Friday, November 17, 2023

Bramble Blooms QAL Progress

What better way to sneak back into the blog world than joining the Bramble Blooms quilt along at Quilty Folk?  When Audrey announced this improv quilt along, it seemed like a fun opportunity to learn from one of my favorite quilt artists and an applique maestro!

First, make a scrappy background.  Check.  

Then, because I found some leftovers from a recent project in the odds-and-ends and orphans box, I made a second one.  Options, you know.

A fabric pull was suggested, but I decided to forego that step and just flow wherever the piece takes me.  Yes, the old adage, "Failing to plan is planning to fail" did cross my mind.  I guess we'll see, but playing it loose appeals to me at the moment and opens things up for surprises (for better or worse).

The next step was to applique some flowers on the background.  I wasn't sure what I wanted to do as far as flowers, but inspiration struck one day as I started deconstructing a very old skirt.  

This lively looking, folksy skirt once belonged to an older friend (now passed) of my sister.  I'm thinking it was from the 1960s or so, and handmade.  During a closet clean-out a couple months ago, Sis was going to donate it, but I diverted it from the thrift store (I mean, look at that piecework!).  Unfortunately, in my zeal to soak out some stains in the skirt, a dark strip of navy blue bled quite badly.  Well, there was no rescuing it from that so I started taking it apart to salvage the rickrack for craft projects and with the thought of maybe making some quilted hearts (or something) from some of the piecework that was less impacted by bleeding.

As I cut off the skirt's waistband, I noticed all this interesting fading and color shifting in that area, which reminded me of poppy petals.  Poppies!  Maybe I could applique poppies on my Bramble Blooms project! 

And so I did.  I perused the internet for images that could be translated to fabric poppies.  Ultimately, I settled on a coloring page image for its simplicity of form and then freehand cut some paper templates based on that.

Doesn't that old red fabric lend an interesting dimension?

I hand appliqued the stems and the flower bud, keeping in some of the wrinkles in the fabric of the bud as a nod to the gathered skirt it came from. 

Then I fused and zigzagged the leaves and the flower petals. 

A fun view of the back showing the combination of techniques.

What's next in the QAL is a mystery.  I'm excited!