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Thread: Blooming Nine Patch...

  1. #1
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    Blooming Nine Patch...

    I am head over heals for this pattern but am so very intimidated by the color selection! Anyone have any tips for this one?

  2. #2
    Power Poster BellaBoo's Avatar
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    Pinterest has lots of Blooming Nine patch quilts, all are beautiful colors. I made one years ago all solids. I think the prints or floral looks so much prettier. This is a quilt you need a design wall. It's very easy to sew but very confusing to lay out.
    Got fabric?

  3. #3
    Power Poster gabeway's Avatar
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    I like either florals or pastels. Saw one with batiks that was beautiful.
    Wayne & Gabriele, the married quilters.

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    I have done a couple of these. Start with what color you want then start picking out going from light to dark, it works really good (although you can't always do this) to have some of the colors in fabric 3 in fabric 2. Do you have the book? She does through (if I am remembering correctly) how to choose fabrics and what works and what doesn't. Know that you will probably need to go to more than 1 QS to find the fabrics. Unfortunately I gave mine away and of course don't have pictures.

    If you don't have the book, it really is a good investment it has several good quilts in it.

  5. #5
    Power Poster BellaBoo's Avatar
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    The book pattern is very detailed and will help you a lot. Tradition with a Twist: Variations on Your Favorite Quilts by Blanche Young.


    Got fabric?

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    My LQS was having a 25%sale off most everything so I thought it was a good time to get the book I want to make one with batiks that I have an enormous stash of and added a few more yards because "they were 25% off"..anyway if the snow storm comes their forecasting for fri-sat comes maybe I can start auditioning fabric!

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    Consider using a color wheel...start with your favorite color and then use the color wheel to pick the remaining colors. If you are auditioning the fabrics you already have and you are not sure if you have them in a pleasing order, take a picture and see how the fabrics look in relation to each other. Sometimes it is enough to look through the view finder. You can keep rearranging the fabrics until they look good together.

  8. #8
    Senior Member Rebecca_S's Avatar
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    I don't think that this quilt works well with fabrics that vary a lot. If it would be suitable for fussy cutting then it might not work well. Most of the pieces are cut fairly small so think about the variation you would get between 1 or 1.5 inch pieces of your fabrics. As with a OBW, the effect of the fabrics will be more their color values and motif size.

    I've seen it done well both including a few fabrics that read as blenders, to give the eyes a place to rest, as we as without any blenders for a busier effect.

    I started with my first few fabrics when I made mine, then choose more fabrics as I went along. Making one or two sample 9-patches and then laying them on the fabric bolts was helpful as I went along.

  9. #9
    Super Member snipforfun's Avatar
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    Blanche is a dear friend. She is now in a care center and is in her 90s. Her family moved her to California to be near family. I have made so many of her quilts. Lots of the Bloomin... My favorite is the Jamaica and made lots of Baby Bloomin.. She gave me patterns that have never been published. She is a wonderful person and so talented. She has a real sense of color. What you think would never work - does. Lots of small florals light to dark work great. Her book has been a top seller for years. She is the "inventor" of strip piecing and was honored at Houston for her innovative ideas in quilting.

  10. #10
    Super Member patchsamkim's Avatar
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    I remember when her first book came out with her daughter Helen Frost...back then the cutting was done with cardboard template and scissors...slits in the cardboard for marking...so much easier now! I am glad that she has been honored for what she gave to the quilting world!

  11. #11
    MTS
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    Yikes, huge post 10 pictures and it's gone.
    Figures
    Let's see if I can fix this.
    Last edited by MTS; 02-06-2013 at 05:45 PM.

  12. #12
    Super Member Lori S's Avatar
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    I have been working on a Blooming nine patch. I find that it was easier for me to pick a few fabrics with colors I wanted to include and then work to find the fabrics that made the transition. It took a while to collect them , but it was fun hunting. I'm not sure how you feel about Kaffe Fassett fabrics but I have seen some stunning Blooming nine patch done with his fabrics.

  13. #13
    Super Member snipforfun's Avatar
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    I love Kaffe in anything!

  14. #14
    MTS
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    Actually, the fussier the fabric pattern the better.

    The whole point of this particular quilt when creating the bloom is to try to hide the patch/blocks seams.

    It's a relatively easy quilt to construct, and I think a great learning experience.

    I like to have all the fabrics picked before I start cutting.
    That doesn't mean I don't/won't swap out fabric(s), even after I've started.

    If you want any control over the color theme, it's best to pick a fabric in the middle - say Fabric #4, #5,or #6.
    See the next post for examples of the types of design that might work - multiple colors, flowing, irregular, not a lot of background.

    This way you can work up and work down to find fabrics that fit - you're limiting your choices but you're also controlling and focusing the overall color and style of the quilt.

    Or you can start in one direction, and the not find the fabric, and then end up going in another direction.
    Or to get from 2 to a 4 that you like, you might swap the 3 you had already chosen.

    Scale is also really important.
    Using really huge florals - like some Kaffe fabrics - is kinda iffy because you have to keep in mind that FINISHED size of a patch in the 9 patch block is less than 2",and the plain block is less than 4".

    When you cut up one of those types of fabrics, no fussy cutting, you have no control over what you're going to get.
    You might end up with solid patches, even maybe solid plain squares, which would not work at all.
    Some of his medium scale prints work well.


    If you're interested in a mystery, and the quilt isn't intended for any particular decor or purpose, then you can start at the beginning, and add on from there (see the last picture).

    As you'll see in the following pictures, there are all kinds of styles.
    I personally like really light centers and really dark outer fabrics (because they make the centers look even lighter).
    The problem is that I only have 8 fabrics to work with to get one from extreme to the other.

    And sometimes I adjust the size - only using 5 or 6 fabrics - and that makes it even more difficult.
    But that's the challenge of the quilt, and why I really liked making them.

    Sometimes, because of where I started and where I wanted to go, it wasn't doable.
    And I didn't care, it was delicious mindless sewing, which, at the time, was what I wanted to do.

    Making these from stash isn't always possible, even if you have huge one.
    You might have the right fabrics but not the right amount.
    If you've got a cute little LQS, with not a lot of inventory, you're probably not going to be able to do it in one shop.
    It helps to be in a huge shop with many possibilites.

    Sometimes, even after hours of searching, that perfect next fabric is still MIA, and you end up settling for 2nd or 3rd choice.

    I wasn't making them for any purpose, although most of the quilts are used daily.

    If I'm in a shop and I have the 8 bolts fanned out, I like to look at fabrics 1-2-3 - without the rest.
    Am I happy with the flow? Does the scale and design and colors look like they'd mesh with the next fabric?
    Yes? Great.
    Then I look at fabrics 2-3-4, and do the same thing.
    Then fabrics 3-4-5 and on.

    Sometimes you can spot problems when narrowing the focus rather than looking at all 8 at the same time.


    The best Blooming I ever saw was at the Lowell show about 10-11 years ago.
    The maker had only used Australian fabrics (and that was when they were brand new to the US market, and priced as "specialty" fabrics).
    Seamless.
    And she had some interesting tricks to help with that inner glow - she actually made 9patches with a Fabric 0, instead of having plain Fabric 1 squares.
    That gave her another step to help with the flow.
    Genius.

    Here are pictures of some of my Blooming quilts - I'll see if I can find pictures of others (lost a lot of them when the hard drive crashed).

    I've tried to point out things that did and didn't so you can keep that in mind when choosing your own fabrics.
    Or you can totally ignore it. ;-)
    _________________________________________________

    This was my first Blooming that I made back in 2000-ish.
    It was a lot of trial and error - I actually swapped out 4 fabrics from the original 8 I had chosen (in a smaller LQS).
    I had even made the 9patches with those other fabrics.
    They look fine all pressed but once they went up on the wall, it was horrible.
    For this one, I started with the 4th fabric, and worked from there.
    I need to get a better picture of this one.
    It's actually sitting right here - I'm redoing all my earlier bindings because they were....horrendous.

    Name:  Blooming-1st-sm.JPG
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    This Blooming only had 5 fabrics - I was shooting for a Spring Garden look (for a lap quilt for my Grandmother).
    While Fabrics 3-5 blend almost seamlessly, 2 and 3 weren't as smooth.
    But I decided they looked like flowers and just it go.

    Name:  Blooming Spring-sm.JPG
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    Another attempt at a garden type quilt.
    I'll admit to some fussy cutting/placement in the center to smooth over some rough patches.
    Some of the Fabric #1 squares had too much of that mint green - yech - so I had to swap out those squares
    Name:  Blooming Garden-sm.JPG
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    I was possessed. I couldn't stop making them.
    I was in a shop in Boston and just started grabbing fabric to see what would happen.
    I always ran into the same issues - my fault - that I preferred the very light centers and very dark outers, and wasn't willing to compromise on the other fabrics.
    Name:  Blooming BlueGreen-sm.JPG
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    At some show there was an art quilt with a sun and space theme.
    I limited myself to batiks on this one and went for the same vibe.
    I also swapped the centers on this one as well - after the whole quilt was done.
    Pretty interesting surgery.
    I still have the piece I excised - I took it out whole.
    I swapped out a bright yellow for this more orange-y one.
    Name:  Blooming-FireIce-sm.JPG
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Size:  69.4 KB

  15. #15
    MTS
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    Here my challenge to myself was to make a two colored Blooming.
    This was so easy.
    I was in a LQS and the fabrics 1-4 were just sitting next to each other on the shelf.
    They were from different collections but I was intrigued to see how it work.
    This quilt is also the one where I learned (and I knew this from a Kaffe quilt but forget it) that while you can use stripes as one of the fabrics in the quilt, you really shouldn't use them as the last fabric because of the orientation.
    Drives me crazy every time I see it.
    A friend who is a Delft nut has had her eyes on this one for years.
    Can't make up my mind if I want to part with.
    Name:  Blooming  Delft-sm.JPG
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    After making over a dozen Bloomings, I was still looking at fabric with the quilt in mind.
    I'd go into shops and immediately look for good starter fabrics (see next post).
    I had found and put together eight fabrics for another one, but I was really, really, really sick of 9Patches.
    So I made a Blooming Lone Star - still a UFO because I can't decide how I want to finish it.
    I have enough of fabric 3-8, so I might make a Blooming border.
    Maybe.
    Name:  BloomingLoneStar-sm.JPG
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    B made this one - the picture doesn't show how much that center glows.
    Yeah, you can see some 9 patches, especially at the end, but it looks gorgeous on the bed.
    Also all batiks - took us, like, 3 hours to pick out the fabrics.

    It was so much more fun helping others make the quilt - I could find great combinations but didn't have to spend the money on the fabric or sew any more *#(@() 9patch blocks.
    I could just experience it vicariously and enjoy the results.
    Name:  Blooming Barbara-sm.JPG
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    This one was for D's daughter - she wanted to have an overall underwater theme.
    I love the way it came out.
    I posted this one because you can see how a directional fabric can work - as long as it's not the last fabric.
    When it's one of the center ones, the fabric in the 9patches and plain squares are oriented the same way so it's not so messy.
    Name:  Blooming DebFish1-sm.JPG
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    The black square shows the fabric D started with, and then we built up and down from there.
    Name:  Blooming DebFish1-detailsm.JPG
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    And this one was really a free-for-all.
    When L came to class with only a few fabrics, we tried to use what was available in the shop to fill it out.
    I honestly didn't know what was going to happen.
    Turned out to be one of my all time favorites.
    Name:  Blooming Lorraine1-sm.JPG
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    Someone had contacted me last month because on an earlier post I had mentioned some tips and tricks when making Bloomings.
    I said I'd write it up for her .....but of course time got away from me again.
    I sat down this afternoon to finish it, and I'll post it here when I'm done.

    It's long, but it is NOT a tutorial.
    And it makes NO sense if you don't have the book.
    Just some things I've learned from either making the quilts myself, or helping others make them.
    But it might be worth printing out and reading when you do get around to making your own.
    Be forewarned.
    They're addictive.

    Oh, and http://pinterest.com/pin/187814246932218735/
    So, sorry but I'm not going back to check. ;-)
    Last edited by MTS; 02-06-2013 at 06:41 PM.

  16. #16
    MTS
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    Here are some samples of suggestions for type of fabrics that would work in the mid section.
    Those are 9.5" squares (for scale reference).

    As to whether or not they'd be successful, it would be totally dependent on the fabrics that go before or after.

    But if you're stuck and need a starting point, browse your stash or a LQS, and find a fabric that you like, and then you build on it.


    Name:  BloomingFabrics1.JPG
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    Name:  BloomingFabrics2.JPG
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    The magenta and turq fabric in the 2nd row, 1st column was the starting point for my first Blooming.
    Last edited by MTS; 02-06-2013 at 06:52 PM.

  17. #17
    MTS
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    To be honest, while I loved the pattern (and the book), I was never crazy about the two quilts in the book.
    They were kind of mushy to me.
    Of course, the choice of fabrics back them was nothing compared to what it is now.

    I've also altered the pattern - more fabrics, less fabrics, changed the shape - made it longer, square, etc.

    On the later ones I started adding borders because I liked the way it looked - it also made the quilt bigger to better fit a queen size bed .
    A friend made one with 10 fabrics AND a border to fit a California king.
    That one was a beast.

    I recently found all those worksheets, so if you want to change the size, and need the adjusted yardage and block requirements, I have them.

  18. #18
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    Oh, MTS, I would be very interested. I am off to go find th book now so I can study it. This is going to be fun, a labor of love!

    Rosie the Wyldwytch
    Grab a bull by the horns and enjoy the ride....

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    I am also on the hunt for the book and would love the worksheets!
    Thanks for the offer.

  20. #20
    Power Poster solstice3's Avatar
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    MTS.,... they are stunning!!!

  21. #21
    Senior Member calicojoan's Avatar
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    Make sure you have different values... light med and dark. I myself tend to navigate towards med dark all the time, so I have to push myself a little. It's a fun quilt to make! Post photos when you get it done!

  22. #22
    Junior Member quiltntoday's Avatar
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    MTS -- Thanks for posting all your beautiful quilts. Some day I would like to make a bloomin' nine patch.
    Carol

  23. #23
    Super Member Mariah's Avatar
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    The pattern you mentioned didn't show up for me.
    Mariah.
    Have a wonderful Quilting Day, make it your way!
    Marta
    Martha Tompkins

  24. #24
    Super Member Lori S's Avatar
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    MTS, you may hold the record for the most Blooming Nine Patch. Each has its own distinct personality. Thanks for showing them here.

  25. #25
    Super Member deplaylady's Avatar
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    MTS - thank you all the examples! I had no idea what a Blooming 9 Patch was. I really love the star.

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