Thursday, October 22, 2015

Shenandoah Valley Botanical - pineapple block

Well... it seems the minute I had the thought "I'd like to do another long-term quilt along"... I came across this project - ambitious, beautiful, old-timey, a little eccentric.  It's the - (hold on, it's a mouthful) - "Shenandoah Valley Botanical Album Quilt of 1858".  What are we calling it for short??


The pattern is available here and benefits the Virginia Quilt Museum.  The original was created by Ester B. Matthews in 1858 at age 82.  WOW!

My blocks will be 11-12 inches.


(My "celery" background color does not come through in the photo above.  Mmm.)

Here are some of the colors I pulled for the quilt:


The woven green is so thin that my "usual" methods (either needle turn hand applique, or invisible machine applique with freezer-paper prep) weren't working...


Then... I decided that with blocks this small and busy, and fabric this fussy, I'd better turn to fusible.

Meanwhile, one of the quilt-along participants "Pinkish Camilla" - mentioned using a Ricky Tims method for her Botanical blocks.  (Thank you, Pinkish Camilla!).  The internet is wonderful.  I googled "Ricky Tims applique" and voila.

I watched his fabulous tutorial on YouTube and really appreciated his advice about adjusting tension and needle position, using the straight stitch to start and stop, overlapping with the blanket stitch.

Anyway, I experimented and practiced and decided on a single blanket stitch.  I am using 50 weight Mettler silk finish cotton thread and just the Heat and Bond fusible - no additional stabilizer.


I'm going to make three more of these pineapple blocks; and I will eliminate the rainbow block and probably the Liberty Tree block.  And I'm sure I will orient all the blocks the same way.   I think a lot of the participants are making similar design "edits".

Lots of words today for what amounts to one pineapple block!

This month's pineapple progress is still being posted on the SVBAQ blog.  It is really really fun to see how other quilters are interpreting the blocks.  Check it out - maybe you will be inspired to jump on in!!

xo
Cynthia


12 comments:

  1. Beautiful start Cynthia - love the solids and the woven green!

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    1. Thank you! It's a really good green for this!

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  2. It's fun to see another participant and all of our varied colors, fabrics and plans for this! :) You have quite the lovely block here!

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  3. Your block is beautiful!
    The woven green fabric is fabulous!
    I really love the texture of it against the pretty solid you used for your pineapple.

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    1. Thank you 'Reen - looking forward to the next installment!

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  4. Gorgeous color combination! I am going to love seeing this one come to life!

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  5. Oh I am so happy to see you have joined in. It will be fun and I love your fabric choices. Your machine applique is beautiful! Thank you for sharing your method. I too am changing the pattern up just a bit. I look forward to watching all the progress.

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    1. Wendy, thanks! I almost quit before I started, with the trouble I was having with needle-turn! But I'm glad to be using the fusible. I am playing fast and loose with the pattern and hope that "Ester" would approve!

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  6. Wonderful new project! Look forward to seeing your blocks. Beautiful machine applique!

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    1. It's not too late (never too late) to join in Barbara!

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