Sunday, November 14, 2010

NZ Fern Quilt

A couple of weeks ago I decided to design a quilt using NZ fabrics and my representation of a fern design to showcase these fabrics. Of course, you can use any fabrics you like, it would look great with batiks and autumn fabrics. Once I got the shape right I cut it out of paper and laid this down on the floor to check it out then I traced the leaf designs onto Vliesofix and fused them. After cutting out I laid them on the background fabric and ironed them into place. I made a bias strip for the stem and fused that into place also. Whilst I use fusible raw edge you can use needle turn applique methods as well. For me to achieve something relatively quickly I have to fuse it, I do not have enough hours in my day to hand applique :)
Here is the photo of the quilt
I chose to lay these fabrics onto a black background because I like the way it makes the colours stand out and also - it is our national colour!!
You could try it on any other colour as well and it could be done in light as well. I did spend quite a bit of time deciding on the border and wasn't sure whether to lay the strips horizontally or vertically around the edge. Here is a photo showing them laid out for me to decide. You can choose which you prefer, I give the options in the pattern. I sell this as a pattern NZ$15, a part kit which has pattern and NZ fabrics NZ$36.50 and a kit which has the pattern, background fabric and NZ fabrics NZ$50.

I do not like to applique around the shapes before I quilt as I feel I am stitching over the same area twice so I prefer to "appliquilt" (applique and quilt) at the same time. So once I have fused all the shapes into place and the quilt top is ready for quilting I baste it and then I machine stitch (I am a machine girl at heart) around the appliques which quilts it at the same time. I choose from a variety of stitches - straight stitch (sometimes I go around a shape 2 or 3 times, like a line drawing), buttonhole or satin stitch, than I stitch around each shape to anchor it in place then I decide what sort of quilting I want for the background. This could be something as simple as straight stitching either horizontally or vertically across the quilt (across everything), stippling, free motion quilting leaves allover or echo quilting. Sometimes I take a photo and print this out and then lay a piece of plastic over the top and using a black felt pen mark designs on it. This means I can see what sort of quilting I prefer without having touched the quilt.
You can order the pattern or kit from me via email.

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