Books and Hexagons

I wandered into a second-hand bookshop yesterday and managed to find a few embroidery and quilting books:

I should note that the top right book in the first picture is Ukrainian – it’s a survey of the nation’s rich tradition of embroidered blouses and shawls. The SEA textiles book was the only one over $20 and it will be a good complement to my books on Indian and Chinese textiles. The five on the right are all Australian authors, which is a nice bonus. I also found some Batsford embroidery books (smocking and Berlin work) but they have very boring covers.

I’ve also completed more hexagon flowers — I’ll probably make it a tradition to post them at the end of the month:

I am now a little over a third of the way through and I still have many, many fabrics to go.

WordPress tells me I now have thirty subscribers — thank you all. I hope that I can continue to interest you in my work.

Borders of Serenity

Serenity (borders)
Serenity (borders)

I finally got around to putting the borders on Serenity. As you can see, the greyish purple isn’t an exact match for the colour in the teal print, and the Black Amethyst fossil fern in the outer border is slightly brighter than the fabric in the blocks, but it works well enough.

That’s as far as it’s going to get for a while. I have a very specific vision for the quilting which will take a long time and require a very large table, so it will be some months until I can get started. I do have the thread, though – a gold Rasant that is slightly brighter/yellower than the tan I used in Koi to Neru and which I hope will pick up the gold accents in the fabric.

First hexagon applied

Centre hexagon on background fabric
Centre hexagon on background fabric

I decided to do a “proof of concept” trial, using what will be the centre hexagon in the quilt. Although for most fabrics I will be cutting actual hexagons, I decided to do squares for the centre five, since I only need one WOF.

The trial was successful, for the most part.

Firstly, my “finished” size of 3.5″ frames the flower nicely and doesn’t leave too much space around the outside, while the cut size fits into a block of 8″ x 7.5″. I may even consider dropping to a finished size of 3″, since there will be double the spacing between flowers once the large hexagons are assembled.

Secondly, I will need to be more careful with registration marks — I finger-pressed creases to show the centre lines vertically and horizontally, but as you can see the hexagon slipped a little, probably while I was pinning it prior to glue-basting. I will have to use a chalk marker on future blocks.

Thirdly, I was concerned that the seam allowances would be very noticeable under all the light flowers, but on this block they aren’t visible at all in natural light and only faintly discernible with the flash. I know that there will be some flowers in thinner fabrics where I will need a light interfacing to hide the seam allowances, but I won’t need it for all of them.

Fourthly, there isn’t a lot of fraying after hand appliqué. I will be storing cut hexagons in ziploc bags but it’s good to know that I don’t have to cut an extra-wide seam allowance which would require trimming prior to stitching the blocks together.

For those interested in fabrics, the silver/white is an offcut from the Blue Christmas quilt panel, and the background is Moda Grunge in classic gray.