Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Free Motion Quilting: Placemats

Sanglier, Palm Trees and Sunshine

9 Piggies Dancing! I used free motion embroidery for the sangliers with "Magnifico", a 40 wt. polyester thread from Superior Threads.

Sangliers are wild boars that still run freely in large numbers throughout the French countryside. Symbolizing strength and invincibility, it's image has been immortalized in various art forms through the ages.

Sanglier en bronze

A number of years ago, I was asked to quilt a tablecloth where the sanglier motif was the focal point. The owner of this tablecloth has now requested placemats designed around the same theme. This time, the design should include sangliers and palm trees on warm terracotta coloured fabric. To this, I added a vineyard (what's more French than a vineyard?) where the sanglier might find himself very comfortable.

Below, my new design is tucked into the fabrics that I am using for these placemats. The main fabric (on the bottom) is one of Caryl Bryer Fallert-Gentry's "Gradations" from Benartex. It was the perfect find for this project. (And, I found it in my stash; even better). The backing (the patterned fabric) and binding fabric are a good match with the "Gradations".


Below are a few options for the layout. The pattern could be centered horizontally with the copper in the center.

The fabric is "Gradations" by Caryl Bryer Fallert-Gentry for Benartex.

Or the shade could change from the darker red to the warmer copper.


In the end, we chose an option with the copper running vertically down the center. (below).

The little piggie was machine embroidered separately, then appliqued onto the main fabric with a 40 wt. embroidery thread from Superior. Using the same heavier embroidery thread, I have quilted around the sanglier and palm tree. The rest of the quilting, the grape vines and background, will be done with a lighter thread that blends into the fabric as much as possible. More on the thread next time.

Sandwiched and pin basted, the placemats are ready for quilting.




Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Redwork Forest Scrap Quilt

Update: Scrap the Stash 2016

"Redwork Forest" assembled quilt top. ("Paper and Plums" pattern by Alexandra Ledgerwood.)

Early in 2016, I had set out a few goals for myself, one being the intent of sewing a block a day using only scraps. Well, I soon discovered that a block a day was counter productive; the gathering of materials and set up takes too much time on a daily basis for only one block. The problem was resolved by making one day a week a day to focus on the scraps. This has worked out fairly well, and on December 1st the count was 345 completed blocks, in 4 different colour ways.

Scrap 1: "Gone Scrappy" with warm ochres and olive greens, scraps left over from the warm, sunny "Languedoc" days.


Scrap 2: "Winging It" made with bright and colourful baby quilt scraps.


Scrap 3: "Flower Garden" was a project that I had started in Winnipeg in 2004 prior to our move to the west coast and Montpellier. The squares and sashing had already been cut and all that was required was stitching the blocks together. A quick and easy assembly.


Scrap 4: The rich reds and toile de jouy scraps of "Redwork Forest" are another reminder of sun filled, fun filled days in Montpellier. When the flu bug struck in early December, everything, including me, came to an abrupt stop for the rest of the month.


These strip pieced blocks of Redwork Forest were the final set of blocks for the year, and as of the end of January 2017, all necessary blocks for the quilt were completed, taking the total count of blocks for 2016 to 369, a surplus of 3 whole blocks. Yeah me!

I will now work on assembling the blocks of Scrap 1, 2 and 3 into completed quilt tops, but, in the meantime, Scrap 4 just got stroked off the list. Double yeah!!! (Quilting goals to be set at some future date.)