Thursday, September 26, 2019

Bird On A Branch Quilt


I'm still in the use-up-fabric-scrap business. This is my latest finish. It's called Bird On A Branch. I couldn't think of a better name. This tiny quilt took a long time to complete. It also taught me a good lesson.

First of all, I wonder if anyone could tell from the quilt, which piece of fabric started the whole thing going? I'll tell you. It's the piece of calico the sun was appliqued on. I've been clearing my storeroom and found this piece of calico that had yellowed not in a good antique-y way. Most people with common sense would throw it into the garbage bin. But I'm not most people. I decided to save the fabric. One day, I happened to be at Spotlight and I saw that a fabric paint was on sale. I mean 3 bucks! So I bought a bottle (it's only 45ml), went home and set to work some magic on the yellowed calico. Um, it turned out, it takes a lot of paint to actually see any colour on the fabric. On top of 2 pieces of calico, I also had a piece of white-now-yellowed cotton canvas I wanted to rescue. I managed to cover 1 piece of calico and 1 piece of canvas cotton with blue paint. There was a small amount of paint left and most people with common sense would throw it away. But I'm not most people. I decided to use it to paint the last piece of calico. Unfortunately, the amount of paint was too little so I added more water. When I was done, the calico looked neither blue nor anything.

So I practically spent time and money working on a fabric that I should have thrown away in the first place. I had no choice but to use it somehow because I had increased the value of the fabric. I dug into my new fabric stash and found some lovely fabric that I felt could work patched together with the fugly calico. I looked in my applique box and found a ready to go bird on a branch applique. Is it just me? I have lots of ready to go applique lying around. They are my applique UFOs.

I felt the patchwork needed some running lines. Oops. I may have gone slightly overboard. At this point I felt rather discouraged because I was starting to hate this project. And so much work had already gone into it!

I pushed on and kept adding elements until I decided enough was enough. Yup, the sun and 2 giant leaves were a wink at Janet Bolton. I had to use couching stitch to sew the sun's rays as the running lines were too overwhelming and I needed to use a very thick yarn meant for knitting. I left the bird and branch a bit simple because the entire applique had fusible web and I didn't fancy sewing through the layers.

Originally the sun was left plain but I felt it needed some embroidery (blanket stitch) to give it texture because looking at the whole quilt I see texture throughout.

If you're wondering why I left out the borders, it's because I totally forgot about it. I was so preoccupied with rescuing the calico that the possibility of adding borders only popped into my head much later. By then, I thought the quilt had so much going, a border wasn't necessary. I finished off the quilt with a double binding using this tute as reference.

In case you're wondering where you've seen the binding fabric, it's from this bag pattern. Which means I've used up nearly all the fabric for the bag pattern. Only a small piece of scrap is left. Nowadays I get ridiculously happy when I (almost) use up any fabric.

For the backing, I used some of the batik scraps my mother had given me. The weave of the batik is very tight, so quite unpleasant to sew through. And lastly, I included a pocket to hang the quilt. It's a very small quilt, 11" by 12". Am I incapable of handling larger quilts?

After all the time and effort I had poured into this quilt, I'm happy to say I'm growing fonder and fonder of it every day. Thank goodness otherwise I'll be pretty mad at myself. Next time, I won't try to save everything. I'm giving myself permission to throw some stuff away.


Jane McLellan said...

Good rescue!

Related Posts with Thumbnails

My Bag Pattern Shop

My Applique Patterns

My Embroidery Patterns