Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Flower Garden Blooms Again

It is approximately a year since my Flower Garden had an airing...but spring has sprung and the bulbs need attention!
All of the middle blocks had been appliqued and I wasn't very happy with needle turning cheaper solids. So before commencing appliquéing the borders or piecing the sashing, purchase of better quality solids became the focus. This took a year of visiting shops in 4 states to add to the spectrum.
Then I made the decision to cut all of the sashing first whilst new fabric was relatively straight ( and not looking like mice had nibbled the edges)
I singled out 35 colours for the sashing...and not wanting an even coverage of colour made sure that more 1 1/2 inch strips of some colours were cut than others.
This involved some maths!
1139 1 1/2 inch squares...equals 40 rows of 28 squares, plus 19 extra.

I divvied up the long 1 1/2 inch strips of colours and placed them on two trays as I cross cut. No particular sequence of colour. As you can see I want more "cools" than "warms"
Then I collected one square from each row and placed them in baggies marked 1-28 (plus the one of 19)

As I come to each baggie of 40, I play around with "constructing" 4 rows of 10, sew them, and then put these rows back into the baggie. I will chose baggies at random to construct the long sashes
Here are 6 rows Done! 
But this is the silly bit... I am sewing them all by hand. To be absolutely sure they all measure evenly and eventually line up beautifully I need to ignore my arthritic sewing machine and just get it done. Note the nifty plexi ruler of 1 inch increments, purchased from the shop I originally booked my Kim McLean workshop through.
This little ruler is making the job very accurate.
With 1139 squares to do, I need to sew about 40 per day for 5 weeks to get them done. Why 5 weeks??? I have one daughter doing final school exams in about 5 weeks and one daughter due with a baby in about 5 weeks. The garden might have to go into hibernation again after that.


  1. My goodness Salley, such precision. They look amazing. I feel ashamed at the strip piecing and cross cutting i did for my sashing.
    Give us a treat soon and show us a sashed block. I can't wait to see yours done all in solids. Good luck for the next 5 weeks.

  2. You are very organised, is that 40 rows a day? How long does it take you to stitch a row? They do look lovely, I too would like to see a sashed block :)

  3. No Pip! Just 40 little squares per day. I am making an extra burden for myself as I am changing each thread colour if need be... I have about 10 needles all lined up with varying thread colours. ( I am not usually so anal.)

    Sheila..... your strip piecing and cross cutting was perfect! No need to hide! How is that quilting going????

  4. Well done Salley on the arithmetic! I did mine by hand too, except I didn't calculate how many squares I end up cutting. Had so much left over, but it was nice to be able to choose the squares.
    Love your colours, they look like an array of sweets. K

  5. Hi Kim . . Thanks for the comment...I had a laugh! . . . . Very easy to get carried away with a rotary cutter and virgin fabric. I am hoping my mathematic "random" goes to plan.

  6. they look just beautiful - your quilt is just spectacular