Tuesday, November 10, 2020

Fiddling with Flowers on the Shadow Stars

The cure for the ills of democracy is more democracy.
~Jane Addams

The US election results are in with joy for many of us but also sorrow that the vote was anywhere close. Much work remains to help minority communities, to reestablish science and belief in its research, and to rebuild faith with our democratic partners internationally. Hopefully we can all commit to considering the words we use and the meanings and intentions behind every word and policy.


My head aches from all the ideas running around it. First, I thought I could sew the four main pieces of the flower together and appliqué the finished group as as single unit. You can see that wasn't such a clever idea. The three petals went together easily but then form a thick seam allowance against the green base. Lumpy and pleated result. This is NOT easier. 

Not only that but the double petal on the leaves is too difficult for me to machine appliqué. Something else to simplify. 

The flower seams are pleated as it rests in place atop the vase
Partially seamed flower

On to Plan B. Or is it C, D, or E? I forget. Each piece of the flower unit will be appliquéd separately. And I redrafted the base into more abstract shape. Much easier. 

Next it's time to remove the center of the vase rim so the stems will fit inside. I made a template with the center oval cut out and laid it over the rim. Then I marked the inner oval with chalk and carefully, with much trepidation, cut the vase fabric in the middle so it could be reverse appliquéd. 

Trimming for reverse applique

The back of the rim must be appliquéd before the stems will fit into the vase.  Finishing the front of the vase comes later. This is fussy but not too difficult. I just need to be careful when I restart the stitching. Ha ha ha. 

I adjusted the amount the rim is turned under until it looked even then blanket stitched from one inner curve to the other. Meanwhile the rim's front seam allowance was pinned down to retard fraying. Then each stem was inserted and blanket stitched just to the edge of the rim because leaves still need to be inserted under the long stems. Finally the front of the rim could be appliquéd. Not too bad.

Applique vase

And because I still wasn't sure how the flower would look, it was appliquéd in place, too. Four thread changes. This is not simple but still much easier for me than hand sewing. We already know it takes thirty years for me to complete a quilt by hand


The Return of the Thief, the sixth and final novel in the Thief series by Megan Whalen Turner was published last month and I just finished reading it. Twice through. The books are set in an alternate world reminiscent of ancient or medieval Greece. The tiny countries of Sounis, Eddis, and Attolia occupy the Little Peninsula with larger empires and confederations on each side hoping to annex them. 

Pheris narrates this book. He appeared at the end of the previous one as the "youngest attendant" of the king. Here we find he is the disabled heir of Baron Erondites, the leader of the faction trying to depose the king. When the baron is forced to send his heir to be raised {and influenced} by the king, he sends Pheris, planning to kill the child later and name a new heir. 

If you've followed the series, you know the Medes are preparing to invade. The Little Peninsula must find a way to truly unite against them. There isn't much more I can write without spoiling the plot. And since it's the final book, reading them in order would really help.  

The series started over twenty years ago but remains one of my favorites and this final novel makes a fitting conclusion. 

Enjoy the day, Ann


Julierose said...

This appears very complicated...(kind of that Maurice Sendak book: "I Wonder What's Under" hahaha)
I am very intrigues to see how it comes together...hugs, Julierose

patty a. said...

Sounds like you worked out the kinks and I am sure as you continue on this border, it will go more smoothly. I am still leery of what the electoral college vote will actually be. I don't think I will feel totally relieved until after that.

Robin said...

I'm glad you didn't give up. Being creative always takes so much longer than just following a pattern. But, there is no substitute for the satisfaction that creating something original brings. This looks really nice and I'm anxious to see your vision come to life.

Ann said...

Thanks for writing, Julierose. It's a bit complicated but I couldn't do it if it was hard.

Linda @ kokaquilts said...

Looking great! Reading this post, I get a real sense your creative mind running, the issues, and your solutions! I must say, free form applique is not something I find easy, I'm more of a pattern follower!

Ann said...

From your mouth to God's ears in both cases, Patty.

Ann said...

I'm glad this border is working better than the previous one. Working designs out always interests me. I enjoy mixing parts from several different places although applique isn't my strong suit.

Ann said...

I enjoy working things out. Not sure that this is free-form although it would be interesting to try.

Amy said...

Thank you, thank you for letting me know that Whalen's latest has been published! I've read all to date, and am so looking forward to this read. Have you read Monica Furlong's "Wise Child" series? I so enjoy your quilting process. It will be fun to see where this quilt goes.

Ann said...

Thanks for the tip about Wise Child. I will look for it. I'm glad you enjoy my blog posts.

Janie said...

Great progress!

Ann said...

Thanks, Janie.

audrey said...

The first part is always the hardest! Trying to get the sequence figured out and then get settled into a rhythm. Looking so good!:)

Ann said...

Thanks for the encouragement, Audrey. This is different than piecing because my skills aren’t as refined. Working the details out is a treat.

gayle said...

Applique is something that I like the idea of it more than I like the actual doing of it. I collect patterns and occasionally start a block or two, but just find it hard to sustain any momentum. It's not the handwork, because I love hand-quilting, so I'm baffled.
I'm enjoying watching your process, and who knows but what I'll give it another try?

Ann said...

I tend to admire more than make it, too, but I'm trying to change. It's beautiful, even if it takes longer, and I don't need to be fast... as long as I maintain some momentum.

Mystic Quilter said...

So sorry that I am only just reading this post Ann because your vase with tulip is beautiful, those lovely long stems look so delicate and perhaps when I scroll up and read your next post the leaves may be all finished! I have done hardly any hand applique, I used the machine to stitch down my teapots from RSC a few years ago. I don't think I have the patience needed for hand applique!

Ann said...

You are very kind, Maureen. Although the vase isn't perfect, it's better than it appears in the photo. I won't be hand appliqueing the border. I don't think I have the patience either. Twins!