Thursday, April 19, 2012

Grapes of wrath...


Smucker's and Welch's...eat your heart out!  I've been making grape jelly!  I'm working on my doodled outer border for my Folk Art Applique quilt and was hoping that a grapevine theme would be just the thing the quilt needed.


I've prepping grapes:
  • while posting about fabric and scraps, I've been prepping grapes
  • while coming clean about my UFOs, I've been prepping grapes
  • while looking through my butchered magazine pattern files, I've been prepping grapes
  • while waiting on the laundry, I've been prepping grapes
  • while dinner was baking, I've been prepping grapes
Well, you get the idea.  Gluing 400 tiny circles is a little like screwing 400 caps on 400 tubes of toothpaste...a little boring.  I would be ready for a padded room if they had all been made from the same fabric!  I've been dealing with some anger...sitting quietly and doing some focused, disciplined, repetitive glue work is a good thing right now...I'm not dangerous with a gloppy glue stick in my hand.  A rotary cutter, on the other hand...grapes of wrath, indeed!  Acceptance at the end of a glue stick rather than at the bottom of a chocolate wrapper...a much better idea!


After deciding I needed 14 clusters of grapes for the 4 borders, I set out to distribute the grapes so that the clusters would look random...varying both the fabric make up of each cluster and distributing the sizes.

Since I'm not sure how wide either the blue scallop inner border or final grapevine border will be, I ripped wide borders that can be trimmed down once the hand appliqued borders are sewn down and soaked to remove the glue.


I marked a center chalk line along the length of the border strips, then found the center.  After bending my French curve into a pleasing, undulating ripple, I prepped some vines and glue basted the first on in place.  Then it was time to start arranging the grapes into clusters...that's the fun part.


Oh, me likey!  Last time I made a grapevine (in my Civil War Bride quilt), I was working on a neutral background.  I love the way the purple grapes look against the black Moda Bella solid...not crazy about how the cat hair looks on there, though.



I should have looked at those older pictures first...the bride grape clusters are less dense (less grapes per cluster)...maybe I could have prepped less than 400 little grapes!  It's funny how a lot of the fabrics are the same from both projects.


I don't think I varied the grape size on the older project, either.  Maybe I should have done the clusters more like the bride block...since this is a folk art sort of style, I don't want the outer border detail to scream "Baltimore" instead of "folk art."  I want the overall feel to be more chunky, kind of like the block style.  Oh well, I'm not about to go back and change it now...I did simplify the leaf shape to appear more folky.


The grapes are fun to stitch down, and because of the fine quality of the YLI silk thread, I can use the same dark, medium brown to stitch them all.  I am using a lighter neutral silk thread on the green vines and leaves.


I completely stitched down this first side border before going on the prep the other three.  I wanted to make sure I liked how things were turning out first.


I really like the way the purples look next to the blue scallop border...they will be closer still once I trim to final size on both borders. 


Next I prepped the sort-of-mirror-image opposite border.  Even though the vine is about the same, I wasn't really fussy about every grape being a mirror image of the opposite clusters.


Time for more stitching!


Now if I can just keep Weasley (a.k.a. Mr. Sticky Paws) from walking across the remaining 6 clusters of grapes awaiting arrangement on the top and bottom borders, perhaps my remaining grapevines won't look "post-harvest."  He paces...making a circuit on the tabletop, then I find a trail of scattered tiny purple grapes in his wake...arrrrrgh (I even found one in the litter box...he can keep that one).


Maybe I will go ahead and soak this first stitched grapevine border, then trim everything so I can stop being nervous about the proportions (and the trimming!).  I do like how it is looking, though.  Off to plunge border #1 in some water...

In stitches,
Teresa  :o)

33 comments:

  1. Holy grape clusters Batman! :) That is incredible! That is the prettiest border ever! I just loved reading about your process. And I agree - grapes are much healthier than chocolate! :)

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  2. MAGNIFICENT! You have done a beautiful work of art. I love the fullness of the grape clusters.

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  3. While I am sure the grapes of wrath did drive you crazy, the results are spectacular. Well worth the visit to coo-cooville!!! :-) I love your quilt!

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  4. I love the ideas of so many different "shades" of grapes! Yes making that many all at once could make a person go bonkers!!
    Karen

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  5. Wow - that's a lot of grapes! It's looking wonderful!

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  6. Love the grapes - great anger management!
    What about piano playing? Where does that fit in? :)
    Judy

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  7. The grape clusters are simply beautiful. You should be very proud of your work.

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  8. Wow how great is this. Love your grapes.

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  9. Absolutely stunning! I'm drooling.

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  10. How wonderful - so many circles, er, grapes. I have trouble making circles so I am in awe. Yes, Kona Black is a magnet to cats - and little pieces do walk away clinging to the side of static fur. But this is so stunning.

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  11. Awesome!!! Love, love, LOVE it!

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  12. Absolutely fanTABulous, Ms.Teresa! I'm in awe! I love love purple and these grapes are just so pretty. They really pop against the black. Beautiful, girlfriend! xo

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  13. Wow. Wow. Again I say, Wow. Quilt eye candy - beautiful!

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  14. You are so talented! Beautiful! You make me want to applique` even when my arthritis makes my hands not work.

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  15. I admire your persistence and tenacity! I might've hurt someone in the process of all of those grapes! But they are beautiful and definitely worth it! Thanks so much for sharing those pretty pics!

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  16. Absolutely amazing. You are such an inspiration in so many ways. I think I would have given up after the first 2 or 3........

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  17. That border is lovely; So perfect for the quilt....you certainly win the "patience" award!! :-))) Julierose

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  18. Wow, such patience and so effective! Did you hand or machine stitch them down?

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  19. you have been busy. I like the bunches too.

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  20. naughty Wesley! I'd let him keep the one in his litter box too! Are you going to embroider the loopy bits like on your older quilt too? I think it looks great.

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  21. I'm in grape love!!
    awesome system. I tend to make as I go, I know that would drive you crazy. I love all the different color variations!

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  22. The grapes look beautiful. I would have had a trip to the crazy farm if I had to make 400 circles for one project. It is well worth the effort you have put in on the project to have done all the circles.

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  23. Are you kidding me!?! Holy cow! This is awesome in every way! I love it! And that vine looks so good next to the blue border! Awesome!

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  24. Looks great. I really hate prepping circles and now just needleturn almost all of them. I tend to get better results and I save all that prepping but it does make placement a little tricky. This border is going to be spectacular.

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  25. I cannot even imagine cutting out, much less sewing that many grapes! But oh, how beautiful they are. You are doing a magnificent job!

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  26. the grapes look wonderful, wow, what a production line I love it! I love the grape bunches it looks folky just due to the black background in mho!
    keep going and yes keep those hands busy, I am working on the same thing no more candy wrappers for us!
    now I want to go applique!
    Kathie

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  27. Stunning. I want to make grapes now!

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  28. Absolutely beautiful! The border is amazing!

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  29. This quilt is amazing in every way. Everything you quilt is drool worthy. I can only imagine the look on your face when you found the grape in the litter box. I laughed so loud when I read that. I am inspired by your talent and perseverance.

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  30. Wow! That's a lot of grapes and worth every boring grape! How beautiful!!

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