|UFO Number Six
||[Jan. 3rd, 2011|12:35 pm]
My first thought was “Oh crap! That one’s going to be hard!”
Judy Laquidara has drawn the first number for the UFO challenge. I read the post: “six.. what did I list for number six?” Called up my list, and there it was, the flower wreath project. This is an appliqué project that I started based on the first Applique Academy I ever went to. The main conference class was Lisa DeBee Schiller’s flower wreath, based (IIRC) on a friendship quilt. It was my first time in the rarified atmosphere of an intensive seminar. We stayed up late working on the class projects and got up early to be there when the doors opened.
This is where I found out I am more of a realist than a fantasist when it comes to appliqué. Some of the flowers on the wreath bugged me. She had beautiful iris flowers – blooming on a twining vine with little round leaves. She had some fantasy flowers (one looked like a fancy cocktail complete with olive!) But on the papers she passed around were some flowers which weren’t on the wreath. And these were iris with long straight stems and pansies in bunches and so forth; very pretty and realistic flowers. I asked if we could modify the wreath and use the additional patterns, and she graciously said we could change the wreath if we liked, but she didn’t have enough of the additional patterns to hand out. Well! That was an easy fix. There was a Kinko’s right on the way between my hotel and the academy. I begged the patterns from her and nipped out on a break and copied everything for the class, and swapped out all the fantasy flowers for ‘realistic’ flowers. In retrospect this was temerity at best, but Lisa was so nice about it that I felt empowered to add my own design stamp to the project.
I knew once the project was well along that I wanted to use it as the centerpiece of a larger design. I sketched any number of crude layouts in my notebook of quilting ideas, and eventually came up with something that seemed just right. Using the flowers in the central wreath, I designed four heart-shaped wreaths to go in the corners of the expanded piece. The ribbon in the wreath made me think of my Grandmother’s house in Allentown. The bay window had pink stained glass ribbons twining across the tops, and those ribbons made their way into the blocks, looping through the heart-shaped wreaths.
After the outer blocks were finished and sewn to the center block, and the last few bits of linking ribbon which crossed from block to block were added, I put the piece up on my design wall and there it stuck. For years. For long enough that it’s got some dust and schmutz on it, which will need to be cleaned away. Does it need anything more? J suggested butterflies and birds, but I am not sure. I thought it needed a pieced border, but everything I tried looked wrong. Maybe I just want to quilt it and call it done.
The schmutz gave way (mostly) to dabbing with a damp cloth, but as I’d feared, the one dark red rose which was too close to the spot bled into the white background. So the next step will be to read up on getting rid of excess dye, and decide whether to tackle that or go ahead and quilt it and then tackle the dye problem once the piece is ready to be washed after quilting. Any helpful thoughts would be greatly appreciated!
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