Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Behind the Scenes: the Windsor Woods BOM

We've debuted the Windsor Woods BOM quilt here on the blog, and now it's time to go behind the scenes! Designer Sue Harvey of Pine Tree Country Quilts talks about how she and fellow designer Sandy Boobar created this garden beauty!

Q. What do you find appealing about the Windsor Woods prints?
Sue: We saw the panel of 6 gorgeous squares in its beginning stages and loved the circle in a square designs and the hummingbird, dragonfly, bumble bees and butterflies. We could imagine a beautiful garden-themed quilt as soon as we saw them. The coordinates in the collection just helped make that garden possible!

Q. How do you feel that using the pre-printed blocks enhances the design?
Sue: We like the challenge of fitting panels and pre-printed blocks into pieced designs. With Windsor Woods, the detail and elegance of the panel squares adds so much interest to the blocks. Lots of piecing, and very small piecing, would have been needed to make the flower-looking centers for the Woods Flower blocks in the top and bottom centers of the quilt. Each of the panel blocks became beautiful anchors to build from in the corner blocks and the center block.

Q. How do you design a BOM?
Sue: Well, we try to design blocks that are different from each other because no one wants to work on blocks that are pretty much the same month after month. We knew from the beginning that this was going to be a 7-month quilt. We also knew that as many blocks as possible would include the panel squares so that would mean 2 complete panels per quilt. Those squares would help make the different piecing of the blocks work together. Then the green triangle frames around some of the blocks added another link.

Q. Did you design the large center block first?
Sue: Nope. We worked on the four corner blocks first. They were the easiest to think about because the circular butterfly and dragonfly panel squares were so similar in shape and style and seemed perfect to hold down those outside corners. We did rough out the center block after the corners were done. But we finished it last. When everything else was done, we added some smaller detail piecing to the large center to make it fit with the more intricate piecing of the other blocks.

Q. What is your favorite part about the quilt?
Sue: The “invisible” sashing. All those different width and different length strips that make the blocks fit together while still giving the appearance of floating blocks on a creamy background. The old calculator got a work out figuring the sizes to cut to fit in here and fit in there.

Q. Tell us about your thrifty use of fabric.
Sue: We realized when we finished with the quilt that there were parts of the 2 panels that we hadn’t used. We made a table runner and placemat set to use the floral border from the sides of the panel and the last 2 squares. Both are simple projects that will also use up some of the leftover fabrics from the monthly kits. Then we noticed that we hadn’t given a lot of attention to some of the fabrics in the collection. They had been used in just small pieces in the quilt or they just deserved more of a showcase than they got in the quilt. So we put together a couple of very easy-to-make tote bags to let the hummingbirds and dragonflies really stand out.
(Here's a peek the extra projects Sue and Sandy designed with the leftover BOM fabric)
Table runner


Tote #1

Tote #2

Be sure to ask your local quilt shop about the Windsor Woods BOM quilt!

Don't miss the post introducing Windsor Woods here
See the panel that inspired the BOM design here!
See the entire Windsor Woods collection by Ro Gregg here.

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