So have you been taking part in the Retro Flowers QAL?  I bought the templates and pattern when I was doing the Curves Class with Rachel back in January because I had loved what she had created as a class example, however I hadn’t quite got round to using them until the QAL sprang up.  Much as I like the pattern, I didn’t fancy making a huge quilt out of it to start with (although big up to Jenn who’s made 25 of them!!!) so I plumped for 3×3 with an end destination in mind of a wall hanging or baby quilt (the recipient can choose).  Next I went shopping with Kate at M Is For Make and acquired a number of aqua and grey print FQs which I supplemented with a couple I had in my stash already.  I have some Michele Brummer Everett Monsterz, Parson Grey Curious Nature, Rashida Coleman Hale Washi, Mod Basics Honeycomb, Sweetwater Sunkissed and an unidentified aqua dotty basic from the local fabric shop, that could be anything from a small name manufacturer, to a big manufacturer, several years old and in high demand (‘cos that’s just how they roll ;o) )  The outer is klona white.

One good thing about this pattern is that I found it didn’t use as much fabric as I’d feared.  As I had the templates I was also able to cut 3 4″ wide strips from my FQs and stack them up to cut out my 4 sets of petal inners.  My only comment on the square pieces is that I would cut them smaller to save on the trimming, as that did seem a bit of a waste of fabric.  I used the same idea for the outers with my white, and in fact if you position the template correctly you can overlap the outer piece quite a lot on the strips.  I’ve seen some cool scrappy ones made too, and I have a vague idea in the back of my mind about possibly making a rainbow one using some of my rainbow charm stash.

Anywho, my best advice is to do this production line style, as I think if I’d stopped and trimmed each flower as I went, I’d have gone slowly round the bend! (no comments from the cheap seats please!)  For anyone fearing the curves, the bonus is that you actually trim quite a bit off each petal piece, so if you have any ‘tails’ from the concave (outer) part, then it won’t matter too much in the square up stage.  The only fabric I had any real bother with getting both pieces within 1/8″ or so of each other at the end was the Sunkissed grey flowers, but that was possibly because I didn’t add enough starch to that piece of fabric, the rest seemed to be fine, and a bit of frogging sorted it out.  Once all the squaring up is done, the petals and then blocks are amazingly fast to put together, and in fact having left mine at the stage of having to sew the petals together when I put this aside at the weekend, I got the petal seams pressed open, and all the blocks, top, and border done on Monday evening after work before dinner, including cutting the border!  I will admit that within the petals there are a couple of teeny alignment mismatches, but I think that was more due to my trimming not being 100% accurate for the outer part, and I decided that anal as I am, I wasn’t going to be able to fix it!  (Plus there’s the whole blind man on a trotting horse theory…)

Anyway, here’s the top all done.  I’m just going to back it in solid white and have the grey with the wee white squares (whose name temporarily eludes me) from the Sherbet Pips line for the binding.  I’m thinking of stippling in the border and petals and maybe pebbles on the whites of the blocks, as I’ve never FMQ’ed a quilt before, we may be some time…

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