This week I finally settled down and stitched the last part of my Spring Wreath quilt, this is a Block of the Month (BOM) by Andrea Walpole of Raggedy Ruff Designs and it has been amazing to do. I fell for the finished quilt on facebook and signed up as soon as I discovered it would be a BOM.
It has been a huge learning curve as it’s created with raw edge applique and free motion machine embroidery. This was a new technique to me and it did take some courage to start that first piece, ‘take a deep breath and go for it’ was good advice from Andrea. With the help of her clear instructions and support on line, I did it!! I even found I rather like machine embroidery and I’m now using the techniques I’ve learnt in little pieces of my own.
The last section was four lengths of borders, two of which needed embroidering to complete the floral border within the wreath. The background is beautiful in it’s own right, with muted shades of cream and lilac, little pops of colour and gentle stars. It’s mainly made with batiks and kona solids, but there’s also different fabrics such as linen, calico and a sparkly one, which I would never have thought to put in a quilt, but it just lifts it.
The first one I tackled was the bottom arc of flowers and foliage, there’s dandelions, ivy and little blue flowers which look a little like periwinkle. I found these borders more fiddly than the main blocks, just because the pieces are so tiny. Andrea somehow manages to secure them all just by positioning and sewing, I have to use a dab of fabric glue first – I tried without on a bud that I’d missed with the glue, it turned on me and ended up facing the wrong way!
The final area to be embroidered was the right hand border, dandelion flowers and clocks, periwinkles and white blossom, with a couple butterflies fluttering by too.
With all the blocks complete I could start assembling the quilt, but first I had the nerve-wracking job of cutting away the stabiliser from behind the blocks, I trimmed to within about 1/4″ of the stitching, I really must buy some duck-billed scissors at the next quilt show!
The panels went together really easily, most of my corners match up! I love it! It’s so peaceful and calm, it’s going to hang on my landing wall where I do my hand quilting – I’ve just got to get it quilted!
I’ve decided to machine quilt it, the original was hand quilted with simple diagonal lines, Andrea’s more recent quilts have been machine quilted with the most beautiful, intricate stitching, way beyond my capabilities, but I have seen a free motion quilting pattern which I think will work, it has twining flowers and leaves, I think I’ll have a practise on a cushion front first. I’ve ordered some variegated cream thread so as soon as it arrives I’m hoping to get started on the last stage of this quilt.