I decided a while ago that I would like to start a new quilt. Something a little simpler (ok…a lot simpler!) than “Friends of Baltimore” and “To Everything There Is A Season”. But challenging enough to hold my interest. After giving it a lot of thought, I have decided to start Sue Garman’s “Bed of Roses”. You may think I am crazy, but let me explain! At first glance, it looks like a very complicated quilt, but it really isn’t. In fact, I was blown away by how easy (yes…easy!) the first block was.
The patterns for Bed of Roses are available on my website. You can order the complete set, or you can order a pattern or two a month. The choice is yours. I have added another exciting option….I am offering this quilt as a Block-of-the-Month, complete with the pattern and the exact same fabrics that I am using. I will post a detailed tutorial of each block from start to finish on my blog around the first on the month and you can stitch each block along with me. Check out my website for the details! Also, make sure you check out my Youtube videos where I show you how to make bias stems, circles and some other neat stuff!
Before I started to work on this block, I pre-washed all of my fabrics including the background. The fabrics I have chosen for this quilt are Toscana and Shimmer, both are from Northcott.
Ok, so here is Block 1. If you can make bias strips, make circles and stitch some gentle curves, then you can do this block. It has some very simple elements in it, but the arrangement of those simple elements makes it look like a very complex block. Watch closely and you will how easy this block is…
First, I made the bias strips and glued them in place. It doesn’t look like much now, but keep reading! By the way, I have traced the pattern onto the background using a Clover water soluble marker. I am using a crisp white background, so I do not need a light box to trace my pattern. I simply placed my background fabric on top of the pattern and traced away!
Next, I added some more stems. These stems will be covered up with another stem, so I like to trim the edge on an angle.
So, here all the bias strips glued in place. That wasn’t painful at all, was it?
Next. I started to prep the pieces and put them into place. I started with the centre pieces. I prep my pieces using liquid starch and a mini-iron. Once the piece is prepped, I remove the freezer paper template. You can see that the seam allowance is ironed in place, so there is no need to turn the edge under as you are stitching.
Next, I use Roxann’s glue (instead of pins) to hold the pieces in place until I can stitch them.
Once I glued the centre pieces on, I came across my first “uh oh…now what do I do?” I am not sure how well it shows in the photo below, but the yellow fabric is quite a bit lighter than the dark pink fabric it is on and the dark pink shows through. So…..I went to put the kettle on and made myself a cup of tea. Let’s be honest, you have a few options here. You can leave it alone and love your quilt just the way it is. Or you can fix it and love your quilt. Either way, you (and only you!) have to be happy with your results. I knew I had to fix it.
So this is what I did…I took the yellow pieces off and added another layer of yellow fabric to the existing piece (without the seam allowance). I just tucked it inside the piece with the seam allowance.
I glued everything in place again and look!….no shadowing!!
So, now I just started to add all of the prepped pieces. This is a very simple tip that I like to use whenever I have a few layers that need to line up. Once I prep my piece, I remove the freezer paper template and place it on top (shiny side up) and draw on the seam allowance wherever there is a raw edge. I do this to all of the pieces.
So, now when I start to place the pieces on top of each other, I have a nice crisp line to use as a guide. Very precise!
Now I have a line so that I know exactly where to place the next piece. Magical!
I did the same thing with the smaller flowers…
Here are most of the pieces glued in place and ready to stitch. Depending on the number of pieces in a block, I like to prep some pieces and then go and stitch. Some people like to prep the entire block before starting to stitch. The choice is yours!
Next, I added the leaves.
It was when I was at this point in the block that I realized that there wasn’t anything that I would describe as “difficult”. Quite the contrary…pretty simple.
Now onto the circles. When I do my circles, I like to use Perfect Circles. One afternoon I decided to go on a “Circle Marathon” and just do all 72 circles in this block…you know…get it over with! I lined the completed circles up in rows so I could see my progress. Thank goodness for audio books, that is all I can say!
Once all the circles were ready, I glued them in place and started to stitch them. I don’t recommend gluing all 72 circles in place before you start stitching. The thread gets caught up in the circles and its annoying!
And here we are. Finished. Yummy!
Block 1 also comes with enough fabric to complete 2 of the side triangles. I will do a separate blog post about those. Stay tuned!
Til next time…