September 5, 2013, Thursday
The hydrangea are beautiful this year. They are stunning around our gardens and buildings. I have seen them used in a number of weddings in the last few weeks. They make great fillers for gardens and bouquets. The whites and cream colours put me in mind of the beautiful swans that were swimming in a little pond by Mount Allison University in Sackville last weekend.
My blog today does not talk about machine quilting instead I wanted to show you my machine applique picture that I just finished and wouldn't you know, it's a swan. I loved the cover of the book called"Impressionist Applique" by Grace Errica and Meridith Osterfeld. The pattern was included in the book but the swan on the cover that shows his reflection in the water, gave only his head. Naturally I had to draw the rest of the pattern myself and put in my own cattails. Above you will see my drawing laid out and some fabric choices. I drew the pattern out a second time on plastic to use as my overlay so I could position my pieces of fabric underneath it.
Here I am starting to fill in the hundreds of pieces, I used a lot of Steam a Seam for this. After I got all the pieces in place I pressed them down and started to outline them with invisible thread. Each piece was then machine stitched, with specialty threads. The shading in the background is coloured tulle to give a shaded look to the water.
My swan took a lot of work and I learned a great deal doing it. Would I do another picture? You bet, but I would select a different subject, of course. I loved the detail and the results and I'm proud to say it won a first place ribbon at the Fredericton Exhibition this week. Don't be afraid to try what looks impossible to you. We are always learning. Gwenda Quilts