Friday, 16 May 2008

The first block

Dear Cassie,

I have had a busier week than what I anticipated Monday. I wish I would have been busy with the garden work but that is not the case. This feels almost absurd, usually when the spring finally comes, it comes quickly and proceeds with good paste. Now, the spring has stopped completely. Half of the lake is still covered with ice, the amount of snow is just the same it was on Monday, the temperature is everyday hovering around zero, it is like the spring has come to a complete standstill.

Even though the weather is not a source of joy around here, my quilt very much is. When I started sewing the pieces, there was some discussion about the small stitches and how small they would really need to be to be satisfactory. I looked at yours and admired them but I did not dare to make mine small enough fearing that the amount of stitches would create some bulk and distort the fabric. Little by little I have made my stitches smaller and smaller and noticed that it has not created extra bulk. I am quite pleased with my stitches now.
I am using light yellow thread for all of my stitching. And you are right, when the stitching shows here and there it just adds to the beauty of the quilt.

One thing I have been worrying about a bit lately, are the small dots inside the flowers. First I thought that to be a perfect spot for contrasting colours but somehow I have grown to like the simplicity of the big flowers and I might get rid of the small dots. I have sewn them only to one of the flowers and might even take them out from there. Then on the other hand, maybe I leave them, for the sake of process and letting the mistakes stay. If they start to bother me much and if those small dots are the only thing I see when I look at the block, then I will get rid of them.

I have used three kinds of appliqué techniques. I have used English paper piecing for making the pieced parts (pieced leaves) and have appliqué them onto the fabric letting the papers stay inside until the pieces have been sewn down. I have appliquéd some of the flowers with freezer paper on top (following your example) and then I have tried freehand the big and simple shapes without the aid of the freezer paper.

So the first block is almost complete. I am not completely satisfied with the design and at some point I thought about tossing it away and starting over with some other design. But then I decided to stick with this, this is a challenge now and I want to try to make this work. These are the choices for fabrics for the flowers in the second block; there is some red in there!I don’t have enough fabric for the back ground, so I will need to find something for the fourth block, something quite similar. I thought that I would have more somewhere but that is not the case, I have enough for three blocks but the more I think about this course of things, the more I like the fact. I am forced to make do with what I have and I kind of like that thought.
There is something so very pleasing in the tiny stitches and the yellow little patches that I am purring with delight every time I have a chance to sit by my quilt and sew some. I am hoping to have hours tonight with the quilt.

I am sending lots of healing thoughts to your Grandmother. I do hope she will get better, little better, every single day.




Leila said...

It is beautiful so far! I really like the fabric with the oranges (are they oranges?) in the second photo. It adds a lot of dimension to that part. I even think that I like the contrasting dots that you are thinking of removing.

Sara said...

I love your design! I think the dots are very necessary. The block looks bland without them. Please leave the dots; they are my favorite part

Anonymous said...

Dear Lene,

Your applique is perfect! Scanning the page, I at first thought the completed blog was a pasted mock-up. This means that your shapes lie perfectly flat and your stitches are invisible.

Seeing the completed block makes me realize that your project is very light in tone, while Cassies is very dark, with the deep red background. Princesses of Light and Darkness??? The differences between the two projects makes the blog more interesting, as does your trying different techniques. Will you be commenting on what you like and don't like about them? I can't wait for the new posts in this blog. S.

beadlizard said...

To dot or not to dot? I rather like the clean no-dot look. Can't wait to see what you decide. --Syl

Anonymous said...

Your block is lovely! I especially like the leaf colors. Hug from Kentucky! kelley

Anonymous said...

I like the dots too - nice to "hear" from you.
Margie in Maryland

Anonymous said...

I know you didn't really ask ... but I do so like the dots, they really give the block life, IMHO.

BTW, love the concept of this blog.


Tina said...

So hard to believe what you write about your weather, we have very humid 30°C around here, which is too hot for this time of the year… So I wish I could send you some degrees up to your place…
I LOVE how your quilt looks! But tis seems so intimidating to me. Give me 320 stitches on a 2 mm circular knitting needle and I knit a sweater for me happily but when it xomes to sewing… no help. And I do so much want to sew quilt for our bed. Sigh!