I had a layer cake of Eden by Lila Tueller and decided that it would be perfect for this quilt. Also, inspired by this, this and this, I decided I wanted to use a darker fabric instead of white for the background. There were lots of Kona cottons at Hobby Lobby that would have looked great, but Mulberry won the audition. I even sent pics by cell phone to Kirsten as I auditioned the different possible colors!
Yeah, I know the picture is terrible, but you get the general idea, and hey, at least it's a picture!!!
They only had about ½ as much as I needed, but I had the color name so I got all they had so I could at least get started (Ha, I was still a few weeks away from really NEEDING the background fabric!) Now here comes my Kona rant and if you are in love with Kona and don’t want to hear my rant, skip the next paragraph.
A couple of weeks later, I was in Hob Lob again and I decided to see if they had restocked my Mulberry Kona cotton. They had a shiny new bolt sitting on the shelf, so I got the rest that I would need for my background and took it home. And guess what? IT. DIDN'T. MATCH!!!! I could have lived with the color being slightly different. I understand about dye lots sometimes coming out a little different, but the texture was even different.
left-smoother and a little duller, right-a bit coarser and a little brighter
So off I went back (luckily, Hob Lob is only a couple of miles from my house) to buy another cut so I had enough from the new bolt to do my whole quilt.(yes, I'm that picky!) I thought maybe Hob Lob sold a different line or quality of Kona, but both pieces I bought of the Mulberry were from the very same Hob Lob. So now I have 3 ½ yards of beautiful Mulberry Kona to add to my stash. See, even though it was a rant, it has a happy ending! Have any of you experienced this difference in colors and textures in Kona cottons? (end of rant)
When I was drawing the circles in Illustrator, I knew I was going to print it out on 11x17” paper so I decided to scale my circles down to a 10” starting circle instead of 11”. Another advantage to this change was that I could get 10 petals out of a layer cake piece instead of 9. That’s 42 more pieces! So I could get a total of 420 petals out of my layer cake, but I needed 637. Time to go shopping for more Eden! I was fortunate enough to find nearly the entire line still in stock at one of my local quilt stores. Well, again, I have more fabric to add to my stash because I didn’t really need a full ½ yard of each of the cuts I bought, but I didn’t want to just buy 1 of the prints because I wanted my quilt to look balanced. Fortunately there were several prints that had 2 pieces in the layer cake, so I didn’t have to buy any more of those.
I got all my fusible bits cut and ironed on to the fabric and now starts the tedious task of cutting out 637 petals. Remember I’m a tool junkie? And I have a full woodworking shop? Well, I can also cut plastic with my woodworking tools and I had some scraps of plastic that were the exact same thickness as my rotary cutting rulers. So, I measured out the size that the finished petal should be cut to and made this:
So I was able to rotary cut all my petals. My big cutter couldn’t make the tight curves, but I had one of these, so I gave it a try.
L.O.V.E.! At first it was a little awkward to use, but once I got the hang of it, I was totally hooked! It doesn't have a changeable blade, but the blade lasted through all the petals! I tried a different rotary cutter with a tiny blade, but it just didn’t work as well. You could say, it just didn’t cut it :)