Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Princess Plenty - Marking the borders

Do you suffer from quilting withdrawal when you travel? I get a little twitchy if I don't pop some handwork in my bag, just in case I have some time to fill on a plane, in an airport, or in the evenings.

This time Princess Plenty was to have been my traveling project. Ha! Fat chance!

So far this trip I've slept on the flights, walked around in the airports to prevent DVT, and collapsed in a weary heap most evenings.

But at least I'm prepared.

This is the stage I'm up to with the central medallion of Princess Plenty, my Lynne Alchin-designed quilt. It's been relatively simple going so far, and I'm loving those princess feathers in Lecien Flower Sugar and a couple of other similar florals.

The deep outside borders step things up a notch, a deliciously elaborate confection of appliqué fruit, birds, flowers and vines, with cornucopias in every corner. I was so keen to make a start that, after hand piecing only two of my narrow sawtooth borders onto the centre, I skipped ahead, figuring that this wide appliqué border would make the perfect traveling project, if I could just prepare the pieces beforehand.

I traced all four borders from the pattern sheet using a light box and a black Frixion pen. A glass-topped table with a lamp placed on the floor underneath is another simple way to trace the design.

The light shows up the pattern easily and the Frixion pen makes a nice clear line that won't rub off with repeated handling, but disappears with heat when you want it to, just by ironing.

Sometimes this isn't a good thing. Imagine you've just finished appliquéeing a flower, you sit back and admire your handiwork, and without a second thought you reach for the iron to complete your work of art by pressing it. Eeeek! You've just wiped out all the design around it!

Don't worry, if you want it it'll come back if you just pop your work in the deep freeze. Unless you live in an igloo at the North Pole this disappearing/appearing trick shouldn't be a problem, though I do think its advisable to launder your work when it's done, just to be sure you've seen the last of those lines.

I'm primarily using fabrics from my obscenely large scrap stash for the appliqué, so a reasonable way to make sure I have enough of each fabric would be to work on all four borders simultaneously. 

However I want to be sure all my shades and fabrics play well together before committing them, so I'm going to complete the appliqué on one border (making sure I only choose fabrics with sufficient to cover the lot) and once I'm happy with the finished product I'll go on to appliqué the other three borders simultaneously.

Besides, I'm easily bored if I have to work too long repeating the same fabrics or shapes. ✂️


  1. That's very 'you'........will you be able to bring back any fabric from your travels?

  2. Such pretty stitching, and yes I agree. I have my hands being idle, so I try and take something with me to stitch or knit where ever I go.

  3. Your work is delightful and how wise to always be prepared with handwork at the ready. Creative Stitching Bliss...

  4. Another pretty appliqué that you're working on, Di. You do really beautiful work. But may I offer some advice related to those FriXion pens? You must not have read my post about them because I can tell you that the pen marks DO NOT come out when the quilt is washed! In fact, the lines I'd marked (for quilting) that came out with the iron, returned when I washed the quilt. I nearly cried. I DID manage to get them out by RE-ironing the piece, but it sickens me to know those lines will always be in the quilt. From now on, I will be MUCH more judicious about where I mark with those pens.


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