I've finished all the remaining applique on the four tiers of "Shelter." Even though I tried to pace myself, doing all this applique was stressful on my wrist, and I've developed a ganglion cyst. So, I need to find a way to machine quilt this piece rather than hand-quilting, which would be even more stressful on my wrist than applique. On the small sample piece above, I've quilted every other strip with "in the ditch" quilting (which runs right up against the seam-line). I think this is good--maybe even better in final appearance than hand-quilting. You can't see it unless you look extremely closely, and it will give a more flat texture than hand-quilting would. I did a row of top-stitching also, just to see how it would look. If you click on the photo above to enlarge, you can see it on the middle strip in the turquoise tier. Top-stitching is easier to do than ditch-stitching, but it would add another visible line, which I don't want here.
I recently ordered some Japanese Daiwabo fabric. I think it is a possibility for background fabric for appliquéed stones. On some pieces, I've used linen, which gives a nice contrast of texture, but the local fabric store just has one color.
I also ordered some plain white linen to dye; if that works, I'd have a wide range of choice possible.
One summer project is to get back to fabric dyeing. I've cleared a table and taken out my notes. This week I hope to figure out the basic routine again and get started.