This is the second block in Esther's Mystery Quilt Heart's Desire. It's quite a fun and challenging journey. I believe I'm learning a lot.
I completed Block 1 except for the corners. I want to wait and decide on them later - maybe at the end?
For the second block I at least have now picked out my vine and leaf fabrics from my stash.
I put my pattern together with tape.
I cut bias strips for the stems.
I trace the pattern onto the Floriani Stitch and Wash.
And I made sure to number code my pieces. I actually did more coding than what shows here. I'm learning to be organized.
As for those bias strips, I started doing it the way I always do it for my appliques. I usually only do tender curves, so I iron 1/4" on one side and sew, with my machine, the other side down. This wasn't working on this piece. The curves are too curvy. There was too much puckering in the center of the arches. And that middle circle with the vines weaving in and out. What was I going to do? I went with my plea to the Yahoo group we have for this quilt and got some good advice. Some are making templates. I believe that's what Esther does. Some are piecing the circle in pieces, breaks hidden behind unseen places.
What I learned though is to forget my machine seam. There's no give in it. One person also suggested doing the inner curves first. That really helped to smooth things out. The template would probably get it really smooth, but since I had already cut my bias strips, I decided to go with them.
This photo shows how I was weaving the strips amongst each other. Two needles, two threads.
I ironed the Floriani to the wrong side of my fabric and pressed the edges over. I was going to do the starch method, but the edges seemed so crisp how they were, that I decided not to do that. I like how the leaf turned out. I'm going to do the veins on the leaves when I do my quilting.
Several more leaves came on. It is an encouraging start.