Friday, 10 February 2017

Secret Garden First Block

Hi Everyone,

Having lots of hot sticky summer weather at the moment, days continually around 30C but can add on a few extra where we are situated. Sewing room is lovely first thing but by midday starts to feel like a sauna but have still had a fabulous week working on Esther Aliu's new Mystery BOM Secret Garden
Printed out it was much biger than I expected ( had been making LE for so long had start to believe all applique pieces were tiny) so was happily thinking goody this is simple and sailed straight in.
To me the flowers were roses from the start, only the rosebud had thorns so I added some to another stem and was thinking through me favourite  roses from when we had a garden in Christchurch full of David Austin Roses for the colours I would use while making my stems and starting to stitch. About halfway up the first stem - that doesn't look right, what's wrong with my stitches!!
Had set my blanket stitch in reverse size so had  longer stitches very close together, hadn't checked my upper tension and my pressure foot was still at zero from doing free motion, I had raised the feed dogs at least. Was time to get my mind focused and start again.

For the basket I found a fairy frost in a very soft green as Mum used to have sage green and pale yellow vases when I was growing up, or were they jugs and the vases were white, not sure but do remember that the long vases had a metal pad in the bottom similar to a nailbrush but with metal spikes to push the stems into and there was a piece of chicken wire shaped to fit in the top to keep the stems upright. Amazing what comes back to you from a photo.
Cut my strips for the basket and placed them like the pattern but my Virgo mind didn't  like the irregular size of the spaces so cut more strips and did a complete weave using a second strip to set my spacing, ended up needing one slightly narrower strip at the left end, realise now if I had started placing from the left it would have been hidden under the bow,

Added leaves and flower before stitching my vase

Stitching my vase has been like stitching a jigsaw because of the overlaps, kept stitching myself into corners, even though I was travel stitching where ever possible from one space to another. Am about 3/4's done but need to place my bow before finishing. Decided flower needed extra definition so added a petal line and shaded the outer one a little, then decided to change it as felt the orange was too strong.

Like the softer look of it now.

Very happy with my dark rose, haven't changed a thing since I made it. Found a fat quarter of the center fabric at guild day on Sat and just had to have it also an orange version which I used in my bud.

The center flower is like the three bears, at least the middle two petals are.
First they were too light then they were too dark, now hopefully they are just right

Some of my inspiration roses

 David Austin Rose, Buff Beauty gave me the colours for the center flower.

Graham Thomas inspired my yellow flower

My orignal plan was for soft pinks and apricots
Guess this is fairly close.

Tried soft yellow and medium pink before deciding on this fabric for my bow.
Key is two shades of  Fusions fabric.

The circles I stitched before fusing my key to the block, placed a piece of heavy tear away under the key and used stitch 157 on my bernina 440, had practised first to check the number of needle movements to each stitch so I knew when the stitch was going to finish and I could make tiny movements to get an accurate circle. Really pleased with how it came out.

Now to finish my basket and have afew days on other projects before Esther releases month 2 of Diamond Hill,
Have a great week everyone, whatever you are doing.

Cheers Jenny


  1. It is so gorgeous !! you have done such beautiful work, I look forward to seeing the whole quilt. Take care and Happy Sewing from Iowa

  2. Another wonderful blog Jenny , really enjoyed watching you build up you beautiful SG. Those flowers are NOT easy to do, I had to do them first with coloured crayons to get the shading and then I still was not happy LOL. Your block is very very beautiful. Hugs Glenda. PS great tip to start weaving from the left side of basket.

  3. Oh Jenny! Love the story! And i adore the multi coloured roses. Gorrrgeous.

    Luckily i did start weaving on the left of the basket.

    Thank you for sharing all your tips.

    Lorraine xo

  4. Love your idea of having the pic of the roses. Your key is just perfect. Great tips Jenny, thanks

  5. Always a delight for me to see your work, Jenny! Thanks for sharing your process. :)

  6. Thank you for a great tutorial. Like you, I was surprised by the size of these blocks after having worked on LE. I prefer doing needle turn but since I'm working on both of Esther's new offerings, I think I'll follow your lead & machine applique this one.

  7. Thanks for this tutorial. I love your different color roses. Your block is beautiful!