Rummaging through old stash, as we do during lock down, I came across a piece of silk about 7/8 yard wide that was a gift many years ago. I can’t quite remember who gave it to me; I know I didn’t buy it. But there it has languished for at least 25 years, its exquisite beauty hidden from the world.
A soft olive/sage color, with machine embroidered leaves and flowers in matching thread with petite off-white blooms, this fabric is elegant and shimmery. Looking at it, I know that I can’t possibly cut it cut up. Perhaps it could be an applique background? It will be tricky, with the embroidery and what to pair with it?
And then the stash yields 6 dupioni silk fat quarters, won as a door prize years ago at a sew expo. They are brilliant jewel colors – lipstick red, cobalt blue, unapologetic orange, brilliant gold, true green and fuschia pink. Now I have my challenge.
It seems the time to release these wonderful fabrics out of their tote and into the world. I immediately think about Esther Aliu’s Cherish pattern, with its large scale vase and flowers that I purchased last year. A subtle elegant background, paired with bright tones…will it work? There is really only one way to find out, as we all know.
I start with the warm tones; orange, pink and gold. Green for stems and leaves. That is the easy part. And soon I realize that unless I give up most of a fat quarter for the vase, I will need another fabric for the vase. Back to the stash and Jason Yenter fat quarter. JY is ethearal and subtle, but never boring. A red bottom is added to vase, to anchor the design.
The green dupioni stems fade a bit into the background and some gold stems are added for contrast. My clover bias tape makers are put into use, although I have managed to lost the size I would really like to use. I use some deco stitches on the stem, hoping to add a baroque, handmade look to the piece.
At this point, I felt really stumped for a bit, knowing that I needed to bring in the blue dupioni. Finally, I add a second blue piece to the large green leaves, giving them movement.
The trailing leaves follow, with all 6 dupioni colors trailing down the extravagant side stems. Cherish is finally hitting it’s stride!
One bloom is left to create on the top (and yes, I accidentally switched the two top blooms) and I am decide to add more of the blue to this one.
What next? The plan is to add the stem border around the vase and flowers. How much is left of each fabric will be critical in choosing those colors and designs.
MicroQuilter, a 100 wt thread, is on order from Superior Threads to use for the quilting as the fabric is the star in this project. Hopefully, it will melt into the back ground.
Happy quilting/sewing/stitching to all!