Fueled with an overwhelming desire to use my stash I pulled a bunch of aquas, greens and golds and got to work on the above block. The pattern is Sarah Fielke's Ups and Downs - I love that it is easy squares and half square triangles, but the arrangement makes for an interesting and more complex looking design.
The Heather Bailey Nicey Jane roses at left is my inspiration fabric. It has been hanging out on my shelf for way too long and I like it too much to let it to continue to languish. Large scale prints don't have to be used in large pieces. By cutting 3 1/2" squares, I get a lot of different looks from the same fabric, depending on which area of the design is in each square.
Twelve squares from 16 fabrics plus 48 slightly larger squares to make the half square triangles.
For a soft, natural look, I have paired the prints with Robert Kaufman Essex linen in natural. I haven't used the linen in a quilt before - I hope it washes well!
When I start a new project, I make a test block first to be sure that I like it and to figure out any details the pattern may have left out, like which way to press the seams. I am usually a press to the side girl, but with this pattern, it makes more sense to press all the seams open. I like pressing open with half square triangles because it enables me to see the diagonal seams to get nice points.