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Paradise in Bloom Quilt - Part 1

I did it. I finally picked the fabric for my Paradise in Bloom Quilt. I ordered about 22 yards of fabric and the box was huge. It was big and full of fabric! I ordered from I really like their design wall feature and I played with colors for a long time. What I didn't like is that some colors, specifically dark greens, for some reason all required a 2 yard minimum purchase. I think everything is at least a 1 yard minimum but why 2 yards on certain colors? So needless to say that was annoying especially when I only need about 1/2 yard of 5 different green colors but this way if I mess up I'll have extra fabric and all these colors might make a pretty binding.

Anyway, I went with an orange center surrounded by blues that ranged from very dark to very light, add in some dark brown and cream with the blue and orange and that's the main parts of the quilt. The appliques will be greens and multiple hues of color for the flowers. I still need to buy about 4 yards of fabric for the border since I'm not going to do the original border. I wasn't sure which color I wanted so I thought I'd figure it out later.

Here's a picture of some of the fabric. I have to admit, I wasn't happy with 2 of the fabrics. The brown fabric seems like its got more black in it than I would've liked and my "oatmeal" is too yellowy for me but since those are about 4 yards each I guess I have to use them.

If you've never done a Quiltworx paper pieced quilt, then I highly recommend that before doing anything you read the directions twice then read them again. My very first paper pieced quilt was a Judy Neimeyer pattern, which I believe was the Fourth of July. I enjoyed the paper piecing, once I got used to it, and the curved sewing was a challenge but I got through it.

I've also completed the Amazon Star and the Wedding Ring bedrunner so I've got some experience with their patterns. I have found the instructions for these patterns to be well thought out and clearly written, which I like. I can't tell you how many sewing instructions I've come across that were horrible and clearly written for people who have been sewing for a hundred years instead of someone who's just starting out.

Anyway, the patterns come with a large master layout of the quilt with all of the units and how they all fit together which is really helpful. Then you have your fabric cutting sheets and of course your paper piecing units.

This is the fabric cutting sheet. The instructions will tell you to lay out your fabric (for this particular unit) and you take your rotary cutter and cut all the pieces out. These are the fabric pieces you will use for the units.

Below is a sheet of the units M and L. These units are cut out and I store them individually in bags that are labeled. You wouldn't think that cutting out all the units would take a long time but it does. I'd estimate that you need around 20 hours to cut all the units out. I certainly can't operate a pair of scissors for the entire duration it would take to cut them all out so I break it up into 2-3 hour sessions then go do something else. After all the units are cut out and bagged, then I put the cut fabric pieces in the bags with the units.

The trick is to keep everything together. I like paper piecing while some people hate it. I found that when I started sewing, the paper piecing really kept me focused on that 1/4" seam and sewing along pre-printed lines keeping everything straight was a god send. The draw back to this kind of project is the amount of trash it generates and pulling off the paper once everything is sewed together is a giant pain.

Next up, is cutting fabric pieces..


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