Monday, 10 November 2014

Barbara's Block

On Monday last I finished Barbara W's block for the Garden & Flowers DYB RR.
I actually found this block quite difficult to do. For me, crazy quilting is all about the seams and seam treatments, with motifs and other embellishments an added extra to fill in blank spaces. So having to treat a block as a single whole canvas for a picture was very hard. Seam work breaks a block up into pieces, which isn't really desirable if you are treating the block as a single unit to 'paint a picture' on. And when doing a scene, things really need to have a reasonable degree of proportion. It doesn't have to be an OCD level of exactness in proportion, but you can't really have a dragonfly bigger than your flower cart - not unless you are doing a scene of a flower seller who has been zapped back 300 million years to the Carboniferous period. I don't think that was what Barbara had in mind!

So I started, as always, with doing the seams. I chose simple stitches, done in thread that matched the patches, to avoid breaking the block up. Then I added matching beads, to give it some sparkle and texture.

Next I did a variety of flowers in the cart - Shasta daisies, Forsythia, Cyclamens, Agapanthus, Alyssum, rosebuds, and Forget-me-nots. I added a basket-of-flowers charm on the path next to the cart, a butterfly charm above it, and finished it with a little green caterpillar inching its way along the top of the wheel.

Then I embroidered a flowering cherry branch at the top of the block, imagining the cart to be parked under the shade of a tree. I concluded the piece with a lone dandelion growing up beside the pavement, having gone to seed and the seeds starting to be carried off on the spring breeze.

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