Monday, October 27, 2014

Fall 2014 Blogger's Quilt Festival: Worry Baskets

It's that time of year again! Time to join in on the fun over at Blogger's Quilt Festival and spend countless hours checking out all the lovely entries. I thought this brand new finish would be a good quilt to enter in the Applique Quilts as that part took the very longest for me.
Worry Baskets is done!
I started this quilt back in the fall of 2009 and spent the next three years sporadically stitching the baskets. I kept a handwork bag ready to go and found myself stitching at my kids games and practices, while waiting on my husband at hardware stores, while I had overnight guests and every other moment I wanted to keep my hands busy or my mind quiet.
Completely finished...
It is my very first Forever type project and I quickly realized that it also became my 'in between' busy work. Whenever I was waiting for another quilt to simmer or didn't want to do the next phase on some quilt or other, this was often my fall back. With 292 baskets in the quilt, it almost seemed inconceivable to actually ever finish up, but of course it did eventually happen. Amazing how that happens! There was almost no pressure involved in sitting down and stitching a meager  two or three baskets although I kept a counter on my blog during those months and ahem, years! of stitching the baskets. It really motivated me to keep on going just knowing that there was ongoing progress from month to month.
With so many different fabrics in it...
And yes, there was some despair involved in the making in spite of my best intentions. I learned that forever type projects really do take forever and sometimes you feel like a crazy, obsessed loon as you pull your ongoing project out in front of your friends and family yet again. And then again. And then Again. At times it seemed almost embarrassing to still be working on it, but along with that thought came a kind of steely defiance too. Will you think I'm strange when I say there is almost a palpable feeling of dedication stitched directly into the fiber of my quilt?

I also think it's extremely important to work on lots of other quilt projects during the making of this type of quilt. If we don't occasionally get to finish up a quilt {down to the binding}, then I we slowly lose our confidence that it can actually happen some sweet day. And then our minds can snap and ugly things will happen in the quilting room.*wink
And a few repeats...
I took a break from my Worry Baskets after putting the top together and then pulled it out this June to start the quilting. Hand quilting of course. What else would I be satisfied with after all that needleturn applique? I used a gold colored hand quilting thread that (hopefully) gives it a lovely textured look without overpowering any of the baskets. I stitched very simply with a cross hatch pattern in the plain fabric and nine patch blocks, plus echo stitching on the inside of  every appliqued basket. I also stitched just inside the seam on every other basket block to round things out and make sure there was plenty of stitches throughout.
It looks good draped and folded and even rolled up...
So here I am at a finish. Finally! Woohoo! It's done, it's done, it's DONE!  I don't think my family even has a clue how manically happy I am about this particular finish. It almost feels like I gave birth. lol  And it was so much fun to wash up and ogle the gorgeous crinklyness. I love it. Can I say that? Just L.O.V.E. it.
It makes me sort of melt inside that I made it. Me. I did that!
You'll notice there is absolutely nothing perfect about this quilt. I dare you to look. I struggled initially with the little squares on the inside of the baskets so if you look close, you'll definitely see some rounded ones.*smile  The binding walks right over the top of some of the black fleur d 'lis triangles.*shrug  Some baskets are not exactly centered in the block.*yawn  This is the quilt that I poured my worries into. That I dared myself to make something beautiful out of what was already in my stash and not buy new. That I conquered my fears about never making anything 'real' and significant. It owns me and I really, really love it. It's a good finish.


35 comments:

  1. All I can say is WOW. I lived every word of your story and I am so impressed that you have a gorgeous quilt to show for all those small, grabbed moments in your life. What a special quilt.

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  2. Congratulations, it is wonderful! I always admire those forever type quilts, and wonder if I could ever manage to do one of those.

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  3. Oh Audrey, it is lovely! Congratulations on such a wonderful finish! I could feel in your words the love and dedication you poured into this quilt. It was definitely worth it!

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  4. It is wonderful and to me it looks perfect! You did a great job on the colors too!

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  5. Oh what a wonderful finish! You have part of you stitched into it and that makes it very special!

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  6. felicidades!!!!
    veo un trabajo precioso, me gusta
    seguí atenta los avances del acolchado, es un gran trabajo
    todo mi cariño para este edredón

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  7. LOL I am not looking for something wrong in a quilt that is oh so right in every way :)

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  8. This quilt is a fantastic finish. You should be very proud of yourself.

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  9. A great story of a long-term quilt. Every quilter should have such a project in her lifetime. And the end result is a beautiful treasure. Congratulatons on your achievement.

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  10. I just love this quilt and always have - it is so "simple" but yet isn't if you know what I mean - you have my vote!

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  11. I too have this quilt on the boil, and I will return to it with fond memories of your beautiful thoughts and emotions. It is lovely to share such projects with the blog world. Thank you!

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  12. This quilt is drop dead gorgeous!! It is marvelous in all it's hand appliqued beauty and then you added the texture and unequaled feel of handquilting. Quilts this amazing you don't make in a weekend. I have a few "forever" projects on the go and my extended family thinks I'm nuts. They can't imagine working for 3 years or more on the same project but all those hours - they aren't wasted!!

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  13. You can probably look at certain baskets and remember what was going on in your life when stitching them. What a lovely finish. Determination is a good thing to have---keeps us from being "one" of the crowd!! Unless it is a quilty crowd.

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  14. I completely understand how you feel about this gorgeous quilt. It is so warm and authentic looking, the limited colour palette is perfect, and the quirks just make it more special. Love the fleur de lis eding too. A genuine heirloom. Well done.

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  15. Congratulations, Audrey! It's beautiful!
    And your post encourages me for my "Baskets for you" quilt with an appliqued center block and "only" 128 baskets around.
    Thank you and best wishes!

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  16. I love it too! Absolutely vintage gorgeous! It really is a lifetime quilt! :-) Enjoy!

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  17. Congratulations on finishing an epic quilt!! It's wonderful in every way.!! If I did see any imperfections I'd love them too because they add character.

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  18. It's gorgeous, absolutely gorgeous. And who cares about imperfections? I think imperfections give a quilt some character and remind us that they're made by our hands, not some computerized machine in some factory. Good luck!

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  19. Well done, what an amazing achievement! This quilt is on my bucket list. Thanks for the inspiration.

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  20. Very beautiful ! I started the same quilt in blue & brown, but only make a few blocks...I have to get it out again !

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  21. I love this quilt! My most special quilts took years! Great quilts cannot be rushed!!

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  22. Wow you did a fantastic job. I always tell people a quilt without flaws is suspect. My sister made a double wedding ring quilt by had that took her several years. She finally finished it last month. I have been quilting a year so I think I will wait a little while longer before I start my project quilt or maybe not. Debbie

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  23. I think it is a fantastic finish and you should be very proud of your accomplishment.
    292 baskets Wow!

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  24. What seems inconceivable is that I've been following the progress of this quilt since the beginning. How is that even possible? I am so impressed by the finish and so glad you are happy with it, you should be!

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  25. Woo hoo!! It really is a treasure, Audrey. I like everything about it, and especially the beautiful soft hand quilting.

    Looking at your quilt, I have just realized that I must have had it in the back of my mind when I chose all those greens and blues for mine. No wonder they seemed to resonate! Food for thought.

    Anyway, congratulations! It's definitely inspiring. :)

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  26. The quilt is adorable and I love your post!

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  27. Stunning quilt--292 baskets--holy moly!!--it is definitely an heirloom. And I love it when things are not always "perfect"--it's not about perfection it's about the quilter's love of pattern and her own handmade "signature" in all those stitches. Great finish...hugs, Julierose

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  28. Wow! What a patience, it truly is a work of love. Congrats!

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  29. This is truly an heirloom quilt. All that work ! But it turned out so beautifully and was well worth all the effort and love you put into it.

    I know exactly what you mean when you say people kept looking at you sideways everytime you brought this out. People looked at me like that when I made my flower garden hexie quilt - it took 2 years !

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  30. Yaaay!! I LOVE this quilt, but you already knew that :) What a wonderful finish and entry for the quilt festival. If you ever get tired of it, I will happily e-mail you my address so it can come to my house for a visit.

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  31. It's just amazing! And I thought mine had a lot of baskets!

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  32. Audrey, you know I love this quilt. What a beautiful job you did. It inspires me to work on mine very time I see it. I will definitely be voting for you in the Blogger's Quilt Festival

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  33. I love your Worry Baskets. This quilt has been on my "to do" list for some time. Good luck in the Blogger's Quilt Festival with both of your entries!

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  34. I absolutely love your worry baskets, Audrey, and I have just clicked on the heart next to your icon. Your hand work is impressing indeed!

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