Thursday, October 18, 2018

It Was Meant to Be

Another quilt made it through to the finish line lately. I've been kind of holding back on this one because I had decided to gift it and I didn't want to spoil the surprise. It's one that has been in the works for years and years.
Shattered is finished!
The first post I could find about this particular quilt was here in 2014. It's not been a particularly flashy or impressive quilt, but still, it's one that I. Just. Could. Not. Get. Rid. Of. Now I'm thinking maybe it was meant to be?
It's little, but it's mighty
This quilt named itself 'Shattered' way back in the early stages. All those little bits and pieces from the scrap bin coming together into a larger whole. I had big plans for this quilt and then the inspiration just melted away under the reality of making an entire quilt straight from the monster scrap pile. Too much good stuff in the stash totes to hide out in the scrap bin for weeks on end!
Loving the centerpiece now
I machine quilted wavy lines and ran into all sorts of troubles. Duh! While sandwiching and pinning, tape had popped loose on one side and it never really did get taut enough after that. You know me, nothing much slows me down once I get started, and I just shrugged it off and kept going.
The heart could be a little fuller on the left, but hey, that's improv.
I wasn't really too concerned as this wasn't something I felt especially invested in, if you know what I mean. And then I decided to gift it to a dear friend who had lost her husband of over 25 yrs. earlier this year.*groan.... I mean seriously, it's a perfectly good comfort quilt, right? But now what to do with my 'less than par' quilt? So I picked up a wash-out marker and roughly marked out a heart right in the middle of the quilt. Oh the symbolism! And then I stitched like a crazy woman for a couple days until it was all filled in. Let's just say that she is a very good friend.
I seriously considered putting the label over that red stain,
but thought that might be a little too weird, even for me...
And now let's just say WOW and leave it at that. I was {am}, frankly, in awe of what that simple stitched heart did to this little 'plain jane' quilt. So many, many times I almost dumped this quilt in the trash, or sent it down the road as an orphan project. Instead, I kept picking it back up and adding a little more to it. What if I use a recycled mans shirt for the border? What if I dig a little deeper into the stash totes and see what might work to bring this quilt to a good finish? I truly love it now. It all makes perfect sense and tells a wonderful story. All the scrappy bits, the meaning and symbolism, the texture, who it's going to and how much they might be needing a 'wrap-you-in-love' sort of quilt right about now...
So glad I didn't throw it away!
As usual, I washed the quilt after it was completed {in this case I did the 12 hr. soak},and wowsers, did this one bleed out! It was worse than any other I have ever finished before! Must be all those different red fabrics combined in one quilt. Very disappointing to see one little area on the back {see pic above} where the red had bled through to the back and would NOT go away. I'm sure if I had soaked it for another 12-24 hours that would have made a difference, but one day is about my limit to tie up the bathtub. Just so thankful that all the migrating dye didn't ruin the top and I don't think my friend cares one whit.*whew!
A nice little bundle of fun!
Something fun, I finally received my winnings from entering in the Bloggers Quilt Festival! Thanks Amy! It's been so long since I've won anything, that it felt a little like Christmas! It's a 'Lazy Days' by Gina Martin F8 bundle from Moda along with a cute bag, some lovely thread and a couple other fun goodies. Once piece of the fabric immediately caught my eye and will be washed up pronto. Exactly what I need for a project that I've been eyeballing as a new start! 
Quarter Circles--Round #2
I also was able to move another quilt into the hoop and get started stitching on it--Quarter Circles--Round #2. It's been a tough one to take good pictures of, but this quilt is making my heart very happy. Now. Back in 2015, it was one of those quilt top finishes that I made the best of and just moved on. So many good fabrics included in this quilt though, can't help but respond to that! 

My family is not very excited about the yellow, but it's Fall ya'll! And that means I like to get out some of those more seasonal colored quilt to stitch away on. Soon as this one is done then I have promised myself that I will finally get going on another one in similar colors that I'm not nearly as excited to stitch on. First the one that I WANT to work on and then, the one I've been dragging my heels about for the last several years. Even more than this one if that's possible....

Monday, October 15, 2018

More Progress on the Applique and the Start of a New Project

The Dried Flower blocks are ready for the leaves now. As of this posting, they are cut out and ready for stitching. Nine blocks of the larger, more rounded leaves and three of the narrow, wavy leaves. We'll see how that works out, but I'm really looking forward to seeing how these odd shaped blocks finish up! 
Dried Flowers
 I've also been steadily progressing through the chunky New York Beauty blocks. Only 10 blocks to go when I took this picture, but as of last night, all that's left to do are the gold arcs across the bottom of the 'points'. Whew! It's been a real slog getting through all 64 blocks! It's time for a break though, so now I'll probably stitch the leaves for the Dried Flowers before coming back to these.
Quarter Circles/Chunky New York Beauty Blocks
I also jumped right into the middle of a project that's been simmering for a very long time. At the last minute I switched the colors around and decided to make the baskets yellow and coral/pink instead of using the yellow for background color like originally intended.
Improv. Baskets
Not sure why I did that, but it made sense at the time. Now I'll probably go with a boring cream as the background but that's okay--the basket is probably busy enough already! The vintagey fabric above was the one I was most worried about, but now that the basket is coming together, it's my favorite. Just have to be careful when ironing as it doesn't appear to be 100 percent cotton. Love, love, love the more intense colors of that block though!
I'm calling it 'Sweet Tart'
No pattern for these baskets, just kind of winging it improv. style. Basically I cut 5 1/2" squares on the diagonal and then crosscut them again, arranged them on the design wall, and then sewed them into rows. I have a certain final block size in mind and so there's a rough template for the outside dimensions too. One more to go and then it'll be time to figure out the handle and start doing the prep work for the flowers that will be stitched 'inside'. After the last bit of marathon applique, it feels wonderful to stop at only four blocks!

Monday, October 8, 2018

And To Think, When I Was 16 I Hated the Color Purple

Basket Love is the fourteenth finish of the year! To some, it probably looks like I'm racing through the quilts and never stop to take a deep breath. Others see it for exactly what it is--Quilting is my happy place. Well, right after the husband, kids and grandchild. Never want to minimize the importance of those particular persons in my life!
Basket Love is finished!
But quilting and more importantly, working with my hands, keeps the endless worries and cares at bay. Long ago I made hand quilting an important and necessary part of my daily and weekly routine. The stitching isn't usually super complex or detailed, but it is extremely peaceful and meditative. In our fast paced culture and lifestyle, that fills a valuable space in my life. At this point, I honestly think I could hand stitch a whole cloth quilt and be happy. Oh wait! I already did that once before!
A little longer than I intended, but I think it works!
Also, I genuinely love to play with color. So much potential. So many unexplored ideas! The slightest deviation from something tried before makes for the most interesting change or look in a quilt.

Basket Love was started in May of 2017 as an extension of a AHIQ 2-block challenge. Mostly I just wanted to play with some more baskets and the idea of incorporating string/coin columns helped fill the quilt with minimal effort. Plus, the previous attempt at the challenge had left me feeling a bit let down. Totally my own fault but something to be expected after a series of missteps and a boring color palette failed to generate much enthusiasm.
The greens look different depending of the light
This particular blend of colors really intrigued me. Previously, I had scoured the stash totes for all the sour, sharp and/or muddy looking greens that I could find, and just sat there, looking and looking at them. It was way.... past time to move these out of the totes and make way for other newer, prettier fabrics. Was there any possible way to make these fabrics look well loved and appreciated though? Once upon a time I had paid good money for these fabrics because I just couldn't resist! Eventually other colors joined the stack and the bedrock of a quilt started to form. Imagine how incredulous I was when the quilt started getting more and more purple included. When I was 16, that was the color that I loathed with all of my heart!
Simple stitching as always...
The basket idea quickly coalesced into the perfect launching pad for these fabrics/colors and I was off and running. Quilting has a way of making us appreciate all the colors under the sun, right? When the supply of  'good' greens ran short, I dug even deeper and found more fabrics to add in. These later additions didn't feel quite as friendly, and I found myself working hard to spread out the brighter, happier colored green fabrics throughout the vertical string rows. Waste not, want not. Our quilting ancestors didn't give up in despair, they learned how to make do with what they had!

Probably gonna have to keep this one.
No one will ever like it as well as I do!
This quilt top went together very quickly. While it doesn't feel like the best, most vibrant, or even the most charming quilt ever made by 'moi', it does make me very happy. There's just something about the slightly imperfect balance of the setting triangles, the mishmash of basket sizes and coping strips, and all those improv. strings that fits together into one perfect whole. At least in my mind. And the hand stitching is icing on the cake, even in the areas where you have to get close to better appreciate the texture.
Love the carefree look to this quilt
All serious quilters understand what matters most. It's when a quilt made by our hands speaks loudly to our head and heart! I have to say that I also truly loved the challenge of working with long overlooked fabrics in the stash totes. Love, love, love when it works to the good in a quilting effort. Trying to manipulate oldish, stale looking fabrics into something that looks very purposeful and important. Boom! Dontcha want some nice fabric like me? lol  Cracking myself up over here....

The secret ingredient is always and ever the same though, isn't it? Usually just gotta add in a a few 'much newer' fabrics to hold the main stage--have that important 'contrast' so as to be used successfully in a limelight sort of effect. Then the less favored fabrics can do the steadfast and reliable work of filling up the background. What happens when a quilt is full to the brim of only fabulous fabrics? We've all seen it and yes, it sounds crazy. I call it an over-saturation to the senses--too much of a good thing. But maybe that's just me. I've always had a soft spot for those older make-do, utility sorts of quilts anyway. You already know that if you've followed me for very long! The best quilts are the ones that somehow manage to say 'Don't take me too seriously, I certainly don't!'......

Wednesday, October 3, 2018

In Need of Uncomplicated Sewing Right About Now

Tho the open ended projects around here have been narrowed down to a measly five projects, most being heavy on the hand work. Or picky with the accuracy. Thus the almost desperate need for something more lighthearted and free spirited. Perhaps uncomplicated is the right word?
A new fabric pull
I've spent days in the quilting room, a few minutes at a time, perusing all the lovely stacks of fabrics. Everything feels too fussy and detailed for the mood I'm currently in.*bleck!  Way too many decisions! Finally I zeroed in on one of my favorite books for inspiration: 'Unconventional and Unexpected', by Roderick Kiracofe. If all else fails, this book almost always does the trick.
Ready to start something new
In fact, two other quilts I've previously finished have been sparked by quilts pictured in this very book: the Marsala Challenge quilt and my {not-so} Ugly Quilt. Honestly, I think I'm sitting at a crossroads of sorts. There is a definite trend around here for brighter, more saturated colors and of course, the influence of working 'improv.' style, has subtly changed the look and feel in a lot of my quilts. Overall, it feels like a good thing. No regrets whatsoever!
Maybe I should have fussy cut the big circle fabrics...
Everyone knows that {eventually} there is a certain freedom in working in the more liberated fashion of improv. Undeniable how playful it can feel at times and yes, I'm getting to the point of almost craving that at times! But still, there is a powerful pull towards applique and more formal settings with repeat blocks. I don't want to hide any of that under an avalanche of quickly sewn together string quilts just 'cuz I adore working with strings.

Hmm... Me thinks I've been feeling just a bit paralyzed of late. Here's hoping a brief dive into an out-of-my-comfort-zone color palette paired with the steady, comforting drip, drip, drip of a traditional log cabin format will work wonders. The idea of making one fabric/color decision at a time feels like a step in the right direction if what I need is a sort of 'clarity' on how best to move forward. And just for the record? These strips are all being cut with the rotary cutter at exactly 2 1/2" wide. Knowing me, I'm betting it will turn out just a little wonky looking regardless. Maybe because the strips will not be precisely measured and cut per each round? Yeah. It's definitely gonna go wobbly at some point before I'm done....

*On a side note, I am still having problems being able to respond to comments via email which is what I much prefer to do! This blog is a Google platform, so this is a 'Blogger' issue and yes,  I apologize for how that might affect you. If you aren't receiving a return reply to any comments made here, {I admit to being slow about it at times}, then simply put, I don't have access to your email address. There are several people who comment sporadically: Anne? Dorthy Finley? and others who I probably haven't mentioned but would love to chat with in a return comment. Just leave your email at least one time in a comment here on the blog or email me personally, and I'll try to keep track of you after that. Thank you! 

Wednesday, September 26, 2018

Never Enough Time

How about a good long catch up post? First off, the HST Medallion quilt has been front and center for well over a week. I made the determination that nothing was going to get between this project and the sewing machine until all the small hst rows were sewn on. Two hundred breaks later for hand work or changing out the laundry or whatever else I could invent and....
More progress on HST Medallion!
Here we are, finally, at hst row #10. Woohoo! That's three more row sets added onto this quilt since the last time I posted any progress! I was pretty sure if I didn't do all three of them, one right after the other, this quilt would just die a slow death. It took days longer than I expected. It's all just so very tedious. Made me want to pull my hair out sometimes. Scream. Run away. What is it about excessive repetition?
10 rows finished
I mean, look at how innocuous these hst's are. So simple and unassuming. Ugghh... Who's idea was this anyway? The last round brought the total count up to just over 1300 hsts. Which is a lot. But honestly, it feels like about 5000! All that's left now are the last two rounds {if I follow thru}, which are larger. That should help, larger is good.

The last light pink border was a calculated risk. I totally know you've been eyeballing that one and wondering....  Audrey? Hmm.. What?  I'm still using fabric from the stash and thought maybe a 'disappearing' border would be interesting in the big picture of things. Taking a look at what fabric was left helped to make the final decision. If the quilt would have stopped off at that round, then yeah, it would have been a huge mistake. So far I'm perfectly okay with the look. It's not like I do polished looking quilts. Gotta have some quirks!

So...  accuracy? I'm within an inch or less of where its supposed to be, no matter if I measure directly through the center or along any particular side. That's pretty impressive {for me} considering how many, many, many seams there are. Sometimes I pay more attention to accuracy than others, but seriously, who has the time? Mostly I fudge if its close and the black single fabric sashing rows tidy things up before the next round. The saving grace has been that my cutting efforts have been more precise and careful. Daylight hours only!
Doesn't look like much
Lots of hand work to choose from when I'm fleeing the quilt room. I've really been enjoying do some hand stitching on my Dried Flowers {squirrel} project. The colors are particularly soothing right now--spot on for early fall.  At this point I'm stalled on what kind of leaves to add on though. Maybe I'll just have to do some of both!
Auditioning leaf shapes...
The project below is one that was started from leftover quarter circle pieces cut out from the back of a long ago quilt. It's been keeping me company as well. Instead of some complicated piecing thing that would be driving me bonkers, I decided to do an applique version of a simple New York Beauty block. After all the chunky spikes are sewn down, then I will probably stitch on an arc of gold fabric, over the bottom part of the spikes and covering the edges of the curve. These colors still make me very happy, which I find interesting as I've been playing with this particular color palette off and on for years now.
Getting started on a pile of 64 blocks total
And then there is the Off On a Tangent quilt. All the hand work is finished up and yep!, I made a mistake that always makes me feel a little twitchy. All the letters are in green fabrics that blend well with the quilt, but do not show up very emphatically when all is said and done.
Got the hand stitching done
Much too late to take them off now and start over and I don't want to anyway. They look just fine up close so that is that. Don't know why I keep making this same mistake after all this time. If you're gonna go to the trouble of adding words, for goodness sakes, do them in a color that has some impact!
It's not the best color, but it'll probably do
I guess I was thinking of serenity and peaceful feeling vibes? This quilt has already jumped to the head of the line for sandwiching and quilting. Very fast turn around for me, but this quilt is determined to go live with someone else.
Ughh... Sandwiching and pinning
In fact, I already machine quilted {stitched in the ditch} thru the inside of the quilt. Now that Basket Love, shown below, is out of the hoop, I can do some quick, big stitch quilting around the borders and move it on down the line. Oh how I wish that every quilt was as easy and rewarding to stitch as the quilt below. I adore hand quilting on string quilts! I'm sure it would get boring though if that's all that ever passed thru the hoop.
Ready for binding work!
Because the HST Medallion quilt took so long to work through sewing on the rows, I totally blinked on getting to the AHIQ work this month. That kind of annoys me 'cuz I love the improv. stuff, but there will be time for that later. Right now, things are happening that are a bit beyond my control. My sewing machine is scheduled to go in for a maintenance {in order to keep up with the warranty}, and that totally rearranged my priorities as well. The only machine quilting I do these days is on that particular machine 'cuz it has a bigger harp! Quick, what needs done before I have to do without! The quilt store where I drop the sewing machine off is three hours away so that means I'll be using a back-up machine for quite awhile, maybe even a month.*sigh  Not going to tackle big quilt work on the smaller machine.

I managed to arrange the initial drop off with the same timing as taking my kids to the airport and also an Apple store appointment. My phone desperately needs a new battery and apparently we can't do that without their help. If Bloglovin' gets any slower, the phone will be in total meltdown. Or maybe I will? Anyway, when you live out in the boondocks, these sorts of trips take some strategic planning. There is usually shopping involved. Things like that.

**Per the question asked after my last post, referring to the days when I said I would never, ever hand quilt? Well, that was 20-25 years ago, when I first started quilting. A lot has changed since then, including the fact that I don't have littles hanging on to my ankles and demanding every second of my attention. Also, I don't like doing machine quilting. Really, really don't care for it at all and in fact, when I attempt anything close to free-motion, it feels like the top of my head is going to come off. I push myself learn a lot of techniques and things that feel important to further expand my ability to make unique and personal looking quilts. Someday that may come to lessons in free motion quilting, but for now, hand quilting is as essential to me as air, both in the doing and the seeing. Quite simply, it's now part of my quilting voice, regardless of the time it may take... What elements of this craft are important to you and your quilting?

Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Improv. Wheels My Pick for 2018 Bloggers Quilt Festival

Oh my, how the time does fly. I've been working on this quilt for over 2 years now! It was a project started in order to play with an improv. method from Sujata Shah's 'Cultural Fusion' book. Finishing it up at the time of the Bloggers Quilt Festival made it a shoe-in for entering!
A closer look at the blocks
I liked funky pinwheel look to the blocks, but it just seemed like they needed a bit more focus. Thus the idea of trimming the edges and giving them more of a 'wheel' look. I do tend to veer toward a more circular look at the slightest provocation.
All washed up and crinkly looking
Then of course, the centers appeared to be in need of a brighter, more unifying color, of which I was happy to oblige them with. But what to do about those white, vacant looking connecting squares?  That yawning emptiness?
The birds are little but I like the whimsical touch
It only seemed right to add a busy little bird and on and on like that, it just happened. This quilt seemed determined to tell its own story and it was my job to figure it out and narrate it properly.
Improv. Wheels finally a finish!
Looking back, I'm not sure the flower border was the right element for finishing off the quilt. It does give it a rather dated look! Oh well, I fell in love with the way that floral motif blended in so well with the rest of the fabrics in the quilt and all along, I was rooting for a vintage vibe. Just might have to wait another 10-15 years for the 'vintage' to kick in. lol
It looks good for snuggling
The entire quilt was hand quilted in perle cotton #8 and #12, my go-to threads for the last couple years. It's part and parcel of what tipped the scales in the direction of being happy with the ultimate finish. Hand quilting texture in a quilt is just so very yummy. I'm quite the addict by now and still have to grin when I think of those years when I was so vocal about never, ever hand quilting anything!

I'm also very pleased with the recycled mens shirts included in the quilt and the one vintage piece of fabric I bought special at a quilt show a few years ago. I don't do much of that, but it always feels good. Plus, as an added bonus, there are many oldy, moldy fabrics in this quilt that have been languishing in the bottom of the stash totes for sooo many years that it feels quite ridiculous at times.
Not my normal colors, but it all came together in the end...
There is a very real resistance to throwing out fabrics on the basis of 'Well, I haven't used them thus far, so I probably never will!'. Oh no. That's just like waving a red cape. Throw a few beautiful new fabrics in with the lot and just wait and see what I can come up with. Challenge thrown down, challenge accepted!*wink  Now to find times to peruse all the wonderful quilts over at Fall 2018 Bloggers Quilt Festival. Always a good time to find new inspiration!

Tuesday, September 11, 2018

What's Happening in the Quilt Room Today

It's been nice to spend some time in the quilting room and take stock. A couple days saw me sewing together quilt backings, something I don't generally enjoy. However, I have discovered that sewn together in batches, one after another, then it's not really quite as tedious as normal. I just use a couple big pieces of yardage and then scrap together the rest with something that blends from straight out of the stash totes. Saving myself time for that day when there's actually time to sandwich and pin means a lot in the long term.
Quilts tops next up for quilting
I won't bore you with pics of the backings as they aren't the prettiest things in the world {I tend to use fabrics that would never merit prime time on the front of the quilts}, but I try to make sure they won't embarrass or cost a boat load of money. All my quilting pennies go toward beautiful fabric for the quilt itself and the backings are leftovers, fabrics donated by others or clearance stuff that 'will do'. Basket Love {below} is the next quilt up for getting some attention in the hoop.
Basket Love moving into the hoop
For some reason, this particular quilt has been calling my name rather loudly. Maybe it's because I've been working with light, bright quilts lately and needed the moodiness this quilt presents.
A closer look
Whatever. I have been absolutely relishing getting started with the hand quilting on this one. Wowsa. Does it ever make me happy having it in my lap! The only thing I might would change is if I had a deeper variety of thread color to work with, but no matter. I'm not taking the time to order anything extra online.
Soaking up the stitches
Another thing I have done lately is very deliberately pull out every single, lurking, fabric stack and try to take a good picture of it. Check it out for positive feel goods. You know what I'm talking about, that glimmer of excitement that a particular blend of fabrics helps generate in our creative consciousness. These are fabrics that have somehow managed to pull together and sit marinating somewhere on the counters or in little totes throughout the quilt room, almost as if a magnetic force is keeping them anchored together!
Stack #1
To my surprise and yes, a little consternation, I seemed to have collected 12 such stacks. Oh my goodness gracious, it seems that I have become a hoarder! lol  Don't guilt me for my obvious fabric love. I'm confident that it is much, much cheaper than therapy...
Stack #2
This year in particular has been one for tamping down on the new starts. Just a little. Trying to narrow down the open-ended quilt projects has been challenging to say the least and honestly, I'm not sure it's a beneficial thing to keep doing that to my creativity.
Stack #3
There's something about getting started on a new project that signifies giving a measure of importance to a creative idea that might possibly disappear into the ether otherwise. Once started, it rarely gets completely lost or completely abandoned. Might take a while to see it through, but the idea that I have committed fabric and space makes it worthwhile.
Stack #4
Writing and doodling ideas on paper is a good way to ensure that the idea is not completely lost for eternity, but still, real enthusiasm and spark tend to wane and lose strength in time and the busyness of life. Might have to work on balance again in regards to this.
Stack #5
There are lots of ideas floating around for many of these stacks of fabrics. For example, the previous two stacks were compiled in direct response to the idea that I might make a quilt for a specific person. This lovely person adores dark, dark reds such as maroon and are quite adamant about it. Ughh. So difficult to work with! So I started with the brighter, happier reds and added green. Nahh... They would hate that for sure. But it's so, so  pretty! Can't get rid of it now when there is such potential. hehe  So I eventually started the Stack #5 and have piddled around with it for months trying to fine tune the look. Adding the lighter red stripe with the blue floral is finally, finally starting to make sense to me. No matter what anyone else might or might not like, if the fabrics/colors don't work for me? The quilt isn't going to sing and that's just fact.
Stack #6
Several of these stacks have a pretty concrete design idea that all I'm trying to nail down now is certain, specific details before I start cutting and sewing. Proportions of color usage in particular tend to get me bogged down prior to a quilt start. I hate the idea of making a lifeless looking quilt. What, pray tell, is the point of making a boring quilt?
Stack #7
You probably already know that I have ideas for a couple basket quilts {shock shock}, a medallion style quilt, a log cabin, a vertical, strippy sawtooth, a couple detailed applique quilts, maybe an alphabet quilt?, a traditional, repeated block layout and of course I'm being opened minded about something for improv. as well. These are things that might be as predictable as the sun coming up in the morning, but still manage to keep me very engaged, quilty-wise. And of course, I'm rarely adverse to hopping onto a new challenge if the right one happens along....
Stack #8
It was interesting to see how many of these fabric stacks look very familiar one to another. As Ann mentioned in her latest post, 'we all have different color combinations and values we prefer'. So, so true!
Stack #9
Oftentimes, we unintentionally find ourselves perfecting the use of a specific color palette. I used to shy away from this as it felt a slippery slope towards making quilts that seemed to copy-cat another. Now I just look at is as 'series' work. Sometimes we work on certain design elements over and over and other times we zero in on a specific color blend. We don't feel free to give up until we've learned about all that we can from it! Why are we so quick to brush off the direction into which our instincts are trying to guide us in?
Stack #10
One thing I've learned through the years, is that any of these fabric stacks will end up making a far better looking quilt than anything that can be dug out of the stash totes in a single setting. Or started up lickety split. Or bought altogether in a shopping trip. Take a closer look at the fabrics stacks that might look similar one to another with just a quick glance. The fabric print will probably read completely different which means the look/feel to a quilt will automatically read as unique. For instance, Stack #12 has a lot of reproduction look fabrics which hopefully will translate as a more antique/vintage look/feel quilt.
Stack #11
Although, in the interest of true transparency, that stack below is working on it's third year of quietly simmering on the back burner.*groan...  Might have to fish or cut bait there?
Stack #12
And because I was so taken aback at all the bright, happy tones in most of the fabric stacks, I just had to make up a slightly moodier selection of fabrics. My goodness, it's an interesting exercise to make these sorts of comparisons and really SEE the seeds of evolution and change! Which meant Fabric stack #13.... Yep. That happened. Funny how timely that was with this great idea that popped into my head though, just before falling asleep last night. Uh huh. That's what I'm talking about. The fun just never ends.
Stack #13
Will some of these fabric stacks be tossed back or possibly combined at some later date? You betcha. That's the way it works. And I don't know about you, but when I'm looking for a particular color or value, I have no problem with raiding one of these fabric stack for the much needed element in a current quilt. That always, always takes precedence and nothing, no fabric stack or design idea is sacrosanct around here. My projects are very fluid and as always, very adaptable to the whims and fancies of change.  

Sorry for the long post, but a reader or two had previously asked for inspiration pics in the form of my long-time simmering {by now, probably infamous} fabric stacks. Here there are, the whole glorious lineup! But yeah, it's just how things roll around here and I'm not gonna pretend otherwise. Also in the general tidying up/taking stock in the quilt room, I remade a couple lists. It was time. There are currently 23 quilt tops ready for quilting and 6 open ended quilt projects. Plus, 2 or 3 squirrelly sets of orphan blocks gleefully gravitating toward one another for those days where I'm bored, a little antsy and well, most probably procrastinating about having to make major design decisions....  You did come here to read about a quilters crazy life, right?

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