Wendy Grande's quilt, Americana Baltimore, is a wonderful work of art. Click here to see the full quilt. Here are some more of the blocks with Wendy's explanation of their construction. There are some great ideas in her techniques... (I have more to show. We will have several more blocks on Monday, including the woven basket and French ribbon.)
The ship is a tribute to my husband's father, Captain Henry A. Grande, US Merchant Marines, USN Retired. I used a dark blue pigma pen to draw the logo on a piece of fabric to create the United States Line Flag on the first Mast. The flag for the Santa Cruz Yacht Harbor on the aft mast was pieced and embroidered. The American Flag is also made from red and white stripped ribbon pieced together. The ship sails were shaded with oil pastels to give them depth with the rigging inked and embroidered. The masts, yards and bowsprit were all cut from ultrasuede and appliqued in place. The waves for the ship are fussy cut from one piece of fabric and appliqued. The Roses and leaves are all made with shaded wired ribbon, while the purple flowers were stitched directly on to the background fabric with 7mm silk ribbon. (ribbon embroidery).
I learned a great technique from Elly Sienkiewicz for the ship’s sails and flags. I cut a piece of muslin the exact size I wanted for each piece to use as a template. I cut windows the exact size out of contact paper with a 2” frame. The window was used to keep the shading in place and allow a better build up of the oil pastel on the top and bottom of the sail. When the sails were ready to be appliqued (from the lower and back sails up) , the muslin template was placed behind the sail along with a thin piece of batting cut slightly smaller. The raw edges were needle turned under the muslin and batting. A thin layer of batting was also used under the rose leaves.
When I look at needle turn applique quilts I made 20 years ago, the turned edge, or seam allowance, causes an edge to be visible inside the leaf. Using the thin batting or another piece of fabric under the applique, adds dimension to the sails or leaves, but the big benefit is in the years to come the seam allowance will not show through. I can also make subtle changes in color by using lighter or darker shades of fabric underneath.
Grande Design - Strawberry Wreath
We were recently in Japan and found Strawberries grown locally, Watsonville, California! Lush fields of berries are all around us and made their way onto a block. I used a variety of red and pick ribbons for the berries as I love using the shading. The stems are couched ultrasuede and the berries attach to the stem with 4mm silk ribbon leaf stitches, The leaves are needle turn applique made from ribbon and batiks on a wreath of hand dyed bias cut ribbon
Pattern by Elly Sienkiewicz– Family Tree
When I can, I include my family in the decision making on the blocks. The girls decided I needed to weave the nest – not use a piece of fabric. We found an old piece of linen thread that soon found its way onto the block as the nest and a fluff in the birds beak as well.
The tree was cut from a single piece of batik fabric with a few fabric leaves added. The little flowers were stitched directly on the background fabric using 4mm silk thread and an embroidery over stitch. The Blue Birds are pieced wired ribbon and then needle turned appliqued. The ombre wired ribbon is fabulous for birds as the shading is perfect to differentiate their bellies and backs!
Grande Design – basket of Pansies, Ferns and Lily of the Valley in a split stitch basket.
Using the Lily of the Valley as a “filler” I used the shape of their leaves in the background. Each leaf is 2 pieces stitched together down the center line, made with batiks and hand-dyed fabrics. They gave me a form to work with and then I filled in with stitched fern leaves made with 7mm silk ribbon.
I drew the basket and used the drawing on a light box to trace stitching lines. The basket was stitched directly to the background fabric with a variegated hand dyed 7mm silk ribbon using a split stitch.
Now I can fill the basket with flowers! I stared with the ultra suede stems for the Lily of the Valley and added the flowers with 2 stitches of 4mm silk ribbon. I love pansies! When they are made with vintage wired silk ribbons, they come to life on my quilts. I started with the buds on ultrasuedestems, overlap the full flowers and show a side view to keep the arrangement interesting and “real”. The centers are 2 stitches of 7mm hand dyed silk ribbon