Sunday, August 2, 2009

Going to Baltimore... Continued

I am trying to faithfully post at least once a month - usually by the first of the month. I'm a little late in August because I've been so BUSY! I have not even had time to take pictures of the things I've been working on -- but here are a couple to look at. First, I designed another block for my Baltimore quilt: a lyre with a rose intertwined in it, surrounded by a heart-shaped wreath. I still have a little left to do on this block -- the centers of a couple flowers are missing, and there is a bit of embroidery that remains to be done.

Heart and Lyre Block

I have also made a Flag and Eagle block; I'll post a picture of that block as soon as I take one. As I make this Baltimore quilt, I am designing a set of killer borders reminiscent of my Ladies of the Sea quilt's borders. These Baltimore borders will be ten inches wide and 85 inches long. Each border will have a center vase with flowers issuing forth, as well as corner vases with vines and flowers. I have half of the first border basted; below is a drawing of the finished product. Yes, I think I'm nuts when it comes to quilting, but sometimes a quilt just whispers in my ear that it wants to be special. This one has been screaming at me.

A quilt I made earlier this year, Autumn Dreams, was just published in the latest issue of Quiltmaker magazine. I will post a photo of it, too - as soon as I find a hole in my schedule so that I can take pictures. Until then...

Happy quilting!

(c)2009 Susan H. Garman


  1. Oh my...what an exquisite border. I love very complicated and intricate applique borders.

  2. That border is breathtaking! Love it!

  3. I LOVE this block and what an amazing border!
    Can't wait for these patterns to be available for sale
    can you talk about the fabric choices?
    are you using mostly solids?
    if so what manufacturers solids do you like best?
    I spent the weekend in Baltimore looking at the antique BA's at the BMA and MHS, AMAZING is all I can say.

  4. In response to Kathie's question... I am using all sorts of tone-on-tone fabrics, plus a couple of solids. I like Kona solids best - they have a lovely red, in particular. There are other good manufacturers out there, also. I am trying to keep all of my fabric choices in the "rich" color range - not necessarily bright, but not muddy or grayed. Choosing fabric takes time - and lots of trips to the fabric store... what fun!
    Sue Garman

  5. Stunning!
    Sue, do you prep your applique or needle-turn as you go? You have so many pieces, and some of them get pretty tiny. Seems to me that the placement would be easier if the pieces were prepped, no?

  6. As usual another great block. I am anxious to see the whole quilt. :)

  7. Hi Sue,
    I live in Baltimore county MD and will have to check out the museums for quilts. I noticed that you said that you use Kona fabrics. I have some in my stash. What is the best way to hand applique with Kona and do you prewash your fabrics or use fabric softener on your kona fabrics to make it easier to applique? I am new to applique and would like to learn to do it by hand. When you were learning applique, did you jump into it or practice before making something.

  8. Sue, Thank you for sharing your pictures and answers to how you do your work. I'm just learning and growing with my applique. I love your style and hope someday I can tackle one of your wonderful quilts. BTW,I absolutely love you eagle block.

  9. You Coxcomb and Currants quilt is my favorite and you are right, it looks lacy. I love it. Did you use any special tools to make the circles? they look perfect.

  10. In reply to some of the comments...
    -- The only time I prep pieces for needle turn applique is when I am adding small circles. Otherwise, working with small pieces is best done (by me) using very small seam allowances -- 1/8th inch.
    -- The only preparation I do for the fabric itself is to wash it in warm water and then dry it; this takes out the sizing and chemicals from the manufacturers, ensures that if the fabric is going to run I know about it before I use it, and pre-shrinks the fabric. I do not EVER use starch or fabric softeners or fabric finishes (sizing) because in my experience, you run the risk of the fabric bleeding from those -- not on all fabrics, but on some, especially reds, navies, and blacks.
    -- What tools did I use to make circles? I like using mylar templates. They are available from (bags with 10 each of 7 common sizes) or (bags of 4 each of many different sizes - either large sizes or small sizes). The bags contain instructions, but they templates help make wonderful circles!
    -- When starting applique did I have a practice piece or jump right in? I jumped right in... and have been practicing ever since. For new applique-ers, practice makes perfect -- but also, take classes from a variety of teachers; each will show you something different, as there are many varieties of applique. And purchase a couple of good applique books - ones with detailed pictures are great!
    Best wishes and happy sewing to all --
    Sue Garman

  11. I really love your work. You make exquisite blocks.