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Thursday, 1 March 2018

Gardenhurst top is out!

And here it is, my Gardenhurst Quilt top!
(Thankfully, I took this picture outside a couple of days ago,
because right now there is a snow blizzard out there!)

The pattern is from Irene Blanck's book "Focus on Applique".

I now have 2 quilt tops to make into quilts, this one and St.Germain....

Just a quick note on applique threads and needles.

You know how you pick up various bits of knowledge along the way -
in this case about sewing applique by hand.

I have always used Milliners
(long, straight, thin needles) for the job.
Just before I started on Gardenhurst,
I "discovered" Tulip applique needles, made in Japan.

I love these little needles, I don't think I will ever use anything else;
this one little needle, just a fraction over 3cm,
stitched all the applique on Gardenhurst.

As for the threads, I always used normal sewing threads.
Last autumn, at the workshop with Dawn Cameron-Dick, I learnt about the right threads for applique.
Normal sewing threads are usually size 50, but for applique, thinner the thread, better.
Mettler make cotton thread size 60 (higher the number, thinner the thread), which is good for hand applique, and I have started to build up a selection of neutral shades.

By the way, Aurifil make cotton thread size 80, but that one is quite a bit more expensive.

Interestingly, in my thread stash I have a set of Janome machine embroidery threads (which I bought at the same time as the machine, no idea why...)
Although they are size 50, and polyester, they feel much thinner and very silky, lovely to hand stitch with.
I used them on Gardenhurst when a stronger colour was needed.

As for any sewing, having the right scissors is so important.
I have Karen Buckley's 4 inch scissors, small and sharp, which are just the right size for cutting out applique shapes.

But of course, we all have our preferences, but this works for me....

©pleasureinstitching.blogspot.co.uk 2018


  1. Thanks for the tips. I like little needles for everything
    tulip Japonese needles #10 where did you find them - if I may ask

  2. By the way your quilt is a Beauty!

  3. Your quilt turned out stunning. Somehow I wasn't aware it's one of Irene's quilt. I don't think she's designed a quilt I don't like. Thanks for the various tips. I too have one of those scissors and can't think how I managed before. I love it so much, that I bought the two other sizes as well. xx

  4. Your top does look gorgeous! Thanks for the info about needles. I usually use the black clover ones but will look out for these. xx

  5. Gardenhurst is gorgeous....very tempted with Irenes book! Thank you so much for your applique tips x

  6. Hi Radka, I love your fabric choices for Gardenhurst. It gives it a modern edge that a lot of applique quilts don’t have. There is an awful lot of work in the design. Great finish. Wrap up and keep warm today. The south west has had a lot of snow, much worse than us.

  7. awesome blog.thanks for sharing it.

  8. Wow! for the Gardenhurst quilt. Such an explosion of colour. Makes me think of summer.

  9. Your quilt is amazing! The strong colours make it look like full of joy and energy.
    Learning to use the right materials and tools means a lot for both doing the work and the result.

  10. i use masterpiece threads that come in bobbins for my appliqué work. They used to sell collections in bobbin rings but now they sell a small case with 25 different colours. Or you can get 12 of just one colour. It's 2 ply 50 weight Egyptian cotton. I find their thread colours work well for my colour choices.

    I use several of your favourite tools also!


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