I was so excited last night when I took deliver of my finished Floral Cracker’s quilt. The fabulous Rachel from 2nd Avenue Studios had used her amazing long arm/free motion quilting skills to complete this project for me.
I meet Rachel through the Portland Modern Quilting Guild and fell in love with her quilts. She does the most amazing wonky scrappy creative quilts. I was a huge fan and when she offered to quilt Floral Crackers for me I was beyond excited. Rachel also makes a lot of charity quilts and also does long arming quilting of charity quilts for the Guild. Basically she is a rock star.
I made the blocks for this quilt months ago using my black and white stash and lots of crazy floral fabrics. i raided my Kaffe Fassett stash, my Amy Butler stash as well as my friend Lisa’s stash. You can find my original post about the block, along with pattern links on how to make it here.
Rachel used a wonderful free motion flower pattern for the quilting. The shape is very “Kaffe” and mirrors several of the fabrics in the quilt.
I struggled to get decent pictures that do the quilt and quilting justice. Why do photos never capture the true beauty of a quilt?
To back the quilt, Rachel went with a gorgeous light orange dot solid. It is the perfect simple accompaniment to the crazy busy front.
Rachel also kindly did the binding for me on this quilt with her new Bernina binding magic thingy…. and I love it almost as much as I love the quilting. As a nod to me she used Kaffe Fassett’s “Aboriginal Dot” fabric.
I know it is kind of cheating but I am counting this as one of my October Project Linus quilts… I did make the top!
FLORAL CRACKER DETAILS:
Technique: Paper Piecing
Finished Block size: 7 inches
Quilt size: 56″ x 70″
This week I finally got up the courage to cut into my bundle of beautiful Briar Rose fabric. I wanted this fabric soooo much that I saved up my money and pre-ordered a 1/2 yard bundle from Pink Castle Fabrics… something I had never done before.
The bundle has then sat, untouched, on my quilting desk. I would occasionally pat it or rearrange the fabrics but I could not find the perfect block to inspire me to pick up my rotary cutter.
Fast forward to last weekend when I got a fabulous email from Katie at SwimBikeQuilt. I had won a prize during her 100 Quilts for Kids campaign… and the prize was three pattern from the fabulous Red Pepper Quilts. Needless to say there was much excitement and shouting and dancing around the house. I had been eyeing up Rita’s Labyrinth pattern for a while and was so excited to receive a copy of it in my pattern bundle. I now had the perfect Briar Rose pattern.
The pattern is so easy to follow and so fun to make. I have been having a blast cutting up my stash, laying out the block bits and choosing what fabrics goes where.
It is a refreshing break for me to be using just one line of fabric… no wading through scrap bins…. no huge piles of fabric in one particular colour.
Instead there is just a bundle of pretty on the cutting table and a yard or two of Kona Snow. Not a piece of paper in sight. (my printer is taking a bit of a rest).
Though I must admit that my blocks are not as perfect as they would be if I was using a paper pattern, I love them none the less. I am embracing the fun of making these blocks, enjoying the beauty of the fabric line and relishing the thrill of doing something a little outside my comfort zone.
This week has been all about Bee Blocks… finishing up my September blocks and making decisions about the October blocks. First up is do.Good.Stitches Hope blocks…
After last month’s crazy mini flying geese block it was refreshing to do a nice easy fun block. The request was for two 12 inch log modern log cabin blocks… right up my alley.
The other Bee request was for some Trip Along blocks. We were given a bit of range when doing these blocks, so I stepped outside my colour comfort zone and ended up with a woodland inspired block…
And this one…
In between the Bee blocks I have been adding more blocks to my Zakka Flower quilt. This weeks new blocks include these two lovelies.
These flowers are decidedly addictive. I am currently at 18 flowers and have more cut ready to go. It does not help my addiction that Denyse Schmidt has designed so much great fabric!
The final project of the week has been getting some photographs taken of ME. Any of you who have explored my block in-depth or follow me will know that:
(1) I hate having my photo taken; and
(2) there is only one photo of me up on the site and it is ancient.
I finally had to give in and get some head shots done, so without further ado here is an out take from the shoot…
My darling BFF’s helped me out which meant the whole experience was not too traumatic… and there was lots and lots of laughter.
Last week, while I was cleaning up our very messy office/quilt fabric storage room I came across my large stash of Denyse Schmidt fabric. I have been hording Denyse’s fabric for a while, including the DS Quilts lines. I have not really used the fabric other than in bits and pieces in scrap quilts, but this week all that has changed.
All this week I have been making Denyse Schmidt Zakka flowers. I found this fabulous pattern in the book “Patchwork Please” and it just screamed to be made in my DS stash. So I have been making flowers all week… lots and lots of flowers.
During this process I have discovered:
1. I did not buy enough Flea Market Fancy – it is such a great line.
2. I did not start building my stash soon enough because some of the earlier lines are FABULOUS and missing from my collection – early Flea Market, Katie Jump Rope and Hope Valley in particular.
3. You must concentrate when paper piecing and not be distracted by your husband or you end up doing this…
So here is what a weeks worth of of Zakka flowers looks like…
And there are more to do. I have become a little obsessed with these beauties and have at least 5 more cut and ready to go. This pattern is proving to be the perfect showcase for my DS fabric stash.
So is there a line of fabric you have been stashing/hoarding and not using?
Last night I finally finished pulling all the paper off my floral crackers quilt. 80 blocks, 79 different floral fabrics and 1/2 a ton of paper later I have this beauty.
There was finally a break in the rain this morning, so I dashed out to take this photo. Not perfect conditions but I was glad for any sort of respite from the deluge.
Enough about the weather… back to quilting. The top is made using the traditional cracker quilt block. I paper piece this top but you can find links to making the pattern on my original post here.
I used as many bright multi-coloured floral fabrics as I could find and only accidentally doubled up on one fabric. There is a lot of Kaffe Fassett in this quilt along with Amy Butler and Denyse Schmidt.
I used random black and white fabric for the background of the pattern but if I was to make this quilt again I would probably go with a low volume fabric option with more colour in it. Don’t get me wrong, I like the black and white but I think in hindsight more colour in the background would have made a different type of quilt top.
This quilt already has a home to go to. I have till the middle of June to get it finished, so it can be presented to a graduating foster kid in the Portland area. Project Linus every year makes sure kids graduating from the foster system & high school have a quilt to take with them on the next stage of their life.
But for now I am off to clean up the paper mess I have made…. it is the curse of paper piecing!
I am linking up with Crazy Mom Quilts for their finished Friday… I think a finished quilt top counts right!