Sometimes the Universe tells you that it really is time to finish a project. You would think that the Universe had bigger fish to fry—like inspiring people to negotiate world peace or mitigate global warming, or moving all the Dark Matter to someplace where physicists could find it easily—but sometimes the Universe seems to prefer to hang out in my sewing room and nag me.
First it sent a glorious display of sunflowers over the past month, to remind me about sunflowers in general. Then it inspired people to put out their usual October display of things like scarecrows and seasonal wreaths, to remind me that Real Folk Make Folk Art. Then it decreed that this should be the year of the Santa Fe Quilt Fiesta and that I had to go there last week, and that was the final straw. I had to finish the Hybrid Sunflower quilt—so called because of its genetic origins in four different sewing “gardens.”
To read about how the blocks were made by and divided among the Crazy Ladies, go here. To see how the blocks and border pieces were pre-quilted, go here.
So all that was left was putting them together.
I overlapped the block and the border fabrics and cut them at the same time with a rotary cutter and ruler, to make sure that they would abut precisely, and aligning the edges, sewed them together with a zigzag stitch. I went over each seam twice–once with a 3.5 mm stitch width, and once with 6.0.
Assembling the blocks was a lot trickier, because of the variety and thickness of fabrics involved. The various blocks contained upholstery fabric and trim, many layers of fabric, felted embellishment and gel medium texturizing, foundation crazy-quilt piecing, scrunched fabric and petals from disemboweled artificial sunflowers.
I ended up using a 1.5″ block to offset the centers of the flower, rather than trying to make all of those hellacious blocks meet in the center. As it happens, that also meant that the hardest-to sew parts were also offset, which made the blocks easier to sew. I joined everything together using the same zigzag technique as before.
Instead of using a binding, I just took three strands of chenille and glitter yarn and sewed them down around the edges using a three-step zigzag–twice, so as to be able to recapture any escapees. A cording foot designed to sew strands of beads onto fabric is a great help for sewing this huge wad of yarn.
I decided that the little offset block looked a little wonky. Luckily I had saved the center of one of the disemboweled sunflowers in case I wanted to use it for
hiding embellishing something, and I just glued that little oddment over the square for wonkiness abatement, as pictured in the main photo.
The result: One Crazy Lady Hybrid Sunflower, bred by Jane Lee, Angela Green, Pat Troth and Roxane Murray: