Thursday, April 26, 2018

Free Block of the Month 8—Quince Blossom

Last month at this time, I (Kara) was wondering if spring was going to ever arrive here in Germany. Well, it has not only arrived, but burst forth with warm temperatures and stunning floral displays. Every day, I walk the dogs in an orchard filled with apple trees and garden spaces, so I had been hoping that spring would be magical as far as blossoms go—it did not disappoint! Here is a little glimpse of our orchard and the source for this month's block.

If only I could waft the scent of the blossoms through the internet, but we will have to make do with pictures and with the stitching of our quince blossom block.

While many of the blossoms in the orchard would make a beautiful block, the call of the coral in these blooms was too hard to resist. This bush in our yard bears small fruit that look a little like what would result if you combined a pear and an apple. The flowers are a gorgeous color, and I had a River Silk in just the right shade.

Cotton Block

I began this block by transferring the stem and leaves to the back of the block using transfer paper. These were quickly back basted, and then appliquéd. Because I was using ribbon for the blossoms, I didn't need the petal to be transferred to the back. I used the pattern as my guide, and made a small dot marking the center of each flower. I used these to help me place the petals. 

Small dots to aid in blossom placement.

The green calyx.
The quince blossom has a calyx-type part that is green, so there are a few of those, made with 7mm green silk and a straight stitch, placed according to the pattern.

The pattern should be loosely used as a guide for the petals, made with a ribbon stitch. I used 7mm River Silk ribbon, starting at the top and working my way down to the last blossom. A silk pearl was used for the pistils, using—you guessed it—a pistil stitch. Using the 7mm ribbon for the blossoms creates a finished block slightly smaller than the pattern, but it still worked beautifully.

The finished block!

Blossom detail
Ribbons and thread used for the fabric block.

Stitches and Threads Used (Cotton Block)

River Silk #329, 7mm, ribbon stitch
May Arts, green silk ribbon, 7mm, straight stitch
Japanese silk pearl, pistil stitch

Wool Block

One of the joys of working with felted wool, is that the edge does not need to be turned under. Because of this, my vision for the wool block was to have 3D petals. That also means that I cut out all 25 little petals, but I think the end result was worth the extra work. I cut out petal shapes, checking the size with the pattern.

25 tiny little petals.

I eyeballed the placement of the petals using the pattern as a guide and a pin to hold them in place. Four or five back stitches down the center was all that was needed to attach each petal.

Put the pin in horizontally so that you can stitch around it.

The pistils were again  made with the pistil stitch, but this time I used two strands of floss. I added the green silk calyx, working them underneath the petals.

The finished wool block

Blossom detail
Ribbon and threads used

Stitches and Threads Used (Wool Block)

Weeks Dye Works, floss, Grapefruit, 2 strands, back stitch
Weeks Dye Works, floss, Saffron, 2 strands, pistil stitch
May Arts, green silk ribbon, 7mm, straight stitch

Spring time and blossoms of all kind hold a special place in my heart. My grandmother was the Blossomland Queen when she was younger and her picture is still painted on the Silver Beach Carousel, in St. Joseph, Michigan (you can read more about my grandmother and her aprons here).

I never could have imagined that someday I would be seeing such a blossom display here in Germany. Hopefully things are blooming where you are; if not, maybe you can stitch a bloom while you wait!

You can download the Quince Blossom block HERE

To see the other blocks in our Stitch-Along:

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