Feathered Star With Fancy Middle & A Giveaway!

The last feathered star square I made went so well that I thought I would try another, so I printed out the pieces for a larger, 15″ square. I wanted another fun middle and when I was rummaging around in my Asian stash of fabrics and tidbits, I found some reverse appliqué pieces done by the Hmong ladies, which you have just read about. I printed out more foundations for the small 10″ size, which was a perfect fit for this tiny 3″ square.

Grey & Pink Hmong

 

And here she is – – –

Pink Hmong Star

What a disaster! I have no idea in what order I pieced the first one, which went quite smoothly and is very flat. I sewed several sections of this one together and kept boxing myself in! I would end up with several interior seams to piece and no way to get them to cooperate. (I was also piecing in little “pleats”) I really wish I had made a master piecing plan of the first star and numbered the large sections to remind me of what I did. I finally had to rip all the pieces apart and start over – – – it was very frustrating. It’s not very flat or even and I am hoping that lots of quilting in the background areas will hide my wonky seams. I am happy with the overall design and all my fun hand dyed fabrics though…

There was a good bit of interest in the Hmong reverse appliquéd squares. As usual, when I find something unusual, I buy multiples of them and so I have a little stash of these squares. If you would like one to frame or make something out of, I have picked three pretty examples to give away. Leave a message and I will choose three winners on  Saturday. First winner gets to choose the one she wants, and then number two gets her choice…

Tiny orange-y pink: design area about 3″

Tiny orange-y pink

Small red and black: design area about 3″

Small red and black

Red and green: design area about 6″

Red and green

 

Hmong Reverse Applique’

Reverse appliqué is not a very popular technique in the quilting world, but I like to do it. In “regular” appliqué, there is a background fabric and pieces are sewn onto the top. In reverse appliqué, the background fabric is on the top and the appliqué fabric is basted on to the back. The top/background fabric is {carefully!} cut and the fabric turned under and sewn down. Well-known examples of this are the molas of Panama and Hawaiian style quilts. In this signature square for my first Baltimore Album quilt, the background is the creamy white. The lavender dotted fabric is “regular” appliqué. The dark pink fabric was basted under the white fabric, which was cut and then sewn. Then the cross stitched fabric was also basted under the white fabric… You can go on and on with this technique.

Heart reverse applique

If you’ve attended any big quilt show, you’ve seen a booth or two, stacked with lovely and intricate reverse appliqué pieces made by Hmong ladies. On a trip to Laos and Thailand many year ago, I had the great pleasure to meet a group of sewers when we were in Luang Prabong, Laos. These ladies were sitting in a field, stitching away.

Hmong quilter

These pieces are not just for pretty but used on their clothing. I don’t seem to have a photograph of anyone in that very traditional dress, but you can see that the strip of the appliqué she is working on could be sewn on the blue part of her jacket, and a wider piece might go on her sleeve. If you click on the link above or Google the Hmong, you will see that their clothing is quite incredible with the cacophony (?) of the all appliquéd pieces!

Another Hmong woman

Why am I telling you about this? Wait for the nest post to find out!