I had always planned to make a Baltimore Album style quilt as the center jewel in my creative life’s work (family aside), but when I saw the Roseville Album by Kim McLean I knew I had found my challenge. It is a wonderful mix of colorful folk art with traditional florals, birds, and vines. Her version looks stunning on a light background with colorful applique, but for some reason which I can’t remember, I opted for the dark background. It only gets tricky when the colored fabrics get too close in value to the dark and I have to step back and reconsider.
It’s hard to believe that I started working on this quilt so many years ago, even before we launched The Cloth Parcel. I have kept at it slow and steady (tortoise style), in between designing and writing our own patterns, and the end is finally in sight–in another few years, that is.
Although we are only sharing three blocks today, I only have two more center blocks to go and then onto the borders. I have to be honest that the big borders are a little bit intimidating, but I am excited to see how they turn out. In old school fashion, all of the applique has been done by hand needle turn method, excepting the bias stems and vines. Those are done by cutting the bias strips and running them through the bias tape tool and pressing.
One of the things I learned from this project is that stitching applique to a background can “shrink” the fabric considerably. For this reason, the pattern instructs one to cut the background pieces larger and stitch vertical and horizontal center lines on all pieces so they can be centered and trimmed once all the applique is done. Pretty smart!
Our favorite method of hand applique is to trace the image on the reverse side of the fabric, baste the fabric in place on the right side, trim, and needle turn it down. Don’t worry, we’ll show you how in a tutorial soon.
We are excited to show you how this quilt-in-progress is coming along, and we will keep you updated when there is more to show. It seems that winter (i.e. no yard work) is a good time to complete projects and do handwork in front of the fire or the telly, or both.