When I first answered Pat Sloan and Jane Davidson's call to design an embroidery block for The Splendid Sampler project it was August, 2015. Wow, almost a year ago! I had no idea at the time just what kind of buzz this Splendid Phenomena would create across the globe, but today we're on to block 31 of 100 and this thing gets more and more popular every week. Brilliant, eh?!
First off, WELCOME to all the new visitors to Elefantz. It's a pleasure to meet you, and I do hope you stay a while and have a look around. It's a friendly place where we chat a lot and I get to share bits and pieces of life, sewing, and Jesus.
So today it's my block you'll be stitching, and the brief I was given when designing it was to share a story about my love of sewing and bring that story to life in my block. So I did.
It's called "Blossoming"...
....and the story it tells is of me and my precious daughter Blossom and how we taught ourselves to stitch and quilt in a tiny cabin atop the icy highlands in winter.
We learned from magazines and library books, everything was hand sewn, even our first quilts. That was 2005 and for the next four years my girl and I were rarely seen far from needle and thread or each other.
By 2010 Blossom had grown up quite a bit and her interests fell elsewhere, but by then I was designing and had been featured in a few Australian magazines.
The memories of those four years with my girl, learning the ropes in a new-to-us quilt and stitching world is a highlight of my life thus far. We were totally blessed to be 'blossoming' together.
I've stitched this block three times now. Here's the alternate version on tonal fabric and in different
Those two blocks were both posted away to Pat Sloan in the USA last year so this month I decided to sew a third version 'just for me'. I'm rather fond of adding little pops of applique so I tweaked it!
You can download the pattern to stitch "Blossoming" over here at the Splendid Sampler website, along with all 30 of the previous blocks shared so far.
Perhaps you'd like to add applique to bits of your own "Blossoming" block?
Here's a few simple tips:
Trace the design onto your fabric but omit any sections you intend to replace with applique, like I did with this bird's wing...
Turn the pattern sheet over on your light box and trace the reverse shapes you intend using for the applique onto the smooth side of some fusible applique paper (I use Vliesofix)...
Cut out each shape from the fusible paper leaving a 1/4" buffer all around. Fuse the shapes behind scraps of fabric with a warm dry iron.
Cut away each shape along the traced line with small sharp scissors.
Peel away the paper, fuse in position on your traced block with a warm dry iron.
Fuse some stabiliser behind the block (I've used Weaveline) and you're ready to begin stitching!
I blanket stitch applique with a single strand of thread, and backstitch with two strands.
One other thing - you'll notice I don't trace the petals of small daises.
Instead, I put a small dot where the lazy daisy stitch petals start and finish. This means no tracing lines show when you stitch the lazy daisy petals.
Need help with backstitch or lazy daisy stitch?
I have a tutorial just for you in THIS blog post, and it comes with a free practice pattern too!
Want to share photos of your completed Splendid Sampler blocks? Pat and Jane have a Facebook group with over 13,000 members sharing their versions of each Splendid block - head over HERE.
If you'd like to stitch more of my designs you'll find quite a selection HERE in my Craftsy Shop and HERE in my Etsy Store.
I also have a Stitchery Club!
6 new patterns are emailed to my members on the 17th of each month.
Learn more HERE on the Club page.
Well friends, that's it from me today. I hope you've enjoyed getting to know a little about Elefantz and the story behind "Blossoming".
I should tell you that I'm about to take a 10 day 'holiday at home' break from Elefantz. Yay! I want to declutter a bit, potter around and sew 'stuff', take afternoon naps, watch good movies, read a book or two, and generally recharge my batteries after this incredibly long tropical summer which resulted in Autumn never arriving.
I'll still blog the two free BOM's on the 1st (Postcards from Heaven) and the 5th (Gentle Domesticity), but that's all.
All going according to plan I'll be back on board per usual on June 7th - which also happens to be my daughter Aisha's birthday so it's one of my favourite days of the year!
Till then, be blessed, breathe deep, have fun and make memories.