Let's Make the Thistle!
This week we are working on the Thistle in the Fancy Forest Quilt pattern! We have 40+ quilters in our classes here at Fabric Depot and nearly 200 joining us on the Fancy Forest Quilt Along through Facebook.
After practicing our ears with the Fancy Fox last week, we worked on a different technique for making the petals. Instead of drawing the stitching line for all 48 thistle strips, we cut them in pairs with the Marti Michell Perfect Patchwork Corner Trimmer.
The Marti Michell Perfect Patchwork Corner Trimmer is a simple tool that lets you cut your ends at an accurate 45-degree angle. Just line up the long edge and small top edge then trim. It takes the monotony out of drawing all the lines and keeps your seam allowances the same with each strip. We’ll be using it for many of the blocks in the Fancy Forest Quilt just so we can do more rotary cutting and less marking.
We’ve been working on keeping things organized in our classes and this block is where it gets even more important! The petals of the Thistle are cut in opposite directions, so making sure that they are being sewn in the right order is critical.
The easiest way to do this is to lay out the original strips in the stair step order, then cut the corners and/or sew the angles for all the pieces in that pile. Replace them all and do the same with the next size strip until they have all been pieced. Trim, if you’ve over-cut like we did, then piece them together in that order. It’s easy to get them confused if you’re not careful!
The other thing to remember is that your leaves are two different sizes, one a half-inch taller than the other. These tall ones are the top leaves. Be sure to lay out the leaf strips and the middle stem to get them in the right arrangement, too! It’s easier than you think to make something that looks more like martini glasses than leaves if you get them backward.
We continued using the leaders/enders and did a lot of chain-piecing. Sewing one block after another without trimming between pieces will really speed up the piecing!
Next week we will tackle Hazel, a favorite of many!