Flowers! (and Rules)

Sunflower1

My nephew’s wife, Grace, wrote to me and asked for help.  She is a young quilter, who makes awesome gooseberry jam (she shared a jar with me), so I wanted to help. The quilt was for someone close to her who had just been diagnosed with breast cancer, and she thought a quilt was needed.  I agree.

She sent me the screen shot you see above, and since it was on Pinterest…and you know how much I LOVE their search engines (NOT), I thought it was easier to draft it on my computer using QuiltPro than try to find the original design (I tried…and failed…but kudos to whoever dreamed it up).  Besides, that was one of those “barn” quilts, painted on wood, not a cloth quilt.

This is what I came up with.  But I knew Grace wanted to move quickly, and yeah–all those pieces?

I thought about my Home Sweet Home mini quilt, and how she could make fewer blocks, but bigger blocks, and I modified it as on the left.  Nope.  Those middle petals look like cookies or fingers or something.  I left the pattern in the same, but just colored it differently, and came up with the one on the right.  I sent it over.

Grace wrote back.  She loved what I’d done, but now they were thinking poppies. She sent me a sample of a quilt she’d seen.  I drafted it up in my QuiltPro program, drew up a quilt.  But I thought I should test out my own pattern, so I made a Poppy Block:

Poppy block constructon1

trimming snowball corners

Poppy for Grace

I think it will be cute quilt.  This is a 10-inch block and I thought you’d like to have the pattern, too.  Each is a PDF file which you can download.

Here’s the Poppy Block:  Poppies for Grace

And here’s the quilt instructions: Poppies for Grace Quilt

It can be made in reds and greens and be thought of as poinsettias for Christmas.  Or made to commemorate Anzac Day in April, for the Australians.  Or red and white for a bouquet of posies for Valentine’s Day.  Have fun, but please don’t print off dozens for a class or for your friends–send them here to get their own free pattern.  Thanks.

About QuiltPro: they do not pay me or give me free stuff.  I started using that quilt program eons ago, and they are still going strong.  If you are struggling with the current software (I know, I have it and love/hate it too), consider trying this software, as it’s based on making shapes, not connecting lines.  I find it pretty intuitive, but as with anything, there is a learning curve–it’s just that theirs is not quite as steep.

redwhite triangles1

Making that block added to my collection of red and white triangles (ignore the interlopers in the upper right corner).  I trim them to whatever measurement’s closest, without it being a weird number, and save them.redwhite triangles2

Every once in a while, I sew them into four-patches.

I haven’t decided yet what to do with them, but a couple of questions arise: do I include the Christmas prints?  Or do they get their own collection? (I think so.)

Do you ever quilt with “rules”?  It’s about all I remember from my beginning art classes, ages ago in college.  The assignments laid out rules to create by — an edge to the sandbox — if you will, and went something like this:

  • Take an old piece of clothing, adhere it to a canvas and paint it like something else.
  • Use three shapes only.
  • Create a composition by taking a square of black paper, cutting out some shape and using the negative and positive pieces.
  • This assignment will use only two colors, but you may use any range of those colors.

And so on.  There are many books out there in the marketplace for guided creativity, but they all start with a rule.

Sometimes I find little bags of treasures in my sewing room, with pieces inside that have been collected according to some rule.  Like the red and white triangle rule.  Or the 3-inch square rule, but I kind of think that last one’s a bit of a cheat.

About seven years ago, I saw this on Jan Burgwinkle’s blog, Be*mused, and fell in love with it.  Maybe that’s why I started making little HSTs.  (While she doesn’t seem to update her blog much these days, it’s still amazing to read through the archives.)

So that’s my rule and I’m sticking with it: red and white triangles, although seeing this quilt again does make me wonder if I should break it.

PS.  I did adhere that old piece of clothing to a canvas and paint it.  It was a maternity shirt, which I stuffed and painted it like a landscape: three mountains and a river.  Somewhere I have a photo of it, but the original was mercifully carted off to a dump somewhere.

 

12 thoughts on “Flowers! (and Rules)

  1. I have a layer cake of fabrics from all of the state flowers and I think that poppy pattern might be just the pattern for that project! I, too, save my little triangles and sew them together. I have no idea why I started doing that. Sometimes it feels good to sew mindlessly, Lol

  2. I really like those red poppy blocks. We did the poppy blocks in Block Lotto a few years ago and I thought I would love to have a whole quilt of them. It will be a wonderful gift for someone going through cancer.

    Your red and white HSTs look great. Sewing them into fours like that makes for a much easier piece to pick up and use in a quilt. (It’s also nice to see that I am not alone in saving those little bits.) I absolutely LOVE the quilt Jan made – the colors, the leaves, the final layout…..stunning.

  3. I like all of your blocks, but the final stitch and flip poppy block was definitely the right choice for a quick quilt. Plus, it’s gorgeous:)! I know what you mean by a learning curve, I’m still trying to become friends with my EQ software after a year or so!

  4. My best wishes to your niece’s friend. Thanks for helping with getting that quilt moving. I love the poppy block and how easy is that?!? And it looks like fun. Could be a good VA hospital quilt block.

    As to the rules, I like having limitations on my work. Having rules or constraints forces us to be more creative. The product (maternity shirt painting) might not be great, but the process is worthy!

  5. I had been assembling my bonus HSTs into pinwheels. I like the four patch approach. I have quite a stack, so need to do SOMETHING! It is a project waiting in the wings. As to rules. I start with some constraint, but allow change when needed.
    That poppy block is great (as is the sunflower block).

  6. Just love that poppy block! I don’t know why, but poppies are so appealing to me. I just adored the ceramic poppies at the Tower of London. Heartbreakingly beautiful. Something about the poppy for remembrance just touches my heart. (And I have more rules than Carter’s has liver pills. – channeling my Grandma on that one….)

  7. The poppies are wonderful and so perfect for an ANZAC quilt. I don’t think I’ve ever made a quilt with rules though…it’s an interesting concept, that’s for sure. Love that last quilt too.

  8. What good timing! I was thinking about incorporating text blocks into a Quilt of Valor for a local veteran. We sell crocheted & paper poppies as a fundraiser. I can put the two ideas together if I replace the six center blocks with text blocks, with the poppy blocks framing the text. And the quilt you drafted up is already the right size. Thank you, Elizabeth!

  9. I’m sure the poppy block will make such a sweet and comforting quilt. Isn’t it nice to have a young relative who quilts. I love making a few rules for myself with any project… and then breaking those rules just a little.

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