Posts Tagged appliqué
It’s the end of March already so it’s time to show and tell the three hatbox blocks I’ve finished in time for this month as pledged to Kate over at Tall Tales from Chiconia. Kate is making a full size quilt from her blocks so needs to make gazillions plus she has been battling Hurricane Debbie for the last couple of days over in Australia and has had other things on her mind so if she hasn’t made her three this time I won’t be casting aspersions – even though we did have a bit of snow here the other day accompanied by thunder and lightening which, to be fair, only rendered me slightly perplexed rather than full on terrified.
Here’s a bit of Chinoiserie for you as a change from florals. As you might remember, I’m using Liberty of London tana lawn for all the hatboxes and scraps of other fabric for the backgrounds. I bought this when Liberty had a 50% off sale recently – I did give you all a heads up at the time and apparently cost some of you money.
The book that this quilt pattern comes from – Passionate Patchwork by Kaffe Fassett – has been on my bookshelf for ages and seems to be quite hard to get hold of now (at a reasonable price) . I had always fancied making this but was newly inspired when Kate started hers.
Some very art nouveau style flowers here – would they be fritillaria or some sort of poppy do you think? – or do you know?
These are definitely poppies – even I know that – and this one might be my favourite this month, although I do like the Chinoiserie one at the top just because there be dragons.
Unlike Kate, I’m only making a wallhanging 4 blocks across x 3 blocks high so I only need 12. I’ve already made 9 but I’m not sure about one of them so there may be 4 still to go.
Then I’ll have to think about how I’m going to quilt them – I’m not convinced about the suggestion in the book. I’m going to do each block separately using the quilt as you go method. If you quilt, how would you tackle it – something simple perhaps or something more squiggly?
Remember when I said that Kate over at Tall Tales from Chiconia was making a quilt from a Kaffe Fassett book that I had lusted after for some years? (If not, you can read my original post here ). Kate’s way ahead of me with her blocks but, then again, she started first and she’s making a quilt whereas I’m late to the party and am only making a wall hanging.
Here’s the version in the book that inspired us.
All my hatboxes are going to be made in Liberty of London tana lawn with various scraps of other fabric for the ‘wallpaper’ and ‘floor’ in the ‘cubby holes’ which each contain one hatbox.
We pledged to complete three hatboxes every month.
These are my three for February.
I used this gold/yellow tana lawn that I used to make a blouse some time ago although I seem to have quite a lot of it left. I like the backgrounds here – the duck egg blue is the predominant colour in my bedroom where the finished wallhanging will be displayed.
This was actually the first one I made but it went wrong and I was going to ditch it but, in one of my rare patient and resourceful moments, managed to peel off the appliqué, re-cut it, re-position it and salvage the block.
I need twelve blocks in total. Some might not make the final cut. Although I like the background fabrics in this block – especially the Tilda one with birds – the colours might be too overpowering to work with the others in the wallhanging plus I set the right hand side of the base of the hatbox a little higher than the others and it’s a bit on the wonk so we’ll see.
Here are all six I’ve completed so far which I’ve displayed on my design wall. I call it a design wall but, in reality, it’s a flannel sheet draped over a towel rail which the blocks are clinging to in the manner of a set of Fuzzy Felt – how I used to adore my fuzzy felts – and this is the extent of its displaying capabilities.
Eventually, the layout will be four hatboxes across and three down with sashing and, possibly, a border. Should be ready around May/June time.
Talk of Fuzzy Felt sent me off down a rabbit hole and I found myself looking at vintage sets.
I know I definitely had this one
and I had one with mostly shapes so you could be a bit freestyle.
I’m pretty sure I had this one
and I think I might have had this one………
………………although that might just be wishful thinking because I loved Noddy and – look! – they’ve got proper little faces and everything.
I know these were made in England but my non-Brit followers might have had them because, according to Wikipedia, since the creation of Fuzzy Felt in the 1950s, more than 25 million sets have been sold internationally and although Fuzzy-Felt reached its peak in popularity sometime in the mid-1970s, it remains an iconic children’s toy, still enjoyed by children who play with it and parents who nostalgically purchase it.
Don’t think I’m not tempted.
So – which sets did you have? If it was something like a My Little Pony set or anything else post 1980, don’t tell me as you are too young and I will become depressed.
Even though the patchwork block swap I’ve been participating in hasn’t quite finished yet – there’s one month to go – I have actually made all the blocks I need to and I’ve already started getting withdrawal symptoms. Kate and Sue who have run the F2F (Foot Square Freestyle) swap for the past two years, have decided they need a break from organising duties and as I am more of a participant than an organiser I didn’t offer to take it over so, sadly, when Claire receives her 24 blocks from 8 other quilters around the world by the end of February, that will be it.
I found that participating in the swap really motivated me to improve my work, try out some new techniques and get things finished on time
So, what to do next?
I searched around the web for other swaps but the few I managed to find had either already started or didn’t appeal.
Kate has started making a quilt – unusually it will be for herself – from a book both she and I have had for years.
We’ve both been in love with one particular quilt inside it – I even made the templates for it and one block back in the mists of time – but never got any further.
It’s rows of vintage hatboxes made to look as if they’ve been covered in wallpaper, as olden day people used to do, and each one set in the angle of a little cubby hole with a floor and two walls. So, lots of design decisions to be made.
Kate has been busy with it for a few months now – you can see her progress here – and I decided I would join in with her and we would aim to make three blocks per month and publish them on our blogs at the end of the month. This will be my motivation.
I am making a wall hanging for my bedroom rather than a quilt – there is an empty wall behind the bed and I thought this might go well there rather than a picture. I don’t want it to dominate the room or anything so I’m not making it too large, just four blocks wide x three blocks high. If I make three blocks per month, it should be ready to start putting together in May.
Each ‘cubby hole’ is constructed by joining two trapezoids, one reversed, plus an 8.5 inch square which is set in to the angle of the trapezoids. Eek! I was so pleased when I got it right first time and then realised my perfect seam would be covered up with the hatbox appliquéd on top – still, that’s patchwork for you. Here’s a ‘blank’ just so you know I can do it.
And here’s the block after the hatbox has been added.
I decided to use scraps for the backgrounds where possible and Liberty tana lawn for the hatboxes. I realised too late that, because the tana lawn is so fine, you have to be careful what you put underneath it. You can see the stripes of my ‘flooring’ vaguely show through but I thought it sort of looks like part of the design on the box so I’ve left it.
This one is a darker print so I got away with it here but, for the other blocks, I won’t use that particular striped fabric. I am not usually an ‘appliqué person’ but Kate has got me trying several techniques I’ve either never done before or previously said I’d never do such as foundation paper piecing so here’s one more to add to the list. I am using Bondaweb to attach the hatbox shapes and then using a turquoise thread and machine appliquéing on to the background.
This next one had to be re-done because I had used light coloured tana lawn for the hatbox and the ‘floor’ was showing through and making it look as if there was a shadow across the box. I had to peel it off – a tragic waste of both Liberty and Bondaweb -and use a darker design. You live and learn.
I’m enjoying making these hatboxes but my workroom is a mess – strewn with fabrics over every surface as I audition them for ‘wallpaper’, ‘flooring’ , the hatboxes themselves and the bands. Decisions, decisions……
I will finish by proudly announcing that I have managed to complete Dry January without a drop of alcohol passing my lips – apart from that used in cooking which doesn’t count because all the alcohol comes off as vapour (boo!) . I never usually touch Pastis – the favourite aperitif of the French – because wine is my poison and the aniseedy alcoholic tipple makes me go woozy very quickly which is a feat in itself. However, Ricard (the favoured brand of the French when imbibing their favourite aperitif) make a version called Pacific which has no alcohol, no sugar, no calories, no nuffink apart from quite a few E numbers but I haven’t looked them up to see whether they are dodgy ones. As with the real stuff, you dilute it with 5 parts water but, unlike the real stuff, it is already a cloudy colour.
This, and Bucklers non alcoholic beer (which is really Lager if you are British) , kept me on the straight and narrow when temptation threatened to overcome me. I don’t know whether you can get it (or Bucklers) outside of France but, if you can, and you are the designated driver or want an alcohol free evening for any other reason, I would recommend it.
I can’t believe it is already the 1st of May – surely I’ve only just put away the Christmas decorations. It is a ferié (or public holiday) here in France so nobody will be working which seems ironic on a day called ‘ La ‘Fête du Travail’ but, there you go. As it falls on a Tuesday, the schools and lots of public offices didn’t bother to open yesterday (Monday) – they take the extra day as a ‘pont’ or bridge between. A bit cheekyI suppose but then I’ve always thought it a bit strange that, in the U.K. for example, dates get moved around and tacked on to the beginning or end of a weekend for convenience. Surely the 1st May should be commemorated on the 1st May regardless of whereabouts in the week it falls. Anyway, in an uncharacteristic display of laissez faire about tax and paperwork, today is the only day in the year where the French allow anybody to set up stall and sell Lily of the Valley plants with impunity.
Remember the sewing machine cover I was making? Well, here it finally is –If, like Mr. Tialys, you think my dog looks like a seal then please keep your comments to yourself!! He didn’t and was sorry afterwards.
We undertook this rather challenging project in my mini sewing group of 3 and this is Sandra’s house which fitted the hard cover of her machine perfectly so she left out the cardboard reinforcements and just pulled the fabric cover over the original rigid plastic one.
The vide grenier season is starting to pick up and, despite weather warnings last weekend, a big one took place in a nearby village. Madamoiselle Tialys the elder had a stall and had been busy combing the house for modern junk to sell whilst I was busy buying antique and vintage junk from other people to bring home again. So, of course, the house never gets any emptier but, in my opinion anyway, it gets more interesting.
and the pièce de résistance………
isn’t it beautiful?
I was touched by the concern of my blogger friend Al (aka Houdini) because I hadn’t posted for a while. It’s the cyber equivalent of a friendly neighbour coming round to see why you haven’t been taking in the milk and newspapers and fearing that you might have tripped, hit your head and be lying prone beneath a pile of cats and a german shepherd. So, thank you Al!
As I’ve talked about 1st May in France and my title for this post is two thirds of the traditional distress call, I was reminded that the use of ‘Mayday’ is said to originate from the French ‘M’aidez’ which, of course, means ‘help me’. I had known that at one time but then forgotten – as I have forgotten so many bits of trivia – so, just in case you had too, it might come in useful at a pub quiz.