It’s like painting by numbers, but with fabric.
I’ve spent time today building the full scale template for the central landscape image, and preparing the pieces of colour which will form it. On my design wall is the central panel, with the pieces all applied. Tomorrow is appliqué day, and I’ll also be adding the stars: the constellations of Aries, Gemini and Aquarius for the birth dates of my niece, her husband and me, the quilt’s maker, plus the Southern Cross to mark the quilt’s origin in Australia.
I’ve traced the shapes off the full size template and onto the back of pieces of Vliesofix, which I have ironed onto the reverse of the fabrics and trimmed to the correct size and shape. These were then ironed onto the background in layers and will be sewn down around the outside. I’ve tested satin stitch, which looks OK, and I’m still to try a small blanket stitch, which I think might be a little less obvious. I may even do straight stitch on the clouds; the voile doesn’t fray, and I want the edges to be as soft as possible. I did a test with the voile to work out if I got a better result with Vliesofix, which I thought might show too much, vs glue stick. The Vliesofix won; the effect was much the same as a double layer of voile and actually added a little extra sparkle which I like. The glue stick was patchy and unsatisfactory, so I won’t try that again.
Once all the pieces are sewn down, I shall cut away the excess fabric from behind the appliqué panels where possible, to reduce thickness and weight. Finally, I’ll check the circle is still circular. I’ve allowed plenty of excess all round in case I need to expand outwards anywhere. It does need to be right, because a 6 inch wide border will be attached all round to hold the hand lettering of the poem.
And then it will be time for a steady hand, and calligraphy!