I spent some time over the weekend and last night working on attempt #2 at the Windmills and Trees pattern by Lynne from Lily's Quilts and I have finished the top. You will recall that my first attempt was not successful (or go here to read about it). I love this version which is about 40" x 48".
I have to confess that this is the first time I have done any real applique on a quilt top. (I know, Katy, volunteering to test something you have never done is not likely to get you the top grade, but it is too cute a pattern and I did not actually confess this weakness when I volunteered to do the testing, oops.)
So my first thought was to use a blanket stitch - the stitch I would use if I was hand sewing an applique. And look, it turned out just as it should. I was worried about puckering and drawing in but the sticky stuff I used - Heat and Bond Lite - added enough stabilizer that it looks great, especially after pressing.
Not content to leave well enough alone, I also tried another stitch that exists on the little sewing machine I have out on the coast. I am not sure what this one is called but you can see it on the tree part.
It is easier to see here. I like this one and it causes even less drawing in but the edge will probably fray just a little more than the blanket stitch. Especially since I have to admit to not following the directions and overheating the sticky stuff so it did not stick perfectly well. I am planning a lot of quilting to ensure it all holds together. Another lesson - read the directions of any new equipment first. This project has been a true learning experience for me.
The colours are fairly true in that picture - the grass here gets sort of brownish in the hot summer months. The quilt is made from various light and darker grey fabrics and bright prints by Kaffe Fassetts, Brandon Mably, and Philip Jacobs. Now I have to make the back and get on with the quilting.
I don't have a big enough single piece of fabric with me for the back so tonight my thought is to do something like that photo above, which is from a wonderful book called Quilting Modern by Jacquie Gering and Katie Pederson. It looks like fun and will hopefully complement the forest on the front if I use the left over fabrics. I have been looking for an opportunity to play with an idea from this excellent book and I think this is the chance. I'll keep you posted.
Another work in progress is my English Paper Piecing project. I think I need one or two more groups and then they will be appliquéd to the low volume top, something like the set up in next picture. I have been eyeing other EPP projects, it seems that I have become rather enchanted.
So although I wanted to machine stitch the EPP onto that top, armed with my new applique experience, I am thinking that it will work so much better if I do it by hand as there will be no stabilizer in place. I would love any advice on that.
That beautiful bundle of fabrics arrived a while ago from my friend Cindy at Fluffy Sheep Quilting. She still delivers faster from Ireland to me in Canada than the US shops. I am going to make a tutorial of a something for her September newsletter. It is my current WIP, that and making another secret pillow for the Modern Quilted Pillow Swap and some bee blocks. A fair bit to do before the end of this month, but it is all so fun.
I almost forgot, I joined Krista from Poppyprint's Proverbial Quilt-A-Long. She has promised a leisurely pace which is what I need. I still have to pick some words but I have the pattern in hand, delivered quickly from Flare Fabrics which is a Canadian shop. Krista's wonderful quilt is here, go and look and you will might be joining the QAL too. Just saying.
By the way, if you have not yet entered to win a copy of the Mod Pop pattern by Julie from Distant Pickles, click HERE as there is still time.
I am going to link to both WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced and the Needle and Thread Network, buttons for both are on the right. I have missed linking for the summer - my progress has not been available to report remotely near a Wednesday. Do check out everyone else's projects there too, they are always inspiring.