Wednesday, February 22, 2017

The First 2017 Finish!

First finish of 2017 is Geese Tracks and Black Shadow Applique! Yay! It feels so good to have one that's quilted to the point of getting binding on. Whew! This years starting out a little slow compared to last.
Geese Tracks & Black Shadow Applique finished!
That's 'cuz I keep having a million and one interruptions and/or demands that for some reason have to take precedence over quilting. What's up with that? hehe  So I'm just focusing on trying to enjoy the journey. Thank goodness for hand quilting. Stitch after stitch, it reminds me of why I like to do this so very much!
Always a lovely sight to see the finished texture
I was actually quite terrified to start quilting this particular quilt. Anything with applique always gets at least the minimum of hand quilting around here, but still, the overall stitching pattern was being very elusive. Finally I quit ignoring and passing over this one and just got it sandwiched and pinned so I could do something. And, as always, once it was in the hoop, it started being a no-brainer.
I think it's saying, 'care to snuggle?'
I probably over stitched the geese track blocks compared to the rest of the quilt, but that's what made sense to me. Then I did a basic clam shell stitch pattern behind the applique flowers. And on and on, working that perle cotton thread for the best texture.*wink
This one was an interesting journey for sure!
This has been another one of those moody quilts, sometimes looking quite cold and indifferent, and then at other times, feeling very warm and cozy. It all started a couple of years ago when I made a decision to sew up some geese track blocks. Didn't get very many finished when I was really quite tired of making them! So I stuck them on the wall and played with them until one day I found myself adding a surprisingly stark bit of applique to the mix. I also ramped up the challenge to myself by including a stack of gray fabrics I'd been wanting to play with forever {not an easy color for me to work with!}.
It's pretending to be shy hanging in the stairwell
One of my readers commented that the black flowers would look good in a red basket, and well, my mind started churning out the ideas. Next up was a border of tilted vases in the lovely greens that blended with the middle blocks and yes, one snazzy looking pink/red one! As I contemplated moving on the next border, I kept coming back to those blendy, more retro. looking fabrics mixed with a rather bland, medium gray fabric. It appealed to me because it was a subtle transition {while incorporating little pops of color}, yet made me anxious in terms of possibly muddying up the entire quilt. Yes, no, maybe so....
The center is where the entire quilt started....
Trusting my instincts, I went ahead with the fabrics while keeping the design very simple. Several of my readers were polite, but obviously not impressed. As would I have been had I not been involved in the designing itself! But by then, I already had a half baked idea of adding more of that silhouette looking black flower applique to the quilt.Only thing was, I really, really needed to lighten the edges of the quilt without distracting too much from the centerpiece.
And somehow it all came off, just like it was always meant to be!
After a thorough search through all possible fabric selections available to me in the quilt room {I did NOT want to go buy anything new!}, I finally turned a couple more medium gray fabrics over and used the back side. Along with the lighter white with gray print fabrics found in the stash--it seemed to give off the lighter, sparky bit of magic the quilt needed. And proved to be a very happy place to add on the black vine and flowers, which funnily enough, included a piece of black fabric turned over to maximum the color from the backside too, the perfect charcoal I was looking for! Why I didn't add leaves to the vine, I just don't know. It just seemed to be the right amount of applique at the time and it's only now that I've questioned that decision at all. But not too much. More black would have made the quilt look choppier instead of letting the eye flow around the quilt with the curve of the vine. All in all, it was immensely fun to play with the silhouette effect while attempting to not alternately darken the quilt to the point of depression!

The binding color was a tough choice as I initially thought to use pink. No go. And green, gray and black looked pretty blah too. Surprisingly enough, it was the sharp, orangey-red which made the cut {love how it ties back into one of the geese tracks block--one of the two blocks made with grandmas' fabric}. Of course there wasn't nearly enough in the stash so that had to be purchased new. Totally worth it as it helped bring the quilt more fully to that 'happy', cozy place I love my quilts to be in.

28 comments:

  1. Such an interesting quilt - very unique. I really like it - I would never think to make black flowers but they are very effective. I love the goose track blocks and the vases - your lovely handquilting adds wonderful texture :0)

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  2. I think it looks great - we don't always have to have flowers their true colors in the garden - this black really goes with the overall design. it is nice to have one finished I'm sure - you are a busy person with kids still at home and working too - one day you will have the leisure life that comes with kids out of the nest and retirement!

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  3. Wonderful finish Audrey! Love how the perle quilting - black and white sets it off to perfection. Can I ask what sort of batting you used?

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  4. I like it! You can't impress all your readers all the time! I really like seeing you go in your own direction.

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  5. The color of the binding really completes the quilt. Nice choice.

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  6. I don't even remember you working on this one, but it's had quite the journey. I never would have thought of a black appliqued vine, but it works. The orangish red binding is right on. A great pick. The big stitch it's the perel was the right solution too. It adds to the whimsy and improv style.

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  7. Until I read your comment about the black flowers, I had not realized that they were black. A friend of ours sent her husband black flowers for his 50th birthday and he was sure his ex-wife sent them to him.

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  8. Lovely quilt, love the red vase with flowers. Greetings

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  9. Another great quilt!
    I like always when you explain a little your choices, always learning by them, as I said!
    The applique is perfect, the colors are perfect, I love it!
    Best wishes!

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  10. Another happy and cozy finish. Your innovative use of color and mixing this, that the other elements in quilts always amazes me! :)

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  11. It has been so fun to watch this quilt evolve. I love everything about it.
    Great stitching!! congrats on a fab finish

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  12. Love the vases and the one flowery one echoed in the borders...very soothing colors hugs, Julierose

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  13. I love too see your quilts come to life! The way you wait for them to speak to you and then how you actually finish!!! Great quilt!

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  14. I just want to give this quilt a hug!! Love it!

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  15. A wonderful unique quilt! I love all your hand quilting too!

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  16. The white outer border really makes the rest pop - especially your next border and the black applique. What a lovely finish. It is funny how much difference the binding makes, too.

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  17. I like the quilt! Very interesting colors and the binding brought it all together!!!

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  18. I'm always fascinated by your quilts. The colors and rhythms are always spot-on, even when they're completely unexpected. Or maybe *especially* when they're completely unexpected. This is another beautiful Audrey Quilt, which it means it's one of my favorite quilts. 8)

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  19. what a beauty you have created here and certainly all your own design which makes it extra special, you must be thrilled with it and so glad you hand quilted it rather than machine. Perle thread is so good for hand quilting love it

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  20. You have a wonderful ability to take disparate parts and turn them into a beautifully unified whole. And the hand quilting is a bonus.

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  21. Spectacular finish! I struggle with grey. I've never known anyone to make grey look so beautiful! I love everything about this quilt.

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  22. I love this finish of yours, well what else is new. So many quilters shy away from gray, but a warm smoky gray can be so very effective. And that light outer border, an ingenious addition.

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  23. I adore this quilt! The colours, the pieced blocks and particularly the wonky vases! The black flowers in the centre appliqué and the border just suit this quilt so well and the binding is perfect. Yay you!!

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  24. Keep trusting your instincts -they always get you there. I'm glad I'm not the only one who looks at a top ready for quilting and can't think what to do!

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  25. It's a beautiful quilt. J'aime beaucoup le quilting que vous avez fait.

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  26. Beautiful! Lovely in every way, right down to the binding!

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