teaching sewing confidence, tip by tip

Tuesday 11 November 2014

Happy Flowers - A Liberated Nine Patch Semi Tute

Queen Bee Rossanna set quite some challenge with November's Bee Block.

Some months ago Rossanna asked us all to start collecting wrappers from sweets or biscuits, tea or coffee - well wrappers from just about anything ready to make her November Bee Block.  

I drink tea, lots and lots of tea, so I started saving the wrappers from my tea bags.

As November came around Rossanna sent out her instructions and fabric.

Here's the fabric - Turtle Bay in olive for the Prince Charming collection by Tula Pink.

and the gist of her instructions were:

The blocks are to be part of an enchanted garden of a quilt.

1. ... make two 8.5" totally creative, free form, liberated, nine patch blocks using greens.  Use the green fabric provided in each.
2 ... over the green nine patch blocks create awesome happy flowers from combinations of fabric (any type) and your saved wrappers.
3  ... feel free to use embellishments whatever you decide!

I wouldn't like to call what follows a tute but I have explained my process so I'm calling it a semi tute.

Pulling some green from my scrap box I discovered I didn't have that much really - plenty green with other colours but I wanted to keep the blocks just green - so this was my pretty poor fabric selection.

Next, I cut the given Tula fabric into six random pieces.

Here goes for the first block.  I sewed 3 fabrics together into a strip and trimmed, then I added another strip of 3 fabrics and then a third strip.  I cut in any direction, paying no attention to seams and joins apart from making sure I was working larger than the 8.5" required for the block so I had plenty fabric for trimming down to size.

For the second block I included much more of the given fabric and created it the same way as the first.

And that's the two liberated nine patch blocks completed.

On to the flower embellishment.  I really didn't know where to start - only that I had all these tea bag wrappers.

My instant idea is to make a flower petal from each tea bag wrapper, layer them up to create the flower, so I just go with it and start cutting a large petal from the first wrapper.  I keep one section of the fold of the wrapper in place to hold the two sides of the wrapper petal together - my thinking here is this will make the petal thicker, slightly stronger at the centre of the flower and give the petal colour on both sides.

Here's how I layered up my first flower:
Pic 1: I used extra large petals and sewed around the centre;
Pic 2: then I sewed a circle of orange/yellow netting over it;
Pic 3: added another layer of 5 petals slightly smaller than the first layer;
Pic 4: another circle of orange/yellow netting;
Pic 5: a final layer of 5 petals smaller again.; and
Large Pic: then I sewed the flower onto the block.

I finished the flower off by hand sewing two buttons on top of each other over the centre of the flower - sewing right through to the back of the block.

And for the second flower:
Pic 1: I took a piece of lime green sheer ribbon and sewed two rows of straight stitch 1/4" apart along one edge of the ribbon - I used my Bernina's maximum stitch length;
Pic 2: I knotted one end of the two rows of straight stitch together to hold that end and then pulled one piece of each thread at the opposite end which ruffles the ribbon, pulled the ends tight and knotted them;
Pic 3: I sewed the ribbon circle onto the 8.5" block;
Pic 4: As in the previous block I sewed 5 petals to the centre of the ribbon;
Large Pic: I made another ribbon circle as before and sewed it on top of the petals. 

As previously I sewed two buttons on top of each other through from the back of the block to finish the centre of the flower.

And a couple of close-ups of those flowers.

 Really wasn't sure what I was going to make for this month's Bee Blocks or how they'd turn out, I'll go as far as to say I didn't think I'd like this one at all but, as is often the way with my Bee Blocks I enjoyed the process and love the finished blocks.  My husband, Simon's thrilled the blocks are finished too, he said: "does that mean we can stop saving our tea bag wrappers now?"!

I have no idea how Rossanna is going to sew all the blocks together - the flowers we're making are going to be so fragile and I can't imagine quilting around them either.  I'm guessing it's going to be an art quilt as, again, it's too fragile to use and can't be washed.  When I know more I'll share it with you, in the meantime, you can check out all the other blocks as they're made here on my Quilty - Happy Flowers Liberated Nine Patch Blocks Pinterest Board.

And you can click this button below to see all of my NYC Mod Quilt Guild Bee Blocks and Challenge Blocks/Quilts.

Disclaimer: This post is for informational purposes only, no payment or commission is received on click-throughs and opinions are my own.

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  1. You are one very clever lady!

  2. I love your flowers and am very intrigued as to how the finished quilt is going to look. xx

  3. It's looking nice !! Very innovative :)
    I have earlier made flowers with chocolate wrappers for my daughters headband for best out of waste competition and she had won first prize for that:)

    1. Oh how wonderful and congrats on your win, I've had an email from Rossanna and she tells me she's super thrilled with the blocks and, of course, that's great to hear - Chris :D

  4. So interesting! The flowers look amazing and I so... curious about the finished quilt.

  5. Fascinating, incorporating paper into the quilt. I love the 3D effect you've created by adding net as well as paper.

  6. Great job on the flowers! I think you had a very clever idea on using your tea wrappers. You may have started a trend!

  7. how exciting! I love the texture and use of another medium
    Leeanna at not afraid of color

    1. Every time I move away from regular quilting - often for one of my Bee Blocks - I'm reminded that my background is Art & Design and it makes me want to take my work in a direction that incorporates more of my training and creativity. I find more and more that my time is taken up with making gifts and prepping class samples but one of these days I'll do something for myself that's a bit more out of the box! - Chris :D

  8. Interesting! And what a good challenge! Your flowers look good in the corner of your blocks. I particularly like the green one. Enchanted garden indeed. I'll follow your progress on this quilt as I'm very curious about what will come next.

    1. I'm so intrigued too as to how Rossanna will progress this quilt beyond the block stage, anything I find out I'll share!!! - Chris :D

  9. Very cool... and very liberating! I love your color choices.... and your choices in tea. :-)

  10. Very interesting flowers. I can't wait to see the end.

  11. I think I would have been stumped for sure. I love the way you made these so....YOU! I'm impressed.

  12. Very fun! I love your creative thinking, Chrissie!

  13. Very creative flowers! They look beautiful against the different fabric choices. I hope we get to see a picture of the finished quilt. :o)

  14. love the flowers! I love how fun and unique the squares are! I love all your tutes, you do an awesome job making it sound easy enough for me to try :)

    1. It's fab to be told that about my tutes, thanks so much - Chris :D

  15. This semi tute is so inspiring - I love the flower idea, but what really caught my fancy is the random nine-patch. I do not quilt but I love the simple lines of a traditional nine-patch. But this random nine patch is so amazing. tThank you for sharing this at Make It Monday.

    1. Hi Donna, I'd never to do a nine-patch that way before but I like it too, credit to Queen Bee Rossanna for suggesting it!!! - Chris :D

  16. Fabulous semi-tute! You are so brilliant. Thanks for linking up to Building Blocks Tuesday!

  17. Beautiful and creative work Chrissie.....wow!! Are the tea packages paper or plastic?

    1. They're paper with a shiny surface Connie but still very much paper! - Chris :D

  18. Love your flowers, super cute for embellishing.

  19. So very clever and creative, Chrissie!!! It will be interesting to see this quilt finished.

  20. So so cute! Love that you shared this last Fab Friday. Thanks Maria Stop by this Friday for Fab Friday Party


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Chris Dodsley

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