The cherry trees are in full bloom in Tokyo right now. Here in Toronto it is snowing, thanks to another visit from the Polar Vortex. Although, one forecaster called it a "Siberian" air mass, which I guess implies that it is even colder, lol. In any case, a little snow is normal for us in April, and fortunately, I'm prepared for spring with my blossoming cherry tree blocks:
It's almost a year since I've shown this project, Hanami. It's my own adaptation of the traditional Tree of Life block. Most of my inspiration came from Audrey's trees here, except I changed the trunks to make them entirely from HSTs. Unfortunately, my first few attempts at the block came out distinctly rectangular.
So, on my summer break last year I took the first blocks almost completely apart. The seam allowances were not consistent, and my setting will require precision. This time they look much better!
And while I was at it, I changed the fabrics in the tree trunks too:
Some of my pink florals are very light, and those dark browns completely drowned them out. I chose dark beige and light silver grey instead, because I want a very light, misty feel for this cherry orchard. I remember plenty of misty days in Japan!
A couple of the trees are almost all white:
I think this will still work, because the pattern is set by the darker trees, so the eye will fill in the gaps.
This quilt was my DIY Mystery Quilt, where all the pieces for each tree were drawn semi-randomly. Each block is a challenge! You can read more about that process here.
Now I feel like all the bugs have been worked out. Six blocks are done...
...and there are just seven more to go.
Of course, my plan last summer was to have this flimsy finished by now. But, on my first day back in blogland last fall all my plans were thrown out the window when AHIQ came along, and they were ground further into dust by Allietare in November. And, going "off script" has been exactly the right thing to do, because both Allietare and the ongoing improv challenge have dramatically improved my quilting. I am amazed at how much easier these blocks seem now!
So, there are no wrong turns. And, fingers crossed, I can still get this to the flimsy stage before this year's blossoms have fallen. After two months of frustrating machine quilting, it is nice to be piecing again!