I have struggled to find time to work on this quilt this week. It wasn’t that there weren’t the hours, but that it was a struggle. I just was a bit mentally worn out and this block requires some enthusiasm. As Mary Poppins would say, “Well begun, half-done,” or something like that, so I thought it best to begin the task.
First, decide on which blocks. Check.
Then lay out the first one and trace it onto freezer paper. I completely did NOT think about if it were to be reversed, figuring whatever I started with I would end with and so it would be okay. Plus I knew that these flowers/plants were symmetrical.
Cut out on the lines. No, wait. There are WAY too many pieces!
Number all the pieces on the pattern, then number all the pieces on the freezer paper, then cut out.
That funky stamen/petal-y thing in the middle is going to require a different sized piece of freezer paper so it can tuck under those outside petals. Can you tell I never studied botany?
The pattern calls for 4 different background colors in the blocks. I’ve decided to make 12 squares (but am rapidly backpedaling to maybe only 9) and here’s my fabrics. They are all sort of gridded in a way–from mini-checks to a bubbly-looking print, upon the advice of Kathy from Material Obsession. She’s done all this and so could give great advice.
I laid out the stems on the back of my brown fabric, placing the matte side of the freezer paper DOWN, and anchoring the freezer paper with a little bit of glue from a glue stick. Then I trimmed the seam allowances to about 1/4-inch and using the tip of my iron, eased the seam allowances onto the shiny, waxy side of the freezer paper, letting the heat of the iron stick it down.
I found I could do the first method (above) on the big circles, but the little circles required a few more steps. First, sew a running stitch around the outer edge, then draw it up over a plastic template. I like to use gray thread–it just blends and blends.
Like so. Give it a squirt of spray starch (I lay a scrap piece of fabric on my ironing board to catch the build-up) and set the iron down onto the circle for a few seconds, helping to dry the spray starch and flattening all those little pleats into place. When dry and cool, ease the plastic template out of the circle and put it into place.
While doing some of the eight billion little circles this block called for, I decided this may take me the rest of my life to finish.
I also decided to only do one block a month, otherwise this summer will ONLY be Lollypop Tree blocks and I’ll get nothing else done.
I lay the pattern over my pieces and use it to nudge the pieces into place.
TA DA!! First one laid out. I haven’t decided whether or not to hand-applique this, or machine-applique with mono-filament thread. While the hand method is very portable, if you have creaky hands (like I do) the thought of doing 12 of these makes me wilt. But, with the machine, I will be tied to it–never able to take the block downstairs to watch Foyle’s War, our current BBC-TV favorite. If I ‘m doing 12, I could get a lot of TV watched.
I learned on Come A-Round ( my dotty circles quilt) not to obsess over every little piece, but instead go with the flow and realize that any quilt is greater than the sum of its parts. In other words, don’t sweat the small stuff. Get it done. Remember Mary Poppins and that nursery clean-up. Snap!