Sunday, October 20, 2013

Free Pattern: Orange Tulips

Fandom in Stitches is currently hosting a design challenge based on John Green's book, The Fault in Our Stars.  I had never even heard of the book, but I thought I would give it a go because there is very little on FiS that I don't love, so I figured these people must have great taste.  ;)

I bought the book and, after finishing up a quilt top at 2 AM one morning, I thought I would get a few pages in to help me fall asleep.  At 6 in the morning I closed the book and sobbed myself to sleep.  I was glad to be at home alone in bed, because I was a soggy, red-eyed, sniffling mess.  Normally marring a book in any way is sacrilege to me, but my first time through I had dog-eared, tear-stained, and underlined half the pages in it.  Well worth the (pretty quick) read, in my opinion.

The computer-generated image.

I have several patterns I want to develop based on the book, but I knew I didn't have time to focus on multiple patterns right now.  So I went with one that was less of one physical thing and more of a concept.  I went for orange tulips and a revised version of a quote from the book that really spoke to me.

This was actually quite the frustrating pattern for me, because my sewing machine broke on me as soon as I had it pieced together and it took me a while and a few turns of the screwdriver to figure out the issues.  My machine sounds different now (my husband asked me to describe it and I said it was more of a whir than a clunk now, so I am guessing that's a good thing), and I have to keep the top slightly ajar to allow the bobbin winder to work, but at least it's functional.  The pattern itself goes together very easily and ends up to be a 10" block.

The finished pillow.  I didn't have any orange tulips handy, but I did happen to have some orange roses.

I did the tulips in two different colors of orange, which I don't have much of in my stash at all, and stitched the tulip stems and the scripted words in a stem stitch (a new stitch to me and my current favorite!) and the smaller text in a simple backstitch.  The background is quilted in a swirled design and I quilted veins on the leaves and a few of the petals on the tulips to add interest.  I then added about an inch and a half of dark blue sashing.

The funny thing is, after stitching the design together, I really didn't love it.  (Are designers allowed to admit that we don't always like our finished product?  Because it definitely happens to me every once in a while.)  I liked the design itself, but I wasn't happy that I chose to put it on a cream background.  For some reason, it looked dingy and yellowed and I felt it needed more life to it.  I thought I might scrap it and start over on a blue background or something, but I figured I would finish this up as a quick quilted pillow just for the design challenge.  By the time I was done quilting it, I was actually much happier.  The texture helped the piece a ton.  The quilting isn't great because I'm still having some issues with my machine, but I am reasonably happy with it.

The finished pillow.  My husband says the quote is a little sad, but it reminds me that pain needs to be felt in order to pass on.  It's like an Encouragement of my very own.  ;)

Obviously you can leave the words off this pattern and use just the tulips.  They would be perfect for a little spring quilt, especially if you reverse the pattern and have them going different ways.

The pattern is available on Craftsy and here.

Now that my machine is back on relatively solid footing, I have several projects in the works.  I have some designs I need to test out and list, I have several quilt alongs I need to make more progress on, and I have a special quilt that I'm finishing up in the next couple of days as a tester quilt for another blogger.  Plus I am working on fall recipes, Halloween costumes, Christmas gifts, and more that I will be able to share with you soon.


  1. I love your pattern! And I think the background color really makes it stand out! :)

    1. Well, thank you very much; I appreciate it! I'm always hypercritical, and this design just didn't sit right with me the way others have, but it was a great chance to practice my stem stitch and some free motion quilting before moving on to a big quilt. Glad you stopped by to check it out!


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