Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Coming Up Roses

This month's scrap blocks for both Bee Scrappy and Scrappy Happy Bee were for the same person, Alysowl9 (Alice), who is is both quilting bees like me.  Alice chose hexagon shaped rose blocks created in a wonky log cabin style with the outer row being some type of green.  Two bees, two blocks each--so I made four "roses" this month.

I think the key to making these blocks look more rose like is lots of narrow strips with a variety of light, medium and dark tones.  When you look at a real rose bud, all the petals together create interspersed lights, darks and midtones and are thin and delicate.  I also picked a real rose variety for each to match the overall colors so that I had an inspiration image to work from. 

Start with a paper hexagon (ours were 8 1/8" from side to side and 9 7/16" from point to point, side measurement was 4 11/16").  Put a scrap in the center and then start sewing on strips like you would for a log cabin block.  I found that wonky squares and rectangles gave good starter shapes.  Vary the sizes, tones and angles of your strips and your petals will have a more rose-like look.

My first one was made entirely from fabric in my scrap bag!  This purple rose is based on the rose variety Florence DeLattre, although mine is a darker more intense purple than the light lavendar of the real one.

The second one was made from about half out of my scrap bag and half from strips cut off of stash fat quarters.  The fabrics were peachy pink tones (the photo looks more reddish orange) and were used to imitate the Tropicana rose variety.

The third rose I made was yellow after the Marco Polo rose variety.  Again about half scrapbag and half fat quarter stash.  I also did a bit of variation of the green border for this one.  I kind of like the effect, like leaves that have different amount of sunlight on them.

My final rose was a white rose after the variety called Queen Mary 2.  Some white roses have a slight pink blush to them and some a bit of ivory.  This one was the later kind and I used all scraps of creams, whites and darker cream/tan fabrics.

I had a lot of fun making these (maybe that's just the horticulturalist in me coming out) and probably could have kept going with a few more.  My one suggestion would be that if you plan on making a whole quilt worth by yourself, consider using a fabric foundation instead of paper--it's a time consumer to pull out all the paper (although not horrible and would give you something "useful" to do in front of the tv).

So if you want a garden indoors or just seem to be missing a green thumb, this block is a fun way to use up scraps and have a lovely bouquet of roses!
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