Friday, May 21, 2021

AHIQ String Tulip Quilt Along

One of the AHIQ founders, Ann of Fret Not Yourself, has been hosting a quilt along with a really charming recipe that combines string pieced blocks and string pieced applique tulips. I've been lurking and admiring it for a while, but I didn't think I had the bandwidth to make it. 

After I finished the centre of Rose Boll and made the dubious decision to put it away, I pulled out Ontario Shores. I finished all those blocks, 

...and made a start on attaching all the sashing. It's looking pretty good. But I just ran out of steam. Time for something new!

I like almost everything about Ann's quilt except the size, so the first thing I did was that sketch at the top to see how it would look larger. Think it's going to be pretty good. 😊

The string tulip quilt along has an improv mindset, so there is plenty of encouragement to do your own thing and run with it. And everyone knows I change designs all the time. 😂

But I do try to preserve the things that drew me to the project in the first place. In this case there were several. Ann has made two versions of this quilt now, one with a blue background and mainly red tulips, 

Photo: Fret Not Yourself

and one with a light print background and mainly blue tulips.

So looking at them both, I considered what I like about them.
  • I love the string pieced X blocks around the centre. That's probably my favourite thing about the quilt so I'm keeping that.
  • I prefer the light background and the red tulips, so I'll combine those two things in mine. (And hey, another mainly red and white/neutral quilt. 😉)
  • This is a great opportunity to practice turned edge machine applique with a simple, forgiving shape. I'll just change the design a little.
  • In general Ann matched the centre colour of the tulips with the colour on the main diagonal of the X blocks. I think that's important repetition, so I'll keep that.
So overall, my quilt will look a lot like Ann's. Besides the size, I only have two other changes in mind.

1. Because I'm going to do the applique with my little Eversewn Sparrow, a smaller block will be easier to handle. I broke it down to 10" squares with one tulip each.

2. Rather than Ann's dots I may add leaves to the tulips. My first thought was to sew on spiky triangles after the applique was done. But I didn't love that. It just feels too sharp and aggressive. I love the wider tips of the X blocks, so I'm thinking I'll try that shape for the leaves too. You can see that idea in the bottom left of the first photo at the top. That will have to be pieced before the applique is attached. Or, maybe those could be appliqued too. Idk yet. 😄

Ann provides instructions on how to draw your own applique pattern here. I plan to applique all 3 petals separately. I thought it would be nice to have the strings radiating out from the centre line of the tulip. But, then I realized it would be better to have the direction of the strings in the tulips more or less echo the strings in the pieced blocks. So the vertical line is the right one and I drew a sewing line on all the petals.

I still have SO much Ricky Tims' Stable Stuff from my early attempt at Sedona Star, so I'll just use that as a base for the petals and leave it in the quilt. There are only 24 tulips in my queen size quilt, so I just traced each one in pencil rather than making a clean printable template. I think it's probably better if they aren't exactly all the same.

I'm a little concerned that I've done the most fun part first here. 😂

I had those strip sets in my scrap box, so I threw them in. 24 sets of string petals are now done.

And my scrap box is exactly as full as it was before. Hopefully the X blocks will use up a little more!

Tysm to Ann for permission to use her photos, and this excellent QAL! Next up, the applique background. Probably.

Wednesday, May 19, 2021

Rose Boll Progress


As I slowly excavate back through my UFOs, the next one that caught my eye was Rose Boll, started in 2017 and last seen here in June 2018. I have to admit, every time I read back through those old posts I just laugh. So optimistic!

Anyhoo, I don't think I ever gave much detail about my process on this quilt, so I'll cover that a little now. As you see above, most of the blocks have the same red fabric in the centre as well as the HSTs in the sawtooth edge. 20 HSTs are needed for each block, but I foundation paper pieced them in sets of 24. So, there were leftovers.

I decided to use the leftovers in the main quilt also, and made a few scrappy blocks. Since they were different anyway, I used different colours from my stack of floral "neutrals" for the centres. The gold and pink are from the same collections as some of the reds and whites I used, so it still ties together.

When I started to work on it this year all the string blocks were done, and there were only about 6 of the sawtooth blocks left. I finished those, laid it all out, and sewed together the centre.

As always, lol, I had considerable debate about the border. Bonnie Hunter's original quilt has 3 rows of diagonal set squares in the border that looks great. I sketched a few variations on that, and decided it was too much in my busy fabrics. A single row of squares looked a little better on paper. But, once the centre was complete I realized it's more than enough as it is. I'm just going to do a narrow inner border in gold and a wider outer border in scrappy chunks of red, and call it done.

And then I did a Very Dangerous Thing, and folded it up and put it away without finishing the border. I just wasn't in the mood to iron and cut those red chunks. 😂

insert optimistic closing here

And then I pulled out another project. 😜

Wednesday, May 5, 2021

Border Disputes

 So apparently in 2017 I was under the impression that the border was ready to sew onto my version of Bonnie Hunter's 2015-6 mystery quilt, Allietare. But obviously that didn't happen. 😅

I had SO much indecision about the border for this quilt. I know I bought 3 or 4 different fabric combinations for it. A couple of them were even in my Allietare project drawer!

When I finally pulled the project out again, it seemed to me that these Kaffe fabrics were ready to go. The fussy cutting was done and I just had to sew them on.

The two side borders with the flowers went on fine, but when I started work on the top and bottom I remembered why I stopped. The grain of that fabric was very slanted and I was determined to fussy cut it aligned with the print. Which was no where near aligned with the grain. So when I was done the top and bottom strips were actually curved.

But you know, I was already halfway so I thought, %&$# it, and sewed it on anyway. And actually, it seems pretty flat now.

Those waves you see in the photo are just where the fabric got caught on the carpet. Hopefully.

Nothing a long arm couldn't quilt out, right?

Anyway, I am so impressed with Bonnie's design on this quilt. It looks so complicated, and I'm rather amazed I pulled it off! I'm pretty sure if I saw the final quilt before I started it I never would have attempted it. But the instructions break it down into very simple steps, and it's kind of magic how it comes together. It's funny that the hold up all these years has been these last strips of fabric around the edge. In any case, I'm very glad to have another top done!

"Keep calm and carry on" would probably work as a title for this post as well. 😂

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