Woohoo! Have you enjoyed the hop so far? I certainly have and the influx of new international hoppers has just enriched the hop that much more! It is fun to "meet" and chat with blogging participants who you may not ordinarily see. Of course, there are some of the other gals that I have come to expect wonderful things from when I see their names on the lists! A good balance, don't you think?
Thanks to Mdm. Samm of Sew We Quilt who keeps coming up with great blog idea themes and pairs us up with wonderful sponsors like Andover. Carol of Just Let Me Quilt is guiding us this round and kicked this whole hop off in grand style on Monday.
Okay, you came to see what I had made up for the Flower Hop. There will be enough jibber-jabbering from me to follow.
As I was working on a wool project for the recent bird hop and chatting online with my friend Norma I came up with the perfect idea for one of my entries. You see, several years ago Norma had gifted me with a penny rug kit that she had found in BC but I had not made the piece yet. She said in her note at the time "The dogwood is the provincial flower for British Columbia. This pattern was designed by an area BC quilter. I wanted to find you something unique that you would not be able to find in Alabama". Good plan, Norma! Since DJ and I have been unable to get a dogwood tree to grow and/or last this is a good substitute. (Hail got the 3rd one that had actually flowered in year 3. Color me sad as we didn't try again )
outside shot that I think will show the stitching
An indoor shot of it on the small marble plant stand. Skyler has not hopped on it to peer out the window as it slides. Well, I tried to stop that by putting some gripper stuff under it and he still won't jump on it. LOL
I followed the directions in the kit until it came to applying the "tongues". I pinned all the tongues wrong sides together and did as you would for a pillow back overlapping the halves by an inch or so and then sewed them in place by machine. I thought it would hold up better than pinning, gluing and tucking under a 1/4 inch with matching thread and trying to bury the stitches in some way. A bit of steaming and it all laid down quite nicely.
Moving on to my main entry
I love Amy Bradley's patterns and have had her "Spool Flowers" for some time. I don't believe that it is available anymore except in the secondary market or I would direct you to her website. HERE is a picture of the pattern jacket and below my version.
I borrowed the neighbor's fencing again. The day was a bit overcast but I think you will be able to see it fairly well. It is currently residing on my bedroom wall above the bed.
I took some liberties with the design but that was NOT because there was anything at all wrong with the pattern. Amy does a great job in her patterns, the placement sheets and the designs always so fun! This being a blog hop, I wanted to make the piece my own though I borrowed ideas from other sources. More on that in a minute!
My first change was to prepare this for more conventional methods of applique and try to avoid using much fusible material. I rounded the spool tops and bottom a bit so I could turn the edges over Templar and prep as you would a yo-yo. The leaves were also prepped over Templar as was the center of the orange flower. The spools, shelving unit, the orange tulip petals, the hexagons on the purple flower and the blue flower center was all prepped on freezer paper.
The whole piece is predominantly hand appliqued. The only spots that are fused are the stylized Gerbera daisy, the blue star points and the free form yellow layer and squiggle on the yellow flower on the end. Those spots were button hole appliqued but the other sections----all by hand. I button hole appliqued the stack of hexagons on the purple flower but that was a design decision.
I microwave dyed the yellow rick rack and in fact, blogged about it in THIS POST as I had some really varied results from that little experiment, let me tell you. My results ranged from taupe to bright orange to milk chocolate to this pale yellow which won out in the end.
I might also add that the only fabric that I purchased for this was the green dot and green plaid for the stems and leaves and the striped fabric in the middle spool. All the rest was from my stash. Shop the stash first. I am in a stash quilts circle so that is supposed to be part of the focus, after all.
Okay, the design changes:
Well, you know how you see things that inspire you or trigger an idea especially in these blog hops. Quilter in Motion participated in the April Showers Blog hop and had used a free form cut flower with two stacked hexagons that finished at one inch and three quarters inch. I knew mine had to fit about a 3 inch circle. I drew circles as that is the first step to drawing a hexagon and then drew MORE circles till I finally got what I thought would show the background fabric a bit but still allow for a progression of color.
The stylized Gerbera daisy?
You have to know I am a Joined at the Hip nut with all those Button Up series I have done over the last few years! One that I want to do for a paint chip challenge for guild is in their book Folk Art Favorites. That daisy on the front cover. I scanned the pattern page in the book, reduced the size, printed it off several times till I got it down to occupy the space of the flower that Amy had drawn.
Then the one of the end:
Amy showed a heart with rick rack (I think) and a small heart button. This is a flower hop so I knew I didn't want to do that. What to do, what to do? I looked on Pinterest, thought about kanzashi or some folded flower. One of the Belles even gave me one that she had made---too big for the space. Nothing was tripping my trigger. Finally as I was walking past my Nancy Halvorsen "Spring" wall hanging for the umpteenth time, it came to me. That squiggle thing is on one of the flowers on there. I no longer have my book though. Norma has it! I scanned the wall hanging itself, bumped it up, printing it several times, tweaking the "free form" part and then found the colors I wanted in my stash. I feel good about including two of my other favorite designers in the quilt though the main inspiration is of course, the wonderful Amy Bradley.
The only other change was I am not fond of piecing anything smaller than 1 1/2 inches. Just for accuracy sake, I drew up the checkerboard stuff in EQ and foundation pieced it. Didn't have to. Amy had perfectly good directions on doing it conventionally---just my choice.
Another quilting friend, A Left-handed Quilter was quite helpful when I told her I was not necessarily enamored with piecing narrow borders. I normally would do a flap thing but that checkerboard finishes at 1 inch and the flap would hid it too much. The emails were flying back and forth. She suggested using the method Ricky Tims had included in his Convergence Quilt books. No longer have that book as I sold it when I finished the body of my Convergence. I found a link to his technique online and then something else on a quilting board site that helped. I blogged about it in THIS POST earlier this month. The tip worked beautifully!
I also made a few Kanzashi flowers in the last two days but you can read about it in the post that precedes this one if you are interested. HERE or search Kanzashi flowers from the tag list. A friend had lent me 4 different makers to try so I was conducting another experiment. THX, Bev!
Bless you all, if you hung with me this long through all the narrative, LOL. I enjoy hearing how others make design decisions so I hope you did as well. Thanks for stopping by to see what I have made. Now please go off and make the others feel just as good as I am apt to feel with your comments. Enjoy the rest of the hop!
Thursday, May 30th
Life, Quilts, and A Cat Too >>>>That's me! <<<<<