Make Merry

Last September I attended a course with Bonnie Sullivan (All through the night) working on one of her patterns with flannel and wool. This quilt is still on the making, but during the course I bought some preprinted panels to work on for the Christmas season.

On my Instagram account I’ve been posting the progress on these projects, and this week I finally finished the first of them, a medium-sized preprinted panel.

I really enjoy working with this kind of preprinted motives, as they allow for some mindless and relaxing sewing. I also discovered that I like working with wool and flannels, which were absolutely new to me.

Also on the novelty side of things I tried to sew with Perlé cotton n. 8. The only Perlé cotton I’d used so far was number 12, and the difference is huge! Love the results of combining the thicker perlé with the embroidery floss.

To finish the panel I mounted it on a photo frame, which is a little bigger (like 1/4″ bigger), but it does the job and now it’s ready for the beginning of the Christmas season!

Project: Christmas panel
Size: 11 1/2″ x 8 1/4″ / 29.5 x 21 cm (aprox.)
Date: October – November 2017
Pattern: Make Merry, Bonnie Sullivan (All through the night)
Appliqué pieces: scraps of cotton flannel and wool
Stabiliser: Vliseline 671D
Thread: Cotton perlé n. 8 (DMC and Valdani), embroidery floss (Anchor and DMC) in different colours
Stitches used: Stem stitch, satin stitch, running stitch, whip stitch (appliqué)

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The Cookbook QAL: 3. Lemon Whip

I’m not following this quilt-along quite regularly, but it’s nice to sneak in to just piece one block. On this occasion I went back to block n.3, although I think it’s turn to work on n. 13…

A couple of things about this one; firstly, I used a canvas fabric for the central flower. I just love this design (it’s from a canvas printed panel), but canvas fabric does add a lot of bulk on the seams, and makes it a little more tricky to sew the units.

Secondly, I’m not quite happy with the placement of the appliqué pieces. I think next time I’ll appliqué them drawing the seam allowances first on the unit – on another matter, it seems I’m pretty fond of appliquéing with a straight stitch…-.

    1. From Porto with love (canvas panel), Sarah Watts, Cotton+Steel
    2. Fusions 4070, Robert Kaufman Fabrics
    3. Life, enjoy the ride; Tina Higgins Designs, Quilting Treasures
    4. Hungarian Blue, Sue Zipkin, Clothworks Textiles

*The background is from the 1000Colours collection, by Lecien, grey n. 501

(This block belongs to a QAL hosted by Amy Gibson –Stitchery Dickory Dock– and based on her book “The Quilt Block Cookbook”).

The Cookbook QAL: 12. Plus one

The fabric combination for this block came to my mind the second I saw it on Instagram, so I took a little break from the other projects I’m currently working on and put it together. It is a really quick block to make, and there are several possibilities to play with it (one day I might make the quilt proposed by Amy Gibson here).

I really love the effect of appliquéing using a straight stitch – I just sewed a second line of stitching for the fun of it!-.

1. Cookie Book, Kim Knight, Cotton+Steel
2. Hey Dot, Zen Chic, Moda Fabrics
* The background is from the 1000Colours collection, by Lecien, grey n. 501

(This block belongs to a QAL hosted by Amy Gibson –Stitchery Dickory Dock– and based on her book “The Quilt Block Cookbook”).

The Splendid Sampler™: Block 90

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Last but not least, block n.90 of The Splendid Sampler ! With this one, I have sewn all 100 blocks, following the patterns and trying not to deviate much from them.

This particular one is called “Juggling”, by Lorena Uriarte. I left this one to be sewn at the end because it requires lots of fabric, and I wasn’t sure about the prints I was going to use. Also, because it was really a tricky one, with those angled lines in the balls and the loops made of bias, and all of the pieces needle-turned appliquéd on place. For the balls, I went back and forward basting only the intersection of the stripes until they matched, then I moved forward to sew the whole seam. The tips on Lorena Uriarte’s blog on how to sew this one were really helpful.

The link party and other info are here.

The Splendid Sampler™: Block 98

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Block 98 of The Splendid SamplerFleur de Lei, by Lynn Harris, wasn’t an easy one. A year ago I wouldn’t have tried to needle-turn appliqué a piece like this. However, if anything, with this sampler I’ve learned how to appliqué, and that things are worth a try. It’s not perfect, but I’m really happy I followed the instructions. Perhaps, if I was to do it again, I would use some interfacing foundation and glue basting. Also, I would draw the margins of the finished block; there are two points that are past the seam allowance (the pencil marks are the 6 ½” cutting lines). I have a plan for fixing that when putting the quilt together, though.

Link party and info are here.

The Splendid Sampler™: Block 96

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Block n. 96 of The Splendid Sampler is called In the sunshine, by Cheryl Arkison. I already had 2.5″ squares cut from previous blocks (aka cutting mistakes), so I didn’t have to think about the colour scheme for this one.

I deviated from the instructions in the flag construction: I sewed directly a wonky line wrong-sides together, then trimmed the seam allowances and cut notches and clips to help they following their form when pressing. For the appliqué I went with needle turn-appliqué.

I’m thinking of using this flag on the horizontal as a label for the sampler… Although I label, if I do so, on the back, it can be a good place to stitch the name and dates of the quilt, doesn’t it?

Pattern, link party and other info are here.

The Splendid Sampler™: Block 91

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Block n. 91 for The Splendid SamplerGran’s Button Jaris designed by Lynette Anderson. She was one of the first designers whose work I got to know when I started quilting. Although her style doesn’t match my own when it comes to the patchwork itself, I have used some of her fabrics now and then.

So, although I was tempted to simplify the block and go for an all-embroidered version, I remained true to the original design, which is so characteristic of Lynette Anderson’s designs. The needle-turn appliqué perhaps ended a little bit wonky, but overall I’m pleased with the result, and glad I decided to keep the design.

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I used a back-stitch for almost all the lines, except the horizon-line, which is stitched with a stem-stitch, French knots for the buttons, a colonial knot for the bird’s eye and satin stitch for the hearts (the bird’s one was framed with a back-stitch), along with a running-stitch for the border.

I should have sewn the block’s borders before the embroidery; it was tricky to add them afterwards due to the irregularities caused by the embroidery itself. Also, I would have been able to adjust better the pattern into its space.

One block less to go, and one more for the beautiful embroidery collection this sampler is providing. Pattern, info and link party are here.

The Splendid Sampler™: Block 92

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Block 92 of The Splendid Sampler is called Double Bees, by Beth Bradley. Unlike the two previous ones -90 and 91- that require some extra work, this one was quick and easy, so I jumped right into it meanwhile I work on the others.

I went for fusible appliqué with a blanket stitch for the appliqué parts, and a stem-stitch for the embroidered details. I may skipped my own colour-scheme a little bit on this one by adding two colours, but accidentally this combination pop up and I couldn’t find another one that convinced me enough to change it.

Pattern, info and link party are here.

The Splendid Sampler™: Block 76

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The 76th block of The Splendid Sampler, called Little Things, by Jacquelynne Steves, was a pretty intimidating one, with all these tiny hour-glass units. However, I didn’t have any trouble piecing them, and although there are a pair with some mismatching points, I’m really happy with the result. I wasn’t sure about throwing the black prints in the mix, and I’m so glad I gave them a try!

The appliqué cup gives a nice touch to the block, doesn’t it? This central space is also a good one to play with fussy-cuts.

Pattern, link party and other information about this particular one are here.