Friday, August 3, 2018

Bromeliad, for Linda Brannock's Flowers Quilt

Typical of flowers, don't you like how this one leans right just a little?  This block is such a simple one--five or six fabrics, four large shapes, and 14 small circles.  And the stitching of it was fairly simple.  But my approach to choosing fabrics was not.

Bromeliad for Linda Brannock's Flowers Quilt

I looked at bromeliads online to see what the real flowers look like and decided I'd like to use orange-to-red for the flower itself and green for the "leaves."  So I chose the fabrics for the center sections and stitched them.  Those finished, I auditioned fabric for the leaves, stitched them; then fabrics for the circles, etc.  That worked pretty well, until I needed to choose fabric for the vase.  By then I was boxed in.  I sensed that the fabric needed to be medium to dark but what color to use?  Did I have a fabric that would work? 

I auditioned several dozen fabrics (but only photographed some) until I finally came upon the one in the first photo, above.  (Thank you, Janet.)  It may not be "perfect" but I think it works.  Please tell me you audition lots of fabrics before deciding which to use.  I can't be the only one to do this, can I?

Linda Brannock's Flowers quilt
These blocks will be sashed with half-square triangles in two different sizes.  In the Facebook group for this sew along we've been encouraged to sew enough triangles together to use between the first four blocks so they can be sewn together as a unit.

Some in the group have chosen to use the same or similar colors for all their blocks.  But there are others, like me, who are using a broader range of colors.  Which leaves me wondering how to choose fabrics and colors for the triangles when I don't know what fabrics I'll use for the rest of the blocks.

I think it will be time-consuming (a bear!) to cut and sew so many triangles after all the blocks are sewn, but if I begin before the quilt is finished, I wonder how I could distribute the colors evenly, unless I limit the colors for the sashing to a narrow range of colors that are not necessarily the colors in the quilt blocks.

I laid out the four blocks I've made. 

blocks for Linda Brannock's Flowers quilt

I wasn't sure how well they would work together because of the colors I chose.  I think they'll be okay.  I think the sashing will give each of them enough space to shine.  I know I'll need to somehow balance the backgrounds so I have another one or two medium ones like the one in the upper right.  And I think I'll need to carefully choose the colors for the rest of the flowers, too.  You can see how I tend toward red.  But then maybe red will be the dominant color of this quilt....

I'm linking this post to
> Finished or Not Friday at Busy Hands Quilts
> Thank Goodness It's Finished Friday (TGIFF) at Anja Quilts
> Can I Get a Whoop Whoop? at Confessions of a Fabric Addict
> BOMs Away at What a Hoot!
Thank you for hosting, ladies.



  1. Your applique is exquisite! Do you use needle turn? And wow your circles!
    Nice job. Love seeing all your blocks!

    1. Thank you! I haven't mastered needle-turned applique yet. I usually turn under and baste with a running stitch before appliqueing but on some of the sharpest turns I sometimes use a little glue stick to hold the edges under. The circles I press in place over a template after running a basting stitch around the edges. I have so much to learn!

  2. Beautiful work! I have a huge case of "applique envy!"

    1. Thank you, Karen. I know there are lots of beautiful appliquers I'm just a little envious of, too.

  3. I endlessly audition fabric, too. And second-guess myself. And third-guess... Sometimes it's a wonder that I make a decision at all!
    I love the blocks you're making for this quilt - it's going to be a beauty! Audition away, since it's clearly working well for you.
    My advice on the triangles is just to make HSTs as you make the blocks, using the same fabrics, but don't assemble any strips of them until all the blocks are appliqued. More work at the end, but the most flexibility for color distribution.

    1. Gayle, you sound so much like me. It's a wonder I make a decision, too. It just takes so long to audition, but getting the right fabric is so important!

      Thank you for your kind words about these quilt blocks.

      That's a great idea for the triangles to squares. I haven't made any yet, am still trying to decide what color/range of fabrics I want to use for the consistent one. And I haven't even started auditioning! You can imagine how long that will take....

  4. Oh yes--sometimes I agonize over my fabric choices and do lots of auditioning. Once I even replaced a fabric (for a vase) after the quilt was finished because I hated it--just couldn't live with it--lol. The good thing about your project is that it's a bit primitive and I think all your colors will work out in the end. Have fun! Your blocks look wonderful all together!

    1. Thanks so much, Karen. You must have really, really hated a fabric to change it after the quilting was finished! I'll have to remember that it's possible to do such a thing when I realize I dislike a fabric in some upcoming quilt.

      I hope I can hold onto the primitive aspect of this quilt with my colors and fabrics, but we'll see.

  5. You have sure been busy. I don't think there's anything wrong with putting red in every block. You were sure thorough in auditioning fabric for your basket. I usually pick 3 or so and figure out which one is best. I like what Gayle had to say about just using some of the leftover block fabrics for the HST. It will tie all the blocks together. Bromeliad is one of those fun words to say, don't you think?

    1. Hi, Robin--

      With both of these applique quilts going I felt like I was on a treadmill last month, trying to get everything done. I'm behind in both quilts, set my "public" goal to finished the SLOL sections, but also hoped to finished the Bromeliad in July. I didn't quite make it but I'll just keep going.

      Gayle suggested the leftover block fabrics and Gayle (of mangofeet) suggested making them as I go but waiting to sew them together till the end so I could distribute the colors more evenly. I haven't decided on which color I want the solid to be but when I do, I think I'll go with both of these suggestions.

      I was saying bromeliad wrong, having learned the pronunciation decades ago from a plant-lover. After your comment, I looked it up and, yes, it is a fun word to say!

  6. Oh my, I agonize about fabric choices for my applique. I have fabric everywhere and take tons of photos. The photos really help me. Your blocks all look wonderful. I think the red really ties them together. Maybe you could used a different sashing, not the triangles?

    1. It seems that there are at least a few of us who audition lots of fabric and agonize over choices, Rebecca. I agree about the photos though I notice that the color isn't always true to the fabric. But then I guess they are all off in the same way. Anyway, photos help.

      Thank you for your comments about these blocks. I just keep hoping they all work together in the end. I thought about not using the triangles but on the Facebook group the organized of this group showed photos with just plain sashing it made the quilt so bland. But then, there are other options besides triangles and plain fabric, so I'll give that some thought. Thank you for the suggestion.

  7. As Robin said, Bromeliad is a fun word. :)
    Yours is very well done, and I am glad you found something that worked for you for the vase.
    Sometimes I know what fabric I want to use somewhere in a quilt before I even get to it, and other times I spend hours, sometimes over the course of weeks or months, trying to find what clicks for me. If it doesn't click, then I won't like it enough to finish it.
    I think your blocks will look really good together. I have made HSTs for borders before, but never for sashing. My preference would probably be to use a consistent 2 fabrics for the HSTs to tie it all together, mostly because I don't do random well. I spend forever moving fabrics that are too close to each other. A consistent fabric eliminates that problem for me. But I love the random look--just can't do it. :)

    1. Hi, Janet. I agree, now that I've learned the correct pronunciation of bromeliad, that it's a fun word to say. I learned the mispronunciation several decades ago from a plant-lover!

      Thank you for your kind comments about this block and the others together. And thank you, especially, for the fabric. I'd gone through all of mine and none seemed just right, and then I pulled out your collection and there it was. Perfect (in my opinion).

      In Linda Brannock's quilt, I think she used one consistent color of fabric for one triangle of the squares and then varied the others. It's a little hard to tell because there don't seem to be many good photos of this quilt. I think I'll choose the constant and then go from there, either with another constant or a variety. I'm probably like you and will not succeed with random.

      It seems like there are plenty of us who audition either lots of fabrics or take our time to do it. It's harder to take one's time when participating in a sew-along, though. (That's probably why I'm nearly always behind.)

      Thanks for sharing your thoughts and comments. I appreciate it.

  8. Your blocks look great. Well done. I hope you'll come back and link up your finished quilt when it's done. Thanks for linking up with Thank Goodness It's Finished Friday (TGIFF).

    1. Thank you, Anja. Yes, I will link-up a post about this quilt when it is finally completely finished.

      I hope you don't mind that I posted this block as a finish. I probably give interim finishes a little too much credit but when I'm working on a quilt that takes a while, or that is challenging, or when there just doesn't seem to be enough time and I get it done by a deadline, I consider it a finish. If you'd rather I not post these interim finishes, please let me know and I'll wait to post until I have a quilted and bound quilt to share.

      Thanks for hosting the link-up.


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