Monday, June 1, 2015

DWM: Flowering Snowball block variation

I have nothing on my design wall today but I'm inspired by other blogs I've been seeing recently to share projects from awhile ago that I haven't shared on my blog before.  I'm linking up with Judy at Patchwork Times.

Recently I've been seeing a lot of quilts using the Flowering Snowball block. Here is the block from EQ7:

The quilt below uses a variation of the Flowering Snowball block. I'm hosting Piecing Group tomorrow and we have some newer members so I've pulled out my earlier Piecing Group quilts to show them. This is the first one I made; Piecing Group hand-pieced the blocks for me in 2002.
ETGA 1, 2005, 54" x 54"
Hand and machine pieced, hand-dyed and commercial batik fabrics
Machine echo quilted

The block is actually a variation of the Flowering Snowball, but I didn't know that at the time. I drew a 9" block with a compass with overlapping curves, which turns out to be like the Flowering Snowball block but with additional quarter-circles in the corners.

For lack of a better name, I called it ETGA, after the shapes of the templates, Eiffel Tower and Gothic Arch. Here are the original templates, without seam allowances:

Here's the layout, from back in the days before EQ. I used graph paper and a copy machine and made reduced blocks to play with layouts and colorings. This block lends itself to transparency effects. This layout has the blocks offset by one-third so there were lots of inset seams.
It may not be apparent in the top photo, but the background is shaded ranging from brighter and more reddish at the upper right to darker and more purple at the bottom left. This was back when I was playing with dyeing fabrics, and there are actually 8 shade lots used here, arranged to flow smoothly so you can't see where one ends and another begins. The other colors are commercial batiks, selected for the transparency effects the overlapping colors create. Here the quadrants are rearranged so you can see the shade difference:

After languishing as a UFO for awhile, it was finally finished and quilted in 2005, and it won an Honorable Mention ribbon in my guild's biennial show that year.

In 2003 I used my ETGA block again for this quilt, a completely different layout. This one had 12" blocks and was machine pieced, for my sister for my niece's baby quilt. DH took one look and said "That's a whole lotta circles going on," so I named it Whole Lotta Circles.  (Sorry for the bad pic - it's a new photo of a film photo print since I don't have the quilt.)
Whole Lotta Circles, 2003, 60" x 60"

Thanks for indulging my walk through memory lane. Now to go clean house and plan desserts for my Piecing Group meeting tomorrow....


  1. What a beautiful smooth color gradation in the background! It is really fun to see how the same templates and piecing can make completely different quilts with just a subtle layout change.

  2. I love this pattern. What a great design.

  3. Those look so neat. I really like the second one.