Tuesday, January 8, 2019

Tuesday is a Great Day for Needle-Turn Applique!

Oh my gosh, you guys -- I had the BEST time at my needle-turn applique workshop on Saturday!  Not only was it a healthy slice of heaven just to relax and sew with no distractions for an entire day, but I also went to lunch with some wonderful, funny, and incredibly talented quilters who invited me to join their quilting bee.  Their monthly get-together was yesterday, which gave me another three hours to relax and continue working on my applique block with other women who share my love of quilting.  I am floating on a cloud of sunshine, sparkle dust, and happiness -- making new quilting friends is the perfect antidote to the Post-Holiday Blahs!

Here's my workshop block so far:

My 12" Needle-Turn Applique Workshop Block In Progress
My Fabric Picks: Some Kaffe Fassett, Tula Pink Snails, and Random Stash Discoveries
I did end up swapping the Kaffe print with the Tula Pink print once I got to class due to the size of the circles involved and the scale of the prints.  I opted for the No Fabric kit for this class because, although I love the soft, vintage charm of instructor Christa Smith's fabrics, I felt like it was too similar to my Frankenwhiggish Rose needle-turn project that has been dragging along for several years, and I wanted a change.

With Fabric Kit Had Fabrics Similar to This Class Sample
Also, I wanted to be able to USE the workshop block without having to create an entirely new project (UFO!) around it.  No more orphan blocks!  I had thought about mixing in some applique blocks with the 6" pieced sampler blocks I've been making off and on as breaks/rewards between other projects.  Remember my Farmer's Wife, Farmer's Wife 1930s, Vintage Block QAL blocks, and random other 6" blocks that were living on my design wall for awhile?
Assorted 6" Sampler Blocks.  My 12 inch Workshop Block Might Join These...

So the new (tentative) plan is that I could mix in some 12" blocks with the 6" ones and this could be one of those larger blocks.  And if that doesn't work out, I know that I can work this brightly-colored block into a baby quilt.  In any case, it felt good to work with totally different colors and fabrics from the Magnum Opus/Magnum Onus that my Frankenwhiggish Rose is turning out to be:

Meanwhile, I'm Still Working On the Eight Remaining Blocks Like This One...
I love the look of antique Whig Rose quilts, but I'm finding it tedious to work on the same block over and over.  Good for improving needle-turn applique skills, maybe, but difficult from a motivation standpoint!  At this point I have all of the stems and stacked center "rose" petals appliqued to all of the blocks as well as the double circle centers, and I'm working on needle-turning all of the leaves.  Next will be all of those stinker tulips with the revers applique centers and deep, tight inside and outside curves, and then all of the stuffed berries, and all of the broderie perse rosebuds that I'm cutting out of leftover drapery fabric (with a distinct possibility that I might have to cut rosebuds out of one of my actual drapery PANELS, if there aren't enough rosebuds in the fabric scraps!).  Once I've finished my workshop applique block, I'll switch back to the Frankenwhiggish Rose project for my portable hand sewing.

I'm really glad I gave myself a break from my major WIPS and gave myself permission to go off on a workshop tangent.  I definitely got enough out of the workshop to make it worthwhile.  I learned a different way of using the Clover bias maker gadget to make quick stems, and I learned some methods for streamlining the prep work for applique to get to the stitching part faster.  Who knew you could glue baste for needle-turn applique instead of pinning?!  I might not have the courage to do it that way for a really intricate Baltimore Album block, but there are a lot of less complex applique patterns that this would work for.  You all know I'm dying to start a new applique project, like Esther's Queen's Garden pattern:

70 x 70 Queen's Garden by Esther Aliu, Pattern Available here
Or -- gasp! -- dare I even say it? -- Sarah Fielke's Down the Rabbit Hole pattern:
96 x 96 Down the Rabbit Hole by Sarah Fielke, pattern available here
But there are LOTS of other quilts that need to get finished before I can start either of these.  There's a new baby who was born last month whose quilt isn't even started yet (need Jingle off the design wall before I can get into that one) and the high school graduation "Quillow Sunday" service at our church is exactly 5 months from tomorrow.  That gives me exactly 152 days to complete Lars's graduation quilt from start to finish, except that I'm not even ready to get started on it yet...  So I haven't started the Queen's Garden even though I have the pattern and have purchased my fabrics for it, and I've not ordered the pattern for Down the Rabbit Hole.  Instead, I got my rabbit fix by ordering these adorable 4" embroidery scissors last night from The French Needle:

Hare Scissors by Jean-Marie Roulot
I ordered the Antique finish shown in the middle.  They are handmade in France and even cuter than the Sajou hare scissors I was lusting after previously -- even the screw at the pivot point is decorative on the Roulot scissors -- yet they were significantly less expensive.  A penny saved is another penny to spend on fabric, right?  

We're not having any stress over here, in case you're wondering.  Just stitching away happily, thinking about bunny rabbit scissors.  

I'm linking up with:


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

love those little scissors and glue basting is so much faster than the other forms for applique - I have been doing that for years. That is so nice that you have been invited to a group I know you had said you were looking for one - I hope it meets all of your needs - so happy for you!!

Gretchen Weaver said...

I'm glad you had such a good time at the workshop and made new friends too. Hopefully you'll be able to get together with them every month to work on your applique. Love your new project ideas. Remember, every stitch made on Frankenwhiggish is a stitch closer to being finished. Happy stitching!

Katie said...

Glad you found some great quilting friends! Ah that Queen's Garden, I love it, but I don't dare start anything new. Sigh.

Shar said...

I'm so glad you found a bee to join. A guild and a bee are what helped me move along in my quilting career. There was no internet for me. I'm in a bee now with several women I have been close to for decades. So learn and grow in a new way!

Sandra Healy Designs said...

That's great you enjoyed the workshop. I am swooning over the 'Down the Rabbit Hole' quilt but 96" square. . . !! I know I would never get a quilt that size finished! Love your little rabbit scissors, so cute!

Jocelyn is Canadian Needle Nana said...

My gosh, I keep looking back at your Whig Rose block...it is a real beauty. Beautiful work and yes, you should get it finished. Too pretty to languish in a drawer. I worked on Sarah's Grasshopper last year...still have to join all the blocks. Excellent directions and video help. Isn't stitchy shopping the best! Happy Stitching!