BM&I #42: Parterre block 8

Block 8 really has progressed at a snail’s pace.

I had the fabrics and ribbon selected and some of the pieces already cut when my eye problem blew up. It’s only in the past few days that I’ve been able to sew at all. First on the agenda was getting the Opal panels finished, and then I could turn my attention to this.

It’s not the most contrasty or striking version of the block, but I really wanted to use these greys together, and I’m glad I did. I think it works well, and it’ll integrate into all the brighter versions if I place it correctly in the finished layout, probably as a little quiet space between some more hectic prints.

The fabrics are both by Philip Jacobs for Westminster Fibers; the feathers are an old print and the peonies are more recent. It’s a pity that the photo isn’t colour accurate and I can’t seem to adjust it to match the reality better. The very wonky (because eye) centre of the flower is actually a bright fuchsia pink, not red, and the ribbon is a strong, bright orange.

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.

I don’t know if my busy social whirl will allow for making another block to show on New Year’s Eve (yeah, right!), but we’ll see.

Until then…

BM&I #41: Parterre Blocks 6 and 7

And here are the next couple.

This is Block 6:

And this is Block 7:

You’ll recognise at least one of the fabrics and possibly a couple of them. Block 6 is made from my recent linen top fabric, plus a lawn I used to make a second version, simpler and sleeveless. They work rather well together, I think. Block 7 is made from a paisley fat quarter I love, plus a piece of no-longer-available Phillip Jacobs Geranium Leaf fabric for Westminster Fibers I’ve been hoarding for at least 8 or 9 years! You’ll also see I’ve decided to go with the larger 3.5 blanket stitch width; I think it holds up a little better when I’m removing the tear-away stabiliser from the back..

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!

BM&I #40: Parterre Block 5

And here’s the next one.

This is Block 5:

I rather like this one. It’s more traditional in colour than some of the others, but I couldn’t resist the combination of the spot and almost ikat design of the grey, black, white and green print. What you can’t see very well in the photo is that the orange ribbon is printed with tiny flowers. I’m getting better at keeping the circles round, and I’ve experimented with making the blanket stitch width larger. It prevents fabric pulling out of the stitching, but I find it just a tiny bit in your face. Back to the smaller size next time, I think – it’s a matter of 3.0 instead of the larger 3.5 stitch width.

With Bougainville Nights almost complete, I’m casting about for the next quilt assembly WIP. I’m thinking it’ll be my last BM&I project, the Hatbox Quilt. Hmm… that could mean posting about two projects at once for my end-of-month selfish sewing.

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!

BM&I #39: Parterre Block 4

I’ve really enjoyed making more of these.

So, here’s Block 4

It’s getting easier as I go along, and I’m learning a few more tricks and shortcuts each time.

Once I’ve finished the Scinteallate quilt at the end of August for delivery early September, I can give more attention to my personal projects: Bougie Nights, the Hatbox Quilt, Amethyst & Slate (F2F3), the pastel scrappy quilt – and of course, this one!

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!

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!

Parterre

Wikipedia: “A parterre is a formal garden constructed on a level substrate, consisting of plant beds, typically in symmetrical patterns, which are separated and connected by paths. The borders of the plant beds may be formed with stone or tightly pruned hedging, and their interiors may be planted with flowers…”

I have been dithering and procrastinating about this one for far too long. So it’s a relief that I finally have the templates drawn and cut for my next Bee, Myself and I project, which will be known as Parterre.

I first had the idea a couple of months ago, in the middle of doing something else. At the time, I could only scribble down a quick sketch and some notes. It’s times like this when I miss the fabulous multi-coloured ballpoint pen I had as a child, with six different inks in it. Does anyone else remember those? But I digress. This has been nagging at my brain for weeks and weeks, like a tiny stone in the shoe, and finally it got too much.

Today, I sat down and made the templates, drawn out first on quilter’s graph paper, then transferred as individual pieces onto plain paper and spray-mounted onto firm card to make templates to draw around, with seam allowance included. Like the previous BM&I project (the Hatbox quilt), it’ll be raw edge appliqué, blanket stitched onto the background and trimmed out behind to reduce bulk. I won’t use fusible or glue, as you can’t then remove the excess fabric at the back. As before, I’ll add a layer of tear-away stabiliser at the back, layer all the pieces, pin and then baste by hand before stitching everything down. Labour intensive yes, but the result is a supple block with a tidy back, and no ugly channelling of the stitching. The blocks will finish at 10 inches square, and I haven’t yet decided how many to make! That decision can wait until I discover how tricky the block is…

I’ve done a pull of fabrics from my stash of FQs and larger scraps. The circular ‘frame’ around each block will be a slate grey chambray-effect glazed cotton. The backgrounds will be cream on cream prints, for visual interest with minimal interference with the prints. I have two reels of half inch jacquard woven ribbons (originally bought for gift wrapping) to form the stem of each flower, and dozens of yoyos left over from The Cloths of Heaven quilt, which will be the centres of the flowers. The leaves and flowers will be in contrasting or even clashing prints. This baby is going to be bright! I’m also considering putting a small button in the centre of each yoyo, and am still debating what colour to use for the blanket stitch; the red worked well on the Hatbox blocks, but I don’t want to cover the same ground. I’m pretty sure I won’t need to buy anything except perhaps backing material when the time comes to start the hand quilting.

I’m hoping I’ll get the first block done in time for Bee, Myself and I at the end of the month.

BM&I #37: The last block is quilted!

I can’t quite believe it!

This is the last hand-quilted block of the Hatbox Quilt. I’ve been making this quilt since February 2016, three years and one month. And it isn’t even finished yet! First I had all the hatboxes to appliqué, and then each one had to be hand-quilted. It’s been a slow, meditative process, and a pleasurable one; this quilt is just for me, and I had only myself to please with the colours, fabrics, layout and quilting. The slowest part of the process is done now. The next step is to start assembling it.

However, as most of you know, my new sewing room is not yet up and running (although I have made some progress today in starting to unpack and position my sewing stuff), so it’ll have to wait a little longer before I can start putting this lovely together. I hope to have something to show you next month for my Bee, Myself and I post, but there’s a strong possibility I’ll have to miss a month (again). Maybe I can show them to you all trimmed out and assembled in the correct order on the design wall 🙂

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.

Till next month… Probably!