Where’s This Going?

I just put the final stitch in this really old top. It’s huge– about 96 x 96 inches. I’ve been working on the turned edge appliqué– well, it seems like forever. There were years that I forgot about the blocks and everything sat in the box. I like having a project always ready to be taken out and worked on. I remember buying the background fabric but the rest came from my stash. So the top is really old, not my style now and screams “Kutztown Folk Festival” but I still like it. I’m looking forward to trying some over-the-top quilting with my longarm machine. Here’s the thing about finishing  WIP’s ( works in progress.) Now I need a new appliqué project. 

I so admired my friend Joan’s beautiful quilt. She quilted the blocks with the Quilting in Layers technique and then fussy cut circles to hand appliqué. I wanted to try that!

I didn’t want to copy-cat Joan’s quilt — ok, honestly — I really did want to copy exactly what Joan did. To be a little different I decided to cut leaf shapes to appliqué. 

I selected my background blocks and started quilting. I have never actually planned out the entire block fabrics first, for a quilt this large, because I need to see how the colors will work with the image fabrics, as the quilt progresses. But this is supposed to be more spontaneous. Balance the design later when the appliqué is done was the plan. Already I’ve deviated from Joan’s process and slid back into mine. 

I tried appliqueing one block. I kinda hate it. Decision time. Make a whole bunch more to see a bigger picture or chuck the idea and admit I can’t walk in Joan’s shoes. (I did try to think up a better metaphor, really.) I do love the background all planned out on my design wall. 

I sewed together nine blocks. My new plan is to be inspired by the leaf foliage I see on my walks at Longwood gardens. These trillium leaves are turned-edge, just lightly tacked down with a bit of glue. I like it but the process won’t work overall because I don’t have the backing on yet and I can’t figure out how the quilting will get done. This is going somewhere– I’m just not sure where yet. No clear direction, issues to resolve, stuff to ponder, much more my style. 

And I still don’t have a hand appliqué project for evenings. 

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  1. Love what you are doing! I just might ‘copy’ you on the notion of leaves either on each piece or in clusters as you are doing. Well done.

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