Thursday, October 23, 2014

Appliquéd in China

I'm back from an amazing 24 days in China - what a trip! It was wonderful, exotic and exhausting.

Orange Peel Quilt-along
I had brought two projects with me to work on. The first one, that I wrote about in my last post, didn't get touched. Maybe it was the heat that made working with wool totally uninteresting. I did however bring an appliqué project that was perfect for the trip, even if I only got to it a few times. Just before leaving, I joined Julie's Orange Peel Quilt-Along at Button Button.

From Tula Pink's Fox Field collection
Since I had a million things to organize before leaving, I chose coordinating fabrics from Tula Pink's Fox Field. I originally bought a package of fat quarters at our guild's quilt show at the Mad about Patchwork booth. I fell in love with the large pink polka dots with random bunnies.

The background fabric is one of the white's from Kona Cottons. Before I left on my trip, I ordered more fabric from the Fox Field collection - in case I decided to make a larger quilt. I'm not sure which white I used as the background, so I guess I'll have to order a variety and keep the others for future projects.

Julie's instructions are clear and contain some good hints. Since the appliqué pieces would be travelling, I followed her instructions by cutting the orange peels from freezer paper templates and adding the 1\4 inch seam allowance. I ironed the seam allowance before leaving and then as soon as I got to Beijing, I basted each of the orange peels. This ensured that each peel was ready to appliqué, even if they got battered a little in my luggage.

The peels are quite large, so it was really nice to appliqué.  After appliquéing a few, I figured out that for me, it worked best when I was sewing counter-clockwise.

I posted a picture of my fabrics before I left for China but wasn't able to access anything other than email while on my trip. I took a picture of my work-in-progress while cruising on the Yangtze River. I posted my progress on the second check-in, once I returned.

I originally prepared 36 orange peels to make a wall quilt, but I definitely want to make a larger quilt, now that I have the "orange peel bug". Of the 36 peels, I only have 7 more to appliqué. After that, I'll have to order more white Kona fabric and start cutting more orange peels from the left over fat quarters and from the two new fabrics I got from the collection.

Taken on the Yangtze River Cruise
What I learned:

  • I thought I would be able to appliqué while on the plane or the bus, but that didn't work out. It was just too cramped.
  • Basting and appliquéing in the evenings, when not too tired, worked out well, especially when relaxing during the cruise.
  • The project traveled really well and required only the fabric, scissors, needles, a couple of pins and the thread.
  • I love the size of the orange peels. They are large enough that it makes the appliquéing quite easy. Who knows, maybe one day I'll be brave enough to tackle smaller projects!
  • I really missed sewing and quilting during my trip. Twenty four days is a long time to go without. I was glad to have this project with me since lugging a sewing machine across China just wasn't feasible!
  • It's great to be home :-) Travelling makes me very grateful for all that I have.

Update - November 13, 2014
Adding to the fabrics

I have started cutting and preparing more appliques to make a larger quilt. I have added two more fabrics from Tula Pink's fabric line. They are so cool!!!

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