Y'all know that I love to sew. I could sew 12 hours a day if I really had the time. And I love fabric too. In my head, I'm always designing a fantasy fabric collection. That's a dream. But I never thought of myself as a pattern designer.
What?! Me design a block? I didn't even know if it was possible. And yet, it was an intriguing idea. I procrastinated for months. Then it was nearly deadline time. In a flurry of activity, I sketched out a block, stitched it up and mailed it to Quiltmaker with my application. I waited (im)patiently for months. Would they like it? Was it good enough?
And there it is in print! I am SO EXCITED to present my block, #1183 East Side Rose!
It's actually a really simple block to construct, with LOTS of stitch-and-flip corners. Let me tell you about my inspiration.
East Side Rose was inspired by my great love of classic rose gardens. There have been many, many visits to the Cranford Rose Garden at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden over the past several years. Roses have amazing velvety petals, and intense (or sometimes non-existent) scent. The gigantic bees love them. And their names are quirky, like the pink Linda McCartney rose shown above. Would you believe that there's a Betty Boop rose? How about a Betty White rose? Bob Hope? And then there are the diminutive climbing roses from the mid 1800's. Always such a variety.
I sketched out my rose on graph paper while in a hotel room, and then colored it while on a plane. Oddly, nobody thinks it's strange when I start coloring from my tiny seat in row 34. (There is not enough space on those tray tables for a drink AND colored pencils, so I sit with art supplies in my lap and hope I don't drop anything.)
My original block was sewn using Pam Kitty Garden fabric which perfectly replicated the roses of the garden - bright, happy, clear colors. But once I learned that my block was being published, I realized that I had used up those prints! So I started to think of the softer shades of roses - the ivories, pinkish apricots and faded reds - and they were all there, in my stash of assorted Fig Tree fabrics.
How about a more intense, all red rose?
While East Side Rose is fairly easy to construct (each petal is constructed almost identically, but there are 32 petals), it will take some time to put it together because of all the pieces. The instructions in Quiltmaker's 100 Blocks Volume 12 are very simple to follow. I thought it might be helpful to show how I pressed my seams.
I pressed the seams between each petal OPEN. Then after joining each row of petals to the center, I pressed the whole seam to the outside of the block. This will give you a nice flat block.
The inspiration for the block name? When I submitted the block in February, I lived on the Upper East Side of Manhattan. Hence the "East Side." But since then I have relocated to the Midwest. I'm now living on the North side of a town in Southwestern Indiana. Got that?! LOL
Thanks to the editors for choosing my block. I'm humbled and proud to be in the magazine. And many thanks to Pam Kitty Morning for believing that I could really do this. (Pam is in the issue, too... she's been in all of them! And her Hollyhocks block would look perfect paired with mine.) The issue is on newsstands and quilt shops this week. Or you can order a print or digital copy here.
The editors of Quiltmaker Magazine have graciously provided a copy of the magazine as a giveaway prize. Just leave me a comment letting me know your favorite flower by Friday, November 20 midnight Central (hey, your favorite flower might inspire my next block design!) and I will pick a winner on Saturday, November 21. Be sure that I can reach you, as I'll need the winner's name and address by Monday.
And for even more GIVEAWAYS - visit Quiltmaker Magazine's Quilty Pleasures blog to see what they have for you, as well as links to the other designers on the blog tour.