New Quilt Project: Getting Started
Tuesday, December 9, 2014

I've recently moved, and the home I'm in now has laminate wood flooring.  The absence of carpet is a good thing where pets are concerned, but it does make the room very live acoustically, especially when you have a grand piano in your living room.

As I've recently come to love and appreciate quilting, I wanted to hang a quilt on the wall above the piano, partly to absorb sound, and also just for the beauty of it.  My design was primarily inspired by two sources.  The first, pictured above/to the left, was a large quilt hanging at Fat Quarters Quilt Shop in Vista, California.  This quilt makes use of felt appliqué; prior to visiting Fat Quarters, I was completely unfamiliar with felt appliqué.  I like the dimension and texture that it lends, and one neat thing is that with felt, the edges do not need need to be turned, which simplifies construction.

After this discovery, I did an online search for felt appliqué quilts, and came across my next source of inspiration, shown here.  I really like the curvy border on this.  Now to adapt it for my purposes...

I wanted my wall hanging to be like this one, but to have 4 diamonds across instead of 3.  Also, I wanted the finished height to be about 3 feet.  The quilt shown here is only 24 inches square.  Conversely, that one block of the quilt that was hanging at Fat Quarters was probably about 20 inches.  So, definitely some adjustments were needed.  I did the math (I will spare you) and determined that my blocks need to be 5 inches square. The borders will each be 3½" from the corner of the diamond, making the finished quilt approximately 43" x 36".

Here is a sketch of the modified design:

Modified quilt design
Modified Quilt Design

I wanted to incorporate the cross-shaped design from the block at the quilt shop, so I decided to alternate those with the blocks that have the leaves in the base.  I will place the cross-shaped design on a cream-colored background, whereas the blocks with leaves in the base, together with the outside border, will be on a bright white background.

Originally I had thought to have twelve different flowers in the outer set of 4 x 3 blocks, but I wanted a little more unity and continuity.  As a result, I chose 4 flowers:  forget-me-nots, tulips, sunflowers, and poinsettias.  In case you cannot tell from the drawing, the top and bottom rows consist of:  forget-me-not, tulip, sunflower, forget-me-not; and the middle row is:  poinsettia, sunflower, tulip, poinsettia.

Here are the block patterns drawn out, actual size:

cross-shaped design
Cross-Shaped Design

forget-me-nots
Forget-Me-Nots

tulips
Tulips

sunflower
Sunflower

poinsettia
Poinsettia

I've calculated the yardage for the background fabrics, backing and binding, but I don't know exactly how much felt I'll need.  The next step is to buy the fabric and get started on the blocks.  I'll post pictures when I have some of them finished!


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Hope deferred makes the heart sick,
but a longing fulfilled is a tree of life.
— Proverbs 13:12