Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Lillian's Hankie Block: Beginning Work

I've finally picked up Lillian's Hankie block and started working on it! First I've had it hanging near my work space for about 6 months, here is a link to when it first arrived. I always gave it a little thought every time I saw it, as to how I was going to embellish it and didn't really feel confident to start work until I had a solid idea to work around. I did need to back it with some muslin because it was very light and almost sheer. Then I talked about it with a dear friend (Wendy) who also crazy quilts, I think that was the most valuable tool to get me started! Bouncing ideas and talking about the feel of the block and what I could do or why I wouldn't want to do certain things was the most helpful thing I could do! A lot of people do SRE over the top of prints to make them 3D but I felt that would ruin the whole aim which is showing off the hankies, so I decided that I'll do little touches to the prints to bring the eye to them but not cover over them. Also anything really large, bulky or motif like is out of the question and would just take over the block, so I started thinking...How am I going to embellish it? I came to the conclusion that the block is pretty much perfect as is, so all it needs is little touches to make things pop, which is a lot different than most blocks which are usually blank canvases! The blocks really do "tell you what they want" in a sense, and all it takes is some deductive reasoning! LOL Anyway this block wants to be very dainty, not over done, just enhancing it's natural beauty!
The first idea that came to me was the birds nest, Lillian really loved the idea of finding a nest during a walk. At first I pulled a few threads to mix together but as I started stitching it in, using a stem stitch and a metallic thread it seemed perfect just like that. I added some tiny size 15 blue seed beads for little eggs. The next idea was the scallops around the print and I made them using a small button and traced half of it repeatedly and worked it in stem stitch using 1 strand of light green YLI silk floss. I plan to embellish the scallops further later on. Then I had the idea to add light green size 15 seed beads along the 2 long sides and all the green really pulls out the embroidered flowers which were originally on the hankie edge.
It's really hard to capture what the eye sees in photos, and even though these photos look really well the block and work looks even better in person.
I had an idea to tack the hankies with the pink flowers with three straight stitches in a green to match the leaves and a size 15 bead that matches the flower color perfectly. One at the tip of the corner and 2 more in dips on the sides.


TypsTatting said...

It is just gorgeous and the birds nest is brilliant. The block is really eye catching, Cant wait o see it finished.

Kathy said...

I am loving what you are doing to this gorgeous block. The birds nest and your stitching was the perfect touch.

gaylenona said...

Absolutely precious picture on the silkie. It's a lovely piece.