I really meant to do just a block a month, but this Red Delicious pattern is tantalizing and I cannot resist working on it. In addition to the first block, I now have blocks 2 and 10 completed. Why #10? Because I have stash fabric that wants to be a teapot.
This fabric was picked up back in November at a stitching & craft fair and resembles the print on a Royal Albert teapot that I used to own. Unfortunately my first attempt was ruined by the Floriani stabilizer that I choose, so that product is now on my do not use list. Upon completion, I squirted the block to smooth out wrinkles and the stabilizer shrunk the whole piece! So a second was prepared and yes, I made changes and it is improved over the first attempt.
Block 2 is such fun! These are nightshade blooms, which dance across the block. The Kaffe charm pack yielded fun prints to use in the interior of the leaves and to peak out of the dancing petals. I knew I wanted to use some of my buttons on this one and the little circles on the bottom of the petals ares perfect placement for these tiny shell buttons. Some tiny FMQ swirls with the buttons placed in the center completed the block.
Red Delicious is a challenge. It is tempting to just pull out all the red and then to try to “coordinate” your reds…orangish reds versus pinkish reds, for example. And to exclude ones that don’t fit the category. I started with this mind set, but realized it was too confining and instead decided to alternate the orangish and pinkish in blocks and even combine them. There will be pinkish blocks to cool down the piece and orangish to heat it up, but I am not excluding any “uncoordinating” red from a block. Just trying to make sure that top and bottom, side to side there is at least a smattering of both.
Block 3 followed and I dug into my Kaffe charms for the pomegranates and apple and flags and found a zigzag print to use in the flags under the shelf of fruit. The flags are quite small and each section is only 3/8″ wide. I liked both the darker and lighter red for the flag base and decided to use both of them. After making the triangles from the base colors, Heat n Bond was applied to an entire 5″ zigzag pattern charm square. 3/8″ strips were then cut with mitered corners. The base triangles were marked with ceramic marker for placement of the strips. The detail at the bottom of the flags is made using a deco stitch on my Bernina 350 SE. Again, I chose to add a deco stitch detail rather use the pattern provided for the bottom of the flags.
Block 4 is a vase with carnations. The vase fabric was a serendipitous find on when I stopped at a little quilt shop on the way to visit a friend. Then the only problem was trying to decide just how to use the fabric! Light on top? Or the bottom? Since this will be a bottom row square, I put the light on the bottom to draw the eye down. I started with dark backgrounds for the blooms, but it was soon evident that they prefer a lighter backdrop.
Block 5 was SO much fun, I could easily make another dozen! This on is turned edge as all the edges are curved/bias and I felt it would stitch up more nicely. The lace forming the center heart is vintage lace gifted to me 20 yrs ago. I had fun with embroidery stitches on my machine to finish the blocks.
Each block of Red Delicious needs to have its own integrity and perspective and I am trusting that when done, they will all form a cohesive whole. I have one key fabric that I am using throughout (simply by virtue of having yardage of it) but I am also enjoying the little flashes of color from my Kaffe charm pack and looking for unexpected places to highlight them, like the apple in block #3. I am also incorporating bits of gold here and there through out the blocks.
I am also loving using charm packs to augment my stash fabrics for applique. It is an inexpensive way to greatly expand your fabric choices.
Happy stitching to all! Lennea