Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Developing the Centerpiece

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.

19 comments:

Anne Huskey-Lockard said...

O...M...G...!!!!!
This is absolutely phenomenal!!!
Beautiful. Amazingly beautiful.
Colors, use of print design, everything.

XXOO~~♥
Anne

Mishka said...

Wow Jill, you've REALLY taken to applique in a big way. Great tip to use styrofoam to pin the pieces while auditioning fabrics.

Terri Stegmiller said...

Wow! Looks amazing!

Trudi said...

Such patience! Beautiful! :)

Diane J. Evans said...

Oh, so beautiful!!! Love the idea of the styrofoam board. And now, I have lots of questions . . .

1) How will the fabric pieces be attached to the background?

2) Is the freezer paper still attached to each fabric piece? In other words, are these pieces just for audition purposes, meaning that you'll be cutting them out again with seam allowances?

3) How do you transfer the outline of the design onto your background fabric?

Inquiring minds want to know and LEARN . . .

Love, Diane

Ann Marie said...

Love the block! I too like to buy mainly fat quarters so I have many many different fabrics to choose from, without it taking up a ton of space or a ton of my hard earned $$$$$

Kim said...

Yes this is how an artist does it....and why your results are just breath taking.
another fabulous creation and the batiks give everything such depth.

Happy Sewing ( by hand?)

Teresa said...

That is gorgeous. Thanks for sharing the process. I learn so much from your blog!
I read your "guest blogger" piece. Well done!

Michele Hester said...

Beautiful!

Dolores said...

Wonderful work and great choice of colours.

La MaƱosa said...

Wow, this is going to be gorgeous! The batiks are really nice. I think they look great in applique. So did you use starch to press the edges down around the freezer paper pieces?

shirley said...

that just takes the breath away. gorgeous

mjnauert said...

What an excellent idea...a person (like me) who doesn't lend to getting blocks done on a timely basis can place that whole styrofoam block, complete with pins in a box for storage and transport. Perfect idea. Thank you for sharing.

Quilter Kathy said...

What a wonderful blogpost...it was so cool to see how you do this. And the block is turning out so great...love your fabric choices...wow!

Royce said...

Wow that's pretty amazing. Looking forward to all the juicy details of how this is done.

Joan said...

Hi Jill - its fasinating how you go about things - I would also like to knw the answers to Dianes questions.... if I may :)

Createology said...

Your work is so exquisite. Unbelievable number of pieces and fabrics and your attention to detail is what really brings the finished piece to life. Stunning!

Sherri said...

What can I say? Terrific? Ya, that about says it all...terrific! :)

Idle hands, empty brain ... said...

I agree - shop for fat quarters as a way to enlarge your selection of fabrics. The only time you need yardage is when buying neutrals or backing fabric. Lovely appliques Jill!

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