Everything we do in the quilting space seems to move forward in tiny increments. Piecing a traditional quilt often involves lots of repetition, however, every seam completed is one seam closer to the finish. Quilting by hand or machine happens one stitch at a time.
Such is the case with the pinwheel quilt that keeps inching along in between other time-sensitive and secretive stuff that supports the Hummingbird Highway business.
The pinwheel quilt doesn't have a deadline. Last week, I added two continuous stems encircling the quilt in the border. This week, I'm adding some machine applique flowers with help from Sue Pelland's Leaves Galore templates.
With a few minor exceptions, I'm following Sue's excellent step-by-step video tutorials from her website.
Since my theme is 'purple' I'm going for a whimsical vine of clematis-looking flowers for the quilt's border. Which means I need to make flower petals to add to the stems.
The first step is to add fusible material to the wrong side of the petal fabrics.
Sue recommends using Misty Fuse because there's no paper-backing involved.
The trick here is getting the fusible web to stick to the fabric and nothing else - like the iron and the ironing board. I used a heat-inert fusible mat. You can see the hair-like fusible material placed under the fabric on the mat(red arrow).
After an initial application of heat in the center of the fabric, I trimmed any extra fusible material away, fused from the right side of the fabric, then pealed the fused fabric away from the mat. The shiny stuff on the back of the fabric shows I've accomplished my goal.
I'm going to make petals from three different purple fabrics.
I added the fusible backing to each piece, then they had to go to the 'time-out' table to cool.
I'm going to be stacking the fabric and cutting through all three layers at once. Letting them cool keeps them from sticking to each other and greatly reduces the risk of expletives resonating from the vicinity of the cutting table.
Cutting the curvy pieces takes a bit of concentration.
As I cut, I can hear Sue sitting on my shoulder, repeating, 'one inch at a time.'
You can tell when you are starting to feel over confident. Jiggly edges happen. Slow down!, says Sue's imagined voice!
The tools are excellent, efficient, and great fun, but they keep you humble!
Little by little, inch by inch, I'm adding flowers to the border.
I think I'm going to fuse all the petals in place, then layer and quilt the project, securing the applique with the quilting.
The flowers feel like they need a center, but I'm still debating. Center/no center/colonial knots/applique circle . . . ?
In other news, the tropical birds stitchy project now has borders. That outer border is quite loud.
Hmm. . .
I may have to rethink things. An inch forward isn't really any good unless you take an inch backward every now and again.
And in other, other news, what's this?
A stalled quilt, the quilted parts of which have been used elsewhere.
One quarter of the quilt is left, unquilted.
What happens next? It's a mystery!