Thursday, July 11, 2013

Calico Paradise.

Just like lots of other people I have been so tempted by Esther Aliu's new 
Block of the Month Love Entwined.  
At first I was ready to jump right in and start the first block but after thinking it over I have decide to try and get some of the projects I have on hand completed before starting something new.  I will continue to save the patterns every month for 18 months and maybe make it at a later time.

So, I am starting Calico Paradise.  I bought the pattern some time back from Dawn at Collector With A Needle and have been collecting my fabrics.  The only ones I have not been able to find are the floral red and blue stripes that you use to fussy cut the birds, leaves and buds. I have spent lots of time at shops and on line searching for this type fabrics with no luck.

The center for Calico Paradise finishes at 52x63 and needless to say I don't have a light box that size or even a patio door I could use so I made a giant overlay out of upholstery vinyl and will use it to place my  pieces on the background.

 I have decide to use the template and starch method to make the appliqué pieces.  The method I use is described here.  With one difference.  Since the pattern is too large to place on a light box to trace the pieces reversed I had to figure out a way to reverse them.

Instead of tracing the patterns on the dull side of the freezer paper I used a sharpie ultra fine marker and traced them on the shiny side of the freezer paper.  That way I could have the original pattern right side up and would be able to see the pattern pieces through the freezer paper without a light box to trace them.  I must say Dawn did a fantastic job on this pattern.  The pieces are so easy to see through the paper.

Once the templates were traced on to the shiny side I ironed this piece of freezer paper  to another sheet of freezer paper placing the shiny side of this paper to the dull side of the freezer paper just like I normally would.  Not only does this reverse the patterns it also covers the sharpie marks so they don't get on your fabric and you are still able to see your markings just fine for cutting out the templates.
Then I proceed just like in these instructions.

Here are some of my pattern templates all traced and cut out. By the time I finished I could have used a trip to the appliqué clinic for a neck and hand treatment.

This is the center saw tooth template ironed onto the wrong side of the fabric.  I forgot to take any pictures of it after the edges were turned.

 Here it is under the huge overlay all pined in place.  Hindsight tells me I should have placed the center piece before this one so it could have been stitched first, but no way  am I starting over.

Finally it's all glued down and ready to stitch.  I need to buy stock in Roxanne's glue.
Once again I had thought about using invisible machine appliqué to stitch this quilt but have decide to go ahead and do it by hand. I am just not all that good at machine applique'.  I will just have to see how good I am at holding all this fabric in my hand while stitching.
Happy stitching,


  1. I have been looking and looking and LOOKING at the pic of the Calico Paradise quilt hanging on my wall. There's just something about it that is very intriguing. Love that you're so detail oriented to try and do it right! Wish I had your patience.:)

  2. Yes, you are so patient and focused. This may be why I don't do applique--I'm NOT!
    Dawn's patterns are beautiful. I have enlarged the photo to look at this one more closely. I can see why it attracts you--it does me, too, but I don't applique (there, I've said it again). : )

  3. This is going to be lovely! Beautiful start and I love the fabrics you have chosen.

  4. I love your fabric choices. This is going to be a beautiful quilt. I know it will take longer but you'll never regret doing applique by hand.

  5. que gran trabajo!!! sera impresionante, maravilloso

  6. I would keep the stack of fabrics and just look at them, the colours are lovely. Calico Paradise is such a beautiful pattern, but I think I will watch your work rather than try it myself.

  7. Snap! I too was tempted by Love Entwined but then went back to an older pattern I had - Auntie Green. AG is also an applique on a large scale, I was thinking of using a vinyl overlay too so thanks for your great explanation! Love your fabric choices.

  8. Oh, wow!! I cannot wait to watch your progress on this beauty!! Your fabrics are gorgeous and the pattern is amazing and BIG!!! Enjoy!!

  9. Nancy it's going to be fabulous! I've had my eye on this one for a while, but not sure if I'm up to the challenge! Beautiful fabrics! I hope you can find your bird fabric!

  10. Great Job! Love your fabric choices.
    I have my Calico Paradise in the quilt frame almost do e hand quilting it. I used back basting to appliqué mine.
    Really lovely fabrics!
    Thank you for sharing your work as you go!!

  11. Love your selection of fabrics for this pattern! Have fun.

    :) Carolyn

  12. Found your blog through Dawn!! Your version is going to be just lovely!! It is so interesting to see the many methods of applique! I'm a glue stick girl!! Then I hand applique! Enjoy the soothing rhythm.


  13. P.S. LOVE all the little quilts in your header photo! Just my style!!


  14. That is going to be so pretty! Makes me want to start mine - after I finish a few more projects, I guess. Somehow I think you will manage just fine with all the handwork and the big piece in your lap.

  15. this is a tempting pattern and i'm happy that Dawn sent me over to have a look at the start that you have made.
    the fabric stack was tempting and seeing your start on this quilt is so inspiring~!


  16. I can imagine it would be hard to lay out the design on such a large section. The vinyl idea good. I just did a 30" block layout by taping two pieces of freezer paper together.

  17. P.S. I am saving the Love Entwined patterns as you are.


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