Monday, March 16, 2009

Thimbleberries Challenge

My favorite local quilt ship, Randy's, is holding a Thimbleberries Challenge and I've decided to participate. Normally, something like this would have passed right by me. While I appreciate the beauty of Thimbleberry fabrics, they are not what I buy. My taste leans much more to the bright, contemporary designs or bright, pure hues. I will backtrack a bit to explain how this strange turn of events occurred.

A few weeks back, I was reading a post by Frieda Oxenham that included a link to Alphastamps. To my delight, I discovered rubber stamps of Brownies at their site. I will admit to a slight rubber stamp addiction and after seeing these little beauties, I succumbed to temptation. I love children's books and especially certain illustrators of children's books. Back in my youth, two Better Homes and Gardens anthologies of children's stories were my favorite books. The first volume included "The Brownies Circus" by Palmer Cox.

After receiving the Brownie stamps, I began to think that it would be fun to do a quilting project involving the Brownies. I'd been thinking about possibly doing some redwork embroidery of the Brownies because the drawings are so simple. Sue Nickels program at the Gate City Quilt Guild had encouraged me to get out all my Ellie Sienkewicz appliqué books for a look. Then, I saw the announcement for the challenge on Randy's website and all these separate threads came together. I began to draw and came up with a design.

The center (a square on point) will feature a redwork-style embroidered figure of one of the Brownies, but in brown floss instead of red. The center will be surrounded by a pieced border and then squared off with four triangles that will include a papercut design. A sawtooth border will separate these from the final wide border that will have the title and a snaking vein around three sides. At this point, I think I will try to do traditional appliqué rather than raw edge machine appliqué with fusing, but that may change. This will definitely be a challenge--unusual, limited fabric and techniques I don't normally use--but I think one needs to stretch from time to time. I'll post my progress on this piece.

What are your thoughts on traditional as opposed to raw-edge fused appliqué, readers?

1 comment:

Minka's Studio said...

I like traditional applique but can understand why one might chose the other in order to get the project done more quickly. How do you plan to use the quilt when it's done? That might help you decide.

I remember the brownies from a childhood book. I mostly liked the illustrations but do not recall the actual stories. My book also contained a beloved poem, "The Goops." Do you know that one? "The goops they lick their fingers, the goops they lick their knives, they spill their broth on the table cloth, oh they lead disgusting lives...." but, I digress.