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January 18, 2018
Free Block of the Month 5: Scabiosa Columbaria from Telling Stories Through the Needle's Eye

Happy New Year! It's hard to believe that we are well into 2018, but I hear it came in with a bang for all of you in the states. I (Kara) kept hearing things like cyclone bomb, arctic temperatures, and the like. Here in Germany, it has been unseasonably warm; my daughter and I were even able to go on a hike to a local castle ruin and waterfall.

Castle ruins at Bad Urach on an unseasonably, sunny day!

The wasserfall.
The view through a castle arrowslit.

But alas, it still is winter here, and the gloomy weather has ...

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December 23, 2017
Inklingo Ribbon Flower Christmas Quilts from Stof genoeg

Finally I got to play with Inklingo Ribbon Flower in EQ. I designed some Christmas quilts, combining the Ribbon Flower blocks with several other Inklingo blocks. In the quilt above, the 12 inch [30,5 cm.] blocks are in a horizontal … Continue reading

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December 21, 2017
A Garden and Stars from Quilt Obsession

What have I been doing? Amongst other things, I’ve been trying out various fabrics for sashing/alternate blocks with the Garden Gone Wild blocks but have yet to find the solution.

These are the 22 flowers in the garden. One of them will be used as a label for the quilt and the other will be the cover of a stitching book, I think, so the top will be made of 20 of these Ribbon Flower blocks.

I used so many different background fabrics for the ribbon flowers that I think I may be limited to something like a ...

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December 14, 2017
"In the Garden"—Violets from Telling Stories Through the Needle's Eye

Roses are red, 
Violets are blue.
God can make violets,
But so can YOU! 

At least you can, if you use ribbon! This month's Block of the Month in our In the Garden series will have you creating lovely violets out of wired ribbon. Are you ready? Here we go! I (Teri) will give you a quick pictorial tour of the methods used to create these life-like blooms, and  then you will be ready to start "planting." In our class this past weekend, I heard several "I can't make that" comments become "Wow! I CAN make this flower ...

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November 24, 2017
Grading of Seams & Beginning of Capriccioso from Quilt Obsession

It took a while, but I finally got all the seams of the ribbon flower blocks graded. I had graded the seams on just about half of the blocks, other than the final seams from adding the background fabrics. I was sure I’d only graded the seams as I went for about five or six of the blocks so that was definitely a nice surprise!

Mason jarwtmk

I started out with an empty Mason jar and put all the little pieces from the grading of the seams of the ribbon flowers in it. This is what I ended up with.

Cutting from gradingwtmk

This ...

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November 16, 2017
"In the Garden"—Oak Leaves and Acorns from Telling Stories Through the Needle's Eye

I (Teri) was afraid that the only autumnal color we were going to get this year would be that which I stitched. Here in Maryland, the days stayed warm and the temperatures didn't drop as much at night much later than normal, resulting in an October of primarily green trees. In the past few weeks, we have finally been seeing some color, though it was sadly short-lived, as many of the leaves have already begun falling.

While I love green, the autumn palette is my favorite, so it was with great pleasure that I stitched this month's block ...

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How The Flowers Grew – or how I sew Ribbon Flower Blocks from Quilt Obsession

I was at least halfway through making the blocks for the Garden Gone Wild top before I finally realized just how much fun I could have with these blocks as they’re not only all curved piecing, but almost all continuous stitching! I think it was because I began with a ribbon flower block that had pieced “blades” and those that weren’t pieced.  That’s my excuse and I”m sticking with it. Once I identified this sewing sequence, I couldn’t get enough of making them!

Flower Step Onewtmk

The first step – make two sets of six of the centre shapes ...

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November 10, 2017
The Lilac Ribbon Flower from Quilt Obsession


Finally, after loads and loads of un-sewing, the lilac is done!

Lilac backwtmk

The back, after pressing but before grading of the seams.

Before last night the number of times I changed my mind about a fabric in this flower was beginning to seem endless. The only fabric in this block which was in the first group of fabrics I had pulled and printed for the flower is the one used for the 12 centre pieces.  Every single one of the other fabrics has been changed – and some more than once or twice. I’d even gone so far as to attach ...

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November 3, 2017
A Second Sorbet Peony from Quilt Obsession


Sorbet Peonywtmk

As well as working on the lilac ribbon flower, I have spent a fair bit of time over the past week looking at the flowers that are finished and this one stood out every time. This is the original sorbet peony and it is, while beautiful, very washed out in comparison to the other flowers and would have seemed like a blank hole in the finished top, I think.

Sorbet Peony 2wtmk

So what did I do? I decided to make a second sorbet peony with some darker shades of pink and this fabulous toile for the background as the other block made ...

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November 2, 2017
In Praise of Jane Austen: An Album Quilt from Telling Stories Through the Needle's Eye

Nearly a year ago, this stunning quilt made its journey from Honolulu, Hawaii, to Baltimore, Maryland. Mildred Tahara, who placed every stitch into this quilt, generously donated the quilt to the Baltimore Appliqué Society (BAS), with one request: that it be used as a model for teaching. The quilt, In Praise of Jane Austen, tells quite a story. I (Teri) asked Mildred if I could share the story of her quilt with you. Her narrative follows, in italics:

I began to think of a Jane Austen quilt around the years I was following Downton Abbey seasons on Masterpiece theater on ...

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October 27, 2017
Number 20 to Bloom is? from Quilt Obsession

It’s a dahlia. Not a black dahlia, though.

pink dahliawtmk

No, of course it isn’t! What else could it possibly be for my quilt but a pink dahlia, given my love of pink? And it is the 20th flower to bloom in the Garden Gone Wild series of blocks. But stay tuned, because … well, because I don’t think I’m finished.  In fact, I know I’m not finished. More on that in a second.

pink dahlia backwtmk

Here’s the back of the pink dahlia. Now that I have 20 blocks done, I suppose I really should take some time one ...

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October 25, 2017
A Daffodil! from Quilt Obsession


While I thought I was making a gaillardia or, as it’s more commonly known, a blanket flower, it seems I wasn’t. When I finished and was pressing this last night I realized it reminded me more of a daffodil than anything. That may be because I’ve never seen gaillardia here and the fact a good friend mentioned she was planting daffodil bulbs the other day but, whatever the reason, my garden now has a cheerful daffodil.

Daffodil backwtmk

The back of the daffodil.

In one of the flowerbeds on the roof garden, there is a small area where we ...

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October 19, 2017
Introducing "In the Garden": A BOM Series from Telling Stories Through the Needle's Eye

For some time now, Kara and I (Teri) have wanted to design a Block of the Month series. We discussed a number of different themes, but we finally settled on a garden. Before Kara left for Germany, we mapped out our plan, and worked with Kathy Makers of Primitive Homespuns Wool & Needleworks to select our palette of wools for the project. We love to mix different materials, so we will be combining wool, a variety of threads, ribbon, and even some beads. The blocks will vary in size, and ultimately, we plan to create a quilt out of the blocks ...

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October 17, 2017
Block 18 for the Garden Gone Wild Quilt from Quilt Obsession

I’m getting very close to the end of making flowers for my Garden Gone Wild quilt! Only two more to go after this one. What is block 18? It’s a zinnia.

Zinderella Zinniawtmk

But it’s not just any zinnia. This one is called the Zinderella Zinnia. Who could resist a flower with that name? When I saw pictures of it, I knew it had to be part of my quilt!

Zinderella Zinnia backwtmk

The back. Once again, it’s pressed but the seams are not yet graded. It seems I’m definitely leaving the grading of the seams for the very end ...

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October 16, 2017
"Potts" of Ribbon Flowers from Telling Stories Through the Needle's Eye

We have written about the Margaret Potts quilt many times in the past, and we have enjoyed teaching several workshops based on the blocks of this antique quilt, patterned by the Baltimore Appliqué Society. Last year, Kara and I (Teri) taught a Block of the Month series at our then-local quilt shop, Patches Quilting and Sewing. When it ended, the class wanted more, so we began a new batch of blocks—this time embellishing with ribbon. I thought you might enjoy studying our approach to this block, along with some highlights of our class. My intention was to include some ...

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October 12, 2017
Ranunculus from Quilt Obsession

Before I started down the path of making my garden of ribbon flowers, I had never heard of a ranunculus. Thank you to those who suggested it!


I’m glad to have this one added to my garden as I did need some yellow flowers and I love its cheerfulness.

ranunculus backwtmk

The back, after pressing but before grading the seams. I seem to be leaving grading the seams to the end on most of the blocks. Maybe it’s because I’m getting anxious to get to that 20th block!

I’ve begun the next block, the Zinderella Zinnia. Then I ...

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October 6, 2017
Flowers and More Flowers from Quilt Obsession

I didn’t mean to disappear for a week, but the latest ribbon flower became a real challenge when it came to finding just the right fabrics for it. I thought I had the perfect pinks chosen for it as they looked just fine when I pulled them and put them to the daylight test. But when the same fabrics were printed, cut and sewn together, they just did not cooperate and give me the effect I was after. Everything was fine until I got to the last shape on the outer edge of the flower. I ended up printing ...

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September 29, 2017
Very Little To Show from Quilt Obsession

There were some fabulous comments on Wednesday’s post – thank you to everyone as I have had lots to think about and flowers to look up on the Internet! I am behind in answering comments, but will get caught up over the weekend.  One of the recurring themes in the comments was regarding white flowers and yes, I’d love to include some white flowers but I am concerned that they would just end up looking like a hole in the quilt. A yellow flower or two I think I can definitely manage, although I don’t tend to have ...

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September 27, 2017
Tour of the Garden from Quilt Obsession

I had to make some decisions about what other flowers to include in the Garden Gone Wild quilt. To do that, I needed to have a good look at what has bloomed already.

So I went on a tour of my garden. Want to come along?

The first group I saw had the impatiens (which is now sewn to its background fabric), sorbet peony, tea rose and Asiatic lily.

Next I found the cornflower, morning glory, periwinkle and wisteria.

Then the shaggy orange coneflower, marigold and chrysanthemum.

The final group I saw has the petunia, iris, anemone and sweet pea ...

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September 25, 2017
Petunia Ribbon Flower from Quilt Obsession


Sewing the petunia flower was very fast. In fact, it was the quickest I’ve put together a ribbon flower yet, so the sewing sequence I identified with the last one does make a difference for me. I’ll do a post on the sewing sequence when I get started on the next ribbon flower.

Petunia backwtmk

The back of the petunia. It’s pressed, but the seams are yet to be graded.

Next? Next I have to decide what other flowers are going to be included in the Gardens Gone Wild quilt. Once that’s done I’ll have to get ...

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