Choosing fabric

Having finished my Hawaiian appliqué blocks I went to Hobbysew a couple of days ago for some backing fabric — I found a fabulous purple print that Suzy will love.
backing fabric for Hawaiian Applique quilt
(I wasn’t able to spread it flat on the cutting table to photograph it because Vanima decided it was her spot):
Vanima on the flanelette quilt
While I was at the shop I looked at green batiks for the stem of my magic vine borders and possibly also for a 2″ inner border. I have several batiks at home but they were all too light or too yellow or too blue or there wasn’t enough, so I was forced to buy some more (such a tragedy!). I found two medium-dark greens and brought them home to test against the blocks. I pulled out a block from every fabric (I left out the duplicates) and arranged them in a row. Then I laid out one fabric I already had and the two new ones.

Batik 1
Batik 1
This is the one I already had. I love it as a fabric but I’m reluctant to use it for a ¼” bias stem because as with many batiks there is too much variation in value, and I suspect that the darker areas will disappear into the black. I’ll find other uses for it, though.

Batik 2
Batik 2
I am definitely a teal girl (I wear a lot of it) and with many of the purples being on the blue side I thought that teal would go well with them. I was disappointed to see that it looks dull.

Batik 3
Batik 3
This is the “purest” green of the three and although as a solitary fabric I prefer the teal, this green works better when placed against the pinks and purples of the blocks. There is some value variation but not the same extent as Batik 1 and I think it will work well as a ¼” stem.
Colourwheel for Hawaiian appliqué quilt
I was browsing some crafting videos later that day and came across one that was demonstrating a new colour wheel product and had a moment of blinding revelation — I could have saved myself the trouble if I’d realised from the start that I needed a pure green to complement all that purple. In fact I think that a yellowish green might have worked even better, but I am not fond of yellow-greens and when dark they turn to olive … which is probably why I liked the first batik against the blocks.

I do have a couple of olive batiks that I’m using in my Flame Rose quilt but I only have a few inches left, not enough for the bias stems. And no, I am not going to go back to the shop to look for olive batiks. The green will do. In fact, when compared directly to the colour wheel, the third batik does have areas of yellow-green as well as true green, so I’m confident it will look good.
Batik 3 matched to the colourwheel

Four Hawaiian Appliqué blocks

Way, way back in my very first blog entry I included pictures of eighteen Hawaiian appliqué blocks, all taken from the book by Elizabeth Root.
Hawaiian blocks 1
Hawaiian blocks 2
Hawaiian blocks 3
Hawaiian blocks 4
I’ve just finished the last hand-sewn block (some blocks are machine-sewn) so I thought I’d add the photo:
Four Hawaiian appliqué blocks
As you can see, there are four blocks, not two. I didn’t like the ginger root block (bottom left in the third photo) as it’s a circle, while all the others are spokes. I looked around for other Hawaiian plants I could use instead and found a block depicting the naupaka plant. I modified the proportions a bit and drew it out to use as a pattern:
Naupaka pattern
I also replaced one other block (middle bottom of the fourth photo) where I didn’t like the batik I had used in the original version. Neither of the two blocks will be wasted, though — I’ll make cushion covers out of them.

Now I have to work out how to add a magic vine border — sewing it is easy and I have plenty of batik scraps to use for leaves, but I’m a little concerned about shrinkage. I have a couple of ideas on how to manage it and I’ll let you know how it goes.

2018 in review

It may be odd to have a “year in review” as my first real entry but it probably counts as mayhem, so I won’t apologise.

As I state in my “About Dendaria” page, most of my quilting is for Aussie Hero Quilts.  I made five quilts and twenty-two laundry bags in 2018, which is about average for me, but since all the quilts and laundry bags are shown on that blog I won’t duplicate them here.  I am currently working on a quilt for a recipient, plus I’m doing a scrap Idaho Square Dance which may get a specific recipient or may go to the Wounded Warrior stash.

I haven’t actually completed a quilting project for myself in a few years.  My current WIPs include the following:

I finished one quilt top in May, called Pentastic — it’s a Penrose P3 aperiodic tiling design and was done as an EPP project, commencing in December 2015.  I love the top but the EPP was very tough on my wrists.  It’s absolutely enormous (about 112″ x 106″) and basting wasn’t completed until the end of August, at which time the weather promptly warmed up and it became too hot to sit under a quilt for hours on end.  I’ll start the quilting next April when it’s cooler, and with a little luck I’ll have it done by September 2020.  NB that is not me in the photo, I’m off to the side and out of the frame.

Within a week of finishing the Pentastic top I started another Penrose P3 design.  This one is entitled Flame Rose and is being done as “ordinary” hand piecing.  I’m using acrylic templates from the large set for “La Passacaglia” with 2″ sides.  It’s coming together very well and will get its own post soon.

Flame rose patchwork

I did 18 of 20 Hawaiian appliqué blocks (from the book by Elizabeth Root).  I have two more blocks to do and then the quilt will need a border — my intent is to do a meandering vine with small versions of the appliqué motifs.

I worked on some Esther Aliu applique designs – Lily Rose and Diamond Hill.  I don’t want to do the given setting for DH (far too much fiddly work, though I admit it looks fantastic) so I’ll combine it with the Lily Rose block in the centre and then work on a suitable appliqué border.  Since it will be a wall hanging rather than a quilt I may do some beadwork embellishment. I don’t have any photos of these blocks yet as I’m still working on the embroidery.

My last current project is an autumnal-theme quilt – it’s my own arrangement and quite complex so that will also get its own post in due course.

Like everyone else, I have multiple UFOs, some dating back to the late 1980s, including several tops that need quilting, tops that still need borders, and some block sets that need to be assembled.

For 2019 I will try to stick to the “One Monthly Goal” that has been more or less successful for me over the last few years.  I allocate one AHQ and one personal goal per month, so the personal goal tends to be small (“finish two blocks” rather than “finish the whole top”).  My overall aims for the year ahead are:

  • Quilt and bind one top
  • Complete one top (not the same one!)
  • Make dust cover for my 9400
  • Make an igloo for the cats

I have been thinking about participating in the 2019 Finish-A-Long since I can opt for as little as one goal a quarter.  I have a few days to make my decision but I’ll probably join in (as long as no one laughs at me for my puny goals)