On Tuesday I emailed a friend of mine for some quilting suggestions. I told her I want to make a large lap quilt out of some Asian fabrics from my stash. She had given me quite a few awhile back. Well, the next day she sent another stack my way via a mutual friend. Wasn't that nice?
I told Sue I was considering using the snowball block for these fabrics. I thought the large "snowball" could be any of the large Asian prints, and the nine patch could be made up of the many other fabrics. Sue took a class from Kaffe Fassett last year and made a gorgeous quilt using the snowball block. Sue uses lots of deep rich colors in her quilts and I always admire them. She thought the snowball pattern would be a good idea, too.
This morning, while my sewing room was still cool, I made up the two block set for the snowball pattern. I used a nine inch block, so the squares in the nine patch are three inches when finished. In order to show off some of the patterns in the Asian fabrics, I think the patches should not really be any smaller.
Last night I looked in some of my magazines for some Asian inspiration and found a few quilts which didn't really fit my needs. I did find "Sentimental Journey" from The Quilt Magazine, Sept. 2003. This quilt is really just the snowball pattern without the nine patch.I like it very much. There are eighty 6-inch finished blocks plus borders, so it will make a good sized lap quilt. Don't you think the "snowballs" look like Chinese lanterns? That's what I'm going with, anyway. I seem to remember a Chinese lantern pattern from somewhere, but the block is a rectangle. The 6-inch block allows the larger patterned fabrics to show how luscious they are, but will still be small enough for the smaller all-over designs, too. Also, some of my fabrics are smaller pieces and I will probably be able to get 6-inch blocks cut from them, but not 9-inch pieces.
I am showing you these Sentimental Journey blocks on my portable design board. I just made it a couple of months ago and don't know how I got along without it before. I have a design wall behind my sewing area, but this portable thing is a big help, too. It is just a piece of foam core with quilt batt stuck to it with spray adhesive. I think mine is about 14 inches square. You can arrange your blocks on it, take it to the ironing board, then take it back to your sewing machine. Also good for taking to class.
I am using a small blue and gold print for the corner squares. I considered using black, which is an accent for many Asian fabric quilts, but prefer the print. Some of my fabrics have black in them and I thought the black corners might just disappear on them. On the other hand, I thought the black overall might make more of a statement than I really want. Of course, I have quite a few blue fabrics, too, but not quite the same blue. Also, I am a blue person, as I may have said before.