A Blooming Surprise!

Those of my readers who are quilters have seen a Blooming Nine Patch quilt before – they have been very popular for a number of years.  Back in 2005 Jolene and I took a class for this pattern at People, Places, and Quilts.  We both decided to do the KING version so it would fit our queen size beds with a big drop on the sides.  What were we thinking?  First we had to select NINE fabrics that blended/bloomed.  Then we had to make a GAZILLION nine patch blocks that finished at 4 1/4 inches.  And we had to cut almost as many squares of fabric that size.  Then it all had to be put together ON POINT with a specific plan so that each fabric (starting in the center) progressed outward in rings that caused the nine patches to bloom.  Guess I should try to find a picture to explain this.  Click here to see some examples, ours are more subdued in color.

Anyway …we worked on our nine patches off and on for over a year.  Jolene finished that part before I did.  I finally got my nine patches finished.  I traveled up to Sylva, NC one weekend in the spring and we were both going to sew ours together.  After watching what sewing one row of mine entailed Jolene chickened out that weekend.  I perservered and when I left  to go home mine was almost a complete top – it was in three large sections that I finished at home and then added the border.  I also made a back for it and put it in the “to be quilted” closet.

Jolene swore she would never be able to put hers together on her own and might not be able to do it with help.  She sent her box back to SC with me.  I thought maybe I could lay out each row and put them in baggies and then once or twice a week I could sew a row.  Eat the elephant in small bites.  Well, life got in the way and that never happened.

It’s now approaching Fourth of July weekend and I’m to go back up to Jolene’s so we can have a quilting retreat together.  I get out her box of nine patches and squares and I lay them out in order on the table of my longarm.  I threaten the kitties with a fate worse than death if they mess with anything and I start bagging up rows of blocks.  That took me the better part of an evening.

When I show up at Jolene’s I tell her that she is putting together her Blooming Nine Patch this weekend.  She about faints.  But first we do some shop hopping and I find a cute little sunflower pattern and kit.  I purchase it as a bribe for her……….finish your Blooming Nine Patch this weekend and you can have this kit to do at the beach retreat next weekend.  It worked!  She got everything together but the border and there just isn’t room to do a long border in her mountain place.  So back to SC came the top and the border fabric.

Are you still reading?  I ordered a Fat Back from Christian Lane and put the border on the quilt.  As soon as the backing arrived the quilt went on the Prince and I spent last weekend quilting quilting quilting.

Tomorrow is Jolene’s birthday.  She is meeting me in Knoxville tomorrow evening for the AQS Expo going on there.  Some of the TTT gals will be with me.  We’re having a party and she’s getting a present!! 

I don’t have a picture of the full quilt because it’s so big.  Will try to get one with Jolene.

Border quilting

Border quilting


interior of quilt

Back of quilt

Back of quilt

I’m not worried about Jolene reading this because she never has time at work and only has dial up at home………..too slow.  But just in case she fools me before I can see her………….Happy Birthday to the best friend a girl could ever have and SURPRISE!!!

4 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Cathi
    Jul 22, 2009 @ 08:07:51

    Wish I could see the whole thing! I love the colors.


  2. Kerry
    Jul 22, 2009 @ 20:54:01

    Have a great time in Knoxville, and Happy Birthday, Jolene. I miss you guys and all the fun you are having, but have a great group here too. In fact, I have been elected President-elect for our Guild next year. Yikes, what was I thinking? I may have to call on you for help. Our quilt show is Sept. 11 and 12. Nothing like Paducah or Knoxville, but come on out anyway.


  3. Judy
    Jul 22, 2009 @ 21:49:05

    Your quilting just gets better and better, Karen. Can’t wait to see the quilt in person.


  4. alice Lynn
    Jul 23, 2009 @ 19:58:49

    I can’t wait to see it either. Tell Jolene Happy Birthday from Mom and me.


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