Inspiration can come at the wildest times. Be ready to catch it!
This December our family went to see the Nutcracker ballet. During the Waltz of the Flowers scene my heart fairly floated away watching all the colors swirl about. The flower dancers had vivid emerald green bodices paired with skirts in a contrasting hue. Amongst an emerald and bright pink set, the flowers waltzed: pale blue, magenta, butter yellow, turquoise, soft pink, vivid blue. I drank it in and in and in. One giddy glance at my mom and she knew what I was thinking. A quilt!
Arriving home late that night, I tucked the littles into bed and scurried to my fabrics, anxious to capture those colors before they faded! Since photography is not allowed in the theater and the ballet has been unable to pass along a photograph of their own, this little set of fabrics was absolutely key to saving the thought.
Next step - gather up fabrics. I didn't have near enough emerald green in my stash, and many flower colors (like soft, true blue and bold blue) were seriously lacking. Focusing on the greens, I found 4 Kona cottons and some prints to suit. From top, the Konas are Willow, Leprechaun, Clover and Kale. I purposely chose a mix of warmer and cooler emeralds to keep things interesting. The prints are Pearl Bracelets Chard, Botanics Metallic Fern and Botanics Stripe Fern on left; and True Colors Sealing Wax plus an unknown polka dot on right.
These solids represent the flower colors in my quilt. From left they are Konas Cyan, Cerise, Ocean, Lake, Buttercup, Pomegranate, Pansy, Med. Pink, and Red. Each solid becomes petal tips in the Gathering Flowers quilt pattern by Anna Maria Horner, which I'm using for my Waltz of the Flowers quilt. It will be a twin-sized bed quilt for my niece!
Because I needed to source fabrics anyways, I worked
with some fabric stores to create custom bundles. The bundles at Intrepid Thread are ready now and some from Mad About Patchwork in Canada will be available soon.
Each bundle has several emerald prints and a print fabric for every flower color. You can buy them with or without solids to match here at Intrepid Thread.
Now months later, I'm finally stocked with all the right fabrics and
bits of time to make my Waltz of the Flowers quilt. The Gathering
Flowers pattern is a bunch of template cutting and lots of curved
piecing, but it's been coming together easier than I thought it might.
In fact, if I leave a flower arranged temptingly by my sewing machine, it tends to get sewn up in bits and snatches within 24 hours. I really don't have time to get cozy with my machine these days. I've been doing lots of writing instead.
Over the weekend I was thumbing through a quilting book that said I ought to put up a design wall whatever way I can. Just make do! Don't wait for the perfect set up. I needed to hear that. Now I've duct taped batting around (2) 4' x 8' foam insulation sheets. They're lightweight and easy to move. I'm planning to sort of juggle them around the house for space and better lighting. Today I have one leaning against a bookshelf in my sewing space. It's so fun to enjoy and share what I have in progress this way.
And now... I do believe a flower is calling. There are some minutes left before dinner prep begins!