Monday, June 17, 2013

Vignette Mystery Quilt

After I posted yesterday's stash report, I realized I've never really talked about my long-term project, Vignette in Stitches.  I had been following Leanne Beasley's blog for a little while when she announced she was putting out a new magazine and it was going to kick off with a Mystery Quilt.

It took me a while to find a North American dealer but I finally found it to order at In Between Stitches in California.  They have been wonderful to deal with, and now that a new mystery has started I am keeping my subscription.
When my first issue arrived, I was challenged to find similar fabrics to the ones used in the quilt (by an Australian designer, Rosalie Quinlan).  I could have ordered a fat quarter bundle with some of the fabrics in it, but I have so much stash, I decided to wing it!

I had fun pulling colours and patterns from my stash that resembled the ones in the magazine.  I was really happy with my final selections, and I only had to buy the red polka-dots and the replacement for a large embroidered border that was supposed to look like this:
(This picture is from a blog of like-minded stitchers, Vignette in Stitches, and you might want to check out their finished quilts).
I knew if I had any hope of finishing this quilt in my lifetime, I had to eliminate 144" of a 4" wide stitched border.  Instead, I bought a cute Minny Muu mini-flowers in the same colours as the embroidery.
I quickly got started on the assembly and embroidery of the first block.  I learned a couple of great tips, such as using a lightweight fusible batting behind the embroidery to add depth and hid any stray threads, and baste on large strips of scrap fabric to keep the edges from fraying.
Each of these little Churn Dash blocks measures 4" finished, with 1 1/2" HSTs. 

I finished Block One by the time the second issue arrived with two more blocks in it.  I pieced it together fairly quickly, and then got sidetracked for over a year.
Finally in January, I picked it up again and got the embroidery done on blocks 2, 3 and 4 assembled the first row.

Blocks 5 and 9 were next and I not only got those pieced, but all the cutting for the remaining blocks. I even had the design traced for the embroidery.  Then I got stalled again.
At some point in the last six months, I assembled the centre section which included blocks 6,7, 10 and 11.  I don't even remember when.
But this past week, I started working on the appliqued flowers for the centre!
I'm new to hand-sewn applique in just the past year. It's taken me a while but I think I finally figured out how to get nice smooth curves.  It involves Mylar, a hot iron and starch and even a bit of glue. I am having so much fun!
And here are the parts so far.  There will be another narrow red polka dot border and a row of 1 1/2" squares surrounding the centre, and a large appliqued frame on top of the centre as well.  The second side piece just needs the red polka-dot borders pieces added and it will be ready for embroidery. Since the starting block is dated, I'd like to finish this by the end of the year so I can enter the finishing date as 2013!
This is one of my summer projects - wish me luck!


  1. Wow, love your colors! It's going to be such a fun quilt when it's done. Good luck!!

  2. I had thought about making that quilt at one time but could never find the magazine and it was too costly to send for. Love those stitched borders.


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