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Now a little vintage cloth Japanese inspiration!

Monday, January 23, 2012

Ok, I admit it, I was slightly distracted the past week and I missed posting at least one new post each week. But I had good reason!

Our northern temperatures dipped wayyyyyyy down to -38 C and I was back and forth between the barns and the house all week! It was so cold, I couldn't just grab any old  jacket and check the chickens! I had to have:
  • all over my face touque, with drawstring for the tiny opening so I can see
  • then another touque over that
  • my serious ice fishing insulated pants
  • two sweaters under my big yard coat
  • my double thickness work mits
  • my two puffs on my puffer before I go outside at these temperatures
So now, you can see why I was a little distracted. I had rest up in between just to do the next shift! But thankfully I'm able to report that we are back to normal winter temperature of -10 C so all I'm back to posting!


 While it was so darn cold that going outside was an ordeal, I started into my favorite Quilt Mania magazines. Sure enough, each magazine has so many wonderful, skillful projects that I rarely get any of them started because I'm so busy designing and making my own.

But I just love the magazine!! I recommend it!

But when I saw those little Japanese plates I was inspired to do some applique practice for the upcoming mega project of all projects! 


 The instructions leave out some key techniques to completing these tricky little plates! Here is what I've learned so far.

  1.  Trim off the edges of the plate petals, the hand drawn version from the magazine is simply not exact enough to gain complete satisfaction.
  2. Hand piecing the sides of the petals almost to the top of each petal. Then as you needle turn the seam, you can nicely tuck it under without too much trouble.
  3. I do quite a bit of hand piecing and these require it, so get some practice  with this project!

I chose carefully to find vintage fabrics for each new petal, I got bored after a while and started doing more than one of each!


I can see that the Japanese quilter chose her fabrics very carefully and didn't use more than one print for each petal. Well, I didn't have enough of the kind I started with to do that. And I chose to mix prints with solid colors and didn't bat an eye!


Also, the instructions don't say anything about hand sewing the pieced plate onto the background, before hand applique-ing the plate onto the background. 

But you must do it, otherwise these tricky little plates want to started wondering around even with lots of pinning. So hand sewing a running stitch around the edge of the plate is essential to having a nice rounded edge over the top of the each petal. Plus the stitching holds back your needle turn to exactly 1/4 inch.

 
Thes two finished plate blocks are easy to tell which one was done first! Its the left side of this photo. I was satisfied, but took greater care on the second one on the right. You'll see better round tops on each petal on the second one, this is way I like them and so this is  proving to be a good practice peice for me. Plus, it reminds me of how the Japanese quilters make such awesome hand pieced works, they take great care with each and every stitch. I call it mindful applique.

More on this project as I complete it! Now for all of you who follow me "regular like" you'll have to start checking the updates on the right bar where I have my 'PAGES' listed.
I'm soon going to introduce you to the mega project I mentioned earlier! 
Stay well and warm!
carli

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