Friday, March 23, 2012


Debbie Powell of Miss Lou's quilt shop came to our guild Wednesday to teach us Nancy Johnson Srebro's version of how to make the Tree of Life without diamonds or Y seams.  What a patient teacher!  This was definitely new territory for us, and we plunged into the exercise with both feet, confident that Debbie could handle anything that we screwed up along the way.

Although the TOL block in the middle is done a la Nancy Srebro, the rest of this quilt was completed as a round robin by Debbie's quilting group, and it is lovely!  I have to say I like the variety of the borders more than I like the quilt finish in Nancy's book.  I took this picture so I could remember how those round robin participants worked their layers.

I had done a mock up of how I wanted my colors to be distributed in my TOL, but I found matching the strips to be a little nerve wracking.  I had to really pay attention to how they went, following Debbie's pattern board carefully.

Eventually I completed the first half of the left half of the top of the tree (whew!  does that make it a quarter?  No, because then there was the lower half on both sides, half of which was background -- I think each of these initial blocks turned out to be 1/16 of the quilt as a result.)

Once you have the first two sections done, you fold them in half corner to corner to see if they followed your mock up or if you need to make changes.  Then you place one on top of the other, right sides together, and sew from the outer corner in.  Supposedly, if you have perfect 1/4" seams and your strips were cut accurately, the diamond intersections will meet perfectly.  Well, mine weren't, but the end result wasn't half bad!

By the way, you have to cut away half of the block after sewing the two sections together. Very wasteful of fabric EXCEPT if you're a a scraps lover like many of us.  Then you can just sew those discarded sections together and start a whole nuther quilt!!!

This is the TOL block, ready to have the several borders done.  This will be a joyful project to work on in the coming week(s).  It took me all day to get this thing together!  So it's definitely going to get finished!

Here are some examples of other class members' work.  Instead of folding them diagonally, we just placed the sections side by side so you could see how pretty their colors were and how nicely the diamonds magically appear!

Very springy! 

Bolder colors make this an intriguing and eye catching pattern!

I have to put this aside this week to do a customer quilt and clean my house before the ladies of my development descend upon it when we gather here prior to going to tea in Wake Forest Friday, but I'll keep you up to date on my progress.

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