Friday, October 5, 2012

"Baltimore Rhapsody" Block #6 - the oboe, part 2

This is part 2 of "Baltimore Rhapsody," block #6, the oboe (see part 1 here).   "Baltimore Rhapsody" is a music quilt in the Baltimore album style.  All the blocks measure 15 inches square.  The first 16 blocks are instruments you find in an orchestra, but then I will make additional blocks of other folk, jazz, church, and rock instruments. 

I know some of these tiny pieces may seem too difficult.  The blocks could be enlarged to make a 18" or 20" block.  There will also be larger instrument patterns offered...without all the fruits, flowers, and birds.  Soon the blocks will be available for purchase on my web site, either individually or in groups.  I want you to be able to make up your own music quilt, in any size, with the instruments of your choice.

OK...the oboe.  I took lots of detailed pictures when I put the oboe together.  After a few emails asking how, I decided to post the pictures...a picture is worth a thousand words. 

All four orchestral woodwind instruments are constructed in a similar manner.  Don't panic when you see all the tiny pieces!  Yes, they are more fiddly than the fruits and flowers, but they are do-able.  I stitch these by hand with the edges turned under, but you can use Ultrasuede, raw edge machine applique, heavy-duty raw edge fusible, or embroidery if you don't want to hand applique. 

One of the challenges of making these slender instruments is that the body of the instrument is either black, brown, or grey...not opaque like the background fabric.  How do I see where to put the pieces without being able to see through the background to use the pattern as a guide?

First I work right on the pattern to build up units, just like when I make my flowers and other motifs.

I work in several areas at one time...starting with levers, rods and pieces that appear to be under other stuff.  I use the Roxanne's glue baste ("dot-dot-not-a-lot") and put a weight on the glued area and move to another area while the glue sets a bit.

Somewhere I misplaced my American penny that I use to show scale, and I had a Canadian one mixed in the change in my pocket...being less than 50 miles from Canada (Windsor is across the river from Detroit), half my pocket change is usually Canadian, LOL.

I usually leave the freezer paper on for a while when I am in "assembly mode" so I don't get confused.  I use my stiletto and forceps to loosen the paper edges on the tiny pieces when it's time and handle everything with my forceps because my fingers feel clumsy.  I can barely pick up the penny, much less the tiny keys. 

My brothers used to put together a lot of model cars when I was a little girl.  This woodwind construction reminds me of all the little detail pieces my brothers used to lose...thank goodness this glue doesn't smell, LOL.

I also use the weights to hold the pieces down in place while I work on the other end, prying up and gluing.

Do you see the taller white pattern weight below?  It was made by  Bruce, my applique buddy Julie H's husband.  He is very handy, and he worked with some chair leg caps, lead shot, plaster, and little felt circles to make a set for Julie and for me (thank you, Bruce!!).  If you have a handy husband, maybe you could have a set made for you (I think fishing lead weights would work as well in the plaster - the plaster alone isn't heavy enough).  I also use some large washers for weights sometimes, also pictured below.

Once I get segments constructed, I place the black oboe body on the pattern and glue the segments into place, using the places where the levers and keys stick out on each side as my guides. 

Here is is, all glued up.

Here it is, all stitched up on the block.

Tomorrow, the tuba...

In stitches,
Teresa  :o)


  1. its so fun watching these blocks come to life! looks like your having so much fun with this project

  2. It is fun watching this, and for me, oboe has been only a word in crossword puzzles, so it is nice to have a better look and explanation of this instrument!

  3. Oh my gosh! What I've been missing while I haven't been able to follow my favorite blogs! Teresa, this quilt project is amazing, and super enticing to us musicians at this house. :D If you're planning to market the pattern when you're finished, I'll be first in line to buy it!!

  4. You have excellent tutorials. Thank you.


  5. Your posts and these blocks just bring a smile to my face. I am so enjoying this journey!

  6. I love how you explain each detail. What an awesome block and great tutorial! Thank you :)

  7. You are a master! Thank you for sharing all this with us, truly has been an eye-opening experience.

  8. your fine applique skills are truly amazing!! Love the roses on this block.
    did you change your header or have I been asleep? it looks great


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