My husband loves thistles. They’re his favorite symbol of his Scottish heritage, and in his favorite color, too. So when I saw Elizabeth Hartman’s Thistle Quilt pattern I bought it immediately, intending to sew it up for my husband for his 40th birthday. That was in October 2015, so I missed that deadline. Last year I got as far as falling in love with the Dapper Wovens line and purchasing it for the quilt. But my husband’s 41st birthday came and went with no progress on the quilt. So, over my Christmas break my very first task was to cut all the pieces for this quilt.
I’m making the large size quilt, which has 24 thistles on it. My plan was to make 12 out of the houndstooth print and 12 out of the plaid. I quickly whipped up one of each to learn the rhythm of the block and see how they look.
I am so glad I did those test blocks, because it turns out that I don’t like the plaid block at all. The pattern is too big for the scale of this block, and it looks bad to have none of the pattern match. Luckily I have enough of the houndstooth to do all the flowers out of that. So, I have more cutting to do. Then my plan is to work assembly line style – sew all the outermost flower parts, then the middle flower parts, etc. Even though I know it will be faster to work this way, I may bail and make them one block at a time so I feel like I’m making progress. Oh, and I’m going to hold onto the leftover plaid – I might make a giant flower head for the back of the quilt in a scale more appropriate for that pattern.
I want to believe I am going to wrap up this quilt quickly, but realistically I know it’s going to take a while. I’ll follow up as I make progress. I hope you enjoy a closer look into my process! Are you taking on any long-planned projects this year?