A glorious week it was at Michillinda!!!
My cousin Carol's dear friend, Lynn Cunningham, was there for most of the week with us. She is an expert at needleturn applique and was willing to teach me how.
I had tried it 15 years ago in a class with the great Elly Sienkiewicz, whose Applique Academy Lynn attends. I didn't like it then, but now with many years of handwork under my belt, I thought I'd give it another try.
And....I loved it!
Meet Lynn....she was tons of fun, and as you will see, is very, very adept with her needle.
These are some of her blocks for a wildflower quilt she is making. The designs are from a gal in California whose name I forgot to write down. Sorry......but aren't they grand? Look at all those little points on the thistle...eeek!
This design is from the book, William Morris in Applique by Michele Hill, from C & T publishers. Lynn had printed the design onto label paper, which she peels away as she appliques. She also marks around the template shapes, so the paper doesn't have to remain in place while she is sewing.
This looks really hard.
But I thought some simple needleturned flowers might be a nice addition to my Vintage CQ, so I asked Lynn for a lesson.
I am all eyes here, watching a true pro in action.
It really helps to have the right tools.
Lynn uses nothing but size 11 straw needles, YLI silk thread.....
....and a School Gluestick!
Also a toothpick. When you are turning under your little seam as you sew, sometime the edge will fray or the point won't tuck in properly, as here. You dip your needle or toothpick into the gluestick to get a tiny coating of glue on it, push under the offending threads and voila, they are permanently on good behavior, out of sight.
This is Lynn sewing here. She says her left thumb does most of the work, holding things in place. The stitch is placed just a few threads behind where the thread comes up out of the back, and then into the fold, over about 1/8th of an inch, and out. Her stitches truly are invisible.
Also, she says not to pull too tightly, so you don't get little indentations along your seam edge.
Well, I was all thumbs, but having a great teacher and some pretty silk to work with helped.
Some of my flowers were a little questionable....(there's one I'm not going to show you at all).
But I truly enjoyed the process.
Thank you so much, Lynn!
Betty Pillsbury left a comment on my blog last time about the proportions of my Vintage CQ, after seeing it laid out. She said the center section needed to be bigger. So I laid it out again on the design wall to see if she was right, and I have to agree with her.
It means I'll be sewing more blocks for the border and spending considerably more work on the center...but this quilt is a loooooong term project so that is fine. There is still that large black border to go, too, so this could be a few years in the making.
My week at the cottage went by so fast. My sister was there with her darling daughter Qwennie, and it was a true joy to share the place and our childhood memories...
My sister is the best!
Farewell, Michillinda, for another year......