Welcome! This is the blog of Wendy Whellum and Legend and Lace Designs

Welcome to the Blog of Wendy Whellum and Legend and Lace

To find out more about Legend and Lace please visit the website http://www.legendandlace.com/

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Wednesday, September 26, 2012


I got a half day free, and could start on my new project, Calico Paradise, from Collector with a Needle, Dawn.
 My preferred method of applique is needle-turn, backing basting.  the centre of the quilt is done in one piece and when I tried to trace onto the wrong side of the fabric, it was just plain hard work.  You can see from the photo above the detail of the design on the pattern.  It is complex, and a really high class pattern.

So, what I decided to do was to trace half the centre onto freezer paper, then iron it onto the back of the background fabric and then draw around it.  Remove, then draw the other half.  Great plan?  Well I stuffed it!  I decided it was easier just to trace 1/4 of the design, fold the paper in half and then cut out the two layers.  I expect the original maker would have done 4 folds and cut out this way.

Well, the freezer paper kept slipping, so I ironed them together - dah!  and then of course I could not seperate them.  So, I ended up with quite a stiff piece of paper, with a 1/4 of the design.
 I then had the pin it to the back of the background fabric, draw around it and move it 3 times to do the whole centre.  BTW - this centre is about 30" so it is really quite hard to handle.
 At the same time I got the centre circle drawn on freezer paper, so at least I know where that is, and marked that, plus  the 4 leaves within the centre.
 The next part took me 2 evenings to day.  I had to back-bast the madder print fabric onto the right side of the background.  This is done with a large-ish needle - I use a 8 straw needle, and a quilting thread that contrast with with top fabric.  In this case I used aGutemann mustard colour.
 Once it is all basted, you can then give it a press, and trim about 1/4" around the tacking line. I just remove the main part of the outside fabric, and leave the little cut out pieces until I get to them.  You can see (just) on this photo the tacking lines, and then I draw over the stitches with a Clover wash out white pen.  This makes it easier to spot the tacking stitches if the fabric is a bit busy, or I am getting tired :-)
The Clover pen comes off easily with the iron.  I use it all the time on dark fabrics.  When you draw with it, it does not show up straight away, but appears slowly.  People using the pen for the first time, think it is not working, but just wait a bit and the lines appear

So, this is what I have now.  Not really a kind of "carry along" project is it?  But at least it is all tacked in place, I do not have to worry about getting stabbed with pins during the applique process, and it will not move about.  I know the back-basting takes time to start, but the process gives a great result, and is ideal for large pieces of work like this one.

 In case you think I have run out of things to do, you are wrong!  I am still trying to get my "Past Reflections" completed for the Adelaide Quilt show in November, and I have just about finished all the background quilting.
I have also quilted about all the shapes, and just need to go back and do some extra quilting within some of the motifs.  I am pretty much on track with this, and find a deadline pretty motivational.


  1. Both projects are looking good. I caved and bought Dawn's pattern too so I'm grateful for your hints for working with the large central piece.
    Cheers, Jan Mac

  2. Gorgeous applique~~wonderful pattern!! Thanks for showing how you back baste. I keep seeing people use it, but just need to sit down and figure it out with fabric and thread. Your quilt on a deadline is very pretty~~~hope it gets in the show!!

  3. Dawn's patterns are so amazing - wish I could applique! I can't wait to watch your progress on this wonderful quilt. And your quilting is beautiful.

    1. You will have to come to one of my applique classes!

  4. I am anxious to see your progress on Calico Paradise!

  5. Just couldn't resist starting it could you? Now I hope Past Reflections gets quilted in time!! Good Luck xx

    1. Of course it will get finished. You doubt me? I have parts of 8 blocks to finish the background, that means 8 days, plus work in some of the blocks, one week, then the binding, another week.....piece of cake!

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  6. Thanks for all the information about how to get this pattern on to the fabric.
    I have never tried the back basting method but it is very popular so i need to give it a try.
    Love your Past Reflections quilt. Very pretty and all that hand quilting
    Sorry about the delete.