As I mentioned on Monday, once Clara was finished I allowed myself to start a new project. In fact, in the past week I have started three. They are all projects that have been waiting in the wings for quite some time.
"Meadow" is going to be an embroidered quilt. It will be built from these massive 3" (6" across) hexagons:
After all the small English Paper Piecing I've been doing, it is a fun change of pace to work with these big ones. That is three days of basting that you are looking at. I had no idea it would take so long! But now they're going to be packed away while I start on the embroidery.
I am adapting a Susan O'Connor pattern from the Country Bumpkin book Beautiful Embroidered Quilts (2006). The pattern is "For the Love of Butterflies." Susan has embroidered oversized butterflies in Madeira stranded silk on a patchwork of Liberty lawn. There are patterns for 23 butterflies, but I think I will aim for five to ten. Her quilt is huge, mine is destined to be a lap quilt. Plus, her butterflies tend to get lost in all the floral fabrics. My position is that if I am going to spend weeks or months embroidering butterflies, you are darn well going to see them on the finished quilt. Hence all the simple green fabrics.
None of my usual stores stock Madeira stranded silk, so I have defaulted to DMC stranded cotton floss. And now that I've started, I think I will get a better range of colour with the DMC.
I've also tried a new product to transfer the design:
This is Sticky Fabri-Solvy, which comes in sheets that you can run through the printer. I already love it! You can see that this pattern would have been a nightmare to trace, so it was a blessing to be able to photocopy it onto the stabilizer. I was able to fit six butterflies on the page. Then I just cut it out, peeled off the backing, and carefully stuck it to the right side of my well-ironed fabric. I have basted it down just to be safe, because I will be handling the piece a lot. It is a little crisp, but not gummy. It feels like light Pellon. It is very easy to sew through, and provides good support for the dense long and short stitch I'm using.
Speaking of long and short stitch, this is only the second time I've used it in a project. It's going much better than the first time! I'm glad that I decided to start these butterflies before the needlepainting project that I also have in the wings, because it will give me a chance to work out the bumps in my technique.
The Fabri-Solvy also stands up well to unpicking, by the way! So this should keep me busy for quite a while. :)