Tuesday, 13 May 2008

little tulips...

Dear Lene,
I finished that huge yellow center over the weekend! I kept complaining about it, the big piece of freezer paper that I was pulling off as I got sections appliquéd down, how awkward it was to work in the middle of the piece. And now it's finished. Um... well, almost. I still have to do the reverse appliqué in the center, but I'm saving that for later.

I spent most of the weekend trying to finalize my fabric choices for the stems and leaves, and also for the tulips themselves. Quilting really is a messy sport, isn't it? I have piles of fabric all over the place, things I'd tried out and rejected, and then pieces of the fabrics I'm using draped all over the place (to avoid wrinkling them once I've ironed them).

So, here are the fabrics for the tulips - yellow and blue (trust me, I tried everything else but that blue was the best choice, hands down). The dull green is going to be for the leaves and stems. I tried a whole lot of different greens, some beiges and grays (I had kind of wanted a gray in there, but I'm thinking maybe for the back instead...?), and this green was the fabric that worked:

The tulips are pieced. Fussy little curved seams, but I'm finding them challenging and actually kind of fun. I finally sat down, looked at things and did the math. I need 48 of them! So far I have just five pieced, but most of them cut out and ready to sew for the first block - I think I have ten of twelve for the first block all ready to go.

Here's an overall picture of a quarter of a block. I've left the freezer paper on the small stems for now. I'm thinking I'm going to use a "hera marker" to help with the sewing lines for the long straight stem. I'll tell you more about that another time - I'm not quite there yet.

I think I've decided (sounds definitive, doesn't it) to use two different variations of the colors in the tulips. The yellow is bright and cheery, but I think maybe it could be overdone, so I'm doing just the center tulip in yellow/blue and the side tulips in blue/yellow. This also works out because I have a bit more of the blue fabric to work with than the yellow.

This is one last view from the side. I'm just including it because I find it kind of funny - I just realized that the rug that it's on is pretty much the same set of colors as the quilt block. I hadn't noticed it before, and it kind of made me laugh. The tulips haven't been ironed yet - they've been my pick-up project when I have a little time. I realized when I laid them out to take pictures that I'll probably have to pay pretty close attention to the side tulips, when I baste them down. The angles that they sit at creates a bit of a secondary pattern in the overall quilt, and I want them to be just right.

Things here are still hectic, with my grandma out of the hospital and into the rehabilitation center, but I'm hanging in there. I brought along my little sewing kit yesterday, with some tulips to work on, but never took them out. One of these days I'll show you my little sewing kit - made for me by a friend years ago, it's going to come in handy for making all those little tulips.


PS - I just realized that there are actually 52 tulips, if I include the four in the center of the quilt!


pacalaga said...

Quite lovely! I love watching this come together for you, and WOW do you work fast.
Healing to your grandma.

Tsarina of Tsocks said...

52 tulips, eh? Wanna knit some leaves? Only 34 of those per pair of socks, you know. ;-)

Srsly, I'm loving the alternating sequences of blues and yellows. Reminiscent of a gently-faded provencal scheme, kinda.

Glad to know grandma is safely moved into rehab.

Michelle said...

Oi, I know how you feel. I'm making a medieval dress, all but the four big seams are hand sewn, including the fabric buttons and buttonholes. After I finished making the 42 buttons I was excited that I was done...until now, when I'm sewing all the buttonholes.

Laura said...

Beautiful Cassie. I kept wondering when you would say something about cutting that piece so close to the selvedge that you got a tiny bit of the words in there from "collection". I love it and think it adds some bit of a vintage feeling but was surprised you didn't say anything about it - you're all about the tiniest nearly invisible details that most people wouldn't notice.

DebbieB said...

I'm delighted at watching you create an heirloom - a quilt that B will pass on to her children's children. Those stitches will last LIFETIMES - what a concept!