Sunday, July 29, 2012

Back to Beautiful Baltimore!

This heart wreath will someday be part of a quilt that will include the clipper ship, heart wreath, and urn of flowers on the Gallery page.   

The pattern is by Elly Sienkiewicz from her book,  The Best of Baltimore Beauties, Part II.  I had a lovely toile that I wanted to incorporate into the center of the block.  I made a template of the heart shape from freezer paper by carefully tracing just inside the outer line of the heart's stem.  I used a transparency overlay of the pattern to place the toile and basted it to the background.  The wreath itself was prepared for cutaway appliqué by making a freezer paper template, pressing it to the aqua green batik, and marking around the edge of that template.  With the template still on the fabric, I used the transparency overlay again to place this piece on the background and pinned it in place.  I used a light box to be sure that the basted toile lined up with the heart wreath.

In the photo above of the back of the block, you can see the basting line for the toile and the batik basted in place on top of it.

The next two pictures show the front of the block in progress.  Although I am not a back baster, I use that method for basting.  I baste on the marked line using a number 8 embroidery needle and quilting thread in bright yellow.  You can see that the stitches are larger on the top so that they are more visible on the front.  The idea behind basting in this manner is that the larger needle and thread perforates the fabric and helps it to needleturn more easily.  Many quilters using this cutaway method would simply pin the piece in place with small appliqué pins and start stitching.  I admire their skills!  I prefer to baste because it holds the piece more firmly in place and the appliqué thread doesn't catch on the pins.  I tend to scrunch my block up like an accordion when I'm stitching so the basting gives the added assurance that nothing is going to move during that process. 

To needleturn using the cutaway method, trim a 3/16" seam allowance for an inch or two as seen around the top edge of the leaf in the second photo.  Remove a few stitches of the basting and needleturn that small section.  

I stitched the center of the heart wreath first and tried to make sure that the stitches went through the toile and the background to hold everything in place. I say "tried" because I can see in the picture that I missed a couple!

The "wild roses" were made with 5/8" wide French wired ombré ribbon.  I used a 10" piece of ribbon and ruched it at 2" intervals.  The French knot centers are stitched with 4mm silk ribbon.  I'm very pleased with the mood that the toile gives to the block.  That couple looks like they're falling in love!

So, Woo Hoo!  
Picture me doing the Happy Dance!  


  1. Evelyn,
    Your work is so beautiful. I enjoyed reading about them.