Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Tuesday Tour

UFO # 1 - Nutcracker Quilt - COMPLETED!!!

It all started when I saw this ad in a quilting magazine in 2005. I had only done a very small of amount of applique for Christmas stockings...not an entire quilt. But I had a weakness for nutcrackers.

This was the first block I received in the mail and I think it was one of the most difficult...look at all those tiny pieces! The shoulder emblems. The hat bands. The eyebrows. The eyes. But by far the most difficult part was the teeth!!!!

I used needle turn applique and this was my instruction for the method, Linda Jenkins and Becky Goldsmiths, "The Applique Sampler."  An updated version of this book is available. I consider this one of the most influential books I have in my quilting library. 

Nutcrackers on Parade - 63 x 94
Fast forward six years! This quilt was designed by Sue Garman. She is a retired rocket scientist from NASA...really. She was working full time when she designed and made this quilt. If you aren't familiar with her work check it out at Quakertown Quilts. This quilt shop is the exclusive distributor of her designs and still offers this pattern as a BOM.

One more picture to point out things learned. I was reluctant to cut away the fabrics behind my appliques...sometimes I just forgot. With this white beard you can see the dark fabrics create a shadow image behind the white...not ideal. And the teeth...I finally created a paper-piecing pattern to make the teeth.  Every set of teeth was a different size so a new pattern had to be made for each. Ms. Garman gave some suggestions in her pattern for how to tackle the teeth...this was my own idea.

*Update from April 30, 2011 - The teeth...I forgot I didn't like the paper-pieced versions so I went back and    changed out all the teeth with new ones...I used pigma pens on white to draw the black teeth spaces then appliqued. Lots of work went into those teeth!

I have two other needle turn applique quilts in the works since starting this project...one of those is another Sue Garman quilt. I didn't put those on the UFO list...maybe next year. 

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