Saturday, October 31, 2009

Looking for a peacock?

Hmm.. where is it? It's not on this block yet!!
Actually, I am having a little trouble deciding which fabrics to use on the peacock... so I have traced off 2 more blocks and will prepare the stems. Hopefully this will keep me going with this quilt project, and I can select the bird fabric when I am more in "the mood" for it.
I do love the fabrics I used in this block so far.
There are quite a few pieces that overlap the seams on this block. It's a jolly nuisance actually. I guess I could have confined all pieces to their own blocks, except that I like the overlapped appearance. LOL!!
I seem to be in a rather antagonistic mood!!

Bird of Paradise Finished!

Here he is - all finished and I'm happy with the way he turned out. The block really came together much quicker than I thought it would once I got stuck into it! I'm happy I had a little play about - not a Purist as you can see! Now I don't profess to be proud of that fact, but some things I have to do my way for them to sit well with me.
Five blocks done now - I still haven't made up my mind how many I will do. I think the next block will be the Bride, and that won't be easy for me, as I think she is far too old and homely looking - she needs to slim down and have a makeover and that may not be easy to achieve! Please don't take me too seriously, I assure you she won't look like Barbie!
I hope you all have a fun Halloween weekend!
Hugs - Lurline♥

Friday, October 30, 2009

It's Official! ......

I've always admired the original "Bird of Paradise" quilt top and now to find a pattern AND blog for this "Civil War Bride" is cool is that!
I'm happy to join such a wonderful group of quilters!
Here is my first block. I'm mainly using Daiwabo Taupe, Civil War, William Morris and Liberty fabrics.
Onto the second block!

Thursday, October 29, 2009

I've joined your dance

Hi!  After watching and admiring you ladies who are dancing your way through this lovely project, I decided to step out on the dance floor with you.  I had hesitated because I am very new to applique and quilting... I only started my first applique project a few months ago. So naturally, my second project would be this one!  (wink)

Here's a pic of the background I selected.  It's the leafy, tan fabric. (Did I not think there were enough leaves already?!)  It's "close enough" to what I was looking for. The fat quarters urged me to take them home.  I also bought the light fabric on the left for "something else" "some other day" just because I loved it. 

The background fabric was an interesting experience. I converted metrics to yards... and rechecked the numbers. Purchase THAT MUCH... of the SAME fabric? I've never bought anything longer than I could hold in outstretched arms. (Do any of you remember your first time buying your first big piece?) And though I like to iron... my goodness, it just went on and on! : ) Then I had to figure out how to refold the unwieldy mass. You would have laughed if you were there... and I would have told you to help me for goodness sake!

Block 5 is my first block.  I drew a different container that seemed more my style.  I know I'll make other changes as I go along.  Here's some of the fabrics.  I'm deciding between the two "urn" fabrics. (Sorry, the black is a little tough to see.)

I may try different techniques. For this block I'm using the freezer paper/starch method, because it gives this perfectionist the results she is happier with. I am practicing other techniques to build those skills. (I envy you who can needle-turn!) 

I'll try to be back soon to show some progress (with actual stitching! lol).  Just remember that I "dance" slow.


Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Getting through/over/around a blockage

I was laying out my blocks to photograph them together when a friend who has seen the blocks individually remarked how stunning they look. It's true, all of our blocks look better when seen in real life. This block was a blocker. What do I mean? I couldn't get past it. It seemed to take AGES! and I forgot to make one of the little bud stems, so I had the block ready to finish with only 2 flower centres and a bud to go. I actually started another block, and finished it before I ended up finishing this one!! Thank you dear friends for being there for me, even though you didn't know I felt blocked. It was your photos on this blog, especially where the blocks were shown together that inspired me. Whoops! I photographed one of the blocks upside down! I bet you didn't even notice. LOL!! I changed the ostrich feet a bit too - and the flower colours. Thank goodness for this simple straight-forward block that got me over the hump. Just a note - the platforms for the ostriches are not included in the pattern, you need to make them up. They are shown in the photo, but not on the layout diagram. Here is what I have done now! Almost half the blocks are finished... (that's positive self-talk that is).

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Progress on Bird!

Hi Girls ... back again! I've had a few queries about how I have done the applique on this block, so thought I would show you. I played about yesterday and did some stitching last night, so we can well and truly see where this block is going. See below - I did the tail first by overlaying it on freezer paper, shiny side up and pressing the edges over with a fairly hot iron. I like this method of applique as it gives one the freedom of movement with placing the pieces to achieve a layout that is pleasing to the eye. I have removed the freezer paper from the tail, but it is still on the upturned wing - I will make a little opening on the back of my work to remove the freezer paper.
The legs - as I said this is a Kim McLean look-alike bird so they are two sticks sort of, with feet hidden - will be much clearer when stitched. I wasn't keen on the clumsy feet in the pattern, but that is very much a personal thing!
I really love this block, my favourite, and it is what I imagined in my mind's eye - I am happy to share, probably with Lizzie's help. I have been prepared to fiddle and fuss, maybe a little bit silly to some, but to me it is the focal point of the quilt!
Still lots of stitching to do, but that's okay, maybe just a few quiet evenings needed!
'Bye for now - hugs - Lurline♥

Monday, October 26, 2009

Oh my I finished block one...

I better pull my finger out and get stitching, you will all be finished before I know it. cheers to you all as I am enjoying a wonderful glass of Merlot. Christine ps. by the way it is raining, wonderful rain

Bird of Paradise - In Progress!

Firstly, how wonderful to have been complimented on the blog by Elly - now that is really something and I know you will all be happy with your contributions and efforts to make this blog special - to Liz, too - many thanks!

I have been puddling along for what seems ages with this block - I must admit I have been doing lots of other things also, so not really dedicated. As you can see, I have been up to my usual tricks and making more changes here and there - the head, body and wing are Kim McLean birds look-alike! I am anxious to finish the block now - happy with the way it is developing and will make it the focal point of the quilt - I think ....

Thank you to everyone who left Comments on my last Post - I am sorry I have not replied and promise to be better behaved in the future!

Happy stitching everyone - hugs - Lurline♥

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Finally, block 13 is finished.....

It's taken me three weeks to finish this block! A friend said on her blog the other day that she thought she'd lost her 'mojo', well I think I lost mine and found it again! I sat down yesterday and finished this block AND started the next one, how's that for mojo??
I'm not that happy with the table legs but at the moment they are going to have to stay. Maybe before I put it together I'll do something with them. I still have the cherry stems to embroider and the fringe to do on the tablecloth but, as with all the other blocks, I'll do it all at the end I think!

They are looking good together, three more blocks and I'm half way. That's if you don't think about the borders of course, lol!

This is the block I'm doing now, the grapes and bird. I stitched all the stems on last night, tonight I'll do the grapes. I should imagine this one will come together a lot quicker that the last one, I don't think I'll lose interest again for a while anyway.

The other day I opened a comment email and was thrilled to read...............

"So excited this famous Album is being reproduced widely!! Elly Sienkiewicz, The Appliqué Academy®"

How fabulous is that? I am in awe of this lady's applique skills and she leaves a comment on our blog!! If you go here, you can see the comment.
I think it may have something to do with this post from the lovely Bobbie?? Thank you Bobbie, our blog was obviously a topic of conversation and I personally think it's wonderful that Elly Sienkiewicz paid us a visit.
We are still getting requests to join the blog and hopefully some of you that were waiting for fabric etc, will be joining us soon. Looking forward to lots of new posts in the near future.
Have a good week everyone,

Thursday, October 22, 2009

First Block #8 Finally Finished!!!!!!

Woohoo! Well I changed my original background color(black) to cream. The block design  measures 5x7, yep that's right. This woman needs an psychiatry appointment! I absolutely love it! And have already picked out a wall for display when the quilt is finished. The strawberry tops were a bit hairy, but they stitched up prettily.
So many decisions, which block to start next....maybe a bride or groom? Thanks so much for everyone's encouragement and such lovely blocks for inspiration.


Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Always On My Mind

This is the 6th block I have finished appliqueing. I have another block that just needs a couple of flower centres, and yet another one that is half finished. I love the fabric I used for the eggs. The slight patterning makes them look delicate, and maybe slightly translucent. The nest fabric also looks good - it's got a slightly woven look.
So, here are the first 6 blocks photographed together.
I'm working on other projects too now, but the Bride Quilt is always on my mind...

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

The Groom is born

No, I have not dropped of from the list. Since the beginning of October I have been busy curating a handmade books exhibition due to be open on Saturday 31 October. You can read more about it here . In the meantime let me tell you a little about the groom.
The Groom is born! I started workig on him about two weeks ago , but he was without a face for all that time. I managed to give him a face-lift just last weekend. I found that the face and hat were hard to position together. I think I am happy with that now. What does everyone think? Does he need a feature on his face? My sewing group thought he should have, but I am not sure. Some input here from everyone please. Lizzie did a great job on the pattern. I particularly like his strong legs. He would need them to fight the war! I decorated my block a bit differently than what Lizzie did, but still using the motifs from the main pattern. I gave in to the temptation and got some Civil war fabrics fromAutumn rose Quilting. I couldn't help myself when I saw what they have. Not having any Civil war fabric before I thought I might get just a little bit LOL! Anyway, I can use what is leftover for Dear Jane quilt.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Bird Tail!

Just a little pic to keep in touch with you all and to let you know I haven't abandoned this great project! I have been busy, busy with other things - I'm halfway through his tail and it is a big one - it should be very pretty once it is finished, freezer paper out and sitting flat! As you can see, I am also trialling Roxanne glue - seems to be working well, but may not suit the Purists! I must try to get the other half done through the week! For now - happy stitching! Hugs - Lurline♥

the little peacock

the little peacock is finished,but now the quilt must wait a little,because my youngest grandson,he is 1year and 8 month,comes to visit us a few days,and we have to play with traktors and cars and rubbercows,happy stitching,susi

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Time for a catch up............

I've been a bit busy with other things for the last couple of weeks and suddenly realised today that it's over two weeks since I posted anything on here, so I thought a bit of a catch up chat was called for (before I get the sack)!
As you can see, I haven't finished my table block yet, what is it? Block 13, that's it!! I quite like this block in between the bride and groom, sort of symbolic I guess!

Still lots of cherries and a few leaves to go, I was hoping to finish it this weekend but I may as well be realistic's not going to happen! There, now I've said it, no pressure, feels good, no guilt! Insert very big grin here...........

So, we have lots of new friends joined us since I did my last post, if I miss anyone, please feel free to send me a (tiny) slap on the wrist ;o)

Hello and welcome to Sue, Debra, Adele, Gail and Margaret. As well, we have five open invites to join the blog, these ladies are still waiting for patterns or fabrics, so this gives us a grand total of 31. WOW, how big have we grown?? Isn't it great that we are all at different stages of this quilt, but each and everyone of us is loving where we are at?

Have a great weekend everyone and keep stitching..................



Friday, October 16, 2009

Block 8 is done!

Block 8 is done!  So much for doing them in any kind of order.  This block seemed empty and easy after the first three that I did.  They seemed so busy.  I was watching the birds pick the cold, dried up crabapples off the tree outside my window when I picked fabrics for this block - I decided to make the cherries into crabapples, hence the pink!

Now, for my moment of immaturity...I'm keeping a childish tally of shapes as I applique them down.  After 4 blocks done, here are the totals:
   leaves - 114
   pieces of fruit - 34
   flowers/buds - 23

I think I am doing my groom next...he's been on my mind (don't tell my husband!).  I sketched it out tonight.  One of my grandfathers was a farmer and taught vocational agriculture and living off the land, so I designed the block around things that reminded me of him.  Besides, my daughter Riley is named after him and this quilt will be hers some day.  Now I just need to dig in.

I've also been thinking about the peacock block.  When I was a kid, we actually sort of had a "pet" peacock.  We lived in Birmingham, Alabama and our property backed up to the woods that surrounded the Birmingham Zoo.  One day he just wandered up and started roosting on my little sisters' swingset...happy to eat leftovers (he especially loved scrambled eggs - isn't that cannibalism?) and put on a "feather show" for us.  My Dad caught him, put him in the back of the station wagon and drove him back to the zoo.  He beat my Dad back to our house again!  So, he stayed and ruled the neighborhood.

He HAS to be in the quilt!

In stitches,
Teresa  :o)

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

One down

My first block done. I hope to complete this top by 2011 which will be the 150th anniversary of The Civil War. I completed a Nearly Insane Quilt in CW fabrics a few years ago and just recently finished a swap with friends - we each made 6 blocks each of 6 different patterns in Civil War reproductions in 6 inch blocks- we called it the 6-6-6 Civil War exchange. We had a year to complete the blocks which we did and thus I am stocked with more than enough Civil War reproductions and hoping to improve my applique skills and humbled by the beautiful blocks already pictured on this blog.
I recently found some wonderful orange fabric so I have oranges and not apples.
I have been to the Folk Art Museum in NYC several years ago and remember a wonderful appliqued unquilted top but don't remember if it was the Bird of Paradise Quilt but I'm hoping that it was. Thanks for the inspiration. Debra

Monday, October 12, 2009

bird and urn

i have finished block11 and block12,it was much fun to sew them,i simply love this quilt!

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Block 2 (at last)

Wow were those leaves daunting - and I haven't sewn them yet! This was a hard block to pin up - it looks like a random collection of green bits, I can't get the placement right on the felt. But I like he overall colour of it. Corliss told me that the background is in - so I will get it sometime this week. But I'm thinking I might continue to cut and pin rather than sew. I already have plenty of that to do. I will do the bride next. I have really been enjoying seeing all the different colours and variations to the original that people are doing. Can you imagine a gallery of all these when finished? Cheers, Deb

Thursday, October 8, 2009

she has a house now

dear friends,i designed a new block ,because i will leave away the elephantblock,so i needed another instead,happy stitching to you all,susi

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Boy, that's a lot of leaves...

This is a very leafy quilt project!!  I wasn't very crazy about this block before I started working on it...even considered omitting it to make room for a groom.  But now that it is done, I'm glad I changed my mind.

OK...I am a little obsessive/compulsive ("a LITTLE, " my husband would say...).  I've decided to keep a running tally of some of the elements in this, how many leaves, pieces of fruit and flowers/buds I've stitched thus far (later I will add birds and animals...).

So, (drum roll please!), here is the first tally after three blocks:
   leaves - 95
   pieces of fruit - 9
   flowers/buds - 23

Yes, I am counting every little berry and grape as a piece of fruit.   :o)

Yes, I am a nutter.   :o)

On a more serious note, I've been scratching my head, trying to plan blocks, arrangement and color.  It is difficult when I don't know the final arrangement to keep color placement even as I plan individual blocks.  And, I want to move the blocks around so that I can get an idea of the final layout.  So, I made a paper color copy of the quilt picture on my computer printer and cut it into blocks so that I could move things around and play (do you like my groom block??).

Happy stitching to you all!!  I am so enjoying reading every post!

In stitches,
Teresa  :o)

Monday, October 5, 2009

Finished Block 1 :-)) Started B2 and 5


Block 1 is finally finished :-) (Still have to do the black embroidery on the apples) and I have washed and pressed it. I am happy with it but I am at slow applique.

Still having fun


I do have all the leaves and flowers cut and prepared so I am much further than it looks. Had such Fun choosing all the greens.


I did not want to make the Bride block yet and so opted for B5 as I just wanted to choose another vase. Love the apples too. Have not chosen any of the other fabrics yet.

Cheers Lynne

Block meeting..............

Lorraine sent me this photo last night.

Lorraine is on the right and that's little 'ole me on the left. Don't all the blocks look fabulous all together. Lorraine's blocks are amazing, what a difference the background fabric makes. I love my darker background but I really like the lighter background of Lorraine's too!! It was so good to meet and see both lots of blocks together. Thanks Lorraine for the photo and the meeting.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Here Comes the Bride..........

Here comes the Bride yeah! It has taken me long enough, but to be honest I have been working on this block most nights, if I didn't fall as sleep in the middle of it, that is! I am still enjoying it, and every leaf or flower I complete I sit back and admire the progress. I truly believe that I will finish this quilt without a doubt! Having this blog motivates me a great deal. I am much more organised with keeping the journal as well. I have no photo of the journal to show you today because I have been busy this weekend attending a pop-up book workshop for both Saturday and Sunday. Will take some photos of the journal next week. I only managed to take a photo of the completed block when I got home this afternoon, thanks to the daylight saving! Here it is my beautiful bride. I gave her a new hairdo with curved ends. I am happy to add that the fabric for her skirt is the only true civil war fabric I have got in my stash. It's perfect for the skirt. I have added a little lace trim along the bottom edge of the skirt, just to dress her up a little on her wedding day. I hope you like my version of the bride.
These are the blocks I have completed so far. Not too many compared to some other energetic ladies on this blog. My next block will be the groom block using the pattern that Lizzie kindly shared with everybody. I will have to work out what I will use to decorate the rest of the block with. I can see that it will be another slow block to complete. I will introduce more fabric in the next block. I am thinking blue for the groom coat, or maybe brown and black. Decisions, decisions! I need some help here please.


hi,friends,i finished the strawberryblock today and with it the second row,have a nice sunday,here is very stormy weather,and we have tend the oven,so it is cosy inside our house,susi

Friday, October 2, 2009

Here comes the Groom..........

I have finally finished my groom block and I'm quite pleased with him now. Thanks to everyone for your helpful comments about his waistline!! I like the flowers that he's now carrying and like to think that he's carrying them to give to his bride ........... ahwwww, sweet!!

I intend to put block 13, the table block, in between the bride and groom and that's the next one for me. I hope to get started on that this weekend, but I do have lots of other things that I want to get into, so I think that I may be slowing down a wee bit between now and Christmas.

I really love looking at them all together, gives a glimpse of how the quilt will look when it's finished I think.

I have had a couple more requests from ladies wishing to join us this week. Mona and Vanda, both from the U.S. are waiting for their patterns and will join us as soon as that arrives, looking forward to hearing from both of them. Welcome ladies. Also, I'm really looking forward to my friend Micki from here joining us too. She is also waiting on her pattern, can't wait for her first post. We are such a multi cultural melting pot of stitchers now, it's just wonderful.

I belong to a local patchwork group here where I live and on Wednesday a few of us had a bit of an outing (read spending spree) to some surrounding quilt shops, one of which belongs to our own Lorraine from here. Lorraine came in on her precious day off and brought her CWBQ blocks so that we could meet and have a look at both our blocks so far. Meeting another CWB quilter is so amazing, when I started this blog I don't think that I ever imagined that we would become as big or as friendly as we have. It started out more for me, for a bit of encouragement to keep ME going - now it's become WE and I love it, thank you all for making it WE!! Lorraine's husband took a photo for us and as soon as I get a copy I will put it up for everyone to see (or Lorraine will).

I've been hatching a bit of a plot to maybe get some of the local -as in Australian- ladies together! I was wondering how many of you will be coming down to Melbourne for the 'Australasian Quilt Convention' at the end of April next year?? I was thinking that it might be a great opportunity for those of us that are able to be there, to meet for lunch??? I have another little thing buzzing around my head at the moment concerning a photo of all of us! I'm needing to do a little more thinking on that one, but it will fall into place very soon, a hint - I love photoshop!!!

Have a great weekend everyone.


Thursday, October 1, 2009

Done except for her face...

She's done!!  I still need to embroider her face, but I will catch up on those little details when I have 3-4 blocks done.  I decided to give her more hair (a bun on top of her head).  I am so loving this project - it is making my heart sing.  But the leaves...ugh!  Has anyone counted how many there are in the whole project?!?

I'm trying a different kind of hand applique for this project.  My usual method is mostly "baste-under," with a little needle-turn thrown in on points and little fussy bits.  I usually like to baste the allowance, press the bit, and then pin, baste, and/or glue ("dot, dot, not a lot") to the background.  Then, after I stitch everything down, I remove the basting thread...a little tedious.  The problem with this method is the amount a turn-under allowance required when basting it down...almost a whole quarter inch.

Well, one of my quilting buddies (thank you, thank you Mary Liz!), just turned me on to the glue stick method and I am completely hooked!!!  I am using an Elmer's disappearing purple glue stick and a stiletto/fingertips  after I've ironed freezer paper to the right side of the fabric.  The real beauty is that it takes so little turn-under allowance when doing it this way.  I'm like a kid in a candy store...I just want to applique everything in sight!!  The shapes were a little stiff at first, but I've backed off on the glue and a straw needle (Jeana Kimball) works well.  I now have the added step of soaking the finished, untrimmed block in a little cold water to remove the glue stick and the Roxanne's Glue Baste-It, followed by careful pressing to dry, but I am much happier not sewing all those allowances before laying the block out.  The gluing and pressing go really fast!

Question: what are your thoughts on cutting away the background behind the applique?  I usually do it since I'm a hand quilter, but I'm not sure about doing it on this project.  If I do, I won't bother cutting away behind small things, like leaves, berries, etc....just bigger things.  Do you guys usually do this??  I'm really on the fence about it for this project.

I trimmed my two blocks to 12 x 15 (to finish at 11.5 x 14.5).  I may trim them the rest of the way to 11.5 x 14.5 when putting the whole thing together, but for now the outer edges of my blocks are extremely close to the smaller size.  I may trim all of them to 12 x 15 "so they can breathe" and then adjust the outer borders accordingly.

Happy stitching!!!

Teresa  :o)