Friday, March 29, 2013

A Week with Phebe

Here's my progress after one week of working on the center panel of Phebe!

Its definitely been a challenge already. I haven't had much experience with applique but if I had waited until I felt more proficient, I probably would never have begun this quilt.

Points on the leaves and flowers are a particular challenge right now but I think they will get better with experience. By the way, some of the leaves had been stitched down before I stood back to see if they were improving. Yes, they were except I hadn't realized there isn't enough contrast between the stems and leaves. In the back of my mind, I'm already planning to cut new leaves and start over. There are 34 leaves in this part so I'm glad I hadn't stitched them all down already!

Color and fabric selection are the two big frustrations. Those pink flowers may look bright to you but in reality, they're subdued compared to the fabrics I usually use. I'm trying to use softer colors in Phebe because I admire their antique look. I'll probably mix some contemporary fabrics in but I'd like the majority of the fabric to look "old". This is where my problem lies, other than some Jo Morton fabrics I don't have many reproduction fabrics. I've been auditioning fabrics for the blue flowers and red vase all week and not being satisfied. The light teal hill is not an easy fabric to match.

So, tomorrow I'm taking a road trip to Quilter's Station in Lee's Summit, Missouri. This quilt shop has, in the past, had a better selection of reproduction fabrics than any of the 5 quliting shops in the Wichita area. In my next post I'll let you if I was successful in my fabric search or not!

Have a very happy Easter!  


  1. This is a great beginning.I too often make changes to my sewing after I've noticed things only when I've seen the pictures on my blog. Happy shopping!

  2. I think your applique work looks very good! We are always our own harshest critics. 8) And if you weren't an applique expert before you got started on Phebe, well, you will be when you're done!

    I know what you mean about finding fabrics to coordinate for a vintage look. I have fabrics in my stash from the 80s that stick out like sore thumbs next to my modern fabrics. I couldn't even find anything at the quilt stores to coordinate with them anymore. And the 80s were only 30 years ago, not the Civil War era. Color ways change so much over time it is unbelievable. Thank heavens for repros!

    Happy Easter,
    Susan in Texas

  3. Good luck with your fabric search. I spent a couple years collecting fabric for this one and have a mix of repros and moda fabrics. I do like the reds and pinks in the French General lines by Moda, they seem to blend well with the repros and give the antique look I am going for. However I am not using near as much brown as the original cause I am not a lover of the color brown. Really wish I could find the perfect fabric for the pinkish red sawtooth border!

  4. You are doing well Mayleen, and a braver soul that I LOL!!!! I'm still waiting for the 'proficient' angel to tap me on the shoulder, but she is an elusive creature.......
    Have a safe trip to the Quilters' Station, look forward to seeing what you bring home with you!!

  5. I think your beginning looks fantastic! For me also, applique is a real challenge... I think you are doing great! I am looking forward to the results of your shopping trip for new fabrics. Choosing the right colors can turn out to be a hard job. But I am sure you will succeed!
    Wishing you a very happy Easter, from a still freezing Rotterdam, Holland, kindest regards,

  6. Thanks for you comments on my blog about the cake carrier. I was going for a more modern look with the angled stripes. I'm glad you were able to tell! lol

    Take care,
    Susan in Texas