Piecing Together Inspiration
It all started when I saw a post on 16-patch blocks.
Sarah of Confessions of a Fabric Addict had a lovely, thorough tutorial on many ways to piece 16-patches, but the part that really caught my attention was where she talked about how to use fusible interfacing.
She drew her own grid on the interfacing, but I knew that tucked away in a drawer, I had a big piece of gridded fusible interfacing.
I immediately thought that this would be a great project to help me meet some of my “15 in ’15” goals, such as “make 15 fusible blocks,” “finish up 14 fabrics and scrap bags,” “try 13 new techniques,” and “try 10 new materials.”
So I tried it, and I loved it! After all, what do I love best about quilting? Putting colors and patterns together in all sorts of combinations! These little blocks allowed me to do that part quickly, and over and over! It was like getting all the design fun of an entire quilt, in 20 or 30 minutes. (An organized person could probably do it quicker, but my scraps weren’t precut.)
I liked it so much I was making 25-patch blocks. Every night I was sitting down and turning out a block or two, and I quickly went through my gridded fusible and had to go to the store for more. I stitched the blocks together into long strips. I was all set to make a whole quilt of uniform, small squares.
And then, on another day of blog-reading, I saw this:
I love all of Jacqueline Davis’s calligraphy, but it was this practice piece that really spoke to me. The blend of shapes that were all related, and yet varied, and that made it so much more interesting than just endless small squares stretching across a surface. I had to change the composition of my quilt.
I was thinking that maybe I would put in some sections of longer strips, or maybe some applique to use up more scraps…. and I remembered the Lilly-Pilly applique that I loved, from Lucie the Happy Quilter. I have wanted to do something like that ever since I saw it.
(Looking at that beautiful tree, I am glad I was just working from memory when I thought about trying to make my design something like this! If I had really studied it again, I would have been intimidated by delicate applique, the subtle piecing, and the depth of quilting in the background, but fortunately for me I couldn’t find the post, and had to email Lucie and ask her to find it for me! Well, something to aspire to for the future.)
I thought about cutting out all those little leaves — and then I remembered the big bag of yo-yos I bought at a guild sale, and I decided to make a big bouquet of those in a center panel.
So here is what I have so far.
Right now the yo-yos are just scattered on top. I will arrange them and stitch them down, and do stems and leaves out of more scraps and ribbons. I don’t know what I will do for the outside edges. I have plenty more of the blue that is in the central panel, and I could just put big pieces of that on the sides, but I think it needs more piecing. (Helpful hints are welcome.)
Technically this quilt has some issues (and I will talk about those later, and what I learned from them), but I really love the design. I love using up the last little scrap of a fabric, I love mixing and matching patterns in different ways, but the thing I love most about this quilt is that when I look at it, I remember the people who inspired it, and how gracious they were to let me use their ideas here!
I think we all feel that we cannot keep up with the ideas we get from the wonderful publications and blogs out there, but we have fun trying!
This looks stunning, inspired by others but definitely yours and unique. How big are each of the blocks? I have been dismantling old cross stitch cards and worn fabric with pretty embroidery for a while with the idea of making a quilt. I first thought of crazy patchwork but have recently thought of a patched quilt. Your post has got me thinking again. Thanks for sharing.
The blocks start off at 2 1/2 inches, then with 1/4 seam on each side, they end up being 2 inches square. What I like about using the fusible, is that even if I don’t get my seams perfectly even, the fusible interfacing holds them in place and makes them look like the corners are matched up perfectly.
I have never made a crazy quilt but I bet fusible would be of help there too – you could cut the shapes anyway you liked, fuse them to a background, and then cut that into perfect blocks to piece together.
This is wonderful, and I can’t wait to see where it goes from here. You’re right, big slabs of blue along the sides would take the focus away from the center. If you want blue as the main color, I’d suggest more piecing, maybe bigger squares, or log-cabining like the background of Lucie’s quilt, with other cool colors mixed in. And I wouldn’t worry much about their sizing — free piecing even in rectangular shapes would give a interesting effect. Of course it could be we’d (you’d) try that and hate it… 🙂 Then you have the start to some other quilt. 😀
Yes! I love that idea of the subtle log cabin blocks for the sides! That is so perfect! And I do see them in the same blue as the center.
Now my only problem is, for some reason there is hardly any blue fabric in my stash, apart from what I bought for this. I guess because I like blue so I use it up. SO you have given me a good idea and a reason to go fabric shopping –Thanks!
You also could put a call out to your quilty friends if you’d like a good variety. I would send you some. 😉
Oh! So sweet! AND it would fit in with my “I’m inspired by all my blog friends” theme!
I’m off to the beach – will write more later!
Speaking of yo yo’s check this out:
That is interesting with the fusible interfacing. thanks.
So very interesting to see how your ideas develop – and the quilt is just beautiful. can’t wait to see what it looks like when it’s finished.
I guess it takes a village to make a quilt. Thanks for sharing the process on this one. In terms of design, possibly a few of the yoyo flowers might stray over into the little squares area if their stems are a bit weak.
Yes, I am thinking the yo-yo flowers will be especially likely to stray over to any area where the seam looks a little crooked to me, or the corners don’t meet properly. 🙂
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wow! this is brilliant!!!
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