I fell in love with the AQS 30th Anniverary Dogwood Fabric Collection and ordered the half-yard collection. (Of course, I then added additional yardage as it went on sale.) Mom loves green and Dogwood is Virginia's state flower, so I combined the two and set out to create a quilt for her.
My inspiration came from Dogwood Blossoms, Sylvia Schaefer's quilt featured in McCall's Quick Quilts May 2015 edition:
I chose Kona Cotton Tarragon for the blocks of my quilt and created the flowers with the Dogwood fabric using my Sizzix Dogwood/Rose petals die, alternating small and large and dark and light flower blocks. I used a dark green polka-dot fabric for the centers of the flowers. Using fusible adhesive to attach the petals and the centers to the fabric, I then applique stitched around the pieces.
For the sashing to connect the blocks, I chose the Blue/Green Pearlized (leaves and berries) Dogwood fabric.
See that little butterfly in the middle? Lucky me, while I was working on the idea for this quilt, I won a pack of Shabby Fabric's new laser pre-cut, pre-fused 3" butterflies from Alyce at Blossom Heart Quilts. Alyce then kindly sent me her left over shapes and her remaining April Showers charm pack and some cute heart-shaped buttons! Seriously, how sweet is that?!? You can find Alyce at http://www.blossomheartquilts.com Gosh, I hope to get to her level of quilting one day.
So, of course, I added some butterflies to the quilt, which really made it pop. After fusing the butterflies, I applique stitched around them using a silver metallic thread, which my mom quickly noticed while admiring her gift, SCORE! For binding, I used the Blue Petals Dogwood Fabric and back to the Tarragon for the backing. Dogwood and Butterflies finished at 40 x 41".
I have to say that I am so very proud of this quilt. It's the first quilt I've created the pattern for, first time I've appliqued, first time I've made a quilt uing blocks and the first time I've gifted a quilt to someone who really understands what goes into making them. Although Mom didn't quilt (she sewed our clothes when I was small) her mother quilted and I'm lucky to have a couple of quilts from my beloved Grandma Sallie. So, of course, I had to add the label on the back just in case I'm lucky enough to have it live on:
What I learned this time:
- Shoot, make sure to add that 1/4" seam allowance to the blocks before trimming! When I trimmed them all to 6", I ended up being a bit short in connecting some of the blocks.
- Leave enough extra fabric to overlap and join the ends of the binding, ARGH!
- Always double-check to be sure the phrasing is spelled correctly before pushing the button to sew the lettering on the label. The letters are close together on my machine and I ended up with an "n" where there was supposed to be an "o". Not to mention, it took two days of work to get the label how I wanted it.
- Before fusing, make sure the rows are placed correctly. The flower blocks were actually supposed to alternate between large and small within the rows. I actually didn't even notice until I was wrapping the gift, LOL!
- When I'm in tears and ready to quit, just remember...
this makes it all worth while...