With two days left of obsessive event watching, a new Olympic record has been achieved: for most hand-sewing accomplished, much of it on this Hawaiian Applique “Ulu” block.
The original plan was to make maximum progress on the Grandmother’s Flower Garden project, cut short by an “overtraining injury” (aka project burnout). So I switched to this. Which almost sort of counts, as it is my “practice project” for the hand-quilting I plan to do on GFG.
I can’t claim this is the first applique I’ve ever done, but it’s been around… oh, let’s see… 25 years or so since the last time, so I’m comfortably in the beginner camp. HA is traditionally done with two solid colors, but I tend to see solids as a lost opportunity to use a print, so I’m doing well to include one. I’m all for preserving traditions, so long as someone else is willing to take care of that while I do whatever most appeals to me, which is rarely (if ever) the traditional approach.
Many more thread-miles will need to happen before I achieve anything close to mastery of needle-turn applique. My stitches are uneven and nowhere close to invisible, curves not as smooth as they could be, points lumpy, inner curves literally hanging on by a thread… none of which matters because my goal for this project is to have fun with it and (eventually) practice some beginner-level hand-quilting as well.
I think I deserve at least a Bronze Medal for choosing this FQ from a Kaffe Fassett bundle as my featured fabric. No matter how wonky my stitching, the end result will be gorgeous, and the fabric gets all the credit for that. Whether it’s KF or Philip Jacobs, I’m not sure, but whichever it is, as soon as I pulled it from the bundle I knew I’d use it for my Hawaiian applique learner’s project.
Actually, not all the credit goes to the fabric, because I did draw up an original design (inspired by a completed pillow seen at my LQS). It’s twice as complex as the usual beginner Ulu pillow pattern, so I may be overreaching a bit, but I love it and it’s delivering lots of practice with points and tricky curves.
This project has been cruising along at a much faster pace than expected. That’s mostly because — in order to see all the Decathlon events and at least some of the Rhythmic Gymnastics — we have been watching an hour or two of daytime games lately, as well as the prime-time stuff. Playing hooky from deskwork so we can cheer for Ashton Heaton and gape in awe at Evgenia Kanaeva, is one of the great perks of being self-employed!
I’ll be half-sorry, half-relieved, when “London 2012″ wraps up tomorrow night. Lots of needle-work has been done, but other projects are piling up, both on the desk and in the sewing room.
update: fabric is Philip Jacobs “Brassica” in the green colorway