Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Applique is slow


This is my contribution to the next Baltimore Applique Society raffle quilt. It is nearly finished. Good thing because I am already 10 days past the deadline. I had months to do it but of course waited until the last minute to start since it looked like a pretty easy block. And it is. But, I am a very slow applique stitcher. While I am often accused of not taking time out of life to "stop and smell the roses," I often take time while sewing to stop and admire the stitches - and the fabrics. The red from Mary Koval's recent Baltimore Album ca. 1847 fabrics is gorgeous and quite perfect for the flowers. Fortunately, I only have one last large flower to stitch down and then the main stem plus two weird little leaves. For some reason, they look to me like wads of chewing gum stuck on the stem. If the block was for me I'd leave them out or turn them into more buds. I like the buds. There is some embroidery embellishment to be done but fortunately that is someone else's job. I am not a big fan of embroidery on album quilts; just a matter of personal taste. I am sure I will like it when someone else does the work.


Above are the accumulated stars I've been making as "leaders and enders" over the last 3-1/2 years. I signed up for a BOM program through a retailer never mentioned here and which shall remain nameless. It is for the Carol Hopkins Designs pattern "Tribute to Judie." All the fabrics are Marcus Fabrics designed by Judie Rothermel. I thought the BOM would be a good way to do the quilt and get loads of different prints which is the charm of the design. There ARE many different prints but I think there is a preponderance of the ugly ones. Perhaps I am paranoid, but I often think shops use the scrappy BOM programs to unload the prints that don't sell. Please don't be offended if you are a shop owner and you DON'T do this. I have shopped with you and mentioned you with love on this blog. Plus, I sincerely appreciate the role played by the ugly fabrics in a quilt. They have their place. Not everyone can be a star (no pun intended) but a little contrast is appreciated.


These two blocks are my least favorite and really it is the one on the left that bugs me the most. There are others that blend into the background but when I finished this one I wondered why I bothered at all. Bleah. I also don't like the color rust. Of course, I am not holding that against the poor BOM program.


These two I really do like and would have preferred to see more with color other than brown/tan (and rust!).


Here are a bunch of them together. It isn't as bad as I thought it would be but once they are set together with the alternate squares I am fearing they aren't going to "pop" to my liking. The setting squares are brown, as are the border fabrics.


This is the quilt as it appears on the actual pattern. See? Lots of lively colors - not everyone is lively but there are lots. I know, I can certainly add in more fabrics from my extensive J.R. stash but I am complaining on principle. The fabric in this quilt, as purchased through the BOM program, cost close to $300 (spread over 24 months). Besides, if I swap out blocks from my stash I'll have a leftover pile of truly awful blocks. Then what do I do?
Here's hoping that once I do get the top put together I will love it and will be retracting all of the grousing I just wrote. Thanks for hearing me out.

21 comments:

  1. Taryn.....your applique is lovely. And I'm totally loving your stars! And maybe it's just me, but the two you don't like the most....are the best ones.....you can totally find them among all the others....and I think they are the ones making the rest 'pop'! I think it is going to be wonderful when completed....have faith.....your efforts are worth it!

    Also love that you did these as leader/enders....I LOVE doing that!

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  2. I've never bought a kit, interesting observations. I did, last month buy a pack of 150 fat quarters of repros, I could hardly breathe I was so excited for it to come. I'm not sobbing anymore ;) but to say I was disappointed is an understatment...LOTS of dogs.

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  3. Hummmm... so you are not a brown repo person.... before you cut the brown setting squares.... put the starts on various other fabrics and see if you like it better.

    I am of the theory that once there are 100 fabrics in a quilt, it is far less relavant to like all the fabrics.... and this has 550 fabrics...

    And if we think back to 1800's, no washing machines, hot water.... etc. So clothes were worn for days at a time..... they needed to not show dirt..... then there were the dyes...

    Have you thought about how you are going to quilt this?

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  4. I'm sure that you will love it. I'm doing a BOM for a quilt right now and there are a couple blocks I don't like, but they'll get lost in the quilt once it's in its whole form!

    Your applique looks beautiful.

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  5. What an acheivement - those stacks are so appealing. I'm just thinking, if you think they would 'dull down' with brown, what about the white you have displayed them on, or a tea dyed muslin of some sort? Your applique is lovely, I feel the same about mixing embroidery with applique - and am intrigued by the notion of wads of chewing gum... Take care. The stars will be wonderful put together - I think one needs 'uglies' to keep things interesting.

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  6. What a seriously tall stack of stars!! I love small stars - and what a great leader/ender project. I want to start one like it today :0)
    Your applique is lovely. Lucky you to get out of the embroidery. I'm a terrible embroiderer and always procrastinate about that part.

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  7. I have to disagree that the flowers look like wads of chewing gum! It is a terrific block!

    I about fell off my chair when I saw how many star blocks you had! I really think the muted, the uglies, your unfavorites need to go in this quilt. That is what will make it unique and old fashioned looking.
    If you liked the quilt in the photo than I also think you need to stick with the brown setting.

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  8. Love all of your blocks! Great applique block too

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  9. After all the work put into your stars - auditioning alternatives for the setting blocks might make sense, especially if you're not in love with the brown provided.
    I think the stars are terrific! Uglies and all.

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  10. I like all your little star blocks,and really like the look of a true scrappy quilt! Stick with the brown setting that appealed to you in the beginning!

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  11. Oh I LOVE all those little star blocks! They are going to work and look wonderful!

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  12. I LOVE your STARS!!! I had high hopes of making a LARGE quilt with tiny stars.. but I got so bored I had to move on.... But i think I may revisit the idea again when I grow some more patience... ;-) I'll adore yours for now!

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  13. Oh i love your star. I will try several fabrics for your setting pieces and I'm sure it's going to be awesome

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  14. Taryn I love the two you love, but they are all wonderful, and will look great all together. Your Album block is breath-taking.

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  15. The applique is fabulous! And the stars look great - I am sure it will all work when it is finished.
    I know what you mean by quilt stores getting rid of duds - I belonged to a fat quarters of the month club and after less than a year the fabric was all repeats of the worse fabric, even though there was beautiful new fabric on their website!♥

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  16. What a lot of work went into those star blocks! The finished quilt is going to be a masterpiece.

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  17. I once got a bunch of blocks back in trade that were so ugly I hated them. But instead of donating or throwing them out, I sewed them together in one long strip for the backing on another quilt. When I got done it turned out to be so cool that I loved it. I think in the end you will be fine with those uglies. They will have their own roll to play in your gorgeous quilt. Lots of stars--wow!

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  18. Your applique block is beautiful!!

    You have been very busy with all those stars!!!! They will look great when they are all together.

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  19. LOVE your stars! I always worry about BOM programs because I'm so particular about the fabrics I use. I can't imagine going wrong with Judie Rothermel fabrics...I even own some of her browns but very few from other designers.

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  20. A beautiful block. I've always found applique very difficult. Maybe I'm just not neat enough!

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  21. Yes, applique can be slow especially if you want it to be nice.
    I think your stars will all look great once you get them together.
    Great idea to make them as leaders and enders.

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