Just when I was starting to make some headway on quilting on the alphabet quilt, a 'squirrel' ran by! That 'squirrel' also goes by the name of Liberty fabric.
Liberty of London. You've heard of it? Known for colorful, petit prints. The fabric itself is very fine, and pricy. Certainly an indulgence.
I've been collecting small swatches of Liberty Fabrics for a while. Each new "Nearly Insane" block I've been working on for a while now starts with a liberty print as its focus.
I think this is block 16 or 17 from the book by Liz Lois, still in progress.
When I got the book out a couple weeks ago to work on a block or two as a distraction, I got the hankerin' to add to the collection of Liberties. . . .
A little online search identified a shop in Michigan that only carries Liberty Fabrics. I placed my first order with DuckaDilly (of course, I LOVE the shop name!) for a small fat quarter bundle and was sucked in. The package was prepared beautifully with every detail covered. Exactly the kind of online shopping experience I love!
Of course, I couldn't stop with a few fat quarters, I ended up joining one of the monthly clubs, and now I am scheduled to receive a dozen fat eighths each month.
I blame it all on COVID! If I'm going to be stuck at home, I'm going to be stuck with the good stuff! Not that ANY quilting fabric is *bad*, but this is definitely a treat above and beyond the usual.
On top of that, I think I sucked in a friend.
Her sister, too.
The first package of decadent fabric arrived last week (above). In a text, my friend asked, have you thought of what you're going to do with these fabrics you get each month?
My very first thought was, erm, a plan? In my head, I said to myself, "I thought I might just collect them and pet them from time to time." However, without missing a beat, I replied, "I think I might make some Liberty birds," as if that had been my plan all along.
Now I was committed. (There are several definitions of that word that apply here.)
She said, she was thinking about using hers for a some sort of churn dash block variation, like Moody Blues.
Thinking I had recovered nicely with what seemed like a well-considered bird block plan, I wasn't prepared for the pivot. And my mind went blank.
I said, "'Moody Blues' that sounds familiar!"
She said, "It's in your book (you idiot)"
She didn't say that last part (you idiot), but pretty sure she was thinking it!
I love that Moody Blues quilt! So then, my next thought was to consider if I had been too hasty with my bird block idea. The Liberties would be great as a Churn Dash project, maybe in a smaller version.
And that's when my brain went into overdrive.
I opened up the original 6" version of "The Early Bird" on my computer (NOT THE SAME as the 8" version available to FLOCK Members).
I made some adjustments to the pattern, created templates (the original version was mostly stitch-and flip technique, but Liberty fabrics are just too dear to discard all those leftover triangles)
Ever since I designed this 6" block, I have wanted to do a quilt in lots of whimsical/scrappy colors.
So I made up one version of the block with a white-on-white polka dot background plus some Liberties and solid-reading colors.
By now the quilt-in-progress quilt sandwich had been set aside. I can work on that another day.
Next, I toyed with the idea to reverse the block and make the background from the Liberty print and the rest of the bird from solid-reading prints.
I encountered a little issue. Because of the small bright prints, Liberties don't necessarily 'read' as a single color, so paring them with solid prints or other liberty prints can make elements muddy or obscure.
I used the same light brown fabric for the beak and legs for both versions, and it just didn't hold up against the Liberty background. So I changed that out to a darker brown shade. Much better, IMO.
From one fat eighth, I was able to make one of each block variation comfortably, including Moody Blues-style sashing and borders.
With a bit of the Liberty print left over for the 'insane' blocks'
With the experiment declared a success (by me), I've already started selecting the fabrics for the next pair of Liberty Moody Bird blocks!
I am losing it! Last week I said I had just completed shutdown Puffy Pin Cushion number 9 - that was actually number 10 (I counted what's in the stack! - not sure why I didn't count last week!) This week I turned subtle pastel scraps into a bold surface embroidery design. This one took a lot longer than some of the others. There are lots of knots and chains in there! NUMBER 11 has the front spot this week!
Features chain stitch and colonial knots for the main design, and stem stitch at the outer seam allowance.
For the step-by-step tutorial, jump over to the blog and scroll down to the first Puffy Fours post from March 5 to begin at the beginning of the four-part how-to series.
Sandra D in Joliet says
Oh my Gosh! I may have to join the Fat 1/16 club! Why did you have to tell us? I’ve been wishing someone would put lots of colorful mini floral prints in charm packs. I follow Sarah Lizzie’s Blog also and I just love her floral quilts made with hexagons, etc. So I’m thinking of making a hexie with embroidery quilt like hers and also a Cathedral quilt. Both long term projects. It’s hard to find the florals I want but thanks to your enabling me, I might have to splurge monthly. 12 prints a month, hopefully different and heavy on the florals although I can throw in some other prints too sounds like a great way to get fabrics saved up to start this winter. At 9 x 13 I should get at least one cut for each quilt, probably more. ONE QUESTION: Are your bird pattern patchwork pieced or paper pieced? I haven’t had time to go back and read about them.
Hi Sandra. Sorry (not sorry) for being an enabler! Sounds like you’ve got some fun plans brewing. As for the birds, they are patchwork pieced, not paper pieced. Let me know if I can answer more questions for you.