Thursday, September 6, 2012

Basket of Roses...To Layer or Not To Layer, That is the Question

Closeup of my block Basket of Roses, pattern by Elly Sienkiewicz.  Each petal is appliqued from a separate piece of fabric.  Top, large petal is padded with thin, cotton batting.

I finished the applique portion of another block in my Aqua Album quilt last night.  I call this block Basket of Roses.  Again, the pattern is by Elly Sienkiewicz and can be found in her books.  There were a few lessons learned and a few more grey hairs earned stitching this block that I think you may find interesting. 

Basket of Roses
First, there were a few opportunities for reverse applique in the flower centers.  Notice the yellow centers in the purple trumpet shaped flowers, the polka dot rose centers, and the rosebuds.   None of these shapes are needle turned so this is a wonderful spot for me to you specialty fabrics that are gorgeous but impossible to needle turn.   The hand dyed silks were a breeze to use.  If did pad the underneath of the silk with a very thin cotton batting just to give the fabric a little heft. 


Hand-dyed Velvet Rosebuds
The hand-dyed velvet was another matter all together.  It pinkish red velvet buds had so much bulk from the nap of the velvet under the green batik that it was impossible for me to keep flat.   The result was very interesting but I doubt I will use velvet again in this fashion any time soon.  

 The large roses for this block are drawn on the pattern the same way as the large roses on another of Elly's patterns (Urn of Roses block). I worked on the Urn of Roses block in a class and the instructor had us cut the rose shapes from a single piece of fabric (Not Layered).

The petals were defined with embroidery.  The result is nice. I think once I add a little embroidery to the centers I will like the overall block more. 

Roses cut from a single piece of fabric

The look is not my favorite so in the Basket of Roses block I appliqued each petal separately (Layered).  I padded the top petal to give the block a little dimension.  I love the look so much more and time-wise it did not take significantly longer to stitch.  But at least now I know how the two looks stitch up and I can pick and choose from my arsenal of techniques!

My Urn of Roses block, pattern by Elly Sienkiewicz

I will try to finish the drawing of my Santa Maria ship block tonight so that I can begin stitching SOON.  I would love to finish the block by October 12th, the same day Columbus discovered America (or as he thought, found Japan!)  

Until next time...

Best stitches,
Mercy in Miami