Sunday, 2 October 2011

Don't do what I do (or learn from my mistakes)

Remember how I had the idea to pad out/trapunto the areas behind the appliqué before joining the blocks together? Seemed like an amazingly sensible idea at the time. Well the idea is not bad, it is in fact a very good one given two things I didn't take into account. One is if you have to add more appliqués which go over the joined seams. You can see how hard it is to fit it all in the harp of the machine. When doing machine appliqué you want, no you NEED no drag on the machine when you are trying to control a stitch just less than 1/16" wide.
I wanted to use Quilter's Dream Deluxe to pad out the shapes. I couldn't find it anywhere in England but luckily Hancock's of  Paducah had a free shipping offer on and I took advantage of it. I have used it before and been pleased with it for this sort of thing but this time it seems to have more bulk and be less drape (this is probably my memory or it could be just the sheer amount of it I am using in this quilt).

The other problem it presented was how the bulk of this batting wanted to push the fabric over when I was doing the quarter inch seams.
And a third problem was I hadn't trimmed back my blocks to the completed size before adding the trapunto. There had been a good reason for this. I did not want the edges of the block to fray during so much handling, but it is very difficult to cut and line up accurately when half of the block has trapunto in place.....

So this is it all joined up with the trapunto cut out from behind (mostly)

I still have the vases to cut away.
I was very pleased with myself I remembered to mark the quilting lines on the vases before the trapunto. It would have been nigh impossible to do it afterwards with any accuracy. You have a sneak preview of my next border here. It might not look like much but just preparing all those lobes for these feathers took three days (and I haven't even started to stitch them yet).
And I need help. Does anyone have any idea what this shrub is called? It's up at the cottage and the builder has planted it.

It's five or six years old now and needs a trim but I would like to do it at the right time of year and using the right pruning method for it. I am at a loss without knowing what it is.....


  1. They flower wonderfully at 'Heligan' where I was told they were Flowering Nutmeg. Mine flowers brilliantly every year and I have since found out it is also called Himalaya Honeysuckle.

  2. Your quilt is looking good. ;o)

    I winced for you at the thought of cutting to size with the batting there!

    We call that shrub Pheasant Berry as I think it used to be planted for cover?. It quite often springs up naturally (ours did)---presumably spread by birds?

  3. I think it is Pheasant Berry.

    PS I didn't realise that Hancocks of Paducah's free shipping included the UK! Look forward to the next time it is offered.

    PPS Did you know that HMRC is reducing the duty-free amount one can import to £15 at the beginning of November?

  4. Thank you, you are all right! It has various names. The good news is I can cut it right back and eat the berries, the bad news is the berries stain. Or is that good news for natural dyeing?

  5. Sally, I'm curious; wouldn't cutting the blocks to size before doing the trapunto have made the blocks come out too small? Doesn't trapunto shrink the blocks?

    At any rate, your quilt is stunningly beautiful! :)

  6. The quilt is going to be lovely. What stitch did you use to stitch the appliques? Is it monofilament thread?

  7. Thank you Margaret.
    Yes it's monofilament and the stitch is the blanket stitch, 1 forward, =
    one to the side. On my Bernina I have it set at just below 2 on stitch =
    length and below 1 on width.
    Hope that helps,
    ps I tried to reply to your address but it bounced.

  8. Sandy,
    Good point, but it doesn't shrink it anymore than it would if I had done the whole quilt in one piece.
    I stretch my top out well before the final pin basting.
    Hope that makes sense,
    ps you have your settings on blogger set so I couldn't reply to you directly.

  9. What a lovely, lovely quilt. Your applique is stunning.

  10. Hi! Greetings from Finland! I love your quilts! They are so fantastic! Thank you for your lovely blog! It's so nice to find quilters all around the world! :)