Saturday, October 25, 2014

Trees in nature and patchwork

Thank you so much for the lovely messages after my last post, I really did appreciate all your kind words and messages of sympathy. My trip to New Zealand gave me a much needed rest.
I had a lovely time catching up with family and especially spending time with my grand children. My DD has a lovely old farmhouse to live in with fabulous country views surrounding the property as you can see.
I really enjoyed seeing all the wonderful spring blossoms which we don't see as much of in the area where I live.
Even the trees that hadn't burst into life yet were a sight to behold.
Before I left for New Zealand, I had started making tree blocks for a new quilt. I love this process of slicing and dicing and not using precise piecing.
I had a stash of Kaffe Fassett shot cottons that were languishing in the cupboard and a container of Batiks that I thought I'd never use. They couldn't have been more perfect.
The method involves inserting strips of different sizes between the cuts and is pretty easy to do. The pattern is Twelve Trees by Helen Howes. There are many variations and settings you could use with these blocks.
There is a free tutorial showing how to make these blocks on Helen's site here and also Kelly over at Pinkadot Quilts has also shown a step by step process here.
I started by cutting my background rectangles 16 x 10 1/2"
I decided I liked the setting that Helen used for one of her quilts and followed suit, I have a few more blocks to do to make it to the 25 I had planned on. I'm such a copy cat but why change it when I love it so much.
Here's a peek at what appeared at the edge of my design wall. As if by magic really, I didn't intend to play with another new quilt but I wanted to cut a few pieces of fabric in these colours to see if I liked them. I do.
I have a few things on my list to do yet before I get to play some more.
Two squares cut 2.5" and one rectangle 6.5" x 2.5" if you're curious.
Until next time, Janet


Janet said...

Your pictures from New Zealand are beautiful! The countryside is gorgeous and who can resist spring blossoms? I'm glad you feel rested and ready to play again :0) The tree blocks are so cool - where I live the trees now are all leafless again and the silhouette of branches is the view outside my window. All the different coloured backgrounds are like the different light behind the tree like soft and pretty early morning light, warm and sunny late afternoon light, cold and overcast winter light. Of course quilting will add another dimension of texture. I'm excited to watch this project progress. Enjoy your stitching!!

Donna~~ said...

Your DD's farmhouse setting looks like something out of a picture book for children. A fairytale setting. Very lovely and peaceful looking. Your trees are great (have making a similar tree quilt on my to do list). I like the colors of your new project, too!

taylorsoutback said...

A much needed time for you I am sure and what an idyllic spot to rest.

Love how you have captured the seasons in your trees quilt - what a relaxing project that allows for fabric playing

Lori said...

What gorgeous surroundings. I wish we were heading into spring instead of winter!
Love your tree blocks and the shots work perfect with the batiks.

Karen said...

That countryside is so beautiful, so different from Florida! I like what you're doing with the trees.

Rachaeldaisy said...

Those country views are as pretty as a picture. Beautiful blossoms! I love your tree blocks, the combo of batiks with the shot cottons works perfectly. I bet it's fun choosing the fabrics for your cross quilt, such lovely cool colours.

Sue said...

Glad to hear you are back home safe and sound, and that you had a great time with your family.
Love your tree blocks. :-)

Rebecca in AK said...

Your daughter lives in a beautiful place. I really like your tree blocks.

Terry said...

Beautiful views indeed! I love the tree blocks you're making! :0)

liz said...

I always tell anyone who cares to listen that NZ is the most beautiful country in the world. You could drop your camera and if it took a photo from any angle it would be stunning.

Just made a baby quilt in the plus pattern. I cheated though, my squares are 6" finished.

Barb said...

lovely photos and the tree blocks are wonderful -
my great friend is heading to NZ in early dec to visit family. I'd love to visit there one day.

Pinkadot Quilts said...

The pictures from the farmhouse are gorgeous, they look like they are from a travel catalogue!
I love your trees, the fabrics you chose are perfect.

Thimbleanna said...

You always have such pretty projects on your design wall Janet. I would never have pictured you with those trees but they're beautiful. Glad you made it safely back home!

Archie the wonder dog said...

I love your trees!

Shirley said...

Glad you are back and rested. Loving the trees and I bet they do look glorious in real life with those shot cottons and batiks. Love the plusses too.

Jane in Wales said...

It is amazing how much New Zealand looks like England and Wales in spring, beautiful pictures!
Your trees look lovely and colourful.

Meredith said...

I am sorry for your loss. I have missed reading your blog. Trees are a favorite of mine. I enjoy your creativity. It is fun to find fabric we already have and have it be just right for a project.

I have not worked on my marriage quilt BOM and every time I see the box from Down Under I think of you and hope one day we can share photos of our completed quilts with each other.