Friday, July 28, 2017

High Summer Stitching


Doesn't look like a lake, does it? That's Lake Ontario, looking southwest down the length of the lake from Bluffer's Park in Toronto. We've had some wonderful high summer weather this week, and I took my camera out for a drive.

Here are the Scarborough Bluffs, with lovely puffy white clouds (aka source material):


And the marina, with puffy clouds and shiny boats:


A good day! Some memories to re-visit when it's below freezing this winter.

Inside, I finally finished edge stitching the fusible applique blocks that I last shared in June, here and here. They are for my quilt "El Camino SoCal," based on the cover quilt from Nancy Rink's book El Camino Real. And even though summer is still in full swing, you can see that my sunny patch on the wall is getting narrower:




After considerable thought, I decided to top stitch the flowers as if they had individual petals. It was a lot easier to run straight and pivot, rather than inching around all the inside curves.

I want this quilt to have a bright, casual feel, so I just stitched the petals by eye.


I did the same thing on the smaller "forget-me-nots."

The yellow (and citron) centres are reverse applique, which is why the top stitching is only on the purple.

Here's the whole block stitched:


And the last block of the five I've done so far:


They remind me of poppies.

I think this block benefited quite a lot from the top stitching. It really helped to separate and define all the light coloured leaves.

And I'm still happy with my choice of dark red thread for all the edge stitching. It shows up well on every colour.

These blocks have been lying flat on my sewing table for two months, because I didn't want to fold them until they were stitched. I've had to move them every time I sew. Now I can finally put them away!

I feel like I'm at a bit of a crossroads now, and I'm not sure which project I'll pick up next. It's been nothing but this project and Technicolor Turkey for two months, so maybe it's time to give some love to some of my other projects!

And the next Ad Hoc Improv Quilters challenge is to use words in a quilt, which is right up my alley. You can read about it here. I have at least three wordy ideas that I've been sitting on, and I thought it would be easy to just pick one. But...I'm feeling the need to be more spontaneous. So we'll see what happens!

19 comments:

  1. I believe you said this is grunge fabric; highlighting the grain lines is perfect on this applique. It mimics linen. Thanks for the tips on casual machine applique.
    Your knock-knock quilt was a delight. I'm curious to see how you can be more spontaneous. I'm still fretting about this. Ha.

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    1. Thanks, Ann! The applique fabric is Laura Gunn's Painters Canvas. My plan for spontaneity, lol, is to keep my eyes open for words that catch my fancy over the next couple of weeks. I'm not ready to start immediately anyway, so my intention is I will come across the right words at the right time, and build from there!

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  2. your blocks look lovely, am I right in thinking you needle turned then machined to highlight. I have finally had a go at some applique but used bondaweb did not like it as it felt so stiff feel if I take it up it will be needle turned.Loving the photos that is certainly a big lake but seem to remember from Geography lessons the lakes 5 I think were pretty large

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  3. Beautiful blocks, I love the forget-me-not block!

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  4. Your appliqué is looking fabulous! I adore the top stitching--such a great way to add texture!

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    1. Thanks, Audrey! Yes, if I can't hand sew it, then I'm going to see what texture I can achieve with the machine!

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  5. These look fabulous. Good choice on thread color and technique! The background fabrics are really interesting as well.

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  6. Such pretty flowers to work on in the middle of the summer!
    And gorgeous photographs!
    Can't wait to see what you work on for the word challenge!

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  7. Your last block is my favorite because of how your top stitching accents the fabrics in the block. Lake Ontario is beautiful and your puffy clouds reminded me of the times when I was a kid, I used to look at the clouds and imagine shapes and then make up stories for those shapes. My dad always shook his head and wondered if I would ever get my head out of the clouds!

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    1. Thanks, Terry! I always enjoy the summer clouds, because the heat makes them more dynamic and interesting. One thing that I can say about my parents is that they always encouraged imagination when we were young. Everyone had their own opinion!

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  8. Great job on the top stitching. I love your background neutrals. You must have quite a large and varied selection of them. Your linen look flowers look great against them.

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    1. Thank you! Actually, for these blocks I think there are only 5 (at most 6) different fabrics in the backgrounds. I spent weeks planning the "casual" piecing to make them all different, but balanced once they're sewn together. I am interested to see how it will work out!

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  9. Love the use of the grunge fabrics and I thought you had used different colored threads for the stitching. It's amazing how the red thread seemed to change colors because of the fabrics. Your stitching really enhanced the flowers. The blocks are fantastic.

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  10. I'm always surprised at how different large bodies of water can look from each other. The lake photos remind me that lakes look really, really different from the ocean.

    I love, love, love your gorgeous flowers. I agree, the red thread looks perfect on all the blocks. How large are the blocks? The look large though I can't really tell from the photos. I like the backgrounds you chose for them, too.

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  11. While I don't have a patch of wall that is getting larger to correspond to yours shrinking, I do have sun in my bedroom earlier and in my living room later each day as we inch towards Spring. Great to have a natural marker like your space.

    Stitching the petals as individuals is a genius idea that seems to have really paid off. They look great. Similarly the reverse Appliqué. I love the background fabrics, especially the clocks.

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    1. Thanks, Jillian! I'm very happy with how it's all coming together. It's mostly new fabric bought specifically for this. The only stash fabric is the yellow stripe. So it's nice that my theory is working out well in real life!

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  12. The flowers in that last block do look like poppies; it's my favourite one, I think. I like how you have stitched them, it's just right, and the red thread too. All together they must have a lovely cheerful look to them. Your photos of the lake are great- we live near lots of little lakes but it's easy to forget what a really big one is like.

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  13. Wow, I had no idea that Lake Ontario could be so calm! Michigan was always "busy", one way or another. That's the Lake I grew up closest to.
    I love your flowers! Great fabric choices, both the flowers and the backgrounds. And I think your stitching idea is brilliant - much better than doing each individually. Your blocks are so cheerful and summery!

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  14. All the blocks are beautiful & interesting.

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Thanks for taking the time to leave a comment! It is well appreciated. Happy stitching!

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