A Year in the life of a tree quilt – falling in and out of love with projects

How many craft projects do you have on the go? Isn’t it funny if you’re into sewing and knitting and generally into your crafts we always end up with several unfinished projects.

I’m an avid reader and wouldn’t dream of not finishing a book. So why is it when I come to craft projects I’m always on ‘a break’ with something.

Take the tree quilt. I was doing well, even got ahead of myself doing a quilt square per month, but somewhere along the way I fell out of love with it. I didn’t want to see it. We weren’t going to meet up by the sewing machine. I’d really closed the door on it.

It’s life you see. It can get in the way.

Grandchildren to play with – won’t give them up, love them too much.

Friends to meet for a coffee – would miss that as particularly with my friends we generally chat about the projects we haven’t finished!

Volunteering at the library and church – well I like keeping busy and I have cut down. Did I tell you we won the Best Community Library at the Rural Community Council Awards recently?

Also we’ve been away in Rosie with the big trip across Scandinavia to Finland, a few days here and there and a music festival.

Bunkfest

And then I have the weekly craft and chat group, always something crafty to do whilst we eat cake. We are crocheting and knitting poppies at the moment to poppy bomb the library.

Finished my first ever crochet blanket from Attic 24 – but still have two more to make, and nearly all of us have one on the go.

We have lots of great ideas but they create more projects – rag wreaths.

Then there’s the odd course we do – which creates more projects – collage boxes.

I’m being creative with our children’s activities in church too – harvest.

And then we have had a busy year of commemorations in the village culminating in me organising a community quilt.

And then there were the treasures of my Dad’s loft to sort. Some interesting finds there and more yet to go through.

And then I have quarterly kits coming from Craftpod and I’m just getting round to doing some crafts from them.

And then there’s the unfinished hat made of Hebridean wool and the crocheted sock made from Leicestershire Blue Face – wowza, so busy.

So booked myself into my favourite sewing shop, Love, Heart, Home and got back to my tree quilt. And the funny thing is I’ve fallen in love with it again. So maybe a break-up is a good thing when you then get back to it.

A Year in the Life of a Tree Quilt – May and June

Time is moving on and we are having a couple more months of making patchwork sections of our quilt.  

In May we worked on our Dresden Plate.  A very effective design using all our fabrics, I incorporated more heart buttons to keep the theme going.

I found the history of this design on patternsfromhistory.com

“THE 20TH CENTURY DRESDEN PLATE QUILT

The Dresden Plate quilt pattern was one of the most popular quilts made during the 1920s and 30s. It was first published in the 20s but not always under the name Dresden Plate. Grandmother’s Sunburst, Friendship Ring, Aster, Dahlia and Sunflower are all names I’ve seen for this pattern.

The 1930s version is usually easy to date because of the typical floral prints of the period. Some were made with prettily patterned feedsacks while a few were done with solid prints.
This quilt is made of blocks with fabric appliquéd in a series of radiating “petals” with flat sides. Usually they radiate from a central circle which is more representative of a flower than a plate thus the flower names seen for this pattern.
A few Dresden Plate quilt blocks are made with a smooth outer circle as seen to the right. More often the ends of the “petals” are be rounded or pointed like the illustration below. Occasionally the pointed and curved forms are combined. You will see an example of that in the pattern I’ve designed.
THE DRESDEN CONNECTION WITH THE QUILT NAME
The popular name for this quilt, Dresden Plate, reflects the romance of the Victorian Era with its love of elaborate decoration on household items and décor. Dresden, Germany was a center of 19th century romanticism movement in art, one that included the fine decoration of porcelain. The plates were embellished with elaborate design using flowers, fruits and foliage. The beautiful plates would surely have been admired by women of the early 20th century.”

Here’s my version:


Then in June we worked with triangles and made this design:

A Year in the Life of a Tree Quilt – April

So a bit late in the month posting but those Easter bunnies have kept me busy.

Over the past month I’ve been working on the tree for summer. It’s not yet finished but well on its way.  Basing my trees on a silver birch I needed something fine to represent the leaves. The hunt for green voile in small amounts was quite challenging but managed to find a company that did samples, along with Mrs Mac who did the same. It works a treat.


This month we were back onto patchwork. Some careful work to create the triangles and some consideration about which fabrics, (and which way to cut them!), here’s the result.  Loving the detail in this fabric.

A year in the life of a tree quilt – March

Sewing is a true therapy and even more so when you’re in the company of other people who enjoy it too.  

There are five of us doing the tree quilt, meeting once a month to create the next stage.  We are all coming from different backgrounds and different circumstances and yet we have this common bond.  And it shows when you have forgotten a tool or need a little bit of fabric to applique a leaf or two. Someone always helps out.  It’s great.
This month I have finished my spring square.  I had some other ideas but that’s the way it goes; it’s a living piece of creativity which changes as you work with it.

Spring Tree

A year in the life of a tree quilt – February

The trees are planned and will reflect the seasons and important dates for my family- not quite sure how I’m going to work this in yet but that’s part of the joy of developing a quilt in this way.  There are decisions to be made all along the way.

The key message however from Marion, our wonderful teacher, is the importance of accuracy.  To make the patchwork elements of each block work when it all comes together accuracy in cutting and sewing are going to be paramount.  So doing our first block, although fairly simple become a shoulder clenched when you know you have to be accurate.  A few templates, a rotary cutter, sticky tape marking the quarter inch seam and a bit of unpicking, we succeeded in creating our first patchwork block.  Here’s Annette and I with our finished products.


Nearly finished my first tree block too so will post again soon.