Nelke, the Antidote to Winter

Back to working on Nelke. As I talked about in an earlier post, this is an Esther Aliu pattern done at 65%. The center is trimmed down to 23 1/4″. The fabrics are all Stonehenge, most are leftovers from my On My Window Flowers Bloom project, including the with the remains of a charm pack (5″ squares) and some green yardages for stems and leaves.

The Celtic knot print used in the vase is from the Stonehenge Soltice line. This fabric was purchased for another purpose, but the colors weren’t right. This seemed a good opportunity to use fabric languishing in my stash.

I have been enjoying working on the flowers and birds because we are in our winter storm cycle and the days can be very gray, all day long. While the original pattern features vintage fabric done in traditional muted tones, I needed the lush, romantic soft colors as an antidote to gray winter.

The pattern is challenging at the reduced size and I struggled a bit to get the stems thin enough. First, I tried using my smallest Clover bias tape maker for the stems and even sewed them down. But they were simply too wide for the scale of the pattern. I abandoned that attempt and tried a different approach, using a wider bias and folding it in half. This gives a nice narrow width, adding texture and depth while having all the edges turned in.

Stems in place!

The little birds feet and beaks are machine stitched using a Gutterman yellow gold that was on my thread wall.  I am thinking that the smaller, slightly lighter colored bird (I think of her as the female) should have some nesting material in her beak. Perhaps I will add that when I FMQ.

The pattern has a pieced border, but at this size the tiny squares would finish, when compiled, at 2 1/2″. I thought about a different type of pieced border, but in the end decided to go with using the Stonehenge Soltice fabric used in the vase.

Now considering a flanged border. Hmmm. Will try out a few colors before adding the border. (Aqua grunge from stash along the bottom and darker teal grunge on the right).

The border is 4″ wide.

Next up is quilting! I now have three smaller quilts to FMQ, so will be reporting on them as they get done. Flowers below. the colors are what every little bits were left over from a charm pack! The pattern calls for 2 parts to the flowers, but I added a 3rd layer for a little more color and texture.














My grandson, who is 15, was in need of long, extra skinny PJ bottoms, so I found some double-sided flannel and made him a quick bottom pair. Happy sewing, Lennea


  1. Ohhh Lennea what a great blog and tutorial on your Nelke, so many great tips. I like the look of the flange and that Stonehenge Soltice border is so so perfect for this wee gem you are making. Your satin stitch sure makes for lovely wee beaks???? Really enjoyed dropping in and learning from you. Cheers Glenda

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