BM&I #38: Parterre Blocks 2 and 3

And after a short break from BM&I, I’m back.

I’ve missed the end-of-monthly sessions showing my current Slow Quilting project, ever since I quilted the last Hatbox block. That one just needs assembly, which isn’t the kind of gentle, pleasurable, personal sewing I associate with Bee, Myself and I. A new project was called for, and with the successful but definitely slow assembly of the first Parterre block, I knew I’d found it.

I had to check that it wasn’t a fluke, and so here’s Block 2:

… Closely followed by Block 3.

I’ve learned a couple of new things with these new blocks, the main one being not to make the stitch width too narrow on the blanket stitch, or the chambray (which is very loosely woven) will pull out at the drop of a hat. The other thing is that there’s no need to worry about straight grain on the leaf shapes, because there isn’t a straight line on them, and all the edges are on the bias! Lots of starch prior to cutting takes care of any tendency to stretch, so long as you handle them gently.

Bee, Myself and I is a forum for ‘selfish sewing’; any stitchery which is purely for pleasure and not to a deadline or for anyone else. The original concept belongs to Carla of Granny Maud’s Girl. To find out more, you can click through on either her blog link, or using the button a fair way down in the left hand column of this blog.

More next month!

36 thoughts on “BM&I #38: Parterre Blocks 2 and 3

  1. What beautiful blocks! Love it!

    • katechiconi says:

      I just had a load of fun poking through my stash finding unlikely fabric partnerships for the next ones. I’m really enjoying this block; it’s fiddly but not impossibly so.

  2. love these, they’re wild and wonderful. That is a significant amount of blanket stitch.

    • katechiconi says:

      They’re exuberant, aren’t they? I love the mixing and matching of completely different fabrics. The blanket stitch I claim no credit for; the sewing machine takes care of it for me, and so long as I go slowly and keep the curved edges lined up on the foot, all is well.

  3. Steph says:

    Lovely!
    I couldn’t visualise this from your description and first block but now I see – the combination of fabrics will be gorgeous!

    • katechiconi says:

      I think it’s working well; I particularly like the the bright colours contrasting with the neutral chambray and being contained in the circles. Once I have a few more, I’ll be able to see the secondary pattern of the grey, which will be fun.

  4. tialys says:

    These are very striking and I love them against the grey chambray which would have made a very nice shirt or dress too by the way 😉
    Now that I fully realise how much mini blanket stitch is involved I don’t think I’ll be joining you for this one but I will be watching you carefully – obviously.

    • katechiconi says:

      The chambray is actually quite heavy, more suited to a pair of trousers, but I loved the colour in conjunction with the bright prints and I had enough for this purpose, so I’ll find something else for garments. I’m fortunate that my sewing machine does a very decent blanket stitch, so it’s not necessary to do all these tiny stitches by hand! I’m finding these blocks a bit addictive, and I’m getting faster!

    • tialys says:

      Aha! Well, you’ve done well keeping it neat round all those curves then.

  5. nanacathy2 says:

    I think that these are so pretty and I love doing blanket stitch.

  6. KerryCan says:

    I didn’t even know a machine could do blanket stitch! But, then, my old Singer just does straight stitch, forward and back. I do love these blocks–so much energy!

    • katechiconi says:

      My machine does about 20 different stitches, of which I use about 3 regularly, 2 occasionally and the rest almost never. I’ve often wished I could design my own machine with just the features I want and none of the other stuff… I know what you mean about energy: the flowers and leaves appear to spring out of the ground, and the colours are vivid. Just what I was after!

  7. Terri says:

    That is such a cute pattern you designed. It will be fun to watch all the different fabric combinations you come up with. Also am looking forward to seeing the Hat Boxes all put together into a quilt top.

    • katechiconi says:

      I’m planning to assemble both the Hatbox quilt and Bougie Nights in mid-September, after I’ve finished Scinteallate for the next charity auction. This one is *supposed* to be my slow sewing, but so far it has proved to be rather addictive and I’m having trouble fighting the urge to keep churning out blocks!

  8. I couldn’t imagine it from the drawing but now that I see them in finished form, they are stunning and delightful. Just beautiful!

  9. These blocks are so gorgeous! Your color choices nothing but perfect. I love what onesmallstitch said ~ wild and wonderful 🙂 Sharon

    • katechiconi says:

      So far, the leaf fabrics have been fairly co-ordinated, but at some stage I might branch out into more contrast, so look out, things might be getting even brighter!

  10. kathyreeves says:

    This will be a keeper for sure!

  11. craftycreeky says:

    Beautiful blocks, I love the shape of them, almost art nouveau, or is it art deco, I can never remember which is which!

  12. Dayphoto says:

    I love these. They are as much fun as the Hat Boxes

  13. magpiesue says:

    Those blocks don’t look like fun to make to me but I love your color and print choices! I find it comforting to know I have a Bee project even if I don’t make time to work on it every month. I sort of fell out of cyber space for a while in June anyway…

    • katechiconi says:

      They’re not bad, just a bit more long-winded because of the hand basting. I did a test without the hand basting. Not A Good Idea; the fabric crept out of position and stretched. I’ve missed doing the BM&I posts myself, which is another reason why it was definitely time to start this one, despite all the other projects.

  14. rutigt says:

    What a great idea to use two different fabrics for the leaves! I have totally forgotten about my BM&I, but now you really inspired me to continue making blocks for the Splendid Sampler 2 quilt!

    • katechiconi says:

      Different leaves means I can show even more fabrics, and it makes the block more interesting, I think. Do do carry on with your BM&I, everyone needs a project like that!

  15. gwenniesgardenworld says:

    And again something very different !! It’s looking good !

    • katechiconi says:

      It’s a garden, so I need lots of different flowers 🙂

      • gwenniesgardenworld says:

        A garden ? I must have mist a blog then. I look forward to see it finished !!

      • katechiconi says:

        This is going to be an entire quilt of these blocks, and the Parterre is the garden, all laid out in formal shapes. I haven’t yet decided how big to make it – the blocks are 10 inches square, so at least 50!

      • gwenniesgardenworld says:

        Oh dear, 50 blocks !! But the 3 I saw were lovely. Where do you get all this inspiration ??

      • katechiconi says:

        There are 5 of these blocks now, so I’ve done 10% 🙂 I got an idea a while back and scribbled it on a piece of paper. I wanted another appliqué project, to follow the Hatboxes, but something simple, with big shapes so I could show off nice fabrics. And here it is!

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