Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Distracted by An Antique wedding Sampler Quilt

You know how easily I can get distracted? Well once again when temptation knocks, I stepped right in. When my book order from Quilt Mania arrived, I knew I had to make a quilt in one of the books and my choice was Di Ford's Antique Wedding sampler.

This Quilt was originally made by Charlotte Gillingham in the early 1840's. It was a wedding gift to her fiancé and they were married in 1844 by which time the quilt was completed.

Original Wedding Sampler made by Charlotte Gillingham
There is some more examples of the original blocks in this quilt close up on the Quaker Quilts bog.  Di Ford's quilt consist of 25 blocks only. Because Broderie Perse was used as applique technique the applique blocks and triangles on the edge of the quilt look different than the original.

I selected several large print fabrics to use in my version of the quilt. I auditioned them on my design wall. Applique is not my strong point and none of the fabrics is really suited or interesting enough to use as Broderie Perse. I decide to use the large print at the back of the other pieces as the triangles. I will fussy cut some of the other fabrics to use in the blocks where Broderie Perse was used.

Large Prints selection

One of my favorite parts of starting a new project is to decide and make my fabric selection. As a quilt proceed some more fabrics are added and I do not necessarily use all the fabrics selected. Here is some more of the accompanying fabrics, I selected.

I made photocopies of the completed quilt. I decided to re- arrange some of the blocks so I cut the photocopy apart and stick the blocks in their new positions. My plan of action is to work on 4 blocks at a time, blocks equal distances from the middle.

The first four blocks that I cut and marked for hand piecing is the blocks with the little triangle pieces. These blocks will stay in the original positions that they were in Di's quilt but I will change the colour and fabric choice.

I did not draw the smaller blocks inside the two upper blocks. There will be four Ribbon Star blocks in the four corners of the left block and a eight point star in the center of the other block

Seeing that I am not so good at applique and do not have fabrics really suitable for Broderie Perse I decided to incorporate some machine embroidery (who could have guessed that!) in my blocks. In the Ribbon Star blocks there are many places where I can replace the applique with embroidery. These 4 blocks will be around the centre as in this EQ developed middle of the quilt.
I embroidered the background patches

When one work on  four blocks at a time it is easier to make sure that the blocks relate well to each other or at least then those diagonally opposite to each other in colour and value selection.
I used designs from the Floral Brocade set from Graceful Embroidery.
I stabilised the designs with a piece of flannel for best results.
I turned some of the designs to get the correct placement and then loose the original effect the designer planned for the embroideries and realise that only to late- I should have changed my fabric placement, not rotate the embroidery
 I have completed all the embroidery of this four blocks. Some of the sub parts of the blocks is very small stars and those will be hand pieced once the first four blocks are completed. The first of these four blocks are completed.
The first completed block surrounded by some chosen large prints

This block is partially assembled, small stars need to be completed for the corners. I used my Scan n cut to cut the fabric for the middle part. I am still quite scared to use it, but decided to just try it out and if I cannot get it right I will just cut by hand. After a bit of effort and "reading the instructions" I succeeded.

I plan as I go. So I will now look for other embroidery designs that will go wll with the Brocade set to use in the next four blocks. I do plan to do a little Broderie Perse though- I think the rose print to the left of the first block might be suitable.

I am a regular reader of Lori Kennedy's blog, The Inbox Juant. In her latest blog she talk about her Quilters Notebook. She introduced it in 2014 before I start reading her blog. I started such a book for my Crochet because I got confused with all my projects and CAL's. Over the years I use different systems to keep myself on track with my projects. I will definitely apply her suggestions in this blog post and the previous ones,  as I am sure it will work for me. Hopefully when I see how many unfinished quilts I have I will be more cautious before starting a new project. To my credit  I can say that I have already completed 4 old quilts this year, as well as made and completed 2 new children quilts. I have also started and completed two quilt tops. Once the old quilt now on my Simply Sixteen frame is quilted, I hope to complete these two new quilts in this year as well.

Hope you have new and old projects to delight you and keep you quilting!

Sunday, May 15, 2016

The start of the Flower Basket Quilt

I regularly purchase embroidery design sets when they are on sale. I have not started my planned "In the hoop" project yet, although I selected the fabric for it. I still need to do some digitizing. I purchased a longarm machine, Simply Sixteen. So my Bernina machine that was on the Bernina frame is now set up so that I can embroider on it. (Dedicated for this task)

I embroidered some Redwork for a red and white quilt and that really got me going. So when I complete that project I searched for something to embroider and plan how to use it in a quilt, I decided on the Flower Basket set from Cuddle me Crazy. I have this set in three sizes but decide to make the largest variety, I do have a jumbo hoop. The design is about 25 cm big.

Although one can get secondary designs when you arrange 4 identical designs in a circle, I prefer not to stitch four of the same designs out- specially not when it take 50 minutes and 20 colour changes for one design. In this set is 4  different baskets but I can keep the colour of the flowers the same, That will unify the designs. I plan to have a slender star design between this four designs.

Once I have completed the central star and baskets, I will plan further. I love to let a quilt design evolve as I go on.

I had to search for a suitable background fabric and is very satisfied with this one. I do however realize that I should shop specifically for this.

The second basket design is slightly different as you can see here.
I just wanted to share my excitement. Hope you will enjoy this journey with me.


Monday, March 21, 2016

Sundial Quilt

I love old quilts. I have reproduce some old Amish quilts and is busy with a Dear Jane quilt. (The Dear Jane is a modern version not a reproduction.) Two Quilts in the Victoria and Albert museum is on my list to make. I started with one; The George III coverlet. I only made three blocks. I still plan to make that quilt but got involved with other projects.

The Sundial quilt is a lovely medallion quilt consisting of an inner part with a Sundial as centre piece with  smaller blocks around it. A border strip divide it from the wide border consisting of larger blocks. The distinctive element in this quilt is that every block is repeated four times. So each quarter are repeated in a mirror image on the other side. This change this quilt from the sampler appearance where one sometimes have difficulty to balance the quilt in a pleasing overall design. This produce a very elegant quilt with a more formal and less haphazard appearance.

Until I have permission from the Victoria and Albert museum in which care this quilt is to display one of their images on my blog I must refer you to this site for some

I decided to make the inner blocks 9 cm and the "border" blocks 15 cm. I think in the original quilt it might be slightly smaller but I does not want to work that small. The quilt itself will be 285 X 315 cm once I have finished it.

I draw the blocks in EQ7 and could construct this image of a quarter of the centre of the quilt:

I tried to colour the blocks as close as possible to the original block (as I can determine from the photographs that I am using).

I have started to make some of the blocks, I am not working very sistematically, the following blocks is  the bigger blocks in the outer area.
A Nine patch in a square
I also completed 4 of the circles blocks, There is two sets of blocks that are repeated in a slightly differnt colourway. The circle blocks is one of those. This is the one version of this blocks:
The quilter of the original quilt made mirror images of the block. I realised that to late, my blocks are all identical in the arrangement of the coloured circles. I am not very good at applique, as you can see in the positioning of my circles, now that I have the photo in front of me I can see how skew my placement was. I am not going to unpick this- there is four more like this, I will try and do a better job with them.

I was amazed at how many fabrics I had that I could use to give a reproduced look to my quilt. Over the years I bought many bolt ends or packets of fabric. This older reproduction type fabric was in many such bundles and I have more than enough fabric to produce this quilt. In fact I am cutting fabric for my friend Rita so that she can also work with me and make a quilt with this pattern as well.

Hope to have the center ready in a short while. I am not sure what I will do in the place of the Sundial centre. I will not attempt the lettering in the original quilt but have not decide yet with what to replace it.

Carolyn Konig do have this pattern as a block of the month project available. I like to draw my patterns in EQ so I am doing it myself. If you would like to make this quilt her pattern may be what you need.


Saturday, January 16, 2016

In the Hoop Quilt

It is time to design another quilt to be completed in the hoop. With my quilt "Russiese Inspirasie" I digitized all the piecing, embroidery and Quilting myself. That was a daunting task. I am not skilled in digitizing embroidery and it isn't really my interest. Over the years I have bought a lot of beautiful embroidery designs that I would like to use in my quilting.

For my new project I first had to decide what designs to use. I selected a beautiful set "Vintage Chic" that I bought from OPW and it is designed by Riani a South African woman. The designs are relatively big so I first had to plan how I will be able to use it. That would determine the choice of patchwork blocks.

There was not really a design that was suitable on its own as  a central design. So I select and combine two of the designs to use in the central square of the middle block.

Then the next step was to design a quilt that I could piece in the hoop, then do the embroidery, add the batting and backing and proceed with the quilting. With my previous quilt I struggled with the thick seam allowances and realized that I will have to design with sashing strips dividing the blocks.

I like to work with colour and very seldom make monochromatic quilts. I decided that working in a monochromatic colour scheme will be a real challenge for me. So I will try and do this in blue greens.
Now I have a framework and I can start digitizing the individual blocks.

This is how the block look in my Bernina Software. I will work in my Large hoop that will give me a work area of 24 cm. I will load a soft vilene as a stabilizer in the hoop. I have digitized a 24 cm Square that will sew first to give me an indication of my batting placement. I will cut a square of 25,5 cm and will place it on the sewn square so that it overlap evenly on all sides. (I could not digitized and sew this line as a placement indication because it is outside the stitching area.) I will then sew the square again to anchor the batting. I can print templates of the fabric pieces from my EQ7 design program and will use that to cut the fabric. I will then add the middle fabric and the digitized seams of the two triangles will then sew. I have imported the embroidery design that will fit in the area and contribute to the overall design of the quilt. The design will now sew colour by colour.

When I add the backing fabric (I will secure it with pins outside the work area and pinned from the top) I will be able to start the quilting that is already digitized for the open areas. Once this is complete I will have a completed block.

I have already digitized three blocks and can start this project. What I like most about piecing in the hoop is that I can place the embroidery exactly where I want it without any difficulty. I still struggle with design placements and really is a novice embroiderer. I like techniques that disguise my lack of abilities and piecing in the hoop is one of my tricks to do that.

Hope to show you soon what I have achieved.

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