British Sew a row - It's Topiary time!
It's week 1 of the English Country garden sew along and for the next week we are going to be focusing on whipping up some Topiary blocks!
Before we get going, I'll just share the rest of the schedule with you all:
Topiary is the art of shaping living foliage of plants into all manner of shapes and designs and has historically been used in many gardens going as far back as Early Roman times.
The Topiary designs that I have created for this quilt are some of the more traditional designs that you may find (So no FPP squirrels or elephants for you!)
We have the the Ball, The Swirl, The Geo and the Heart
My blocks are constructed using FPP. This allows us to get the detail into those blocks and get precise shapes!
You can use all 4 Topiary blocks in your quilt, use 2 repeated twice or just use your favourite for all the Topiary spots.
It's totally up to you to make it yours!
My top tips for FPP!
*Don't forget to reduce your stitch length!
Setting your stitch length to around 1.5 will help hold those stitches in place, especially when it comes to pulling out that paper at the end. It will also add extra perforation to the paper, making it easier to remove.
*Use thin paper or specialist paper.
Thin or specialist paper is easy to see through and provides less resistance when it comes to pulling out the papers at the end.
I have a blog post all about the Foundation Paper by Pattertrace. You can read that by clicking on the picture below.
*When you are just about to stitch, double check that the fabric is still in the right place under the template, make sure nothing is folded back or caught.
The downside with FPP is that if you make a mistake, ripping those tiny stitches is no fun!
*make sure to press between steps. I prefer a dry iron to press my fabric. It keeps the seams nice and flat, which is essential for getting a professional finish for the completed block.You can also use a seam roller for the smaller pieces.
* When it comes to joining the sections take your time to carefully align them.
If you are unsure if you have aligned them correctly, stitch it together with a large (say 4) stitch and check. If its good, then stitch over it with a smaller stitch length and if it needs adjusting then you don't have tiny seams to rip out!
*Take your time and have fun!
I cannot wait to see all the amazing Topiary blocks you are going to make.
If you have any questions, feel free to get in touch.
If you haven't already, do come and join our Sew a Row Facebook page. its the perfect place to share your makes, ask questions and meet other quilters!