Lily

Date: 
10 June 2011 to 11 October 2011
Blog entries referencing this quilt: 
Recipient: 
Allis' daughter
Pattern: 
4-patch + English paper piecing appliqué
Level of completion: 
Completed and given away

Lily is a short-timer. I started learning a new sewing skill (English paper piecing) without a clear project in mind, and decided I'd figure it out as I went along. I took a bag of little paper hexagons with me to my vacation in Minnesota, figuring I'd do a few flowers.

My first foray into English paper piecing. It is an excellent take-along project for airports. cnaSewing half-inch hexagons

I did a LOT of flowers. It turned out to be incredibly easy, and very portable. My friends' kids wanted to watch TV? Sit down and sew a couple of flowers. In the middle seat on the last plane home? Sew flowers. It worked out well.

These little flowers kept me company during Jeff's final (we hope) hospital stay, and they have been constant companions on the couch while watching movies or TV. Sure, they've been busywork, but I've needed busywork. Hauling Eat This Quilt, the king-sized beastie, to the finish line took many many months, and tackling a little snack project that only required little bits of hand-stitching was the sewing equivalent of chocolate and a hug.

Half-inch hexagons don't need a lot of room, as evidenced by my using my laptop as a working table and still having room left over for a Certain Helpful Cat:

Tenzing has forgiven me. Just keep the scritchies coming... cnaforgiveness...

I confess, though, I'm cheating a little. Instead of turning them into a full hexagon quilt -- I've done that pattern before and didn't feel like tackling it again -- I decided to use lightweight fusible web to tack down the little flowers onto squares. I'll trace over the flowers with quilting stitches, so I don't feel like I'm cheating permanently. I just didn't want to hand-stitch all of them onto squares.

An odd little project I've been picking away at in my spare time - English paper-piecing these little hexagon flowers, and then using fusible web to put them on fabric squares.

(Hexagons are 0.5' on a side.) cnaLittle flowers for the garden

The back will be an enormous, bright, cheery Valori Wells print ("Ingrid," in the 'gypsy' colorway). I'd seen it online and thought it nifty. This indoor photo doesn't do it justice; it doesn't deserve to be chopped into little bits.

This is Valori Wells' fabric 'Ingrid' in the 'gypsy' colorway. The fabric is huge -- close to 52' wide? -- and the blooms and circles are huge! I loved it online, but it's better in person. cnaValori Wells, 'Ingrid'

I sifted through my fabric collection a week or two ago, and any fabric that made me think light / bright / pastel / gentle / sweet got cut into. Nothing was safe, not even the out-of-print Heather Ross fabric, or Liberty prints, or the sari fabric Sean brought me from India. I will miss all of them when they're gone, but I'd rather them be in someone's quilt than on my shelf, longing for their permanent home!

Some people stash fabulous and rare fabric. Thanks to some wise friends, I see it as an opportunity to scatter little treasures across several quilts.

These are two of Heather Ross' fish fabrics. Both are out of print and increasingly difficult to find. There won't be more when these are used up ... so of course I'll use them up! cnaNothing is too precious to cut.

I started assembly sewing this week. It's amazing how, after working on an enormous quilt for so long, a tiny quilt top seems to come together so quickly.

Just a few four-patches. You have to start somewhere. cnaLet's start.

seemed to lead to

After finishing more four-patches, I wanted to see how the flowers looked. They'll do. cnaEnough for a border

in practically no time at all, and suddenly I was at

Jeff was independently busy this weekend, giving me time to sew. I have enough flower pieces to serve as a full border -- but not enough board space to put them up. As the piece contracts as the four-patches get sewn together, I'll have room to add them. cnaGrowth spurt

and didn't even have enough room on the wall to slap all the pieces up. (I have enough flowers to completely border the quilt top.)

When I start sewing the sets-of-4 together, the disappearing seam allowances will give me room to put the top rows on the design board. For now, though, it is what it is: a collection of sweet squares, many of them Liberty fabrics, awaiting a little more love to get them together into a finished quilt top.

Finished size should be about 50"x80". Small! A little over a quarter of the size of my previous one! Finish it, quilt it simply -- probably a soft gray, no point fighting the colors on the front and back -- and get it to its final home, a reminder that not all of my projects have to be yearlong endurance races.

Perspective, just to make sure nothing stands out too much. cnaA slant of light

August 22, 2011