Monday, July 27, 2009

Set 4 of the Blooming 9 Patches

I finished grouping 4 of the blooming nine patches.  I'm really liking how this is all coming together.  It's nice when you're working on a project and you continue to love the fabrics and color choices.  Sometimes the fabrics and colors look great when folded neatly next to each other, but once you start piecing them, they just don't have that same pizzaz.  

Here are the four sets next to each other.  I started to put them up on the design wall, but it was getting so full.  I need to finish a few other projects and get them off the wall so that I can begin to lay this one out.  
Sets 5 and 6 left to go and then I can start cutting the solid squares and laying the entire thing out.  I can't wait!  In my mind I'm 5 steps ahead of myself.  I'm already thinking, "hmm, what would this look like if I extended the last fabric as a border?" "How should I quilt this?"  (If you've seen any close ups of the quilting on blooming nine patch quilts, feel free to pass those along for ideas since I'm already mentally on step 1000 in my mind.)

More later... Happy Quilting!

1 comment:

  1. Hi Jen,

    Lovely blocks.

    I've made over a dozen Bloomings, plus I taught the class for years.

    Here are some things I've learned along the way:

    It's great that you haven't cut the squares yet. That's usually the biggest mistake (and sometimes costliest).

    The reality is not everyone is a perfect piecer (and after more than 250 9-patches it's hard to even see straight), and so the 9patch blocks don't always end up to be 4.25" unfinished. Your blocks might be a little bigger or smaller. It doesn't really matter, but if you cut your solid blocks to that measurement, your life will be a lot happier putting the blocks together.

    I also always go through another step if it's needed - even though it's torturous and boring. If your 9patches are a bit uneven, it's worth it to take the time to square them all to one common measurement. I didn't figure this out until I'd made quite a few - I'm very lazy so I kept putting it off - and I couldn't believe the difference. There are just too many blocks with too many seams to
    try to "ease" or "stretch" it all to work out.

    Another thing learned the hard way - I now cut the squares for the setting triangles larger than the pattern requires. It gives a bit more breathing room so you don't have to worry about chopping off points when you square the quilt up after quilting (or stretching to make the setting triangles fit), and it lets the quilt sort of float a bit.

    As for quilting, all over designs are OK. Certainly NOT anything like in the ditch...that defeats the whole purpose. You want to show off how well the fabrics transition from one round to the next. An all over pattern is plain as meandering or something with lots of swirls and spirals (my personal preference).
    The fabric is supposed to be the star in this quilt, not the quilting. I have a Blooming that came back with feathers and all kinds of heirloom quilting (my fault - new longarm quilter and I wasn't as specific as I normally am). I hate it. The quilting is lovely, just not for this quilt. It's been sitting around for years. I haven't put the binding on because I'm still contemplating ripping it all out.

    I usually use a few different thread colors/variegated to match the rounds. On a few I've only used one, but always a lighter color...the worst thing I've seen is a darker thread going through the lightest part of the quilt. Ruins the whole effect of the "glow" from the center. The light thread doesn't bother me so much on the darker outer rounds.

    Another thing is done I've added borders to mine...sometimes it's more of the fabric from the last round, sometimes another fabric because I want to make a larger quilt. Again, personal preference.

    I really love this pattern. I really,really enjoyed teaching it....I was able to help create some pretty spectacular fabric combos (without having to do any of the sewing).

    I'm blogless, but you can view some of my Bloomings here:
    - in the "Bloomings" album and in the "Quilts from Classes" album.

    I hope that wasn't TMI. I look forward to watching your quilt progress.
    Best regards,