Friday, May 24, 2013


So where have I been all week?  At least some of the time, I've been outside!  The garden is taking all my time and energy.  I haven't sewn anything for days.
Here's some of the inspiration I've been seeing outside.  All of these plants have quilt blocks named after them.  Can you guess them?  (Answers at the end of this post.)
#3.  (The flower in the foreground).

In my last post, I was ready to start/work on a tulip project.  Here's what I finally decided to do:

I just couldn't resist a new piecing project.  All the other projects on my Pick Six list are at the quilting stage.  Plus I could use my scraps.
This quilt is loosely based on Eleanor Burn's book.  I'm making 18 blocks, 12 red and 6 yellow.  I'm setting them on point, with sashing.  I will definitely not use as many borders as the book does.

I have also changed the size of the block.  In the book, they finish around 10 in. square.  It was easy to scale it up to 12 in. finished.
If you'd like to make a 12 in. block, here's the recipe:
From a background fabric, cut 3 4.5 x 4.5 in. squares, 1 2.5 in. square, 1 rectangle 2.5 x 4.5 in., plus 4 triangles to make half square triangles that finish at 4 in. (I use the Easy Angle tool, and cut the triangles from a 4.5 in. strip.)
From the tulip fabric (in my case, either red or yellow), cut 1 4.5 in. square and 2 triangles to make half square triangles to finish at 4 in. (again, I use the Easy Angle).
From green fabric, cut 2 triangles to make half square triangles to finish at 4 in. (again with the Easy Angle), and cut a strip 1.5 in. x 7 in. for the stem.
Lastly, cut a 2.5 in. square for the center of the flower.  For red tulips, I cut a yellow square, and for yellow tulips, I cut a red square.
The first thing I do is add the stem to one of the background squares.  I carefully press the edges of the 1.5 in. strip under one quarter of an inch on each side, and top stitch the stem to the background square.  It's really helpful to use a hand crank machine for this step, because I can keep it loaded with green thread.  I can piece the rest of the block on the treadle, with neutral thread.

My helpful machine here is named Mrs. Harris (it's hard to see, but the decals used to say Harris No. 9).  She's originally from England, and the first hand crank I ever owned.  I bought her from a local lady who inherited her from an Englishwoman who brought her to America.  It was great to work on a project with her again.
The stem is actually the hardest part of this easy block.  For the rest, you sew the red and green triangles to the background triangles and press, then sew the 2 squares together and add the background rectangle.  Then all the sections are finished, and you can lay out the block and sew it together like a nine patch.
It was fun using scraps from my bins, and these were just the sizes I keep--1.5 for the stem, 2.5 for the squares and rectangle, and 4.5 for the squares and half square triangles.  I cut up some of my stash when I ran out of scraps in the right colors, especially the backgrounds, and I mixed and matched backgrounds when necessary.  (No fabrics were bought for the making of these blocks.)
I'm still deciding what to use for the sashing and the side/corner triangles.  I'm also thinking of quilting this one in sections, which I haven't yet done with a diagonally set quilt.  Should be fun!

Now for the quilt blocks based on the plants above!
 #1 is Sage bud.  Here's a link to the pattern:

 #2 is Bay leaf. Here's a picture of one on flicker.  This pattern is also called Tea Leaf.

#3 is Bleeding Heart.  Here's a link to an antique version:

Did you guess them?  Did they inspire you?  Happy quilting.


  1. I love your tulips! They are so pretty, it will definitely be on my to do list! I'm going to pin it!

  2. Wow, thanks, Missy! Wait til you see what I'm putting them together with today. All of a sudden I'm not shy about color-- reds, yellows and greens.


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