Friday, October 6, 2017

Some Things I've Been Working On

Life has been craaaazy for us lately, I think it's been mentioned once before here on the blog. We've had company something like every weekend but two? out of the last 8 or 9 weeks? Yeah. Fun stuff. Anyhoo--hand quilting and applique have been the go-to stress relief for yours truly.
Next up in the hoop
Immediately after dumping the last quilt out of the hoop, then it was on to the next. This one is a decidedly fall colored quilt which makes me just sigh in complete and total satisfaction. It's been awhile since I attempted any Baptist fan stitching, and this one seemed like a perfect match for that. Because this is such an 'imperfect' quilt, it seemed wildly appropriate to stitch freehand fans, right? Well, like I said, it's been awhile.

The first two frames were stressing me out so much that I almost ripped ALL the stitching out. The blue perle cotton thread was getting lost in the piecing and I couldn't see anything. What a disaster. After I slept a night or two and did lots of contemplating, I decided to keep going. But from now on use a blue wash-out pen to mark my fans as I came to each particular frame. Still a freehand look as I'm not using any sort of template, just drawing the 5-arc sets prior to stitching.*whew!  Glad to get that figured out! And now I'm happy as can be and things are going swimmingly. I am loving the sweet texture and am so very glad I didn't default back to a more formal look. This quilt definitely needs stitching with the look and feel of 'the human touch'.
Peachy Cameo Medallion
And my Peachy Cameo Medallion quilt got a good fixer-upper this week. I was a little unhappy with the top and bottom borders and in fact, got out my seam ripper and took the bottom one off, flipped it upside down and then just sat there and sighed with exasperation. I knew it. Even though it makes everything wonderfully balanced, I don't like the look. Not with this quilt! So while that border was off I did a quick measurement and sure enough, it needed trimmed about 1/4". Hmm... I thought the two borders looked a little out of whack. So I went ahead and ripped off the top border and hello? it was 1/2" too long. Working too fast because of time crunch issues and just not paying enough attention.

The long and short of it is that in trimming both of those borders, I had to take off a couple of those green leaves there on the sides of the quilt and move them over. Which made my brain spin and next thing I knew, there was a great solution to my borders making itself known. Yep! I quickly picked some fabric out and mocked up some simple little flower pots to put my vines in--elongate those side borders down into the bottom border. Problem solved! So yeah... all that 'fixing' took a couple hours, but it was so worth it. Now it looks right and good. Ready to move on to the next border!
Vintage Lillies
And I warned you that I was probably going to start 3 new projects? I was serious about that. This one is a project I've been deliberating about since Kaja started this quilt much earlier in the year. The colors were so intriguing that I couldn't help but start pulling fabrics. Yum... Various fabrics have migrated over to that stack in the last couple months, but I just couldn't pin down where and how to start the quilt. Finally, after the quilt show in September, the starting place hit me like a bolt out of the blue. What about a Lily block centerpiece? And from there it's just been a matter of finding the time.
A fabric pull
I cheated on the lillies, and just drew up a simplified version, totally skipping the diamond piecing. Who cares about that? I just want the look! All the pieces need to applique stitched down and then I'll probably have to cut the top of the block down for reasons of proportion. My daughters were less than impressed, but I am really excited about this new start. It feels really good. Maybe some improv. can be incorporated into this quilt too?
Trying to take the Family Pic
And just as a side note in the interest of keeping things real. My plan has been {all year} to get a family picture sometime this fall. One good picture of my mostly adult children with their dad and mom--it's gonna be blown up pretty big and will hang on our wall forever. My parents always had a big pic of their huge family and I loved it, always wanted my own. So... plans were made, schedules were checked and finally we had a date where everyone could be in town, not working, no company, yada yada yada. It was a beautiful day, but my oh my, were the family members grumpy. Normally I'd have made meticulous plans to make sure we all had new, spiffy clothes and, no

We totally lost track of time. Okay. What colors do we ALL have in our closets? It seems that we are a casual, blue-jean sort of clan. There was a football game in which cell phones were making their way into pictures on a regular basic. NO! This is picture day! My oldest son was on call with his work. Don't answer your phone! This is important! My husband has been sick off and on all summer. He looked tired, desperately needed a nap. Eyes open everyone! He's lost almost 60 pounds in the last two years. Yay! Good for him. Apparently I picked up 15 or 20 of them.*Ugghh  Was I not planning the picture for over six months? Seriously. How hard is it to stay away from the desserts? and so on and so forth. I'm depending on my amazing photographer sister to make US all look amazing. That's not too much to ask, right?

22 comments:

  1. I've been trying to organize (yeah, right) a family picture for eons...so I can totally empathize with your efforts...someone has always gotta be somewhere else...
    Anyhoo, I am intrigued with your new lily...will be looking forward to seeing how it grows...hugs, Julierose

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  2. I always want to get a family photo but several of us never take a good picture and somehow it never gets taken, or it is taken but 3 or more of us look awful in most of them! I don't usually freehand a quilt pattern I go more with grids and rulers or stencil - but love what you have.

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  3. Awesome family picture! And of course no question about awesome quilts I dream of being able to make quilts like yours they all just make me smile and I could just imagine being so cosy under them. I think you my quilting super hero!

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  4. The quilting looks very good, I like the colors for your new project. And the added flowerpot makes the quilt better. Warm greetings

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  5. I want you to know that I am so in awe of your work/process. Am sorry that stress has been a large factor in your life for so many weeks, but look what all you still got done!!! Thank goodness we have handwork to soothe the uptight beast (aka stress) that lurks within us at times!

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  6. Your work is always so joyful and fun.
    great fan quilting.
    Did you get the photo in the end?

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  7. My eye went to those flower pots right away. I love them! It looks like that was the plan all along.

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  8. You talking about a family portrait is making me want to get one TODAY. We are all gathering together for my first granddaughter's 3rd birthday so all my kids will be there. I just my attempt something! I love reading your blog because you describe your thought process along the way. Fun to see how other quilters think! (Not to mention I really like the style of quilts you make.

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  9. The setting - background for your family picture is wonderful! I love the pots - it's amazing how great that border looks now. Those birds are awesome :0) Lovely texture with your handquilting.

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  10. love your projects...oh those colors! and nice fix on your borders...

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  11. love how your mind works Audrey and happy that the borders are all fixed !! and great shot of your family - hope you got a really good photo that you're happy with :)

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  12. All three of your projects are so different yet they are all so beautiful and intruguing. Good luck with the family photo. It isn't easy, and is a lot of work getting everyone in a good mood, but jeans are a good match. I've seen photos where everyone wore white shirts and jeans and looked really good. Looks like your family is coordinated really well.

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  13. Baptist Fans are my favorite and I've never done them any way but free-hand. They're never perfect but they're just right for the quilts they're on. Love your lily block and your borders are perfect on the Cameo Medallion. Family photos are never easy. When kids are little they may be eager but they're interested in their shoes, or the ribbon on the dress, or the tie around the next, or whatever. And then they grow up... and it's still not easy. But I think it's a great photo.

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  14. Fabulous family picture---shows the united family---jeans, T's, hoodies, what more could you ask for??? Be glad that you HAVE family

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  15. It's been like that here too, but I've struggled to sew much at all, so well done for keeping it all ticking over. That flowerpot looks like it's always been there- great fix. I like your quilting - I would have tried just winging it but freehand marking makes a lot more sense. Love the lily block and the selection of fabrics waiting to join it. As for the family photo- I'm happy just to get everyone in shot!

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  16. I find your posts so inspirational! Thanks so much for sharing each quilt's journey with us. It's amazing how that simple change is just the right one for the Cameo Medallion Quilt. And I love the one you are quilting now -- beautiful colors! Can't wait to see your next quilt evolve!

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  17. Your improv style seems to follow you and will make the most delightful and meaningful family photo. The flower pot was the perfect solution for elongating the side borders. Slowing down when adding borders can make a world of difference, as you found out 😱. Glad it all worked out with that and your baptist fans.

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  18. I love your version of Carolina Lily. Can't wait to see what comes next.

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  19. Wonderful fall colored string border. It's going to be gorgeous.

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  20. The flower pots anchoring those vines is perfect. Love that family portrait, we have the same issue with getting everyone together in the same shot, eyes open, looking awake, etc. etc. Such is life in the i-phone age I guess!

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  21. The flower pots are much better than turning the border although I’m glad you got it properly sized. They do look like they’ve always been there. Congratulations.
    And then two more. Wow.
    I had never considered making lilies without diamonds. Good out-of-the-box thinking. I also love how you’re using the colors from Kaja’s Pull in a totally different way. I have that number fabric with white background but like your fabric better.
    Good luck with the family photo. We’ve been trying for years with no luck.

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  22. I had to chuckle. we did a family photo a few years ago. turned out great. love this quilt!

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