Last April, I attended a "For the Love of Sewing" event in Rogers. Evy Hawkins, artist extraordinaire, demonstrated a technique, using her own designs, that allows quilt blocks to be appliqued, pieced, and quilted in the hoop. One set of Evy's designs, the Fashionetta Quilt, features images of twelve darling clothing ensembles. Each of the twelve relates to particular seasons and holidays throughout the year.
When I saw Evy's lovely version of her Fashionetta Quilt on display, I knew I'd have to make one for my daughter. My daughter, Laura, has always held an interest in fashion and even earned a degree in apparel studies at the University of Arkansas.
Although there are numerous steps to the process of creating and completely finishing these blocks in the hoop, it's a fun and creative process. I most enjoy choosing fabrics for each ensemble. For the swimsuit and cover-up skirt, which is June's block, I used remnants cut from a tangerine-colored bridesmaid's dress.
Last summer, just a day before my daughter's best friend's wedding, I was asked to "hem" the dress of a bridesmaid who lived out of state. This bridesmaid's dress didn't even come close to fitting in the bodice, so I unpicked thousands of stitches and reworked the bodice in addition to altering the hem. The flowing skirt was constructed of three layers ranging from poly satin to sheer organza. I altered the dress from floor-length to knee-length. What a job! For April's lime linen suit, I used the sleeves I'd cut from my neighbor's blouse when I shortened the sleeves.
I did find it difficult to maneuver my applique scissors below the lip of the hoop in order to trim away excess fabric from the appliques. Recently, I purchased Gingher's double-curved machine embroidery scissors. These scissors make trimming so much easier. No more wrist pain! Their razor-sharp, pointed tip also makes cleaner cuts, allowing the satin stitching to completely cover raw edges.
To assemble the quilt, the appliqued and filler blocks are to be attached with straight-of-grain fabric strips. I will admit that I presented the blocks I've completed so far to my daughter at her bridal shower last August. My daughter married in October. Laura has asked me more than once when I will finish her quilt! I truly hope to have the quilt completed by the end of this month. Wish me luck!
Gingher's six-inch Double-Curved Machine Embroidery Scissors
Anne, procrastinator extraordinaire