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Sunday, January 11, 2015

PQ 6.1: Trees No Purple Trees in this Forest

This is the first week of Project Quilting Season 6.  This is the third full year I've been doing my best to keep up with Kim Lapacek's brain child challenge.  You can keep up with all of the Project Quilting challenges and quilts here.

The challenge for this week was trees. I have done some variations on trees in the past so I wanted to try something new.  I love Birch trees.  Growing up there was a cluster outside my bedroom window.  They were beautiful.  There are about a million variations of Birch tree quilts on the internet. This pattern by Crazy Mama Quilts was appealing because of its simplicity.  I could easily see this done in black and white on backgrounds of greens.  I changed things up a bit by making the blocks much larger more rectangular to emphasize the heights of the trees.  I also used printed fabrics to provide texture. 

So far, so good.  Except that this has been a strange week and I haven't been able to get much done.  I finished 12 blocks by Saturday evening.  This is a decent size quilt.  It would make a good lap quilt or a large wall hanging.  I really wanted to have 20 blocks and make it a bed quilt.  I'm still debating on the size.

It became clear that there was no way I was going to finish the quilt the way I wanted to in time for the Noon Sunday deadline.  Now here is where the story takes a twist...

You've probably read about the spuds before.  All three of them have a fantastic eye and some pretty amazing skills when they want to admit it.  I always ask for their opinions about projects.  And if they don't give me the 'meh, I'm busy' look, they have some pretty good input.  But then sometimes I wonder if they are just messing with me.  Clearly Spud 1's suggestion that I use gummy bear fabric for the backing was an attempt to push the limits.  However, before he got to that one, he suggested that the quilt needed one block of purple trees.  He even went to the stash and found the purple.  I made the block.  It seemed reasonable.

While I was still hopeful of finishing the larger quilt, I asked Spud 3 to  come and work his block arranging magic.  (I set things up they way I think they should be and then he comes along and tweaks here and there.  It always amazes me to see what a difference he can make in the overall flow and feel of the quilt by changing a couple blocks here and there.  His perspective is unique.)  I had all 12 green blocks and the one purple.  Spud 3 rejected the purple out of hand, much to the disgust of Spud 1. 

So, the blocks are arranged and it is even more clear to me that I love this quilt and there is no way I am going to be able to finish it to the standard it deserves in the time allotted.  Looking around for a mini quilt idea that I finish in a couple hours I spy the orphan purple block.  A couple more trees, backing, quilting and binding and I have a complete quilt to submit!

The trees are pieced from scraps of black and white quilter's cotton.  I Love the eyes peeking out from this scrap from a Halloween quilt!  The binding is left over from a PQ season 3 challenge.

It is machine quilted.  My machine was being derpy and my FMQ skills are rusty.  This was a good practice piece and I am very happy I didn't try to force finish the big quilt under these conditions!  The quilt has fast finish triangles for hanging.   The batting is a generic synthetic and the backing in cotton muslin.  The overall dimensions are 25 x 17.5 inches.

Be sure to check out Project Quilting on Flickr and you can also follow along with Challenge Quilts on Facebook.  Voting for the viewer's choice award starts soon so I will post a link for that. 


  1. Your Birch tree blocks are amazing. I see now they can have any background color one can imagine. So cool. I'm impressed you didn't push the finish of the quilt. I can't imagine settling for less than desired. Good on you!

  2. Yeah! You did it! And I love the purple one! Great job!

  3. I love the purple block! (and the greens. truly beautiful). I would make another purple block and throw it in with the green lot. a fun pop would be amazing! but, that's just me. :) love the variety of greens, very pretty.