Every January the quilt guild I belong to has a challenge. The challenge this year was called “Show Us Your Best Blooms”. All the participants were given a piece of the same fabric which had to be used somewhere in the quilt. In my wall-hanging it is the white fabric with the small blue flowers that is in the body of the pieced basket.
The pattern I chose is from a book entitled Grandmother’s Garden Quilt by Eleanor Burns and her sister, Patricia Knoechel. It has over a dozen different flower blocks with directions for both flat applique as well as 3-D applique methods for making the flowers. I remember buying it shortly after I had begun learning to quilt 15 years ago. I was mesmerized by the various flowers and all the different techniques to make each one. As fascinated as I was with the 3-D flowers in this book, I never made any of them until this challenge.
The pink parts are made of tubes of fabric sewn right sides together, flipped right side out, folded in half, and tucked underneath the purple tops.
The purple tops of the flowers are made by sewing 2 pieces of fabric right sides together, cutting a hole in the middle of the back, flipping it right side out, and stuffing with a small amount of cotton. The green stems and black pistals are hand stitched using DMC #5 Pearl Cotton
I really enjoyed doing the quilting on this piece. I originally thought I would just do free-motion leaves all over the whole block, but when I finished the piecing and applique, I didn’t think that would add anything to the wall-hanging. The quilts that I like the most have quilting that enhances the piecing or applique. For a bed quilt, the quilting serves to keep the batting from clumping when you wash it, so it is functional as well as being an opportunity to add another artistic element. However, a small art quilt won’t get washed very often, so the quilting is purely artistic.
You can see “Fuchsias in Bloom” as well as all the entries in the challenge on display at the Richmond Library in Batavia, NY during the month of February. The quilts are being put up on February 2nd and will remain on display until March. I was unable to attend our monthly meeting this month to see the entries when they were turned in, so I am looking forward to going to see the display at the library myself.
For those of you who are pondering the quote from the last post, it’s from the television show The Honeymooners. “Pins and needles, needles and pins. A happy man is a man that grins.” is a phrase that Ralph Kramden (played by Jackie Gleason) is supposed to say to calm himself. If memory serves me, he has trouble getting it right and I’m not sure it had the calming effect that was intended.
Things that make me smile:
- Participating in a challenge. I’m always amazed to see how different all the entries are.
- Finishing a project more than 24 hours before it is due! This is the first time in 4 years that I didn’t take a vacation day (or two) to finish a challenge. On more than 1 occasion someone else has had to drive so that I could stitch the label on a project in the car. I know I’m not alone in the last minute crunch.
- A day in the country!
Let’s go spread some sunshine!