Seems like forever since I did a blog post but that certainly doesn't mean I haven't been stitching. As I mentioned awhile ago, I am finding blog writing, reading and commenting a little cumbersome these days and I am sharing more and more on Instagram ( under the name happy_appliquer if you are interested) these days. I guess I am getting lazy but it is much easier and quicker and that leaves me more time for stitching. But it doesn't work quite as well for journaling my quilting progress so I will continue to be posting now and then.
Anyway first up is my new start, Irish Circles by Karen Cunningham a wonderful Austrailian designer. I have long admired the quilts based on an Antique Irish quilt by Jane Pizar but had been unable to locate a pattern. When one of my applique group friends mentioned that she was in a new group about to start this project and there might still be time to join I jumped at the chance. This was a few months ago and while I only got the pattern last week, I started thinking about colors and fabrics immediately. I decided to use a palette that feels early 1800's to me, teals/aqua, browns and pinks on a beige background.
Brown is not a color I have used much in the past so it is rather strange that both my new starts this year feature brown. The quilt has a large central medallion of a pieced circle surrounded by some applique but I decided to start with some of the smaller circle blocks. You make 2 of each of these smaller blocks and I am trying to vary my fabric choices so that the blocks look quite different from each other. A great lesson in value and fabric selection and lots of fun. These blocks are hand pieced and then the circle ring is prepped using starch and freezer paper and then hand appliquéd. Here is block 5.
And Block 7
I have also prepped the appliqued borders for Miss Porter and have stitched one. Amazing to see the before and after of needlturn applique.
I have also been busy on the longarm machine trying to catch up with the huge pile of finished tops. Here is "Bright and Jazzy", my version of Jen Kingwell's Gypsy Wife. The name is a nod to an outfit I wore in the 90's that my children were not too fond of and referred to as Bright and Jazzy. Those memories just make me smile and so does this quilt.
This morning I sewed my Moda Sampler Shuffle quilt together and am now deciding on borders. This is not the suggested setting but I have long admired 6" block samplers put together with background sashing and scrappy cornerstones and decided this was a perfect look. I think a simple border in one of the light blue fabrics that I have in my stash is the way I will finish this off.
And I loved the colors in this so much I am using a similar palette in the Splendid Sampler. This is a new free online sampler of 6" blocks hosted by Pat Sloan and Jane Davidson. If you google The Splendid Sampler or look for it on Facebook you should be able to find all the details. It sounds so fun and exciting, 100 blocks released 2/week by over 80 different designers. Lots of different techniques to be explored including applique, piecing, EPP, and even embroidery and a huge Facebook group where we can share ideas is something I just could not resist. And it doesn't start until Feb 14 so you have plenty of time to check it out if you are interested. Here are the fabrics I pulled for this one. I started with pre cuts from the Ambleside collection and some yardage I had from the same collection. I then pulled a few darker fabrics from my stash that I think will work and grabbed two different pieces of yardage, Kona Snow and a white on white dot in the same snow color, to use as background. Since the sampler is a mystery I am not really sure how much I will need of any fabric but the general requirements are 30-35 fat quarters with a good mix of light , medium and dark. I am really looking forward to a bit of spring each week!
And finally my leader ender project of brights continues to grow with. I am using those 4" blocks from my previous post as the centers of these bigger stars. Not sure yet exactly where this project is headed but I love the bright happy colors.