the grape thieves l PROJECT 58 Give your appliquéd parts a press before you continue just to keep things smooth after all the handling. 59 Now you’re warmed up, it’s time to tackle the birds. Start at the top again; after this one, the others will be easy! Line up the blackbird as so they’re heading for the top bunches of grapes and allow their tails to cross over the sashing strip and into the side triangles of the centre column. Fuse them in place. Start stitching round each bird underneath its tail, then go around them each at least twice. Try not to worry about wobbles as they really won’t be noticeable. If you want to be a bit daring, you can extend the stitching into the wings to suggest feathers, and off the end of any pointy bits like the beak and claws to give a nice sharp point. Finish the loose threads. 54 of grapes and fuse in place. Then lay out the reversed top right bunch keeping it lined up horizontally with the left bunch. Stitch them all down and finish the thread ends. Repeat step 53 for the side borders, measuring the quilt length through the centre and cutting the remaining two (2) border strips to this length. Pin, stitch and press. 60 Repeat with the other birds, working them two at a time and positioning them so that they’re more or less symmetrical and look like they’re focused on the grapes. 57 Repeat with the middle two bunches of grapes, noting that these are not just on the other side of the vines but also reversed orientations. Use the seams and points of the blocks to help you align them. Fuse, stitch and finish the threads. Then do the bottom two bunches of grapes. 55 Start the appliqué with the vines. Remove the paper backing and space the five (5) vine pieces out evenly from top to bottom down the middle of the left sashing strip, so that the middle vine aligns with the middle of the blocks and the vines on the end touch the top and bottom border seams. Fuse them in place with a damp cloth or steam, then stitch them down. Repeat with the reversed vine pieces on the right sashing strip, using the ones already stitched as a guide to place them more or less symmetrically. Stitch in place and finish all your threads. 61 For the leaves, it really doesn’t matter which leaf goes where, although you may want to maintain some symmetry. Work in batches of a handful of leaves at a time and do all the leaves down the two sashing 56 Next, start the bunches of grapes with their stems. It’s helpful to put the appliqué pattern underneath the cream fabric – you should be able to see it enough to help you place the large, medium and small grapes in a similar order, but again, it doesn’t matter if they’re a bit different. Do mix up your fabric pieces to get a good variety in each bunch. Lay out the top left bunch 59 Join us at www.gathered.how/todaysquilter
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