Many of you have been following the applique heart quilt that I am making with my local quilt guild, Mid-Michigan Quilters' Guild. My current block is the alternate pa 'ndau example that I used for the class sample. For this block, I found a website that sells items stitched with the pa 'ndau design and interpreted it into my heart block.
Here is the finished block. Some of you will instinctively see that the shape of my heart is incongruous. The lesson I learned: Do not sew on black fabric in limited lighting. I mistakenly cut the fabric outside the drawn lines and had to turn under and applique with the available fabric. Thus, the left side of my heart droops down. I wasn't about to discard my block because of this gross error, after putting some time into the stitching.
The ground fabric was preapred by tracing the design onto the black flannel using a white marking pencil. I purchased this pencil at a national quilt show a few years ago and really like how well it marks. The brand is Bohin, from France, and works like a mechanical pencil. Several colors are available for use and I chose a black and white, which can be exchanged using the same pencil depending upon the value of fabric that needs marked. The reverse applique of the block is done in a wool, which worked perfectly, since the turn under seam comes from the ground fabric. Another aspect of this block, that I added, is the running stitch through the center of the reverse applique shapes. I observed, in many pa 'ndau designs, that the Hmong women had also done this technique. I decided to do the same technique to keep to the original intent of the stitchery. I used a #8 red perle cotton thread to complete the running stitch.
I have prepared my last block for the quilt, a Mola design. This uses the same reverse applique technique, but is done with multiple colors. So, I am in the home stretch to finish the quilt. Borders with leaves and cherries is next on the list of shapes to complete. I plan to use a freezer paper on the bottom technique that does not appear to be familiar with many. I saw this technique demonstrated many years ago on public television and also in a Rodale Press book on applique. Check back at a later date to see how this technique is done. I will be sure to take pictures of the stages, so that everyone can follow along easily.
Until next time... Happy Stitching!