Stitch along creates thoughts, changes course and ends up with an amazing concept

Creating A Second Flower Block

Tags: applique, challenge, flower, paper piecing, quilt block

Another week has past - time certainly flies - and it is time to create a second block, drawing inspiration from one of the photos at the beginning of this Stitch Along. Following last week's endeavor, I made the choice to rework the same image using a fresh technique. Yet, as I immersed myself in the creative process, my mind wandered towards how to design an entire quilt from this single block. Surprisingly, nothing truly ignited my enthusiasm even though I had a number of ideas. After finishing the block in its entirety, I set it aside and conceived an entirely new concept. Let me explain from the beginning...

appliqued hibiscus flower block

Looking at my first block (being all applique), I thought I'd move to a pieced block and so I created a foundation pieced Hibiscus block which I ended up publishing as a pattern last week - I also added it in my "Creating a Foundation Block from a Photo" workshop as another example.

Instead of showing you a photo of the finished block, I put together a short slideshow to show process starting by piecing one section, then jumping on to (about 40 seconds in) having all the sections created and put together to complete the block.


This was fun to create, but as I mentioned above, I became stuck for using it in a full sized quilt other than the possibility of making repetitive blocks which simply doesn't appeal to me.... it would however, work great for a tote, or pocket, or perhaps a quilt with other foundation blocks and that's why I felt it best published as a pattern.

So where did I go from there? I took the concepts of both blocks I'd made and came up with a half pieced, half appliqued block and with a full quilt design in mind, I started creating to see where this might lead to.

I pulled out my scrap bin to piece a background... you have probably guessed by now, piecing isn't my favorite technique when it comes to quilting and I certainly don't like repetitive blocks. I lose interest in them very fast as it isn't challenging enough for me.... and although I had planned to foundation piece the background, I thought creating a background at random (something similar to what I did in my Creating Your Own Fabric blog postwould be more along the lines of what I wanted to adventure into. Then thinking about how difficult this would be to show/write if I were to repeat that block over to form a full sized quilt hence I decided to keep to the foundation piecing but with the thought of creating a crazy type of patch.... all this thought and I haven't even begun yet!

Back to my scrap bin, and from this I pulled all the light to medium greens out and a few tan colors too.

scraps of fabric in green and tan

Then I jumped on the computer and drew up a block (a crazy foundation) the size I wanted while thinking I could draw half a block through the diagonal and use the reflection for the second half. It hit me about then, why not leave one half plain? So for now, I just printed one foundation.

Back at the sewing machine I began piecing my background using my scraps of fabric...

beginning of a foundation pieced block
half the background is completed using foundation piecing

I grabbed a dark plain fabric (often a much longer task than just saying it as I had to dig through all 10 bins to find the perfect shade) to use as contrast for the second side. It was easy to add with the foundation still in place.

background block completed awaiting its applique flower

My mind started spinning as I thought of the hibiscus flower on top - I wanted it simple so working with my first block flower template, I simplified it to a mere petal. This I cut out of various shades of pink and added in a circle to form the flower.

foundation pieced background with applique shapes on top

It looks a bit like a five-leaf clover!

I have to admit, I'm liking where this block is taking me in this stitch along adventure and I'm eager to get back to the computer to start putting the entire idea into a virtual quilt using EQ8. Stay tuned for more to come!

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