For many years I have collected Asian inspired fabrics. I love them! The colors, the subject matter, the lines and the feel of most of these fabrics just inspires me. These fabrics have inspired me so much that about 10 years ago I lead a retreat with my friend Lynn Chinnis, we called “Orient Expressed”. The retreat itself was pretty low-key with no classes, but still pressed us to cut into those fabrics we had collected over time.
When I worked for Quilters Confectionery I purchased a pattern called Asian Tiles to showcase my collection. The pattern is fat quarter friendly, and translated well into what I affectionately call selective scrap. Well, I found it hard to cut into some of these pieces so I started another one instead that just used one fabric. That particular quilt is still incomplete. However, I did cut into my collection and what fun it was to put the pieces together! Much more fun than the one with just one fabric! The pattern is beginner friendly and easy to follow. My one problem was leaving the bonus triangles in place. It wouldn’t be a problem for most, and truly, I have plenty of fabric to play with, but it truly bothered me leaving those triangles there. As the piece progressed I made a decision not to abandon the triangles.
So, I went in after them. Those that I could, I did, cut out and save. Those that were too far into the project, I left. Somehow, it made me feel better.
It wasn’t too long before I had a stack of bonus half square triangles. I sewed and pressed and trimmed and sewed and Viola!
I’m nearly as pleased with this additional piece as I am with the quilt itself!
Keep in mind when assembling your blocks for the Asian Tiles, that you are consistent and follow the directions. It is very easy to get turned around and then your blocks will be going in different directions. That is how I ended up with a quilt and a wall hanging, and now the bonus piece.
I still have a few projects to finish from that retreat of nearly ten years ago. But little by little I am forging through that UFO pile.
One of the most fun things we did at the Orient Expressed retreat (and it was initially resisted), was to compose a Haiku. Oh what fun.
Many miles I must go
on my creative journey
to be with good friends.
That was a very fun retreat! I love seeing your quilt again, and the bonus triangle one is great inspiration for people who hate to toss all those little leftover bits.
Thanks Paula! There were so many leftover bits that it seemed wasteful to toss them. I can’t remember going to retreat and not having fun, but Orient Expressed will always hold a special place in my heart. So loved the Haiku aspect.
I’ve been following you on Instagram, but thanks to Wedding Dress Blue (your comment) I found your blog now, which I much prefer! What a great use of the triangles – I never leave them in, either. It lies flatter and makes a nicer top when you don’t.
Thank you! It didn’t even occur to me that the top would lie flatter. Just another great reason to save the “dog ears”.