Today is my stop on the Dorothy’s Journey Blog Tour for Riley Blake Designs!
When I think of the Wizard of Oz apart from friendship and fun songs I think of Dorothy’s desperation to get home, uttering those famous lines “There’s No Place Like Home”. Being a real homebird myself I can really relate to that feeling so knew I wanted to incorporate those words into my project. So what would it become? Well I figured there is nothing that says homely more than a nice soft plump cushion, of course so does a quilt but with the school holidays approaching time was an issue!
So with that idea in mind I embroidered the words onto linen using 3 strands of Aurifloss (#2865). I thought the green fit perfectly with the theme and made me think of the Emerald City! I really enjoyed this part of it as you know I do love any sort of hand sewing, it got me excited to move onto playing with the fabrics and deciding what to put with it.
As with all Jill Howarth’s designs there are plenty of fussy cutting opportunities! I knew I had to include all of Dorothy’s friends. Don’t tell the others but I think the lion is my favourite!
I thought the sweetest way to showcase the embroidery would be to use it as the centre of a Dresden plate. It also had the perfect sized blades to fit the characters. I machine pieced the Dresden which was a lot of fun and then hand appliqued it onto the backing fabric. I know I could have machine stitched on but I didn’t want the stitching to detract away from the fabrics or the hand quilting.
There was a lot of auditioning for the background fabric after much indecision and some serious amount of unpicking I went with Riley Blake’s Blooming Blossom in Spring by Christopher Thompson aka The Tattooed Quilter. I think the colours match perfectly and work better than the original solids I had been working with. In fact this whole project went through various transformations, and although fairly similar to the design I had in my mind, it is very different to what I had planned. You may notice those hexies I made here never made it to the final cut, don’t worry though they will not go to waste!
Fun fact- Did you know the shoes in the book are actually silver! The director of the film chose to make them ruby to show off their use of technicolour!
I love that Jill has kept to the original ideas of the book and her use of metallics! Oh how pretty these metallic elements are, they add such a special magical touch.
I wish I could get a better photo of how shiny and sparkly the Tin Man is!
It is really hard to pick a favourite part of making this but one of them was the hand quilting. I used 2 strands of the same Aurifil thread that I used for the embroidery. I think I could have gone on and on around the outside of the Dresden but thought I better stop at one line, I didn’t want to overdo it!
I knew early on which fabric I wanted to use for the back, it had to be the blustery scene from Kansas! I really love this fabric, it makes me want to grab my embroidery threads and add pops of colour, like a colouring book. There are so many sweet little details and some more perfect fussy cutting opportunities.
Finally for the binding more green! For someone who is not a massive fan of green and a pink lover all the way this was a definitely a step away from my preferred colours however I love them!
I couldn’t leave it at just one project! I had to make a little something else, in fact I can see me using every last little scrap. Because I felt a little sad when I had finished the pillow I decided to make a medium sized Retro Notions Pouch (pattern by Retro Mama
How perfect is that zip? It’s like it was made for this project! I got it from Rose Garden Patchwork, Lisa has a fab selection of lovely zips and fabrics, you really should check her out!
I hope you have enjoyed my stop on the Dorothy’s Journey tour! I know I have had a huge amount of fun making these! The collection is now available in the USA and is currently on it’s way to the rest of the world with it being due in this month.