My week with my second SEWCIALITES block is here! Celebrate "ABUNDANT"! I've got some variations and a fun project you can make with more blocks!
I've made blocks this week from all three of the sizes- the 9", 6" and 3". In honor of SPRING arriving and Easter around the corner, I've made a project for a cheery table runner from three of the 9" flower blocks. I used the Solana fabric line for the blocks and border since it felt so happy and summery and I just could not resist some of those busy ladybugs.
One variation that I made on my runner blocks, was to make the flower base out of two strips of fabric as horizontal bands vs one body color. This allows you to add more dimension or prints into the flowers or you could make the bottom green and the top band the petal colors. If you would like to do this, take the finished size of the flower base, divide in half, then add your 1/2" for two 1/4" seam allowances on sides. On the 9" block you would use (2) 9 1/2 x 2" strips, the 6" uses (2) 6 1/2 x 1 1/2" strips, and the 3" uses 3 1/2 x 1" strips.
Each of my flowers for the runner use two strips for the base. I picked colors of peach, blue and yellow for the prints from Solana for my blocks. I also wanted to give my petals (made with the flying geese) two fabrics to suggest a little more dimension. To keep it looking like a cohesive unit, I chose stems and leaves in similar fabrics for all three flowers.
If you are making the flower base with two pieces as shown below, I suggest joining them first, then add your stitch and flip corner to the joined unit. I find my seams will press flatter this way (vs corner first then joining the two strips).
My runner also adds little pollen dots on top of each flower. The pollen pieces are made from 1" squares joined by background strips and that row is placed on top of the flying geese. To balance the flowers and make the bases and leaves line up when flipping, I've also added a 1" strip to the bottom of the flowers.
Each of the flower blocks are joined, side by side, with 10 1/2 x 1 1/2" strips to make the body of the table runner. A 2" border surrounds the group.
Here is my pieced top. It still needs quilting and binding but I can get that done by Easter. It adds a pop of spring to the table. I'm planning on binding in the light green Thatched from Solana.
These could be so cute as white or light colored flowers on a dark blue, dark green or purple background. Or play around with string quilting pieces in the leaves?
I also think a longer runner with more flowers that drapes over the edge of a chest or table could be nice!
But I'll just enjoy this Solana version this spring and maybe make another one later!
One more variation idea for this Abundant quilt block. I wanted to try patchwork squares within my flower to get a mix of warm pink, orange and red shades. Using the same formula for figuring out the horizontal bands for the flower body works for size of squares. This shows if you keep one a solid band on the underside of the bloom vs all patchwork squares.
This 6" sample is done with some of my new Thatched colors! The background is Chocolate Bar and the leaves are Green Curry and Olive. The flower uses Peach, Pink Grapefruit, Sugar Rose, Fuchsia, Apricot, Tangerine, Rose and Crimson. The Fat Quarter Shop is carrying the Thatched colors, including the new additional range, as well as Solana fabrics.
If you want to make patchwork squares, use 2", 1 1/2", or 1" squares for the 9, 6 or 3" blocks.
My overall Sewcialites quilt is made with 3" blocks in Thatched in grays with three of the blocks in color. For this quilt with the small blocks, Abundant is one of the color ones! The other is the heart block from Corey Yoder and the third one will be the sewing machine from Lori Holt.
Want the FREE pattern for the ABUNDANT block? It is on the Fat Quarter Shop page about SEWCIALITES!
I hope you have as much fun with this block as I am having. Keep it simple or add to the blooming delight! And thank you to the Fat Quarter Shop for organizing this sewalong and thank you for including me. Happy sewing everyone!
To celebrate the new colors of Thatched basics that are joining the group, I've got a FREE mini quilt pattern to share! Here is "Radiance Bloom"! The pattern PDF to download is further down on this blog post, so keep reading.
This mini quilt finished at 12 1/2" x 17" and is made from a MINI CHARM PACK and background of one FAT QUARTER. Add another fat quarter for the binding and one for backing and you have a fun flower ready to bloom on your wall. I called it Radiance Bloom since the petals seem to radiate out from the center.
I love to collect Mini Charms with their sweet size of 2 1/2" squares. When paring them to make half square triangles, you end up with 1 1/2" finished blocks. I wanted to show off the new pretty colors that Moda Fabrics just added to Thatched, which created a warm and spicy colored mix of petals. Since I didn't have an actual Mini Charm yet, just some sample swatches, I cut my pieces to the 2 1/2" size to start. But I love that this part would be so fast with a precut pack of those squares.
I think of these as almost fall-like colors and think it would be fun to do a mix for a spring flower, summer flower or winter flower. I love the new color called "Chalkboard Scribbles" and mocked one up on the computer using that as my background and my petals in Blizzard White, Washed Linen and Toast. This is the Radiance Bloom I will make next! I also think this would look fun with the background in Washed Linen as shown on my initial printouts. I can't wait to incorporate this more into some of my future blocks as a nice light neutral color.
And since I'm playing with it...how about a night time blue (this one on the lower right has a background of Dark Washed Indigo) with blue petals glowing in the moonlight? The stem is Green Curry and Olive and the petals are Forget Me Not, Periwinkle and Dutch Iris.
I hope you have fun playing with this fun little free pattern. Maybe even make a row of flowers in the garden with multiple blooms! My friend Pam (from Serendipity Woods) will be sharing an adorable scrappy bloom she made too from this pattern, so check her feed on instagram in the coming days (@serendipitywoods) and I'll post my winter one as soon as that is done (@robinpickens). Plant some color, enjoy some new Thatched shades, click on the PDF link right below to get your pattern and HAPPY SEWING!
The Moda designers had a fun project for the Spring Quilt Market this year. A group of us designed 18" block patterns to give to local quilt shops to use during this National Sewing Month. 18 inches is a substantial size for a single block and leaves room to play with fabric and combine several shapes and sizes into a layered composition.
At the time of designing my block I was working on my Picket quilt with it's stitch and flip sides that make up the picket fence border around the quilt perimeter. I liked playing with this shape and how it also suggested flower petals, especially when grouped around a central square.
I call my block "Full Bloom" because it reminds me of the petals in a fully open flower in a grand display. The petals are separated by sashings to give more definition and color play in your piecing while dividing the space in an interesting way.
For a schoolhouse session at Market we showed our blocks. I made up two blocks using my new collection (shipping in October 2019) of Painted Meadow. Coneflowers in paisley shapes, textures, little sprigs, all make up the blocks in this composition. And I could not resist doing a little fussy cutting and making one of my fat bumble bees the center of a bloom. Perhaps this bee is looking for pollen in the center? These blocks are not quilted yet and I'm still deciding if I'm going to make pillows or work these into a quilt top.
I like to experiment on the computer with the blocks and what it looks like made up different ways. With this block, the corners could be more valentine-like with hearts (like the top left image) and a hashtag center. Or maybe the center is surrounded by darker colors to set it off in contrast. Multi-colored blocks (lower left) have a different feel from monochromatic blocks that play with values of light and dark.
Studying what happens with light and dark values is interesting when you have all these rectangles that continue across the block. You can have mid-range tones that suggest overlap and transparency, or sashing lines that stay solid and strong. Some look like woven plaid. Others are radiating light or dark from the centers. I love the different look and feel you can get from one block with this play of light and dark. Wouldn't it be fun do do a monochromatic quilt just exploring these light and dark relationships?
If you want to make a block with a big fuzzy bumble bee, like the one above, look for the Painted Meadow collection in October. Painted Meadow has corals, red, greens, teals and pinks. Or use solids with a range of light and dark values. Or go completely scrappy with enough room in those squares for some good fussy cutting. Whatever you make, I hope it is fully blooming and glorious! Click the blue "download file" for the Full Bloom pattern jpeg.
Visit the previous designer's blog posts and the future posts to see more 18" block fun! Here is the schedule and links to their blogs:
9.23 - Lella Boutique and Sherri & Chelsi
9.24 - Kansas Troubles and Corey Yoder
9.25 - Crystal Manning and Me & My Sister
9.26 - Jan Patek
9.27 - Robin Pickens (me and here is the pattern!)
9.30 - BasicGrey
10.1 - Betsy Chutchian and Lisa Bongean
10.2 - American Jane
10.3 - Kathy Schmitz
10.4 - Zen Chic and Deb Strain
I'd love to see images of things you make with your blocks! Do you make a sampler with all the designer blocks? A table runner with a set of three or four? A pillow or mini wall quilt? Have fun sewing and share with us!
Designer of colorful florals for Moda fabrics. Modern to transitional quilt designer. Illustrator, sewist, crafter.
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