Today may be the official first day of fall, but summer is in full bloom in my sewing room. I tweaked the bloom block I shared in my previous post. I just reshaped and shrank the leaves a little to make them a little bit less prominent.
Once the block was just the way I wanted it, I dithered about cutting into the fabrics I bought. I knew I wanted to use all the reds, but I was pretty sure I didn't want only reds. I was also pretty sure I could use the pinks as well, but I wasn't sure about the blue, or the aquas. I didn't want to waste fabric by making the blocks then not using them. Really, that little internal discussion wasted way too much time!
In the end I convinced myself that I could just make a secondary project with any blocks that didn't make the final cut for the quilt. I cut pieces for one block from each fabric, made those 10 blocks, and what do you know, I liked the combination just fine! I cut another set to make another 10 blocks and headed back to the sewing machine...and the pressing board...and the cutting mat.
I designed the block using stitch-and-flip/lost corners/folded corners (pick your label!) instead of cutting triangles and dealing with bias edges and at least one non-standard shape. It makes assembly easier, but it does involve a lot of trimming. At least they are pretty trimmings.
Sashing and cornerstones came next. I chose the same yellow as I used for the small petals to avoid introducing yet another fabric to make things busier. I definitely wanted cornerstones. Cornerstones help me line up blocks nicely, and they help me avoid measuring long strips for the horizontal sashing.
That's a terrible photo. That's what happens when I take photos in my sewing room at night. Nevertheless, you get an idea of how the blocks play together.
Since I like to avoid measuring and sewing long strips, you would think I would avoid multiple borders. I really dislike measuring and pinning borders. I stress about it and I dither and even when I do get to work on them I'm slow as molasses. It took me all afternoon to add the background border (I guess you could call that the outside sashing) and two more narrow borders.
If I dislike adding borders so much, why do I design quilts with borders? I do it because borders can help pull everything together and transform the quilt from OK to one that makes me do a happy dance. Not every quilt needs them, but this one certainly does. Just to be clear, those narrow borders are not transforming the quilt all on their own. They look rather uninspiring right now, but just wait until you see them paired with the final pieced border. There are white dots on red involved, and a little bit of yellow gingham-like print. I'm working on that last border now, and I'm getting ready for the happy dance!
UPDATE: The Prairie Mix quilt pattern is now available here.