Tuesday, May 28, 2013

More Little Blocks

Some of you have asked if I was going to finish posting details of my Little Blocks.......ever.  It has been quite a while and I appreciate you checking in.  This has been a busy month!  My friend, Norma Whaley, invited me to join her at the International Quilt Market in Portland, OR 2 weeks ago.  You may be familiar with Norma's designs at Geoff's Mom Pattern Co. and now she is on her own at Timeless Traditions Quilts where she will continue her wonderful designs.

We left home early on Monday, with plans to take a leisurely drive to Portland so we would have plenty of energy for Market.  Boise, ID is usually about a 5 hour drive from here but it was almost 13 hrs. when we got to our hotel as we did a bit of shopping along the way.  We made it to the Portland area the next day which gave us more shopping time before we set up Norma's booth.

Market was a great experience but I caught a bug which involves a lot of coughing even now.  A few days at home in the sick bed then packing up for a week at our cabin.

So, after that little "catch-up" let's talk about the last 2 blocks on my new bucket.

This block is one of the original City Bucket blocks stitched up a little bit differently.  I started by piecing the background block and appliqueing a taupe colored trim over the seam.  The flower stems are a narrow ribbon qppliqued in place on each side of the ribbon.  French Knots were stitched in the center of the stems and the leaves are Double Cast-on stitch, both with Valdani Pearl Cotton, Size 8, color M26.

The flowers were created by couching silk Sari yarn into a round shape.  I threaded a #18 Chenille needle with the yarn, pulling just enough through the eye that I could poke it through the fabric to the wrong side in the center of the flower.  Then I threaded a #24 Chenille needle with a contrasting thread (any thread is OK) and couched over the silk yarn to make the circle.  When it was the right size I cut the yarn, leaving enough to thread the #18 again and poke this end to the wrong side.  I whipped over both ends with the couching thread to secure them.

The silk Sari yarn is made from leftover strips of silk used to make Indian Sari's.  The strips are shredded and woven together into lengths of colorful "yarn" with many colors and a variety of texture.  I picked up more at Market and will get it packaged and listed on my Etsy Shop.

The bird and wings were fussy cut from a cotton print and appliqued in place using a needle-turn technique. A small charm found in the bottom of a drawr was sewn to the beak.  I used Sea Grass to Back Stitch around the bird and Silken Pearl #5 for Bullion Stitches around the pink wing and on the tail, a Bullion Loop for the eye, and Fly Stitch on the breast.  I used colors the coordinated with the fabric I used, stitching  Bullions in pink and yellow on the tail.



Ignore the yellow pin head - it's not an embellishment, just holding the block to my design wall.  I had a small scrap of a Japanese fabric (on the upper right) that is my very last piece of this fabric that I absolutely love and wanted to include in the bucket.  No worry that it wasn't 5 1/2" square, I just pieced it with coordinating fabrics.


This flower is also one of the City Bucket block designs.  The flower was cut from a light blue wool with an orange bottom piece appliqued on top of it.  I prefer to layer the wool pieces rather than matching at the seam or overlapping.  Cut the entire flower from the blue and applique it down, then applique the orange on top.  Chain Stitch in Silken Pearl #5 Rose Briar outlines the orange piece and 3 lines of Chain Stitch are stitched in the center.  Two rows of Back Stitch in Canary Yellow Sea Grass adorn the top of the blue wool and small straight stitches are between the blue wool and beads.  I used a matching cotton thread to stitch the beads in place.

I ruched a length of ribbon for the stem and appliqued it in place, stitching along both sides.

The leaves are felted wool for the bottom layer with a smaller cotton leaf appliqued on top. When layering leaves or other shapes it is sometimes difficult to get the top piece centered with an even border showing all around.  It is much more simple to applique a cotton leaf (top leaf) to a larger piece of the wool (bottom leaf) and then just cut around the top leaf leaving an even border. 

Bullion Stitches outline the leaves in Valdani Pearl Cotton, size 8, color M26.  This thread was also used to make Fly Stitches surrounding the cotton leaves  then use Silken Pearl #5, color Rose Briar to add French Knots in the center of each Fly Stitch. 

The pink "leaves"  are felted wool outlined with Whipped Back Stitch using Valdani Pearl Cotton, size 8.  I've lost the color label and unfortunately, Valdani has discontinued this color.  This same thread was used to stitch the Bullion Roses and Fly Stitch stems.

If you have been following my Little Block posts, you will notice that for this bucket I chose to use cotton backgrounds for each block.  The body of the bucket is a combination of cottons and wool as I like the variety of textures and colors to give more of a "scrappy" look.

I hope you have enjoyed the postings on my Little Blocks and are ready to make your own bucket.  As you can see, block designs from either the City or Country bucket can be changed or even designs from other projects or your own drawings.  Don't be afraid to try something new!

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