Here are the last two blocks for the centre of the ‘tea table’.
I had a couple of appliqué days, and tried a new (to me) process. Normally, I fuse my piece to the background and then stitch round it. But this adds an extra layer of thickness and stiffens the appliqué section. With the block below, it would have meant 8 layers on top of the background, and the design area would have been quite rigid.
Instead, I used tear-away stabiliser. I laid down all the elements in order on the background, one on top of the other. Behind the light area, I pinned a piece of stabiliser. Then I basted through all the layers, around all the shapes. Next came a small, narrow blanket stitch around all the shapes. Finally, I removed the basting, and on the reverse, carefully removed the stabiliser and snipped away all the excess fabric behind each shape. Each of those elements has just one layer of fabric, and the block is still nice and flexible. The basting held the pieces in place, and the stabiliser prevented the rucking and channelling you get under the edge stitching when there’s nothing behind it.
I used the same process for this block, but the embroidery stitch around the edge of the ‘doiley’ kept trying to chew up the fabric, and I was lucky to be able to hide a dodgy patch behind one of the cups. If I use this stitch again in appliqué I may use fusible instead, and then the fabric won’t shift at all.
Finishing these last two blocks means that I now have the final arrangement sorted out. Voilà! Tea and cake, anyone…?
Next job is to sandwich each block and quilt it, and then join them. These central blocks will have a pale cream/beige lightly patterned narrow sashing to try and give visual unity, although it’s a bit tricky given the range of background colours! Never mind, I’m sure it’s going to be amazing whatever I do, the blocks are all so lovely.
After that, it’s time to move onto Dresdens. Some more of you have volunteered to produce a block or two, which will be greatly appreciated now that I have to unfortunately ration my time at the sewing machine. I need 7 small (8 inch) and 5 large (10 inch) Dresden blocks, on a light background. I have a whole heap of fabulous scraps. Noooooo problem! After that, it’ll be the outer border, and another 21 blocks needed. I have a fair number of paper piecing blocks sorted out, and I’ll intersperse those with simpler pieced designs. We’re looking good!
Right, back to the sofa to unkink the back. I never thought I’d get bored with sofa-lounging. How times change!