While waiting for the next block in the "My Tweets" BOM, I have been working on preparing the centerpiece of the quilt. I thought I would show you how I go about working with an applique design that has a lot of pieces. I begin by tracing all of the elements onto freezer paper to create the templates. I then laid the full size paper pattern on top of a piece of Styrofoam so that I can pin each piece in place as I cut it out. This helps to keep all those little bits (there are 123 of them) in the correct place/order and allows me to very quickly see if I am happy with my fabric choice. In this case, I started with the leaves, and vase, then moved onto the birds as I was fairly certain which fabrics I wanted in those spots.Now with many of the key elements in place, I audition fabrics for the rest, trying to maintain good balance with colour and value. I don't do the next step in the preparing the applique piece just yet. I simply place the raw edged piece in place until I am satisfied that it is a keeper.
Only once I am pleased with my choices, do I move onto the next stage. Here, all of the pieces are now prepared and ready to be placed onto the background fabric for stitching.
This center block is made up of 50 different fabrics. When I shop for fabric I tend to purchase almost exclusively fat quarters, so while my stash is not large, I do have a wide selection to pull from.