Quilter's World Updates

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In the Quilting World

Flowers You Can Make in Your Free Time

Let me introduce myself: I'm Carolyn Vagts, editor of Quilter's World magazine and writer of this update. That's my day job, and at night, I'm an addicted quilter. I tend to eat, breathe and sometimes sleep with my quilting. I have a beautiful studio with my work space right in it. How convenient, since I work at and with quilting. As editor, I am very hands-on with every issue. I'm also very hands-on with this update. I love to share my experiences with other quilters in hopes it will inspire them to explore the endless possibilities available to them.

With each update I select a book or pattern to accompany it. It's usually something that I feel goes along with the content of my update. This time I selected a pattern I designed that is stuck in my head: Bloomin'. I've thought of several other color combinations I'd like to use in this pattern. I really want to do it in scrappy vibrant batiks -- fabrics I can use from my many boxes of scraps. I really like working with a single block and making it look different with my fabric selections.

Bloomin'
Bloomin' can be purchased at AnniesCraftStore.com.

I recently spent several days in my studio sorting and rearranging stashed fabrics and boxes of scraps. I sorted the boxes of scraps into warm tones, cool tones, brights and neutrals. Well, that was the plan when I started, but as plans usually go, I had to make a few adjustments. When you have lots and lots of blues and browns, well they each need their own container. After several trips to a big-box store for containers, I managed to sort and fill 14 containers. While sorting my scraps I had this Bloomin' quilt in mind, so needless to say, I managed to select a nice pile of fabrics I felt would look lovely in this particular block pattern. I stacked the chosen fabrics on my cutting table, adding a few more as I cleaned. What I thought would be a Saturday job cleaning and rearranging my fabric closet turned into three full days of total studio overhaul. Once one area was cleaned, I had to make room for things I'd moved. I also had to purge items that I felt I would no longer use.

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Stacks of my scraps containers after I'd sorted and cleaned.

After a lot of cleaning and rearranging, I was finally ready to start my Bloomin' quilt project. I had, while cleaning my stash and scraps, put several of the fabrics aside that I felt would work well in my blocks to start. Now, mind you, this will be an ongoing project, so selecting fabrics for a few blocks at a time will be perfect. I want lots of color and lots of variety. For my leaves and stems I plan to stick with lime greens. That is, greens with yellow undertones. And for the blooms, well, anything goes. I want this to be a bright, happy quilt. I want to use my stash in the very best way I can. I selected the fabrics for my first block and went to my cutting table.

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Some of the fabrics I'd selected to start my Bloomin' quilt, and fabrics for the first block.

After I had the cutting done for one block, I drew the diagonal lines on the back of the squares that required it, and then headed to my sewing machine.

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All the pieces cut out for one block and ready to start stitching.

Following the instructions for the Bloomin' pattern, I made all the units for one block.

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Stitching the units together for my first block.

I managed to assemble one block and loved the way it looked. I decided that this ongoing quilt should have at least two blocks made with these colors, so I made a second one. This is an easy block pattern and can easily be made with small amounts of fabrics, so for me it's a perfect project. I love having something to work on when I find myself with a few extra hours of free time. So, since I had a nice stack of fun colors already sorted, it only made sense to select the fabrics for my next block or two. You never know when that little bit of extra time will pop up.

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Two blocks completed and my fabric selection for the next two.

I have several projects that I keep ready to work on. I enjoy working with my stashed fabrics. It's amazing what can be made out of all those beautiful fabrics if I put a bit of thought into it. I can make a totally unique quilt with all the fabrics I love. The blocks don't have to be difficult, just ones that you love.

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