Thursday, January 30, 2014
New Project - L'Herbier
Here is my first new project for 2014 (Highlands Houses was started in 2013). L'Herbier was the 2010 BOM designed by Nathalie Méance of La Fée Pirouette. I saw it advertised in the back of Quiltmania and contacted Nathalie, who kindly agreed to include me in the distribution. It has been "maturing" in my stash for over three years! But this year my plan is to unite my quilting and embroidery projects more, so this project is finally ready to uncork!
The embroideries feature a wide range of threads, ribbons, beads and sequins, and the fabrics are lovely too. All the fabrics are "shot" -- with different colours in the warp and weft threads. The grey and charcoal background fabrics are a slubby linen, and it looks like the circle fabrics include some silk, cotton and rayon:
I think the main obstacle for me on this project was constructing the blocks. I blenched when I saw the templates:
But these are misleading, because in the instructions Nathalie suggests that you construct four patch blocks, and then reverse applique in the finished embroideries. Now that I've realized how easy applique is, I have decided to applique the circles on top of the four patch blocks, and then do the embroidery.
The BOM materials include a very stiff butter coloured stabilizer to use behind the embroidery, but I can't imagine leaving that in the quilt. Maybe it softens after washing, but you know me, I have to wash everything before I stitch due to the chemicals. So I am going to back the embroideries with plain muslin. I have been lining my BFF blocks with muslin, which has worked very well, so I plan to do exactly the same thing for this project.
Today I strip pieced the 16 four patch blocks:
You can see how nice the textured fabric is. But, I knew it was going to fray, so I cut the squares large. I sewed with a 3/8" seam allowance, and then I zig-zagged all the edges!
I know it seems painstaking, but each block will be both appliqued and embroidered, so they will be handled a lot. When I'm ready to assemble the blocks I'll trim off the zig-zagged edge.
You can still buy a complete kit for L'Herbier at La Fée Pirouette's website. The 2014 BOM, featuring embroidered Dresden plates, also looks amazing. And, Nathalie has a beautiful new book out from Quiltmania, which is extremely tempting. "One at a time," I tell myself! Nathalie speaks very good English, but both the BOM and the book are written in French. (Update - no, I am wrong, the book is both English and French.)
I am dying to start the applique, but I have a backlog of housework to do tomorrow. Then again, maybe the laundry can wait until Saturday...