That went a lot faster than I anticipated. I just finished appliqueing and adding the border to the first block for the Garden Party Down Under block of the month from The Quilt Show. Last week I posted that I would be starting this quilt and it went together easily and quickly, especially with a few of my adaptations.
As I mentioned in my earlier video, I used the same background fabric for the whole quilt. I also chose my own greens for the stems. I wanted some solids in there.
The instructions said to make the stems either 1/4″ or 1/8″, depending on the section. I chose to do them all a quarter inch for simplicity. But then I couldn’t find my quarter-inch bias tape maker. I could only find the half and full-inch ones. So I had to make them by hand. Which meant they were a bit wider than a 1/4 of an inch. But that’s ok. It’s my quilt, and it looks fine to me.
Instead of using glue to hold down the stems so I could stitch them, I used the quarter-inch steam-a-seam tape. I usually have some on hand because I use it when I add zippers to bags, so it was nice to have some for this too.
Cutting out the pieces
After I cut out the fabric for the stems, I began cutting out the rest, but I found I did not want to cut each petal on the flowers as that would drive me around the bend. The pattern shows you the lines to cut, going down to the dotted lines, hidden beneath the appliqued circle that goes on top. Instead, I cut out the flowers whole, with the petals all connecting. I figured that no one would see the middle. It worked well and saved me a lot of time.
When choosing the fabrics, I tried to balance out the colours and textures. The berries needed quite a few tiny circles, but I didn’t want them to be all the same. So what I did was I took two fabrics, a purple and a pink, and I used the back of the fabrics for a few of the berries. That gave me four colours/textures I could use that all blended well together.
I used fabric for my stash for the vase. I didn’t care for the ones in the kit and I wanted all my vases to use the same fabrics. I like the one I picked and I think it will pull the whole quilt together when it’s done.
As for the border, the original design had us using applique, but Barbara Black, of The Quilt Show, gives us directions for paper piecing the border, so I chose to do that. I also didn’t go the scrappy route for the triangles. I wanted something softer to my eyes, so I used two fabrics all around. I will likely do that for the other borders as well.
And that is it for the first block of the year. I’m looking forward to February 1, when the instructions for the second block will be posted. Stay tuned! And if you would like to see a short video about the block (and something else I was working on as I made the video), here you go: