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!




Nancy said...

Your poppies are perfect! Don't poppies have wrinkly petals? I haven't looked at one for a long time but I think they do, in which case the lines in the fabric is reminiscent of real poppy petals. The skirt, with the tiny pieced strips, is amazing. It's great you saved it.

audrey said...

Ooh, your flowers are so pretty! What perfect fabric to use.:)

Louise SS said...

That is so pretty!

The Joyful Quilter said...

Brilliant idea, masterfully executed, Paulette!! I'm looking forward to to how you will proceed.

Julierose said...

I think your poppies are just lovely--nice work on those--love the colors, too...hugs, Julierose

LIttle Penguin Quilts said...

That's a beautiful start to your Bramble Blooms project! I love the poppies - so fun that the old skirt inspired you to make them!

Gretchen Weaver said...

Your poppies are so beautiful, love them!

Quilting Babcia said...

All in all a gorgeous start for your quilt.. Perfect fabrics for your poppies! I'm wondering how you achieved that tight curve on the stem of the bud. I know to cut the fabric diagonally but haven't been able to achieve that tight a curve for my stem.

Mystic Quilter said...

Love your poppies!!! I'm stitching my flowers down today - all being well. A great idea to make an additional centre panel using squares.

Quiltdivajulie said...

Your poppies are WONDERFUL! Your work clearly shows you've done more appliqué than I have. That's okay - but I can still be a tad envious, right?

Linda @ kokaquilts said...

Loving your poppies. How you used the wrinkled fabric made me smile, wonderful!

Michelle said...

I love your poppies! The skirt fabric with its fading is perfect. I had to giggle about failing to plan is planning to fail. But I think planning is the opposite of improv, so I would do the same.


Cathy said...

Oh my goodness...I just love your poppies! And using coloring book pages and recycling a skirt...brilliant!

Robin said...

This turned out great. I love the little faded areas adding a stipple to the blossoms. One thing I like about this SAL is the memories it is making. As I make each decision of fabrics and form it is coming from something that has affected me along the way. Your design is great and the mixture of techniques really add to the whole lovely effect.
Thank you for commenting on my Bramble Blossoms #2 post on my I like to Create blog.
For some reason it didn't come to my email so I don't have a way of linking back to you.