Saturday, 13 March 2021

An Ugly (Duckling) Project

For my very good self, the process from start to finish isn't always straight forward.
Some people look through books and magazines or, like many of us these days, click about on the internet for inspiration or to find the next project. I've mentioned my 'Rabbit Hole' hours before! I often feel quite satisfied to have looked at lots of projects and ideas with no desire to actually make any of them.
I came across this quilt... I'm adding this link LINK for you to click on if you want to see more info about it.

At this stage this is a quilt top. Alex has been working on it and she shows you various methods for applique, using all sorts of tools and gadgets that you don't need!! There are lots of video things to watch and they're quite entertaining really.

Here goes...
I told you that I am trying to use up some of the older fabrics in my stash, my tastes have changed and I have run out of space in Quilty Quarters. 
I pulled out several greens from said stash as the Bird House pattern instructions say to piece the background... and I like how the background looks...

I placed the fabrics over the design wall just to see how much I had... I could have mathemised the pieces but this was much faster, I only needed a rough idea... I wasn't surprised to see I had plenty! But, this gave me an idea, I could be a 'Smarty Pants' and piece these big bits of fabric together... it would be quicker, right?
It actually looked terrible!

  I decided to join all the bits with wavy seams... oh my goodness... what a blooming ugly mess!! So I stopped with that idea too. It's hard enough working with fabrics I don't really like any more without me making it more awful! Ugly fabric gets less ugly the smaller the pieces are... that is fact! 

I started to cut pieces more like the pattern instructions said, but I wasn't enjoying the look of that, not with my ugly fabrics. So I cut rectangles.... didn't like that plan either... Wooooha, I had a Brainstorm... make a wall!!! Add bit of batik style mortar... genius!!  Much happier with this idea so I continued. But I neglected to look at sizes. I just covered my design wall with ugly green wall. This was now going to be larger than the original Bird House project.

Also in my stash I had these. There was a Makower panel in my shop, ages ago now. I cut out all these birds and things to make a shop sample to give folk an idea of what they could do with the panel. 3 years or more later, they still waited. Steam-a-Seam on each piece. You know I don't like waste?

OK, so I decided to use them on my Bird House Quilt, which now looks nothing like the original! During one of her Facebook Videos, Alex suggested 'Google-ing' Line drawings of Bird houses to make up our own. So, I did and drew some of my own. tested them out in paper and liked. Also cut out paper branches for my birds... didn't like...

My birds are the kind that like to congregate on phone wires now!
Also I still have lots of turquoise fabric left, hence the blue bird houses...
By now, I'm starting to enjoy the project.

 I used Alex's petal templates for my flowers, a nod to the original pattern... and before you start wondering, Yes, I have loads of yellow fabrics to use up too!! I added the Bunting style hearts to use up the rest of the Makower panel! 

Everything was stuck in place so I cracked on with the applique stitching.

lots of thread colour changes... see the tiny bee?

Once it was all stitched, I stood back to admire my work. There was a big space at the bottom, which I could have cut off... But I googled, "How to draw a watering can?" Who knew there would be a tutorial! ha ha ha. My Lilly designed the wellies for me. Each bird was going to have a tiny pair of wellies because the idea of appliqueing all those feet was daunting. I got round the bird feet problem with improv applique (could be called 'winging it', ha!)  so I made just one pair of wellies but a bit larger, cute eh?

Do you remember me making the turquoise thing to use up fabrics? 
I said I was going to use it as the back for a green quilt... 
but, No, I didn't like the idea of it after all. 
I've grown to really like this Ugly Birdhouse quilt, so I wanted a nice,
 but possibly equally as ugly design for the backing.... here we go again!

Quarter Log Cabin blocks set On Point. 
That decision was made to stop the quilting on the back from looking wonky... 
and it would have looked wonky, don't ask me how I know.
Used up most of the ugly green bits.... almost ran out, hooray!!

Fill the spaces with Quarter Log Cabin blocks using many fabrics from yellow stash, 
I'm really starting to like this now! ha ha ha

I didn't have anything that would look good as the setting triangles so I had to make more Quarter Log Cabin blocks and cut them diagonally in half to fill the spaces. Lastly that bit of that ugly Brazilian, blotchy green was added... utilitarian, to make the back big enough to make the sandwich, it should be cut off after the quilting is done

One Ugly Bird House quilt sandwich. 
Made to use up some older stash fabrics. 
The seed of the idea came from that lovely quilt in the first picture 
but you probably would never have guessed that!
It still has to be quilted, it's on my agenda.... 
There's a long list on that agenda!

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