Monday, April 21, 2014

Tile Quilting: An Offering of Flowers

Earlier this month, I took a workshop from Bobbi Finley on how to make tile quilts.  I almost didn't sign up.  I thought the samples were pretty, but money saved is money earned, after all.  I learned that playing low-stakes poker.

But at the last quilt guild meeting, I felt myself waffling, and once I found out I wouldn't have to schlep my sewing machine to the workshop, I waffled right over and signed up.  (That's waffled, not waddled.  I do not waddle.  I sail forth like the prow of a magnificent ship.  That's how I choose to think of it, and you can't stop me.)

Then came the delightful task of wildly pulling out supplies from my stash.  The fabric was flying.

I even had some plain white left over from the last workshop, to use for the background.  I was going to try for something with a little more texture, but all my other fabrics were so busy, I decided white would look best after all, since very little of the background would be showing anyway.

In short, and leaving out all of the technical and helpful hints, first you pick a pattern--I chose Bobbi Finley's Lotus pattern--and every section is numbered, and you trace and cut out pieces from freezer paper, and you lay your background fabric over the pattern itself, and you iron the freezer paper pieces on your other fabrics, and you cut and pin and baste the pieces onto the background and at first, the background really isn't showing, unless you're sloppy, as I am.

I was neither looking forward to nor dreading the enormous amount of needle-turn appliqué that was in store.

Center tile turned under

I've done a tiny bit before, and at the time, I found to my surprise that I kinda enjoyed it.  "Kinda enjoyed," however, was not "love love love," and I really didn't expect to do much more than learn an interesting new technique and sock it away in my repertoire for a rainy day.

But tile quilting is so much like putting together a jigsaw puzzle and watching the picture come alive, I ended up being a complete kid-in-a-fabric-candy-shop.

The endless auditioning of fabrics!  One of my fellow students was bemoaning how long she took to choose fabrics, and I said, "But that's the fun part!"

Actually, the whole process is the fun part.
More pieces turned under

I became obsessed and spent the whole weekend doing needle-turn appliqué whenever I got the chance.

Here's my first finished tile square.  I left off the dark edge pieces after all; I originally planned to just have the flowers floating, then changed my mind, then changed it back.  Sometimes changing your mind isn't about waffling; sometimes it's just being creative.

Check out Bobbi Finley's blog for more information on tile quilts in particular and other related info, as well as gorgeous photos.

Bobbi's teaching style is down-to-earth, clear, and helpful, btw.  You might want to put a workshop with her on your bucket list.

1 comment:

  1. Wow, pretty! What a neat class. Off to check-out Bobbi's website . . .


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