I'm headed off to Sisters for Gwen Marston's "Contemporary Medallion Quilts in Solids" workshop, and Gwen and Sue Spargo's "Contemporary Folk Art Quilting Retreat". Doing pieced quilts in solids with Gwen seemed doable, but doing applique with mixed materials in the retreat seemed like it might be too advanced.
Fortunately, we'll be working with wools, which may be more forgiving than cottons when it comes to hiding stitches. I've been experimenting upcycled vintage stumpwork flowers from an old top riddled with moth holes. These flowers are cut out and arranged on pieces of fabric from overcoats purchased at Goodwill. The little pom-poms will be used as the centers of the flowers, and the yarn will be braided and used as stems or vines. I tried to applique one of the flowers to overcoat fabric, and it worked. Stitching the pom-pom through the center also worked.
Any other embellishment would be icing on the cake. Perhaps some embroidery in the background with pearl cottons in rich colors. Maybe even some beads. Hopefully they'll let me work on it at the retreat. It could be a good canvas for practicing applique, embroidery, and embellishment - even if I did cheat a little by getting a head start and using vintage stumpwork.
So, what do you think? Am I cheating by trying to plan ahead and using pre-made, vintage materials? Or am I really on to something?