I’ve just started the border of my Woodland Spring Wreath quilt, this is a BOM by Andrea Walpole of Raggedy Ruff Designs, it’s quite exciting as it’s all starting to come together. There’s several short lengths of patchwork and two lengths of applique and free machine embroidery to do this month. I’ve stitched the short lengths and I’ve just finished one of the appliqued areas.
I’ve actually remembered to take photos through the different stages so you can see the picture taking shape. The background is a beautiful muted patchwork of stars and little diamond pops of colour…
Once the background is complete, the next stage is to trace the design elements onto freezer paper, this is then ironed onto the appropriate colour so the shapes can be cut out accurately. Freezer paper is great as it sticks to fabric when ironed, but it’s easily pulled off and can be repositioned or re-used as often as you want. Some of the pieces are pretty tiny and fiddly, especially the flower buds!
Once they’re all cut out they can be laid on in their correct position. Stabiliser is placed underneath to support the fabric.
Next is the only bit where I depart from Andrea’s instructions. Each piece is stitched round with a basic taupe thread. Andrea just holds them all in place and stitches them, I really don’t know how she manages it, mine would move all over the place! I put a tiny blob of fabric glue on each piece, just to hold it secure-ish whilst I stitch round everything. Even with the glue I find tiddly bits move, especially thin branches!
Once everything is stitched down it’s a matter of going back to each piece and machine embroidering some detail. I used a lot of variegated threads, I bought a couple of packs from Andrea early one in the quilt. There’s a lot of thread changes doing this, in this piece alone there were thirteen, just the butterfly had three or four!
If you look at it closely, you can see that nothing is perfect, lines are wobbly, missing edges, but somehow it doesn’t matter as it’s the overall effect you see, it’ s a very forgiving sort of embroidery! I remember my mum saying years ago when I was trying to draw, if you make several lines on a shape, the eye will see the right one, I think that’s what happens here too!
I love the detail in Andrea’s designs, I think that’s what makes them special, little extras like the seeds floating off the dandelion head, even those have two colour changes! I just need to stitch one more slightly smaller border and then wait for the final pack to arrive.