Tuesday, July 28, 2020

String Tulips

Freedom discovers man the moment he loses concern over
what impression he is making or about to make.
~Bruce Lee

Quilting

As if the first set wasn't enough, here's a second set of the Electric Socket strings. {Thanks for the perfect name, Julie.} Not so much yellow here and the green blocks aren't resonating. 

Long skinny strings of fabric in a variety of prints form Xs when set together.
More string X blocks

Leaving them on the design wall gave me lots of time to arrange and rearrange all those string blocks. I moved something every time I walked by but they were just too crazy together. It could be the mix of fabrics {completely mixed up} or the angles of the strings themselves but it never gelled. What to do? What about taking out the center to make a medallion? 

After a while, I realized scrap tulips have been on my wish list for years. Tulips remind me of our dear sister and always make me happy. This will be my #AHIQPositiveThinking prompt. Just when I need a smile. 

Now I've looked at hundreds of tulip quilts over the years - antique stores, online auctions, blogs, etc. - but some of my favorites come from Audrey at QuiltyFolk. There are three general block types: a single tulip with leaves, one or more tulips in a basket, and crossed tulips. {Audrey has made all of them.  Another reason to follow her blog.} The center petal can be another string set or a single fabric. 

Most often the petals are strung crosswise but I saw one years ago in Dallas where the strings ran the length of the petal. That's what I chose to do with mine. 

48 colorful angled string blocks form Xs around a blank center
Angled string blocks as a border

The tulip are sized so one petal fits inside one of the already sewn blocks. No reason to add more work. It also uses some of the blocks that were removed. How nice is that!

Now to choose the background fabric. Loads of greens and a few blues came out of the stash. These four are too busy, too bright, or too strong.

Three green prints and one blue are tested as background for string tulip blocks
Possible center background fabrics

This funky green with gold crosses and x's blends nicely with the melange of colors in the border. Lighter tulip petals faded into the background. Using blocks with some dark strings {like the one in the bottom left} makes the tulips pop the most. It reminds me of Black Tulips such as Queen of the Night and Black Hero


Four string tulips make an X in the medallion center. Forty-eight multi-colored angled string blocks surround it.
String Tulips baby quilt top

I was going to add leaves but there wasn't room once everything else was sewn so circles using Kay Buckley's Perfect Circles templates were the backup plan. My circles always turn out well shaped with this tool and there's a lot of choices in the set. I just put different sizes on the top until it looked right. Then it seemed to need another set of circles at the petal points. 

All the appliqué has turned under quarter-inch seams topstitched down using an edge foot... even the circles. {My previous appliqué used a blanket stitch.} Only when sewing across the bottom of the tulips did I have any trouble. So many seams. Just slow down so the stitch length stays even. 

The stems are binding remnants. Their chunkiness fits the large scale of the tulips. 

Monthly FUR (Fabric Use Rate) 

Despite my goal to finish more tops, nothing was completed in July. Again. YTD = 111.75 yards.

Voting and Census

Our national election scheduled for November 3 is 98 days away. Help someone register and encourage everyone to vote. Everyone needs to participate in a democracy - both in becoming informed on issues and candidates as well as actually voting.

And just as important, the 2020 census is still ongoing. Everyone residing in the US of every status needs to participate. Our constitution requires an accounting each decade of every person in the US and its territories as a way to determine congressional districts and apportion Congressional seats and allocate federal money. Please make sure you and your neighbors are counted. Check here for more information. 

Reading


Poems by Mary Oliver have been my latest evening reading. After weeks of randomly reading her poems online I started her fifth collection, American Primitive. Her reflections on nature and her joyfulness at life draw me in every time. 

Enjoy the day, Ann

32 comments:

  1. Love what you did! Yeah strings.

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  2. The tulip center looks wonderful and I love the dots! It does calm down the string blocks. Now what are you going to do with the string blocks you replaced? Seems like there is another string block quilt in your future!

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    1. Thanks, Patty. Because I used some of those blocks to make the tulip petals, there aren't very many leftover. But I still have a bunch of strings.

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  3. I loved the Electric Socket Strings but I really, REALLY love the String Tulips baby quilt you ended up with. I love tulips, too, and really need to make some instead of just dreaming about them. I like the way you made yours!

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    1. How kind of you, Julie. Thanks again for the name. Tulips are wonderful and I'm glad I finally made some. Yes, you should try some of your own soon.

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  4. This is great Ann - it lets both the tulips and the strings breathe. Genius.

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  5. The string blocks definitely make a great border for the string pieced tulips. Great save and I'm sure you are a lot happier with it.

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    1. I liked Electric Socket after I got used to it but this time around, it never gelled. Tulips worked much better. And there's still another bunch of these odd blocks with more yellows. One more round.

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  6. Well, what a delight to read your blog this morning and follow you through your steps of decision and inspiration. I absolutely love tulips and sigh each time Audrey comes up with a new tulip design. I wasn't expecting to see the finished quilt in this post, only your progress. So, when I scrolled down and the finish came into view I literally grinned enjoying each part. You've put together a sweet happy visually dynamic quilt. I feel like I want to give you a high five!

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    1. How very kind of you, Robin. It's such fun to read process and decision making with quilts. Everyone's are always beautiful but reading about them is more fun for us makers, isn't it? Thanks for the high five!

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  7. I absolutely love the string tulips baby quilt! Wow, just gorgeous. Nice to know about the Mary Oliver book, too. Wild Geese is one of my favorite M.O. poems.

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    1. Thanks. Mary Oliver is such an optimistic writer. I enjoy how she goes through a problem to a happy/peaceful/accepting end. We need more ways to meet challenges, don't we?

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  8. I adore your tulip blocks! Some very lucky baby and momma will own this quilt.

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    1. Thanks. I hope a new family will love it soon.

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    1. Thanks, Cathy. I'm delighted with my first tulips.

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  10. This is an amazing quilt! You are a genius.

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    1. Thanks, Angie. It turned out well. I love finding solutions in my own stash.

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  11. Love your results, and thanks for sharing how you got there. I really like to know the whole story of how each quilt speaks to us as we create them.

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    1. I'm so glad you liked the post. I guess we both like to know how and why people make the quilts they do.

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  12. Thanks for the shout out! Your tulips are fantastic looking with the vertical strips and bold red center. LOVE them so much! Your background fabric really is a great addition, sets everything off wonderfully.:)

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    1. Thank you for all the inspiration, Audrey. I have enjoyed looking at all the different ways you've made tulips over the years. It's fun to finally make one of my own. And I'm even more delighted to have found the perfect background fabric in my stash.

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  13. Your Tulips baby quilt is gorgeous. I love the colors. American Primitive looks like a good read, it's very important to cultivate joy, without it my creativity shrivels into nothing.
    Thanks for sharing Ann.

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    1. Thanks, Janie. I pushed myself to use all the strips as they came and then thought it was too disorganized. A little open space and a small bit of limited fabric changed the look completely. Enjoy the book.

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  14. This is exactly the quilt I needed to see today! What a joy!

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    1. Thanks, Gayle. Audrey has made me a fan of tulips.

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  15. Couldn't write a comment at the time you posted here Ann, I've just visited AdHoc and left a comment.You went with the perfect background fabric for the tulips

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    1. Don't hurt yourself writing too much. We want you to continue to improve. It was lovely to find that old piece in my stash and realize it worked perfectly with these strings and tulips.
      I was sorry to read NZ is in lockdown again but delighted to know your government is taking proper precautions. Stay safe.

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