Sunday, May 15, 2016

13 Cherry Trees

My 13 Cherry Tree of Life blocks for my quilt Hanami, have been done for a couple of weeks, and this week I finished sewing together the main body of the quilt. I've held off posting any progress photos, because I wanted to wow you with the full impact of the pieced setting:


The plan was to blend the trees "seamlessly" into the background, and I am really pleased with how that worked out. It's the random distribution of background fabrics in the blocks and sashings that makes it work. But in fact, the sashings and setting triangles were made from carefully managed strip sets:


The strips sets required careful management to make their repeating pattern look random. That involved a lot of labels and total focus, which is the other reason why there are no progress photos!

The idea with the strip sets was that it would be more efficient, and I suppose it was. But it was still a heck of a lot of sewing. And a lot of pinning too. But it was all worth it, and I'm very happy with how it has come together.


From close up, or from the side, the trees tend to disappear, and it is just a mass of pink and white florals.

I even managed to fit in a couple of butterflies:


If I was starting over there are a few of things I might do differently, but the benefit of leaving a lot of it to chance is that it stopped me from obsessing over the little details. Somehow you just relax and accept it the way it is. I think that helps the quilt bypass the logical mind of the viewer somewhat, and connect on a more emotional level. An unexpected benefit!

It still needs a border. I'll trim off the points to square it up...


and add about 5" (13 cm) around. My original plan was to make just a narrow sawtooth border of green HSTs, but I changed my mind on that a while ago. It felt too hemmed in. The green HSTs are already made, and I thought I may need to put them aside. Then today a better plan for the HSTs occurred to me, but it will require more cutting too.

So once again I have to put it aside for now, while I finish up a couple more urgent projects. My secret purple guild challenge quilt just needs a binding now. I have to say that it looks pretty good, but they are a competitive bunch at my guild, so we'll see how it does! And I still haven't completely unpicked that terrible puckered border on Hen Party. My mom's birthday is less than a month away, and the quilt is almost four years overdue. I think the embarrassment has dragged on long enough!

But never mind, for now let's just relax among the flowers...


21 comments:

  1. This is the most amazing Tree of Life quilt I've ever seen...Gorgeous!

    ReplyDelete
  2. I would say you achieved your goal very beautifully.

    ReplyDelete
  3. I really, really like this one. I love the gradations in the colors from light to dark. It's a lovely, soft quilt (top). Four years overdue? That's not so bad, I'm sure we all have done worse. I know what you mean about carefully managing the strips to make it look random, I've struggled with that myself.

    ReplyDelete
  4. You double WOWed me!! LOVE this quilt! Sew incredibly beautiful!!

    ReplyDelete
  5. Yes, I've been WOW'd! - A Cherry Orchard in the mist/fog/haze. And it also has such a beautiful vintage vibe. WOW, WOW, WOW.

    ReplyDelete
  6. It really is lovely, Monica. You've achieved that sense of the blossom-filled air that comes with cherry trees in Spring. Still evokes the Housman poem! It's strange - we had the discussion about how regularity is easier to achieve than irregularity or randomness at our Gilaf workshop!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Jillian! Isn't it interesting how even stitches are held as the gold standard, even though sometimes they seem to be the wrong goal? I've been thinking a lot about that lately.

      Delete
  7. Your quilt does definitely has the WOW factor. It's a wonderful design and your attention and focus sure did pay off. Fantastic accomplishment.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Wow indeed! The quilt has a calming "Zenness" to it. Your colours do seem to run into each other quite seamlessly. Beautiful quilt top.

    Good luck on your other projects. Hope "mom's" quilt makes it to the party.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Thank you! Yes, I have to say the quilt is surpassing my expectations in a surprising way. It has a nice feeling of spaciousness, so, the border will be a balancing act. But, I think I have a idea for it. :D

    ReplyDelete
  10. Very, very nice. Captures the airy effect of blooming cherry trees perfectly.

    ReplyDelete
  11. It's just beautiful - soft and airy, just so pretty. Yes, a "wow" - but perhaps a whispered "wow"!

    ReplyDelete
  12. I am definitely WOW'd! What a stunning, fabulous and beautiful quilt you have made. The cherry trees do seamlessly blend into the background. Congratulations on your fantastic 13 Cherry Tree quilt.

    ReplyDelete
  13. I. Love. This. That pattern has never been a real favourite of mine but you have totally changed my mind. My kind of quilt.

    ReplyDelete
  14. Well done, Monica! It reminds me of when the cherry blossoms float in the air. What a pretty sight that is! I can't imagine all the matching/pinning that was done!! Fantastic Cherry Tree quilt!--Terry

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks very much, Terry! Yes, lots of pins. I nearly skipped them, "because it won't line up anyway," I thought. But, it did! Very gratifying. :D

      Delete
  15. This is beautiful, Monica. Serene and lovely and calming but not at all predictable. I like your theory that relaxing about the detail as you work ultimately lets the quilt make a more emotional connection with the viewer.

    ReplyDelete
  16. Yes. It looks like an orchard in the morning mist to me. I had to look closely to realize the soft blues aren't posts of the sashing. And using squares for the sashing is perfect. I'm afraid I would have chosen long strips which would have lessened your lovely effect. A quilt to love and comfort. Congratulations.

    ReplyDelete
  17. Absolutely beautiful. It's almost like walking through the trees on a foggy morning - what a feeling of calm and quiet it invokes. I totally love it.

    ReplyDelete
  18. Beautiful - it feels like a summery orchard :)

    ReplyDelete

Thanks for taking the time to leave a comment! It is well appreciated. Happy stitching!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...