I am behind on my Crazy Quilt Journal Project but still enjoying the process. For block 11 I got to work in my very favorite color - lavender. Some people don't care for this color but it has a way of lifting my spirit. They say blue is the number one favorite color which makes sense I guess.
Anyway, this is my first attempt at smocking. Getting started was a bit tedious and I was glad I only needed small sections. I marked my fabric uniformly by poking pin holes in graph paper and then marking with a pencil in the holes onto the back side of the fabric. Once that was completed and gathering threads in place it was much more fun. I used a checked gingham for my first which was easier.
I stuffed the bonnet with a bit of batting to keep it from going so flat when it is placed in my book. I hand stitched it in place on the block, hiding the stitching.
Here is a close-up of the smocking on the bonnet. The bonnet is done with a single piece of fabric, a bit of lace added along the brim and a ribbon bow at the base. Too bad babies don't wear bonnets as much anymore.
This is the second section of smocking. I added some little ribbon flower in the center. This fabric is thinner and I found that my pencil marks showed through the fabric in some areas. A good lesson to learn before taking on a bigger challenge some day.
This is the last section of smocking I created using checked gingham. It really reminds me of the bigger pieces my grandmother used to do using bigger checks. She would make pillows with them. I think her favorite color was this lavender also as she also used gingham in this color and painted her bathroom a gorgeous lavender color with white trim.
I like the texture the smocking adds on the quilt block. I could really see it incorporated in a tone-on-tone pillow in a limited amount of course.
Hope you enjoyed this block as much as I enjoyed working on it. I will definitely be creating more lavender blocks in the future! I understand there are boards and hand operated machines that simplify the preparation of fabric for smocking but for now I will do it the old fashioned way. I would certainly invest in something like that if I were to find myself doing a lot of smocking. Have any of you used these or do you do smocking by hand? I really would love to hear your experiences!