Ever since I finished appliqueing stars I've been thinking about beginning another applique project. I don't love applique enough to make only appliqued quilts but there are times when it's the perfect hand work to do. I have a hard time just sitting unless I'm really tired. With applique I can sit and almost do nothing and still accomplish something. And applique is portable, packable (needle, thread, scissors, project, and I'm set), and friendly (my husband drives, I stitch, and we talk--or not).
I'd been thinking about stitching baskets but hadn't moved forward with the idea. And then a few weeks ago Lori of Humble Quilts invited her readers to participate in a Gwen Marston-inspired medallion quilt-along with a basket in the center. Hmmm. I began researching Gwen Marston's work. She's been quilting for more than 25 years, evolving from traditional quilts, shown in her early books, to less traditional, more modern quilts in recent books and online. Which makes me wonder: What will a Gwen-inspired medallion quilt look like? Could I make one? Maybe. Probably, especially when Lori says, "The only rule is, you make the rules!"
This is the basket I've been thinking of appliqueing. It's a little hard to see because there's not much contrast between the paper cut-out and the background fabric.
I doodled on paper, drew on construction and scrap paper, cut out, and laid the
paper pieces on a fat quarter. It's definitely a "cartoon" in
progress. Paper stems are hard to make but I imagine bias-cut fabric
ones will be easier to manipulate.
On the paper sample above, the basket's too wide or the background's too narrow. The sizes of the flowers should vary more. That dotty background fabric has to go (unless it works when I get the basket, flowers, and stems cut out). Red flowers or blue? And are star flowers cliche? But maybe this basket of flowers is a little too folksy to be Gwen-like? But I make the rules so it really shouldn't look like Gwen made it, right?
For me, part of the reason for participating in a quilt-along like this is to push myself just a little past my comfort zone and stretch my limited abilities by learning and doing something new and different. One way or the other, I'll learn something, even if it's only that I don't like appliqueing baskets.
And why don't I just quit asking questions, make some decisions, and cut the fabric already? Now there's an idea! And I will. Probably tomorrow.
In truth, I haven't been procrastinating. I've been working on the Buckeye Beauty blocks. I have precisely 12 seams to machine-stitch to have 42 blocks. I'm ironing tonight, will pin tomorrow on the way to the zoo (to see baby polar bear Nora), and stitch when I get home. And then I can lay them out and play. (And cut out a basket.)
Little by little things get done.
I hope you're having a great day!