today I'm linking up with:


Karen - Quilts...etc. said...

yes sometimes you have to weight the applique down so it doesn't pull - I usually do the glue basting at the table too and use my old fashion flat irons for weights - which reminds me I want to find a few more at the flea markets - sometimes you can get them really cheap and sometimes not! the applique is looking great. Is that a Kim Diehl pattern? I have a couple of hers and the design is a lot like that I think.

Nancy @ Grace and Peace Quilting said...

Very pretty blocks. Just keep at it and little by little you'll get there. Best wishes for your APQS class!!! I had mine 5 years ago now but still feel fairly new at it.

time4stitchn said...

This is on my to do bucket list. I have absolutely loved it since it has been in Kim Diehl's first book. I will use your suggestions when I do it. Love your colors, too.

Cynthia Brunz Designs said...

Great suggestions in this post. I love that block - your workmanship is lovely. Thanks for sharing with Oh Scrap!

Churn Dash said...

I am very impressed, my appliqué skills are "rustic". I love the block.


Alycia~Quiltygirl said...

Oh it is a very pretty block though! Totally worth the wait?

Bonnie said...

That is a beautiful block. OOOH a new long arm. I hope you have a great class and really enjoy your long arm.

em's scrapbag said...

Beautiful applique!

R's Rue said...