In the heat of the summer (coming soon, without a doubt!) or the cold of winter, I think of spring here in Maryland and endure. The weather yesterday and today has been the sort for which I live and breathe
Yeterday was a busy day at the shop -- two first-time-sewing (second class session) Baltimore Album classes, one morning, one evening. Lots of trembles and fits and excitement. :) I brought in the kit Patty bought in Lancaster at the quilt show to start working on (and worked some more on it, today). I promised her that I would make it if she bought it.
Patty loves butterfly images, which was the first thing that caught the eye about this kit, hanging in the International Fabrics booth:
The design is by Sylvia Pippen who, along with her mother Kitty, has written two very popular books on using Japanese fabrics and designs for quilts. I did not know (prior to this sighting) that she did patterns or kits, so this was an additional 'feather' to note in my mind about her as a quilter. This piece combines sashiko stitchery (Japanese country quilting) with applique. I love both, so the making of this really was attractive to me.
I started working on the stitching while we were still at Lancaster, but I decided when I picked it up again to do the applique preparation first. Here are two of the six butterfly wing sets basted to be sewn down:
We got a new type of needle in stock yesterday from John James (England) -- apparently the needles ae coated with something permanent that makes their surface slippery so it slides through the fabric more easily. The fabrics that were included in this kit for the butterfly wings are hand marbled (they _look_ like the work of Marjorie Beavis). I think either the paint or maybe some leftover size in the fabrics makes the surface harder to penetrate -- I was basting with a St. Thomas Sons sharp (size 10), my usual daily needle, but kept piercing my pushing finger as often as the fabric
If you are an applique lover, you will notice that my method here (my very favorite one) is 'freezer paper on the back, hand basted' methodology. I learned to do needleturn applique originally, and I did lots of it, but I really like the freezer paper templates -- gives me a nice, firm edge to turn the seams over. I have tried liquid starch and glue stick basting the edges under ... but thread basting is still my favorite. It isn't fast (though it isn't nearly as slow as people think it will be), but it produces a prepared shape that is smooth and effortless to applique. :)
One of the reasons I started this blog was to leave some kind of record of my daily life ... which is rich in detail but quickly forgotten by my over burdened memory.