Friday, October 03, 2014

Roses For Kathleen - Quilt Finish

Roses for Kathleen
For friend and co-worker Kathleen C., who likes roses.
Mostly from stash and scraps
Rosie's Rose Block by Piece By Number
Turnstile Blocks
Original layout, 56" square
Completed 10/1/2014

There are 34 pieces in the red section alone, counting the background. Three other sections make up the leaves plus background. The original block finishes at 6". I enlarged it to 8" (as big as a piece of printer paper) and then added 2" of background all around. My modified block finishes at 12".

This quilt has been in my head for years, after co-worker and partner in crime Michelle D. did some spying for me and learned that Kathleen likes roses. I let Michelle borrow my Joen Wolfrom Ultimate 3-in-1 Color Tool, and had Kathleen choose the red.

The tiny blue dot on the Post-It indicates the red (19-14) that was in Kathleen's bedroom years ago when Michelle spied for me. (Kathleen may still have red in her bedroom, but it's been a long time and she may have changed things, so I'm hedging a bit.) The mottled red fabric on the left was used extensively in the quilt (Turnstile blocks and border). The solid on the right may have been used in the Rose blocks, but not a significant amount.

Building the Turnstile blocks 
My original design had nine Rose blocks. But after spending a couple of weeks making three of those blocks, I just couldn't bear to make six more. I changed the design, placing the Rose blocks across the middle. For the remaining six spaces, I chose the Turnstile block for its relative ease of construction, and because it has triangles like the roses.

One quadrant done

Four quadrants laid out

Completed Turnstile block

Turnstile block with an untrimmed Rose block. Normally the triangles of the Turnstile go to the edge of the block. I made them smaller and left more white space at the edges. The resulting Turnstile is more interesting than a plain white block but doesn't overpower the Rose.

The Rose blocks needed to be trimmed to size. I wanted all three blocks to look similar. The untrimmed blocks weren't just oversized, they had jagged edges that were not identical. My solution: Weeks ago I had taped the four sections of my 8" Rose block pattern together, then taped that to a 12.5" template. (I've used this template, made of tracing paper, for many years to trim up oversized and wonky blocks.) Using a lightbox, I traced the edges of the leaves.

I removed the Rose pattern. The edges of the leaves can be easily seen, and since the Rose pattern was centered to start with, my trimmed blocks should come out centered, as well.

Lining up the template with the sewn Rose
Once I was happy with the placement, I marked the template corners in pencil, then trimmed.

Trimmed Rose block

Lots of little pieces (and some bits of paper still attached)

Blocks laid out on the design wall

Black sashing added

Red border added, quilt top finished

Once agan, the completed quilt

I gave the quilt to Kathleen yesterday at work. She seemed surprised, as I had hoped. I had to be careful to keep it a secret. Kathleen and I are Facebook friends, and my blog posts are linked to my Facebook page, so I didn't say who the quilt was for. We follow each other on Pinterest, so I created a secret board to store the rose pattern possibilities. Kathleen's desk is only 23 paces from mine. (I measured the other day.) Michelle and Kathleen sit in the same row, with only one desk between them. Talks between Michelle and me had to be very quiet and in a sort of code. I didn't give the quilt until lunch time, and I told very few co-workers that I was giving a quilt to Kathleen, lest they accidentally ask her about it before it was even given. With all those possibilities of spoiling the surprise, somehow it was pulled off.

Enjoy your quilt, Kathleen. Your quilt was a lot of effort, but you're pretty special to me and you are well worth it.


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