So you've seen the blocks I received in the Piecemaker's exchange this year. The goal every year is to have the blocks sewn together for show and tell during our Christmas party. The past two years, I've at least had the quilt top put together. This year I'm hoping to have enough of the center applique block done to show people my concept. I'm working from a design in Ellie Seinkiewicz's "The Best of Baltimore Beauties". I enlarged the design to fit the space I had to fill (27") and began making freezer paper templates. I'm not sure I'm going to make all the flowers the same as the original design, but I know I want to use the roses, since the focus fabric I selected for the blocks has red roses in it.
First I selected the fabrics for the basket and ribs. I decided to use Karen Kay Buckley's method for machine applique since it was a lot of long lines, most easily (and quickly done) on machine. Also it gets me far enough ahead that I might actually be able to take this piece with me for the holiday and sew the first layer of leaves and petals down.
I started making the leaves, and the bottom pieces of the roses, auditioning fabric as I went along, placing them on the big paper pattern I had made to see how they "played together" and to keep track of what was done.
I had a selection of greens sitting on my ironing board and pulled from them as I went along.
Then I taped my pattern to a picture window, and taped my fabric piece over it. I marked in water soluble ink the bare bones of the pattern so I could place the elements as I went along.
I laid the pieces down on the fabric and realized I wasn't happy with the reds I had chosen for my roses. (See Mary Sorenson? I WAS paying attention in color selection class.)
So I cut some more. I like these better.
Next I basted down the pieces I have. I'll have to be careful to watch which pieces go over or under another as I go along, stitching, but I have a miniature copy (6") of the block to carry with me in case I need to refer to it.
I don't like to make all of my color choices and design decisions in the beginning. I find things occur to me as I go along. I'm happy with my progress so far, considering that when I woke up on Wednesday I hadn't done anything more than piecing the background for this work. I just realized the basket still needs a base. I'll be looking for that "perfect fabric" or combination of fabrics to use for that bit.