Thursday, July 26, 2018

The Splendid Sampler II, Block 7: For the Love

Today, we started Week 7 of the Splendid Sampler 2 Block-of-the-Week quilt along.

Last week, we introduced you to Rose and Dot by Lori Kennedy. You can see my version of Lori's block, here.

This week, we travel back to Australia to meet England-born designer Sharon Burgess of Lilabelle Lane Creations. Although I've never met Sharon, I feel a kindred spirit in her because of her love of English Paper Piecing. I also relate well to what she says on her website: "You will not find a colour wheel in my studio. I threw that out when I started my La Passacaglia and I am so pleased that I did." La Passacaglia comes from the book, Millefiore Quilts by Willyne Hammerstein.

As mentioned on page 7 of my book, All About Strips: Colorful Quilts from Strips of Many Sizes (Martingale 2015), I talk about how using the color wheel tends overwhelm me. What I mean by this is that it feels overwhelming to use a tool when it's much more freeing to rely upon my instincts because I feel that combining pattern and color come naturally to me. I believe that once I start messing with that natural ability, I start second-guessing myself.

Sharon's block is called For the Love. As she says in her blog post, she gleaned inspiration from the beautiful tulips that grace the public gardens of her home town.

One of my very favorite things to do is to English Paper Piece. Although it's become a project that I've set aside temporarily, I'm making a quilt using large hexagons sewn into oversized diamonds that I will be sashing and making into a quilt (you can see a few images of them on my Instagram page: @suzguzdesigns).

Here is my version of For the Love:

I began selecting my fabrics by choosing the red dot fabric. Next, I decided I definitely wanted to use the ivory type-print for the background; I love how it contrasts with the dot print and how some of the words are outlined with red. Next, I decided how I wanted to use different prints for the outside petals of the flowers and decided upon the variety of robin's egg blue prints of one of the collections I'm using. Lastly, I chose to use the dark honeycomb-like print (by Moda) I picked up at my local quilt shop for the center square to ground the design. Besides, who doesn't want a honeycomb nearby for the bees to pollinate the flowers, right?

I made my block in the same manner that Sharon made hers; English Paper Pieced the template pieces together and hand appliqued the finished cluster of flowers to the base fabric.

You'll see that I carefully placed my diamond templates on the dot fabric so that they would appear the same. I also chose to lay the blue stripe in the manner I did for the one set of outside petals. One other thing I did that I've never done in the past is that I placed a dab of glue in the middle of each template piece to avoid the template from shifting as I basted-down my seam allowances. That was a great help, especially because of the small size of the pieces you'll work with while making this block.

Here is the back of my block. I used my red Aurifil thread to hand applique the red dot tulip centers and my light blue to tack down the outside petals so that the stitching blended in with the fabrics I used.

After finishing my block, I pulled the fabric away at the front (to avoid cutting into it) and then trimmed out the cream type-print base fabric to alleviate the bulk at the back. Besides, I might need that scrap piece of fabric for a future block!

The Splendid Sampler 2 book will be available October 2018. It is currently available for pre-sale so order your copy, now!