Sunday, January 16, 2011

Getting Ready for Flower Pots

I ordered Kim's Flower Pots pattern as soon as I finished Hearts and Flowers--I was hooked and Glorious Applique had a lot to do with that. Thank you, bloggers!
First I had to decide on colors and fabrics. I like dark backgrounds a lot and set out in that direction.
I fell in love with the Philip Jacobs Coleus Leaf in teal, posted by Gisele in September, and that led me to Coleus Leaf in turquoise which was even closer to "my" colors. I went shopping and bought most of these at my LQS, Pennington Quilt Works in Pennington NJ. Coleus Leaf is on the right.
Then I needed a background and the decision was made when I saw this green solid at Fibers in Motion when I was vacationing in Portland OR. It wasn't what I went out looking for, but my heart took over. Obviously my plan had to change. I could keep elements of Coleus Leaf but the fabric itself wasn't enough of a contrast for my background.

So I did some online ordering and pulled from my shelves and set up a card table:

Aren't they pretty?
Ready to go! I got busy, but was a bit discouraged at how long the prep takes--first I took Kim's pattern to Staples and had it reduced in size--I want a wall-hanging, rather than a bed quilt. Then plastic overlays, templates, cutting, pinning, basting etc. It seemed to take forever.

I also use Julee's method of numbering the paper pattern and the templates, and then laying the pieces on the paper before I pin them to the fabric. I decided I needed to choose fabrics for both the left and right panels before I did any sewing. I know some of you choose ALL the fabrics before sewing--there's no way I would have the patience for that.

I'm a lot happier now that I'm sewing. I am almost done with the applique for the one on the right--which is actually the left hand panel in the pattern. I work better with deadlines: I'm going to promise a photo of the finished panel by next Friday. That will keep me stitching!


  1. Looks great..what is plastic overlays technique and what is Julee's method of numbering the paper pattern and the templates ? Is there a tutorial I can refer to ?

  2. What a good story for new quilters, Lee. I have been tracking this process via snail mail and email for a LONG time, but now it's fun to see the fabrics and process in photos. We will all be waiting impatiently until Friday to see a finished panel. It's going to be BEAUTIFUL!

  3. Oh what beautiful fabric choices! I look forward to seing your post on Friday. ;)

  4. I'm also looking forward to seeing your panel finished and posted by next Friday.
    If you use needle turn method applique, you don't number your cut out piece from fabric, only the template and the original pattern. I also cut out all of the paper templates at one time and they are marked with the correct number from the pattern. As you cut out your fabric piece pin (one pin will hold it) each one in its correct place onto the paper pattern, as Lee has shown. This lets you see how all the fabrics work together and if you need to make any changes before you actually sew them on. I've always cut out the complete block or panel and lay it out on the pattern to see how it looks. I don't like to rip out something I've already taken time to sew....hope all this is clear and helps.

  5. I really like the green background - good choice. And the colors that you picked will be great on that background. Good luck on keeping to your deadlines... I will be waiting to see that first panel on Friday!


  6. Way to go Leland!! you're doing a great job there. Love all your fabrics on the table, lovely collection. I love the Coleous fabric too, so many things you can use for the shapes.
    Your panels are looking gorgeous, don't forget to post the photo when you're done! Kim McL

  7. Love your colors and methods, Lee. Can't wait to see the blocks develop. Where in NJ are you? I'm in Orange County, NY.

  8. Celia: In response to your question about plastic overlays: this is the method taught by Piece o’ Cake quilt makers Becky Goldsmith and Linda Jenkins.
    The short version is: Cut a piece of upholstery vinyl the same size as your block or panel, and then tape the vinyl over the pattern. Trace all the panel lines onto the vinyl as carefully as possible.
    After your templates are made and your flowers are all cut out, pin the overlay over your background fabric. Slide your flower under the vinyl and place in position. Remove the vinyl and pin or baste the flower. (I pin some; I baste the larger ones)
    I encourage you to find one of Piece O’ Cake's excellent books on applique where everything is explained in great detail with many very clear illustrations. I own their video, which was very helpful as well--I refer to it often.

  9. Your FUN and enthusiasm shows, Leland!!! My first Kim McLean design was her Flower Pots quilt. Isn't it an amazing pattern to stitch up?! I am anxiously waiting for Friday. ; D