What Was I Thinking?

When Quiltmaker decided to do a Small Quilts issue, I raised my hand. “Sure, I have some small designs.”

QMMS 100052 cover 200 What Was I Thinking?

Now, I don’t make many small quilts, but a couple of years ago I toyed with the idea of entering a small quilt in a local guild show. I wanted to make my own Amish-style quilt after “oohing” and “ahhing” over a display of Amish quilts from the collection of Faith and Stephen Brown at The Denver Art Museum. And I had some luscious solid-color cotton sateens that would work very nicely. So, I sat down with Electric Quilt to play. I thought my fat quarters were just the right colors for a Carolina Lily block—but did I have enough fabric? I re-colored and resized blocks until it worked out just right. It was only after I printed out the diagrams for a 5” block that I realized the flower would require sewing teeny, tiny set-in seams. I can do set-in seams. But these are really tiny!

Lily1 300x300 What Was I Thinking?

The first lily block

What was I thinking? I filed the design away in my design notebook and moved on.

Pulling out the design again two years later did not immediately jog my memory about the set-in seams. I still liked the design. But could I find a way to make it easier and still keep it small? How about a version with flying geese and triangle squares. Better, but the patches and seams are still very tiny and intimidating.

Lily2 300x300 What Was I Thinking?

The second lily block. Still a lot of tiny seams.

After pondering the possibilities for a few days, another QM staffer asked if it could be foundation-pieced. Why didn’t I think of that? I love foundation piecing!

The final block uses 3 foundations for the flowers and another for the stems along with some easy non-foundation piecing.

Lily4 300x300 What Was I Thinking?

The final block made with foundation piecing.

The blocks came together quickly and easily. I wish you could see the beautiful quilting by ZJ Humbach in the finished quilt.

QMMS 100052 LILY 350 300x297 What Was I Thinking?

Here is the block made from the Christmas in Baltimore fabrics by Mimi Dietrich for P&B Textiles. (You can purchase a kit for Christmas Lilies.)

QMMS 100052 XmasLILY 125 What Was I Thinking?

Christmas Lilies

Now that I have mastered this small block, I’m thinking I should do another. Maybe a companion piece. I have more fat quarters…(Somebody stop me!)

About Eileen Fowler

I am an Associate Editor at Quiltmaker. My quilting hobby, that began over 20 years ago, turned into a career when I was hired by Quiltmaker in 2008. My quilting passion is slowly taking over every nook and cranny in my house. I have a supportive husband who makes it all possible.
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4 Responses to What Was I Thinking?

  1. abby says:

    How about doing an applique issue with something other than flowers. We don’t get enough ideas and patterns for raw edge applique unless it’s flowers.

  2. Cecilia Young says:

    I’ve made one miniature paper pieced quilt and it was a lot of fun. I will have to try this one as well, it is pretty.

  3. Jocelyn says:

    It looks lovely. It should be fun to make some more :-)

  4. Jean says:

    No one is going to stop you , you did a great job. Haven’t done any minis myself yet.

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