When Marian from Seams to be Sew asked me to participate in 'The Road Home Quilt along' I was delighted ! Although a little daunted as this is not the kind of quilt I normally design, so it has also been a little bit of a learning curve. To come up with the design I thought of where I live in NZ on the Kaipara Harbour in North Island New Zealand. I live on the South Head peninsula, we have a small farm planted in Pine Trees, with sheep grazing under the trees. Our house is on a hill that overlooks a dairy farm and the Kaipara Harbour. On the other side of South Head ( behind our farm ) is Muriwai beach, an ocean beach. The native birds are plentiful here, we have wood pigeons and the Maori name for them is ( Kereru ), Tui's, fantails and of course Kiwi's. The group of stars that I have in my row symbolize the southern cross, I see this beautiful group of stars in our night sky, and they are also on our NZ flag.
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My process while making my row...........
I started with the fabric choices, thinking of what I had that suited the various animals and trees. My fabrics are not art fabrics as I mostly make traditional applique and pieced quilts, so this was a little bit of a challenge. I was sure I could find fabrics in my stash rather than purchasing fabrics specifically for the project.
Where to start? I made the decision to start with the smaller parts, (birds) then create the background. Mainly because of fabric choices, I wanted to get the birds right then I could co-ordinate the background colours.
As I progressed through the various birds etc I made decisions as to what technique would suit each part. Adding in embroidery, beads, buttons etc for the smaller parts and also using steam a seam for the Sun to get nice sharp points easily. I also like the texture and dimension the added thread gives when using satin stitch and embroidery threads.
The Kiwi was the first bird I made, I found the perfect fabric and created the circles for the bodies using my favorite method with freezer paper templates.
The photo's show how I cut my templates from freezer paper. I always print an extra copy of the pattern. I use the extra copy to save drawing the templates. Layering the freezer paper and stapling the layers together with the printed template on top to cut the applique templates.
I turn the edges over with a small iron onto the sticky side of freezer paper. Stabilizing the freezer paper onto the wrong side of the fabric with a pin, I like the flower pins as the flower makes a good handle.
I progressed with all my larger pieces using this method. Then added the beads, buttons and embroidery where necessary.
Making the Wood Pigeon (Kereru) The tail feathers for this bird are too fine to turn the edges so........ I used steam a seam lite, stitching them in place with satin stitch.The Sun will be made in the same way.
For birds and parts of the quilt that have layers, I like to trace the bird ( piece) onto tracing paper and use this to layer the pieces with water-soluble basting glue before stitching them to the background.
With the Fantail I have turned the edges of the body, but for the white ovals in the tail I used steam a seam with a satin stitch.
The legs for the sheep and cows are made with a 1/4 inch bias stem maker, the chimney and tree trunks are made with a 1/2 inch bias stem maker. I have a tutorial on using the bias stem maker here. Although I cut me strips on the straight of grain for The 'Road Home' Quilt.
I must say that I procrastinated over making this row ! Mainly because I don't usually make this kind of quilt, and that was stuck somewhere in my subconscious. But....... I have to say I have enjoyed every minute of making this row, once I started it all seemed to go together easily and I was engrossed with every step. I hope you will enjoy making this row as much as I have.
To see the complete list of bloggers and dates for the Row along click here.
You can find the Pine Valley Quilts Row here
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The Humble Half Square Triangle unit is the basis for many great quilt blocks. Let me take you down memory lane, with some of pictures of my quilts, and tips on what I have learned so far. ( I am always learning, changing and trying out new things. )
The first method I learnt as a beginner quilter was the traditional method, sewing two triangles together to make a square unit. Read more....