Sunflowers of Hope
I'm so happy to share this wonderful challenge that Annette created. She is the designer at Southwind Designs. If you are not familiar with her fun technique for creating dimensional piecing with curves - you should take a look!
Several years ago I sewed her Mexican Star wall hanging design and I think I made about seven. I absolutely love all of her projects! Here are a few of our Mexican Star wall hangings.
Sunflower of Hope - A Fun Challenge
I receive Annette's newsletters and she announced a challenge called Sunflower of Hope. She thanked her customers for their support and designed this pattern to show her support for the Ukranian people during this horrific time.
The meaning and purpose of her challenge made me dive right in!
Highlights from her newsletter:
" Make a Field of Sunflowers
I would like to offer you this free Sunflower Pattern. It is a thank you to all of you and also a way to show support to the Ukrainian people since the sunflower is their state flower. The pattern is in PDF format and features three different size sunflowers. I showed my flower during the last quilt snacks and am hoping you will participate.
There are no real rules, just come up with your own setting and share in the group to inspire others. "
I hope this inspires you to get involved and find some of your scraps to make a Sunflower of Hope project. Maybe a pillow, table runner, wall hanging, or whatever catches your eye!
When I saw her interpretation of Sun Flower, I immediately thought of our Batik Nuance Gradation Collection. Our Nuance Gradations, better known as ombre, are designed to transition in color from light to dark across the width of the fabric. We offer several shades that transition from color to color as well. These are the shades I'm including in my design.
I used three fabrics to create the shades of the sunflower and blue/yellow of Ukraine.
Sunflower center: I cut from the darkest edge of the Nuance Gradation Brown to create the center. I am planning to cut small circles from the lighter sections and a bit from the Tequila Sunrise to add to the center. It will be fun to add textures to make the center look more like the actual sunflower seeds.
Sunflower petals: My goal is to create a transition from the orange to the yellow shades as the petals extend from the center of the sunflower. I fussy cut the pieces from this section of the Nuance Tequila Sunrise. The remaining portion of the fabric will go into a future project that needs orange to red.
Blue Sky: Nuance Atlantis transitions in shade from blue to green. I love working with this shade. I cut the pieces from the blue selvage edge. If I were to leave this block as it is - we would have lots of left over green fabric. Follow along as I add leaves of green and blue to the outside of this block.
Assembly of the pieces
Annette's pattern is easy to follow. I stitched together the pieces and added the double folded triangles and rectangles to create the future curves. Here is the project fully assembled.
One thing to note - this is the perfect pattern to learn her technique of sewing pieced curves. It is the right size and you will get the hang of this technique. You will stare at her patterns to figure out how she makes the curves then realize you need to buy the patterns!
I Added to Her Pattern...
I love the look of the completed sunflower. However, I wanted to use some of the green selvage edge of the Nuance Gradation in the shade of Atlantis. I decided to add a border of "leaf" shapes surrounded by the blue sky.
I did some math (yes math) and calculated the number of 2 1/2" square needed to create a border of sky/leaves. I realized after the fact that I could have cut rectangles instead of squares - but - live and learn.
|I hand drew a draft design on the PDF pattern. I calculated 32 Blue square and 36 Green squares. All the Blue squares would be folded in half diagonally and pressed. The Green squares would form the leaf.
All the squares are assembled. Now to assemble the border and add them to the center block.
[.... this is working.... yeah! ]
Now it's time to curve all the double folded triangles and stitch them curved.
|Using your finger or a stiletto push back/lift back the edge of the double folded triangle and press the edge up into a curve shape. I pressed all the intended curves at once.
|Then, I edge stitched the curve in place, using matching thread.
Time to Quilt...
I am not good at quilting anything on my domestic machine. I have never practiced and decided it was time to do this at home. I didn't have my longarm near by so - here we go.
I decided to add prefused circles on the brown center to give more "detail and color" to the sunflower. I cut circles from the Nuance Gradation - Tequila Sunrise. I quilted the center to form what I see when I look at real sunflowers - an amazing cross hatch design.
The petals of course had to look like oval petals and I used a variegated yellow/orange thread to add these details.
I used a light green thread to add veins to the leaves in the outer border.
I had a difficult time with the blue sky. Do I try circles (nope) or straight/squiggle lines (yupp). I went with the easiest quilting possible.
Now to Bind / and Hang
In a few days I'll finish binding the wall hanging and will add a sleeve to hang this on our wall in the office! I love how this turned out! Take the time to enjoy this challenge and share your own design! Thanks Annette - wonderful and meaningful challenge.
Until Next Time...
Take this challenge and share your Sunflower of Hope!