Only the beginning.

I’m doing it. I decided to take a huge leap in my making and dive right in to a fully appliquéd quilt. I have long loved the look of appliqué but much like colorwork knitting, I thought it was out of my grasp. Well, it seems I was wrong. At least so far.

I have started the Granny’s Garden quilt, by Lori Holt. It is so gorgeous I cannot stand it. I took some time reading through Lori’s other sewalongs and appliqué tutorials and it seemed like I could do it with some practice, so I decided to dive right in. And let me tell you, the water is deep and the shore is far.

I decided to go ahead and get all the cutting over with in one fell swoop. That turned out to be a monumental task. All in all, the fabric, background, and interfacing took me about 18 hours to cut. I also organized everything into baggies by block. Don’t worry, I’ll be saving the bags for the next inevitable huge project like this!

Apologies for this photo! I think it’s time for a more photogenic bedspread in the guest room. In the 18 hour marathon of prep, I also made about 8 yards of 1/4 inch binding for the stems. I like my little card with them all wound up!

That prep took me a whole weekend. I couldn’t even stand to think about sewing after that, and I’d done a pretty good number on my shoulder. So I took the night off and went for the first block after work the next day. Now, this is a cool appliqué trick. Lori has you sew the interfacing onto the fabric and then turn the pieces. This was my first heart, a little wonky at first.

A few minutes with my handy point turner and, voila! a heart!

After turning the rest of the shapes, I pin basted everything to be sure I liked the arrangement. I followed the pins with a nice little glue-baste to secure everything.

I’ll be honest, it took me a minute to get the hang of the appliqué technique. While it’s certainly nowhere near perfect, I think my stitching is starting to look pretty good.

I like the way stitching looks on the back of the piece, all the colorful outlines.

And that’s a finished block one! I think it turned out pretty well, though there’s a bit of wrinkling going on. At any rate, it’s super cute. I think I’ll try and prep more than one block at a time, since the hand sewing is the fun part.

I am way behind on the actual sewalong, she’s doing four blocks a week. With my skill level, free time, and multiple other projects that was just never going to happen. Kevin’s comment was that this quilt will take me forever. I think that’s mostly fair. I would love to complete it in year! My goal right now is to finish one block per week. At 42 blocks plus the appliquéd borders, that should be about right.

It’s really fun to learn a new skill like this. It’s challenging and takes a while and can be frustrating, but I’m hoping this quilt will really give me some good practice. After 42 blocks, I should be an old pro!


Happy making!

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