Friday, January 29, 2016

CQJP 2015, Smocking Challenge in Lavender - Block 11

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!


Magpie's Mumblings said...

Your smocking looks absolutely wonderful! I remember there being several satin pillows that my mother did before she was married and I did play around with using gingham many moons ago. I'd love to do more, but picking up all those dots by hand is definitely off-putting. Small pieces like you've done on your block would be fun to try.

margaret said...

a delightful bonnet and lovely block. I have done smocking, used the dots you can buy that are iron on, not done any for ages though. Have a friend that has a smoking pleater, she used to make heirloom christening gowns but not used one myself, they are very expensive. Love lilac like you but I am not a fan of blue