Behind the Curtain · PatternLite · Patterns by Elizabeth of OPQuilt

The Flowering Snowball Block Grows Up

Now where were we?

I think we left the Flowering Snowball block here:

Don’t get me wrong…that was a good place to leave it, and I still might try to make this version of it, but the idea that I should do one in Anna Maria Horner fabrics just wouldn’t leave me alone. Thanks to Patti, I just had to give it a go.

First draft, using 12″ blocks from the PatternLite Flowering Snowball pattern:

The finished quilt center:

For some time I was stumped on what to do for a border. I try to subscribe to the Ruth McDowell school of sneaking in a border if you can, that is, having it be integral to your quilt, but not the same as the quilt.

I tried to do that with Summer Snowcone.

As well as a version of it with Sawtoothmania.

I looked at the center section for a long time, and was bothered that the tips of the petals were cut off. So I had the idea to extend the petals, re-draw a new border piece and see where that took me.

First draft of border, using the petals I’d originally cut for the center (but in the end, chose the warm yellow-green instead):

This is still an AMH fabric, called One Mile Radiant, a lovely design with Queen Anne’s lace all over it. I’d show you what it looks like, but I cut it all up.

(Aren’t we supposed to do that with fabric?)

The white was ho-hum, just didn’t sing it for me. So I auditioned different colors of solids: medium purple, light periwinkle and deep pink.
But as I said to Carol, “That dark pink on the left just looks like freshly manicured fingernails to me.”
And then she said, “Once you see that, you just can’t un-see it.”

Reject.

The smart and handsome youngest son and his brilliant and lovely girlfriend came yesterday for an early Father’s Day lunch (which is why this post is late but that’s a good reason), and they graciously posed in front of Sunny Flowers just before Dave (DH) suggested they go up to the sewing room to help me with my conundrum of freshly painted fingernails. They were like, what?

But then I showed them the stack of AMH and started flipping through the bits, and one of these two said, What about that one? pointing to what is now front and center.
I think that might work, I said.
We all agreed (by now Dave had joined us) that the tips of those leaves were like an extension of the yellow-green and that the pink bits echoed the center of the larger flowers in the quilt.

So, after church today, we went out back to the pavilion and park and took a few pictures, before heading home to celebrate Father’s Day. As usual, Dave was my Quilt Holder Supreme.

Happy Father’s Day to the man who married me and four children, all at once, and raised us all.

The day my husband became a father to four children. He’s a keeper.

I was also fortunate enough to have a magnificent father, who raised me, as well as being surrounded by many fine fathers: brothers, brothers-in-law, our sons, friends we know — all men who are doing their best to influence their families for good.

Happy Father’s Day, everyone!

Our grandchildren: a long time ago in a galaxy far far away.
Guild Visits · PatternLite · Patterns by Elizabeth of OPQuilt

Flowering Snowball Block • New PatternLite

One of the members of the Gridster Bee chose the Flowering Snowball for her block this month, and I was sort of: hmmm, nice block. But when I started playing around with the sewing of the curves, I became addicted to figuring out how to explain it. Then I drafted it up in my Affinity Designer software — nine blocks’ worth — and then it was oh, WOW! I love this block!

So here we go with a lot of things to help you, including a new PatternLite that has all the tips and tricks plus full-sized templates to make a 12″ block.

BONUS: At the last minute, I threw in the templates for a 6″ size block. That’s in case you want to make a mini version of this quilt.

Kelley chose a range of colors for us to work with, but I also loved Patti’s idea to make them all up in Anna Maria Horner with low-volumes for the petals. So I got out my stashed fabric, some going back for years, and started playing. I chose a neutral for the “petals” but I think Kelley’s and Patti’s ideas of a rich color palette might work really well for this block. Stay tuned.

Laying it out. Kelley had warned us about getting the light-colored petals flipped around, so I figured out how to explain that. Then I just started sewing it together willy-nilly, which works okay. When I went to write up the PatternLite, though, I took a more systematic approach, which I think works better. You’ll see.

First up: here’s the video I made of sewing these curves without pins.

Caveat: I never went to film school. I am not 27 years old. I don’t live on my phone. Some parts are blurry, but the professor in me just kept on going and kept on explaining. Hey, it’s free, and it has some pretty good tips, and it’s under three minutes.

And I decided to get organized on an idea I had: some of us more experienced quilters don’t really want to buy a full pattern, but we either a) like the block/quilt, or b) want the templates. So I am trying to put together a series of what I call PatternLite publications, which often will have the templates, but sometimes will carry the idea forward and have some tips for construction and finishing.

My first two: Build Me A House, and Sunny Flowers Quilt were like this. Or as I say on the pattern: PatternLite: not all-of-a-full-size-pattern for not-all-of-the-price. I still write complete patterns when I have a bigger idea, or I think the pattern might appeal to a quilter who wants step-by-step patterns. Most of my regular patterns have between 20-40 full-color illustrations and are very thorough; however, not every quilt or every quilter needs that. And rather than having them all different prices, I’m also pricing them all at one low price, which is less than the cost of a double-scoop ice cream cone (I checked).

In case you want to get the Flowering Snowball PatternLite, I promised you a coupon: it’s the same code — sunandsea15 — as the last post. It runs through June 20th and is good for any pattern in my PayHip Pattern Shop.

This week I spent a very lovely morning reading and thinking about all your summer experiences. Many of you have had similar ones to me, and others have been quite different; some were very poignant and some quiet and personal. But what they all had in common was a that feeling we all feel now (that we’ve been vaccinated) of freedom to do, to explore, to ignore the clock and to just immerse in the moment. I have contacted the winners; thank you all for entering my little giveaway.

Penultimate final note: This week I had fun learning how to make a sun filled with orange scribbles using Affinity Designer. They are a great replacement for Illustrator, if — like me — you hate subscription software; they are having a 50% off sale.

Absolutely final note: I am giving a lecture and teaching a workshop this week at Northern Star Quilt Guild. They let me know that if you want to join in this Criss-Cross Workshop, you are more than welcome to.

Head to their website and sign up, as they have made it very easy to do this through their website. My lecture, Abecedary of Quilts is Tuesday evening (East Coast Time) and the Workshop is Wednesday (beginning at 10 a.m., East Coast Time). As life moves on, it is probably the last time I will be teaching Criss-Cross, and really no prep is needed. So if you want to join in a fun workshop, go sign up and we’ll see you Wednesday.

May you have many more great summer memories!

Quilts

Sun and Sea • New Pattern

How long do you keep owing someone a favor? Do you give up after a month? A year?
About FIVE years ago, Michael contacted me for a pattern for one of my quilts: an older one called Sun, Falling Into Sea.

He didn’t say exactly what he liked about it, but he wanted a pattern for this quilt just as it was. I am not completely flakey: I had sent him the blocks for the center, but last month he contacted me (such patience!) again asking for the pattern. Those of you who know me long-term won’t even blink when I say, well, I should do a couple more different versions. First up is Happy Valley.

Happy Valley, with its limited spectrum of colors and a black background, is named for the place where I grew up. We all called it Happy Valley because it seemed like nothing wrong could ever happen. Or if it did, we’d deny it to our death.

I recently visited my childhood home, and that name was just floating around in my head, as I drafted the pattern in the car the long way home from that place. Ignore the red garage with the antlers. When I lived there, the garage was a falling-down thing in the back. My bedroom was one of those two upper story bedroom windows; there were seven children and we traded around a lot. We were the furthermost house up the hill, with those glorious mountains behind us. I could go on and on about my little childhood stories, but we’ll leave it here.

For this quilt, I dipped my toe into Reels on Instagram and had fun making this little movie. (Sound on!) It’s also on my feed a couple shots back, if you would rather see it that way.

This coloration is called Summer Snowcone, because — of course — with its red, white, navy and sky blue it just says summer fun. I added a different kind of border around this one, and you can make this as large (add more blocks and more border blocks) or small as you want to. I chose this size to be a little table cover for us this summer.

I posted this pattern up on my PayHip site, and within minutes the ever-patient Michael had purchased and downloaded it. I hope it works out for him, and that it was worth the wait. Those of you with sharp eyes may have noticed I set up a little discount for anything in my shop, with the launch of this pattern. Use this code to get 15% off:

I did put this up on my Index of Quilts, but it’s kind of cheating, I say, if its not quilted. Well, it will have to be a place holder until I do get it quilted. And that’s another reason to celebrate: Happy Valley appropriately puts me at the significant milestone of 250 quilts. Summer Snowcone is coming in at #251. Cheating, yes, but I couldn’t resist!

Here’s to your Happy Valley, and to the first Summer Snowcone. But let’s do a giveaway or two, too!

UPDATE: GIVEAWAY IS NOW CLOSED. THANK YOU TO ALL WHO ENTERED!

The first giveaway is a free Sun and Sea pattern from my pattern shop. If you are the winner, I’ll send you a coupon just for you to use to get your free downloadable pattern, plus, I will send you a gift card to Pineapple Fabrics, so you can pick up 1 1/2 yards of white Painter’s Palette Cotton Solids to help you get started on your Summer Snowcone quilt.

The second giveaway is a free Sun and Sea pattern from my pattern shop. If you are the winner, I’ll send you a coupon just for you to use to get your free downloadable pattern, plus, I will send you a gift card to Pineapple Fabrics, so you can pick up 1 1/2 yards of black Painter’s Palette Cotton Solids to help you get started on your Happy Valley quilt.

(If you head to my pattern shop to the Sun and Sea Pattern, you can click in the upper righthand corner to download a Preview file that gives an overview of the three different flavors of Sun and Sea quilts, plus yardage requirements.)

To enter: tell me your favorite memory from your childhood that involves summer. I love reading what you write, so enter to win!

(Happy Grandchildren)

300 Quilts · Quick Quilt · Quilt Finish

Quilt Finish: Blue and White Star for David

This quilt started on Zoom. Several weeks ago as our family was having their weekly Zoom get-together, my brother hinted (strongly) that he wouldn’t mind having one of my quilts, you know, in blues–lots of them. He just loved blues.

It began with a block writ large. I used a basic nine-patch (see details below) that measured 12″ per block, so 4″ parts. It was a joy to work with blue and white, a favorite.

I have the above blue and white currently on the bottom of my bed, and must admit to having a lot of blue in my stash, so it was easy to pull fabrics for this quilt.

We’re lucky in June, out here in California, to have two flowering trees at the same time: the purple jacaranda, and the yellow Palo Verde. And I wanted photos with both.

My quilt-holding husband obliged. We stopped on the way home from church, and here you can see our nifty quilt-holding contraptions: a clamp duct-taped to a sturdy stick (you could use a dowel).

He received it yesterday and is thrilled to have it.

The Details

The block, pulled from my BlockBase+ software, is the Double Hour Glass block with a bit different coloration. I enlarged it to 12″ size, then went to town piecing it. The quilting pattern is Belly Bop, and my quilter Kelley used a silver Microquilter thread (#7007) on the top, and barely off-white 401 So Fine in the bobbin. Both threads are made by Superior Threads. The batting was Soft and Bright, by The Warm Company.

This is Quilt #249 in my Quilt Index of finished quilts.