Among other things, this bag of red and white fabric caught my eye:
When I lived in the States, I thought my obsession with red and white quilts was because I'm from Canada. But, here was a whole room full of Canadian quilters who had no problem walking right by this bag. So obviously, it's just me. Looking closer, I could see there were several applique patterns on freezer paper ironed onto the red fabric.
A red and white applique quilt, I thought. Nice! I added it to my pile, and sat down to wait for the checkout line to get shorter. I had a nice chat with Marcie's mom, who was also a Bob Ross fan. But the line didn't get any shorter, and I decided that I wasn't going to be able to wait. I put it all back and headed home.
While I was driving, I could not stop thinking about this quilt. I was sure that I could fuse the red to a light pieced background, and that would be nice. So, back I went! Almost one hour in line, but quilters always have plenty to talk about. ;)
At home, I opened the package and pulled out the other blocks. They started to look familiar:
That is such a distinctive block, and I realized that it is actually Aunt Millie's Garden by Piece o'Cake Designs. Fortunately, I already had the pattern:
A red and white version of Aunt Millie, I thought! But, now I am pretty sure that the big red squares were just the backgrounds, same as the original quilt, and marked in silver pencil for the placement of the applique:
And all that white fabric probably wasn't part of the project at all. There were 11 blocks in the package, so I think Marcie had already started one, and that ended up separated from the rest. It is funny that I assumed that Marcie was making it the way that I would want to make it, even though that was not the case at all!
But I still had to try my idea. I took off all Marcie's freezer paper, dug out an old roll of Steam-a-Seam, and covered the back with the fusible. Then I carefully cut out the applique following the silver pencil lines:
|Snip, snip, snip...|
I laid it out again on my fabric, and fused it. My plan was to straight stitch the edge, rather than satin stitch or blanket stitch. Over at Indigo Threads, Sharon recently shared a photo of a quilt she'd made this way. The fabric frays a little at the edge after washing, and I really like the soft look it has.
I considered a matching red thread for the stitching, but then I decided orange would have more character. The stitch length is fairly short, about 1.75 on my machine, and I usually piece at 2.
The Aunt Millie pattern has little pieced circles in the centres. While I was cutting, I was reminded of how Hawaiian quilts are made, and I decided to fold and free cut the centre in a similar way. It is like a "maker's mark." Mine turned out fairly wonky...
...but I think it sets the right tone. I will try some different cuts on the other blocks. But for now, here's the finished block:
The red is so rich that it looks like velvet against the prints. I'm happy! I think I'll make 9 all together, and set them on point with alternate pieced blocks. It's all planned!
Since fusible applique is probably my future, I am glad this came together so well, and that I have eight more blocks to practice with. It was just the right degree of challenging, and I am interested to see how the next ones will turn out.
Now I have to find room for it in my project drawers... Just when I had it all neat and organized, a new project comes along!
(N.B. I went back to put in the link to the Bob Ross post, and I see that post links to the Piece o'Cake blog! Isn't it funny how some things seem to stick together?)