I wiped away the weeds & foam. / I fetched my sea-born treasures home... Ralph Waldo Emerson

Thursday, August 24, 2017

The Bitty Quilt ~ Update

Hello, everyone. Another weekend has arrived, the last weekend in August. Summer days and weeks have flown by.

As you know, my small hand work project this summer is Bitty's Quilt, a Minick and Simpson design.

The fun of Bitty is choosing blue fabrics for the simple and charming, almost childlike designs. Then simple needleturn applique.

Below is a detail from an early to mid nineteenth century quilt discussed on FB. I had copied and enlarged this section, trying to discern what the blue fabric might be. [The rest of the quilt is red and green].  It reminds me so strongly of Bitty, I wanted to share it. [Not sure if that's ok, but it's just s small bit of the quilt?] So these are Bitty's design roots.

Here is Bitty taped on the big window for me to trace the design.

I don't own a lightbox and probably the pattern is too big for a lightbox anyway. Hence the old style window method.

Edit: the following is somewhat incorrect, see next paragraph after this.****.

Minick and Simpson's pattern looks very professional and slick but typical to so many quilt patterns, there are a lot of issues with the pattern. The schematic drawing does not match the photo and the pattern pieces to not match the schematic either. Unfortunately they are *smaller* so I got caught out using my indelible fine line marker. Usually the appliques cover these lines. But not this time. The pattern bears only a slight resemblance to the drawing on the graph which I had traced onto the ground fabric as a placement guide. This was crucial because all the appliques must be sewed before the bias stripping/ stems.

****To be fair, on further inspection it seems some of the fitting issues have to do with my poor tracing skills and are NOT the fault of the pattern. That said, the applique pieces are all ever so slightly slimmer and  therefore do not cover placement lines. Also the little birds' wings aren't always exactly the same and the Flower Urn side has pieces reversed.

pattern photo

On FB, someone mentioned using WASHABLE fine tip Crayola markers to mark quilt lines or appliques. A wonderful help, I sure hope they're as washable as promised.

My other problem with the patterns is the leaves as patterned are not cute and chubby like those on the photograph. I may redo the ones I have done so far. Or add a few fat little leaves to fill in the dead space made by the too slim leaves? Second half leaves will be corrected.

Mo and I have been sewing in the afternoons,

plus Bitty has been to the beach a few times. The tiny bits are not so compatible with last week's very windy days, but it's small and fun, and I just do a few  careful leaves at a time.

It doesn't look like much but half of the appliques are done.

Here it is with the plaid bias stem/ swag laid out to give a better feeling of how it may look.

I love the lollipop flowers!

And for some reason I think--I imagine!--that the bird is Bitty herself. I may change Bitty's wing. I love that fabric but it's a bit blah used here?

My friend Sue [of the yo-yo rosettes]is also making Bitty but she has had a fun summer doing lots of camping and travelling, and not much Bitty making! At the tracing stage here.

And this is from her library's window~ a naughty pug? More on that in a minute!

My other summer applique project is the Patek Silent Night stars quilt. I need some rainy days to make some pieced stars that go behind the border snow scene. Not much rain here in the summer so that project lies neglected with all the other machine sewing on my lists. Instead in rare moments I've been doing other kinds of sewing, a table runner for a gift, quilted drink thermos carriers, but not much happening there either. In the summer I'm outdoors, not sitting in my tiny  sewing room without a view.


In other news:

Mo is usually a good boy now that he is 3 1/2 but today he ate his bed. I think he was a little upset that I went out on errands, pugs like routine and his routine is afternoons with mom on the deck. First he threw all the sofa pillows, cushions, quilts on the floor! Then later he vigorously chomped two giant holes in his fave bed...and I caught him eating the stuffing! Can't be good for his tummy, can it?


And last item: at the grocery I wanted fresh home grown summer tomatoes to make a platter of sliced tomatoes and fresh mozzarella with basil and balsamic vinegar, for the weekend.
And the local store had NO fresh tomatoes. C'mon, it's August! Hothouse only? That's just not right.

Have  a good weekend!



gone to the beach...