Monday, January 26, 2015

Going Backwards

I'd say it was a quiet weekend, but that's probably only true if we're talking about quilting. My house was busting out at the seams a few times this weekends with all the visiting family and then the friends visiting the family. Lots of food, laughter, noise and confusion! Always difficult to find both gloves when everybodys coats, hats and gloves are piled up all together....
Cake Stand blocks
I do have the Cake Stand quilt top almost completely tore apart now. Wowsers do I dislike using the seam ripper. I keep telling myself that it will all be worthwhile when I get the mini cake stand blocks liberated from their {ugly fabric} setting and finally, I could see that it was true. People keep asking me why I'm ripping a quilt top apart instead of sewing one together and I just shake my head and say that 'it wasn't working for me--I didn't like it'. I am definitely turning into the crazy quilting lady of the family though. You know how it is in a very large family. It's extra special hard to get any attention without doing something really drastic.*wink

Saturday, January 24, 2015

It's a Saturday and I Don't Even Know if I Have Time to Quilt...

Just playing! I have such a small space in my quilting room that it becomes quite an exercise in frustration at times. Especially with blocks like these where the color is pretty much all over the place. Still, there is plenty of room to figure out the important things.
My Tree of Life blocks
I like the light so much better upstairs than downstairs in the middle of my living room. Plus, nobody walks across my quilts in the quilt room except me. I do have to deal with the occasional random comment though, which can either invigorate me or send me into a self pitying spiral.*wink
Trying to balance the trees....
Regardless, there have been decisions made. It's the old fashioned setting and an orange background. Who'd have thunk it? Every other color made me want to go running for the hills except for this leftover I-felt-sorry-for-this-orange-languishing-in-the-clearance-bin fabric. I bought it a long time ago for a baby quilt and ended up buying the rest of the bolt.*sigh  I know, I know. It's a very bad habit and one that should most definitely be kicked to the curb.

So... I've already cut the orange strips {no second guessing this one} and determined the fabric for the connector squares too. Now I just need to find time. And motivation. Hm... First things first. The family seems to think that groceries have become a top priority.....

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Always Some Hand Quilting Going on Behind the Scenes....

After machine quilting through the sashing and alongside the 9-patch blocks, there really is minimal area left to hand quilt. I started out with a chunky, red, big stitch look and then, after completing only one frame, ripped it out and started over. This time with a very light lime green thread.
Imagine a Quilt in the hoop
I just felt that this quilt didn't need anything to distract from what the cream background squares do for the quilt--calming it down and giving it a peaceful, almost serene look. I'm really enjoying working with this quilt again in spite of being disappointed that I'm not big stitching. For some reason, that was what I was in the mood to do right now! The fabric and color combination is very soothing to me though. Every single 9-patch has one piece of the same exact blue floral and then the rest is scrappy {with a lot of repeats}. I don't know how to describe it except for the fact that it just feels good to me!

Through the years I am constantly pulling out an older quilt top to hand quilt and then all the while, working on a zillion 'current' quilt projects. This has often caused some overlap in the way I work with my quilting, such as me starting Quarter Circles Round #2 after hand quilting my first Quarter Circles quilt and things like making my Cactus Basket blocks in the colors I did, no doubt because I was busily hand quilting my Spring Forward quilt at the same time.
Getting close to the border work...
This influence of older quilt to new, and back and forth as I add design elements and detail, is a constant, occurring over and over in my quilt room. I like to think that it adds depth to my quilts as nothing is ever really finished in a rush or pushed off for the next little bit of whimsy that catches my eye. Of course, some quilts languish for years waiting for that last little bit of detail, but we won't be mentioning that.*wink
Scrappy Tulips
And last but not least, I went ahead and added a border onto Scrappy Tulips. It's a very vivid floral print that dulls the sashing down just a bit, but at the same time, adds a bit of drama that the quilt seems to need. I'm definitely going to have to change out that pink square for a red one and then try to find something for the next border that pulls out the brighter colors again. Always a challenge, these make-it-up-as-you-go-along types of quilts....

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Coming Out on Top

I have a lot of applique in the works right now. It's the one thing that gets me all bogged down and starting to {almost} panic. When am I going to find time to get all this done?!! lol  Not that it's ever worth panicking over. There is always time to be found when you really want something done. That's just fact.
Quarter Circles--Round #2
Appliqueing circles goes very fast and somehow they slip through the queue to the top every single time. And that's exactly what I'm talking about. Some applique never ever gets put on the back burner and others, I drag my feet until they're practically burning.*wink

Once I had all the circles stitched on, then it was time to cut them apart. So very difficult to do with the first few--it felt a bit like desecration. I had to put some steel in my backbone {it's all for the greater good after all} and then I was off and running, er.. cutting.
Cutting them all apart for the great good
I decided on a mix of goldy yellows for the connector strips and an old fashioned red for the cornerstone square. I love how rich it looks with most of the circle fabrics. I know some people thought I would mix up the quarter circle units, but I like the continuity of keeping all the circles the same.
And taking a quick look at what they might look like after...
Scrappy is good, but I want each block to stand very distinctly on its own. After I get these sewn together, then I will be stitching them down to a creamy white background. One thing at a time. Ooh, I am enjoying these fabrics sooo very much!

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Sunburst May Just Be the Forever Project I Didn't Know I Had

I've been working on this quilt for a long time. Mostly because I didn't know quite how to get my ideas transferred through the fabric and into a cohesive whole. Making an 'all applique' quilt is something very new to me and doesn't seem to come naturally. Evidently though, I must really want to make this quilt, as I keep coming back again and again to see if it can be figured out to my satisfaction.
Prep for my Sunburst quilt
I've had the fabrics gathered up for a very long time, the initial inspiration quilt posted to my wall and even the centerpiece stitched and ready for additions. The major roadblock seems to be upstairs in my mind. I do tend to second guess myself before attempting laborious efforts with uncertain outcomes! Well, that, and the fabrics I chose were getting brighter and happier with every single playtime. Did you know that leaves can look like Easter eggs? I know, shocking...
Getting the applique layout all figured out
So yes, I've played with the leaves and flowers on this quilt more than I'm prepared to admit to. {Call me fussy or call me a perfectionist, it needed to be right.} And then I added a little bird. {Call me insane.}
Proof that I'm probably certifiable...
The little birdy ended up with a piggy-like beak because the piece was so very small. No worries though, as there will be three more to practice on.*sigh  I have been doing this like I do all my applique work, just 'eye-balling' the placement. I prefer the casual, slightly off kilter look to the whole as I believe it gives my applique a much more 'folky' look than the very precise, more formal placement would. Plus, I don't have the patience to get that part just right.*wink  We all have our weaknesses preferences don't we?

Interested in an ongoing discussion about our diverse motivations to make? Check out this very interesting post. I follow most of these quilters thru Bloglovin', but Cauchy puts it together very well.

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Playing With the Log Cabin Blocks

I don't know what there is about this quilt that just keeps drawing me in. Lately it's somehow become my 'go-to' project for those extra minutes in the quilt room. 'Oh I know, I'll just sew up a couple more log cabin blocks!' And now there are 42 blocks in all.
Log Cabin blocks on the wall
The colors are very muted and low key, but the difference in prints is just delightful. Very intriguing to this weirdly wired brain of mine! I love working with the light pinks and the more blocks I make, the more pink I add. It's completely out of my control, I assure you.
With potential strippy setting
Originally I had big plans.  My thoughts were to make about four long strips of log cabin blocks intermixed with strips of that gorgeous floral panel fabric I won from Barb awhile back. When I only had 20 blocks it seemed like a good plan. I liked it.
A topsy turvy look
But then I made more blocks. Hey, there was plenty more strips already cut out. Why waste fabric? I threw them down on top of the panel fabric one day all topsy turvy and sucked in my breath. Oooh. Maybe that was what really needed to happen.
Topsy turvy, but smushed together
{My personal favorite}
But then Tidy Tilda got ahold of me and I started arranging them in {sort of} neater rows. Hmmm... That was even better. But made my head hurt trying to figure out how to get it all worked out properly without losing too much fabric bits.
And anther potential setting...
I played with a couple other ideas and then I stacked it all up and put it away. So many ideas to ponder. And... the kicker is, because I was originally going to do rows of blocks, the blocks are not what you would call square. Each log cabin block is at least 9 1/2" in width, but the length is anywhere from 9 1/8" to 10 1/2". Yikes! To square up or not to square up--that is the question! Lots to think about, isn't there? So much fun. It really doesn't have to be shiny new quilt patterns or the newest fabrics to get us all fired up. Just quilting what we love.....

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

My Busy, Busy Scrappy Tulips

Playing with my Scrappy Tulips again! It took more time than I expected to get them all stitched down to the big foundation block. Lots of little pieces of fabric there at the edges to fold under just right so they lay flat. I stuck them up on the wall and then kind of had to take a big step back. They are very colorful and the green stems just seem almost fluorescent in comparison.
Scrappy Tulips
Sorry the color is so bad in these pictures. I had a terrible time getting the pictures to turn out even this good. There is just so much going on in these blocks and the camera apparently didn't know quite where to focus! Believe me, they do NOT look quite so browned down in real life. I turned them this way and that, trying to see if it made a difference for layout.
Changing up the layout
It doesn't matter so much for the flowers themselves. But for the background fabric? I like all the stripes going in the same direction. Oh yeah. Too much busyness otherwise. I decided on the blue sashing because it looked lush and rich with a lighter accent to calm things down. Ha! Do you think I could get a proper picture of that? Well no. Not after the battery in my camera died! All the blues look very grayed down and you're probably wondering what in the world I was thinking.
Scrappy Tulips with the sashing added
Sometimes I do too. This is a very bright quilt, if you could only see it in the proper lighting. I'm searching for a good fabric to sew around the new centerpiece and then I'm considering going back to the scrap bin for the border work. If it's going to be a busy quilt, then why stop now?

Last month I won $25 from Green Fairy Quilts, one of the great sponsors for Scraptastic Tuesday! Of course I couldn't just use that and be content, I had to add a little bit more to my cart. Too much good stuff to choose from!
Couldn't resist the needles especially...
And once again, I'm linking up at Scraptastic Tuesday with Leanne and Nicky. This is really motivating me to keep working with my overflowing scrap bins and maybe do a little quilting outside of my normal 'box'. You know me, always thinking of ways to play with as many different fabrics as possible!
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