Sylvia challenged us to make something based on a flower and I was given Tulips.

Tulips are wonderfully cheerful flowers that put in an appearance in our gardens in springtime. Although they don’t have a scent their colours are clear and vibrant warm shades of red, pink, yellow and white but not blue. This year I’ve had some lovely ones on my kitchen table. They bloom for 1-2 weeks in the garden usually after the daffodils and crocuses have finished. They are often seen at Easter time and together with rabbits are symbolic of the season.

Whilst trying to decide what to make I disappeared down the Pinterest rabbit hole. There were many examples of pieced blocks but they weren’t quite what I was looking for.

There were some lovely pictures of stripy Dutch tulip fields that showed promise but would need a bit of work.

One of the things I love about tulips are their simple and instantly recognisable shapes. I realised that children’s colouring books were a source of inspiration. After downloading a few free images an idea was starting to form. I would make a bright wallhanging that could go up on the living room wall. It would combine the shape of individual tulips with stripy tulip fields.

I rummaged in my stash and discovered a range of lovely bright colours that would work well with a green background. I drew out a simple shape that I could use as an appliqué template. I used 2 shades of each colour for the flower and a narrow strip of green to represent the stem and arranged the shapes on my background using heat and bond to hold them in place.

For the stripy panels, I overlapped strips of fabric and then cut them into wavy shapes so that they would nest together. I put a thin green sashing between the main panel, the corner pieces and the stripy border before sandwiching the wadding and background.

The quilting was done by outlining the main flower shapes with the zigzag and buttonhole stitches on my machine. On the stripy panels I used some more of the fancy stitches on my machine, in various shades of green to represent leaves, as it seems such a shame not to use them. In the space around the flowers there was room to practice my free motion quilting.

Not all of my initial colour choices worked as well as I would have hoped with the yellowy/green colour that I used for my background. However, I didn’t waste them. By changing the background fabric I made a couple of mug rugs and used the offcuts from the shapes to make them a little bigger.

I’m really pleased with my little wallhanging. The colours are really bright and cheerful and it makes me smile when I look at it. It will certainly brighten up my living room. The mug rugs mean that I can finally put away my winter themed ones. That seems appropriate given that today has been sunny and warm.

 

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