Tulip from North Carolina

It is that time of the month again… the EQ8 Block Spotlight! The spotlight shines on the Tulip from North Carolina. This lovely applique block is appropriate for this time of year, don’t you think? I absolutely love tulips, especially the crazy cultivars like fringed, lily and parrots.

Four Patch Tulip

Generally, I add applique to a pieced block to add interest. It looks like this month, I will need to change things up a bit. What happens if I copy the applique to a pieced block? My first attempt was very simple – use the four tulips as a guide. This created the Four Patch Tulip. Since I love the bright colors of spring, they were infused in this block.

Titillating Tulips – copyright Tourmaline & Thyme Quilts

Now, that I had visual elements every 45-degrees, I had lots of room to play with the quilt layout. I was in an on-point mood and chose a 3 x 3 layout. This meant I could either fill the alternate blocks and setting triangles leave them open. I split the difference – solid setting triangles and decorative alternate blocks. What to do for the alternate blocks? Time to get musical – Bach loved fugues and so do I. For those who may be a bit rusty on their musical theory, fugues are repeated themes with an interweaving of voices. In quilting, a fugue means to me that you repeat elements within the quilt in different sizes, colors, or variations to bring cohesiveness. In this case, I plucked one of the tulips and set it a plain block. The tulip was slightly more ornate to warrant having its own block. For the borders I kept the single tulip motif, but shrank it for a lovely floral frame. A wide space was left between the quilt center and border to really let the center shine and provide room for decorative quilting. The end result is “Titillating Tulips.”

Cotton Candy Tulips – copyright Tourmaline & Thyme Quilts

That was fun. So I decided to do something a little different. This time I used a pieced block in both the alternating blocks and setting triangles. The blocks were rotated to provide a subtle secondary design. The border was also more subtle – a simple checkerboard to tie the pieced blocks visually to the border. Since subtle was the tone for this quilt, I used white and three shades of pink. Tone on tone is very subtle. The result was a very different kind of quilt for me – “Cotton Candy Tulips”. Since pink tulips mean congratulations according to some sources, it would be perfect as a baby quilt. Colors could be easily modified if someone preferred yellow, green, blue, or purple.

Royal Eminence – copyright Tourmaline & Thyme Quilts

Purple. Deep purple tulips have always struck me as serious and majestic. Meanwhile, yellow tulips have a cheerful aura. Not only are these opposites on the color wheel, but also in their meanings. What happens if they mingle? Would the visual be somber or hopeful? I decided to find out. Again, I took the applique and placed it on a pieced block – the Friendship Circle. Well – if they are going to mingle, they might as well be friends – right? The secondary pattern from this block formed the perfect spot to nestle a motif. Kind of like finding the right place to talk so you can be heard and be protected from passersby. Of the three, I really think this one might be my favorite – “Royal Eminence”. The name was derived by matching color to their meanings as detailed by Jacob Olesen. He has a wonderful website about colors. Eminence is for the shade of purple and Royal is for the shade of yellow.

Please let me know which you like best! Drop a note in the comments.

Happy Quilting!