November Quilt Block Is An Insane Tulip

To participate in the Heartland Heritage Block of the Month quilt project this year, I’ve had to create quilt blocks each and every month, with the designs getting ever more complicated. This month’s block, the penultimate design for 2018, is called Tulip, but I have dubbed it Insane Tulip because it’s tested my own mental health!

I appreciate that the folks at Inspiring Stitches have challenged me to undertake this quilt project, but sometimes the instructions printed with each month’s calendar have been confusing and not always intuitive, especially for a beginning quilter like me.

Before I can call November’s quilt block complete, I’m going to need to create five of these bad boys, and my first one didn’t come out looking too pretty. I’ve been thrown for another serious quilting conundrum.

Nov Tulip Block

First, I must say that simply cutting the pieces needed for this block was insanely difficult. The sizes were all over the literal measuring chart and in groups of twos and fours. So I kept looking back and forth at the instructions to make sure I had the correct sizes and quantities as required.

Nov block set up

Next, I had to ask my husband to help me figure out what I was supposed to do from a spatial standpoint. I was having a difficult time visualizing and interpreting what the diagrams were showing me to do. Once I started sewing, I realized I had made a half-inch mistake in cutting one of the pieces. I had no choice but to cut out all new pieces (for all five blocks, mind you). It took me nearly two hours before my work began to look recognizable. And that’s when I decided to take a break until the next morning, just to help keep my mental health intact.

Nov Block Small Piece
Here’s what I had after almost two hours of sewing!

Once I was fresh and ready to start anew, things went more smoothly. In no time at all I had my first flower finished. However, due to a mistake in reading the ever-so-clear (not!) instructions, the entire block came out a half-inch smaller than it was supposed to be. My bad.

Nov Block 1
Yes, this flower is off. No, it’s not your imagination.

At least I figured out what I did wrong, which allowed me to correct it on my next block! I’ll be making three more by the time I’m through with the Tulip block for November.

Since I’ll need five of these flower blocks in total, I thought I might try mixing up the colors. But that was before I saw the requirements. Instead, I cut three in shades of yellow, one in pinks and one in purples. I have tons of scraps and could have made all the flowers in separate colors, but it would have driven me bonkers. I was already making so many mistakes. I even noticed my straight sewing was getting wonky, and that’s really weird because I use a 1/4-inch quilting foot on my sewing machine.

1-4 quilt foot1-4 quilt foot side

The quilting foot, as shown in the above photos, usually keeps me lined up perfectly. I have no clue why or how my lines get off when I use a ruler to cut my fabric and then use this special foot to sew straight lines. This should be the very last problem I have. But nope, I’m always off!

Maybe I just need to do more quilting projects. What do you think?

Nov Block Final
The quilt block on the right is a bit larger and straighter. I only have three more to make!

To be fair, this block had lots of tiny bits being sewn in many different directions. It’s pretty amazing that it looks like a flower at all once everything is said and done. I really hope next month’s block is an easy one. It would be a lovely way to end this quilt project!


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