Thursday, February 22, 2018

Travel Interlude: FrankenWhiggish Rose, Resurrected and Resumed

Hello and happy Friday!  I've been out of town and away from my sewing machine, but air travel gave me a great opportunity to catch up on my neglected hand stitched applique project, the FrankenWhiggish Rose blocks that have been sitting untouched since last September.  The day before I left for New Jersey, I spent hours prepping my reverse applique tulips (freezer paper and starch pressed edges, glue basted to the block) as well as the little rosebuds that go around the center of the block (using Jeanne Sullivan's Patch Back product with fabric glue stick to turn the edges).

Prepared Edge Tulips Get Glue Basted In Place for Stitching on the Plane
While I was doing this, my husband was making incredulous comments like "When are you planning to pack your clothes?" and "Do you know how early we need to leave in the morning to get you to the airport?!"

I had previously needle-turned the reverse applique centers of these tulips off-block, but I made double-layer freezer paper templates to preturn the outer edges with starch before glue basting them to the block background so I wouldn't have to fuss with those deep V-curves on the plane.  I was able to pop the spotted reverse applique fabric through the diamond shaped hole in the center of each freezer paper template to hold the fabric in place while I pressed the seam allowances over the edges of the freezer paper.  

Using My iPad As a Light Box
Then for those tiny rosebuds, I downloaded a new Light Box app for my iPad and traced the rosebuds onto Patch Back (similar to Floriani Stitch 'N' Wash), cut a tiny turning allowance all the way around, and turned those edges with fabric glue stick before glue basting the buds to my block.  Now I had four tulips and four little rose buds to stitch down on my way to New Jersey.

Travel Interlude

Here are the highlights from my trip:

My Canine Nephew and My Sister, and My Dresden Plate Quilt
Meet Cooper, the most lovable pit bull mix on earth.  This is a dog who snuggles and cuddles, climbs up in your lap and licks your face, brings toys to tug and fetch, and has the softest, silkiest fur you can imagine.  If I thought I could have smuggled him onto the plane, I would have tried to bring him home with me (over my sister's dead body!).  

Princess Petunia In the Theatre, Following the Show
The main purpose of this trip was to drive into NYC with my sister and my soon-to-be-ten-year-old niece to see Sara Bareilles starring in the musical Waitress on Broadway.  We did a girls' day out in the city, starting out at the Metropolitan Museum of Art (where Petunia was scandalized by the naked statues with "man bits" right at her eye level!), ate hot pretzels from a street vendor, and then stood in line for an hour to get into the Stardust Diner for dinner, where the wait staff consists of aspiring Broadway stars who serenade you while you eat very expensive hamburgers.

Giant Sara Bareilles, Aunt Becca (Moi), and Princess Petunia
It was FREEZING COLD in the city, but we had a great time anyway.  I even managed to push my niece through the crowd gathered at the stage door after the performance, so Petunia got to meet Sara Bareilles and got her autograph.  I swear her smile was bigger than her whole face!

Back to my stitchery:

By the time I was ready to fly back to Charlotte, I had already stitched down all of the applique pieces that I had prepped before the trip.  Fortunately, though, I'd had the foresight to pack the green fabric, leaf template, and chalk pencils for my leaves.  I traced my templates onto my fabric with regular pencil this time, hoping it would smudge less during finger pressing than the chalk pencils do, but it ended up being really difficult to see so I won't be doing that again on this fabric.

My Pencil Lines Are Too Hard to See
There may be an impending Fabric Crisis with this project, by the way.  I bought this green fabric back in 2012(?!) when I first started this project, and I only bought a quarter of a yard of it.  I know, right?  Since there are sixteen leaves on each block and I have seven more blocks to make after this one, that means I need to get 112 more leaves out of that piece of fabric.  I highly doubt I can find any more of this fabric and I don't even remember where I bought it.

Sixteen Leaves Pinned for Needle Turned Stitching

Having stitched the prepared edge applique on my flight up to New Jersey and switching back to needle turned applique on my flight home, I must say that I really prefer the prepared edge stitching.  Yes, it's a pain in the butt to do all that prep work, but it's easier to place the pieces on the background accurately when the edges are already turned, and I like not having those little pins to keep track of when I'm stitching on the go.  I don't like my thread snagging on the pins, either!  

I'm out of practice and my first two needle turned leaves came out kind of lumpy.  I'm not even going to show them to you, so there!  Seriously -- I know that each one will get better.  I didn't finish stitching all of these leaves on the plane, so I'll be working on them while watching television with my husband in the evenings.  And I'm seriously considering switching to prepared edge applique for all of the remaining blocks.

But in the meantime -- I'm HOME AT LAST, and my sewing machines have MISSED me!  I have two different solos to prepare for this Sunday, so for the next few days I'll be alternating between working on music and piecing my Tabby Mountain quilt top.  Finishing that quilt was my goal for February, and here it is the 22nd already and it's only halfway pieced!  Perhaps I was overambitious in thinking I could piece AND quilt it in one month, but I'd like to at least finish the top and get it loaded onto my quilting frame before the end of the month.

So if you don't hear from me, I'm either busy SINGING or SEWING!

I'm linking up with:


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

sounds like you had a wonderful time! glad you made progress with your applique - I didn't know there was a light box ap for the ipad - will need to look for it.

Ramona said...

NYC is such a fun place to visit. My daughters loved the Starlight Diner! You appliqué is beautiful. I used the freezer paper/ glue stick idea with my last appliqué project and will definitely use that method again. Enjoy your weekend!

Lakegaldonna said...

Thanks for introducing us to your niece. What a fun girls day in NYC.
Love your applique. Yes, prepared applique is a pain but I also do have much better luck with that method.

Janice said...

Just in case you aren't able to locate more of your leaf fabric, maybe before you start actually sewing them down, you should intentionally use a different fabric on one pair of leaves on each stem. Something that is the same color or perhaps just slightly darker (or lighter). Then you'll only need half as many leaves from your old green? Just tryin' to brainstorm. :)

Nancy said...

I think I found your blog when you were first working on this piece, maybe trying to decide fabrics..... It's coming along beautifully. I especially like the diamonds in the tulips. I'm with you about applique: prepared edges are so much easier to stitch. I usually just baste them under but occasionally use glue. Of course my appliques are informal, shall we say, more on the primitive side.

Jill said...

What fun for everyone. NYC is on my bucket list especially the garment district. Appreciate the awesome tip about ipad lightbox app. I go back and forth on which applique method to use. Best wishes on your solos.

Julie said...

First of all, I'm all ears here. I'm reading AND taking notes on this applique thing, and still not ready to take the plunge. I can imagine you and I together for a week trading sewing notes, can't you?! We'd be screaming, "Try this! It's easy!" How fun! But as for the summary of your post: I'm flat out impressed with this. I aspire. And I looked for that green in my odds and ends, and Nope, I don't have it either. Also, comparing pics here and the next post, You cut your hair? Beautiful You either way, but I really did a double take.

Unknown said...

I really love your whig rose. It is a pattern I have wanted to do for a long time since I saw it in a Kim Diehl book. I love your colors and your varied background. And your are so lucky to get to New York City!

Rebecca Grace said...

Thanks, Deborah! My Frankenwhiggish Rose is based on Joyce Stewart’s adaptation of the Kim Diehl pattern. I saw Joyce’s quilt in a 2006 issue of Quilter’s Newsletter magazine. You can see both versions in this blog post:

Quilting B said...

Have you seen the applique method using fusible web? I think it's the most efficient of them all! Cut the applique shape with the fusible web, sew (1/4" seam) fusible to right side of fabric, slit fusible, turn right side out, press on freezer paper to get the shape right, fuse to your fabric background. You can hand or machine stitch without and pins in your project. ��