Saturday, February 24, 2018

Moving Another Quilt To the Finish Line

So Chunky Crossroads quilt is now a true-blue finish! Started in February of 2016 as an Ad. Hoc. Improv. challenge, this quickly became a color challenge as well. Basically I took a stack of fabrics that had been simmering for awhile and said, okay, lets just DO SOMETHING.
Chunky Crossroads a completed quilt!
I love quilts with lots of block repeats where the fabrics and colors get to shine. However, these colors were tough for me as they weren't exactly in my comfort zone. I ended up adding in some brighter, hotter pinks and also some lighter greens and that's where I turned the corner from drab murkiness to just having fun with value and sparkle. When I see potential for colors to dance across a quilt, then that's where I dig in and start to get serious. It's one of my favorite creative grooves, really.
Loving the simple texture from the stitching across the crossroads...
 As you can see, there isn't the usual skinny little coping border between the main part of the quilt and the applique border. I'm earnestly trying to audition each part of the quilting phase for what's best. Not just rely on the same 'ol, same 'ol. I know some of you don't especially care for borders, but they are incredibly intriguing to me. This was one quilt that obviously didn't have to have one, and so the challenge was to find a border that said 'neener, neener, neener... Wanna bet I won't look better without a border?' lol  They are always an option around here, but that doesn't mean I'm oblivious to the fact that it's not always necessary....
Amazing how much difference a little bit of binding can make!
This applique border design was cherry picked out of an older book called 'Mad About Folk Art' by Gerry Kimmel. The original design was only the solid fabric vine, bulbs and leaves. After getting that part figured out, measured properly for this particular quilt size, then cut out and tentatively placed, it just wasn't enough. The background fabric was one of those Basic Gray tone on tone fabrics I love, but with just the lime green applique on top, it was a bit too blah. Not in the least willing to ditch any of that cut out applique vine, I finally determined to add the different colored 'flowers'. It was a simple fix but wowsers, upped the time factor considerably. Of course.
Just enough hand quilting in the border
So that left me with lots of time to consider how crazy I am, taking a straightforward improv. style quilt to the next level of complicated. First of all by placing the applique on what is more or less the color of fresh concrete {who does that?}, then playing around with a tricky one-piece applique vine, then saying, nah... 'Not good enough'.... By the time all the hand stitching was done, it was hastily folded up and put out of sight.*sigh  Can I never truly just do simple?
A feel good finish....
But the funny thing is, this quilt has been beckoning to me. Because I really do adore the colors in it. In spite of all the frustration in getting the colors balanced out properly across the quilt and trying to determine a great add on border look, dealing with puckering issues on the back etc.--it's been such a fun, delightfully playful quilt. I mean that sincerely. It must be some sort of illness, thriving on these ups and downs of the endlessly fascinating quilting process! The icing on the cake with this quilt was when I found a perfectly, hideous binding fabric hiding in the stash {given to me by a quilting friend years ago}. One that was exactly the right color. Bingo! Cut small enough, almost any fabric can work as a great binding! It took care of ALL the remnants of worry left about the quilt not being one big cohesive whole. I am still marveling at how that light pink pulled all the lighter colors from the inside of the quilt out to play with the outside edges. Don't you love it when it all gets wrapped up with a bright shiny bow!

For the most part, it always came down to, 'What do I have to lose?' 'Is this idea worth exploring?' The fabrics were all from the stash except for the long border pieces. Time is just whatever I choose to commit. And who cares? It's really all about the process anyway. I'm starting to get a little worried though. Each new foray into different and challenging color palettes seems to take me further and further away from those original 'safe' colorways. I tell myself that it's the benefit of learning and growing, but is there really any going back after a certain point?

28 comments:

  1. This may be my favorite of your quilts. I adored it from the beginning but you knocked my socks off with that vine border. Thank you for sharing your progress on this beauty!

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  2. love it!! that vine border really makes it just right

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  3. This quilt is lovely . . . doesn't it feel good to have it finished. I just finished one that I have been working on for our camper. Put the last stitch in it last night. I even stayed up past bedtime, just to get it hemmed and ready for the bed:)

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  4. Chunkt Crossroads funky old time-y stle and delicous colors are just gorgeous. But OH! That border, it is adorable.

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  5. >>Can I never truly just do simple?

    Why settle for simple when you can have magnificent?
    I adore this quilt, and admire every stitch.

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  6. Another amazing quilt. congratulations on a beautiful finish!

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  7. Замечательная работа!

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  8. Wow! Just perfection...great thing to let those quilts speak to you!

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  9. Love the balance of your quilt both with the colors and the designs elements. It's a fantastic finish with an interesting story all the way to the end. Why not... What have you got to lose!

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  10. Another beautifull quilt, I love it the blocks and the border with the vine. Warm greetings

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  11. OMG, you almost make me dizzy given the speed with which you are putting quilts through your hoop. I can't imagine doing even half of what you do. For a quilt that challenged your colour sense you did a beautiful job Audrey - I love the colours in it too.

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  12. I absolutely LOVE these colors!

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  13. This quilts really lights up with your border. I always love your work!

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  14. Absolutely wonderful, through and through!!!!! Another awesome post, too.

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  15. aaaaaah another glorious quilt - just love the colours in this one (do I always say that !!) the applique border really dances too :) and to answer your rhetorical question - no I don't think you can do simple and I'm so happy about that :)

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  16. I always love to read your quilting stories :) Congrats on another wonderful finish.

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  17. Borders almost always add a finishing touch to quilts. You know I love them. And this crossroads block. I've been re-reading Freddy Moran's Houses book and she says many of the things you've written here. Using colors that excite you, not know where you're going when you start, picking a certain idea to start with but knowing it will change. Hooray for you.

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  18. You've definitely wrapped it up in a bright shiny bow! And even though I rarely make borders for a variety of reasons I love yours and can definitely see how they add a finishing touch that says, "this is an Audrey quilt".

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  19. This feels just like a February quilt. End of winter, with ideas of spring. Yes to listening to projects that beckon, and working outside familiar territory. I love the colors, the shapes and the Story. Good quilt!!

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  20. Your cheerful lime green applique stem stands in so nicely for a coping border. This quilt sings of spring, and that makes it a perfect February finish.

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  21. Amazing what a difference a border makes! Lovely! And I so enjoyed reading your quilt story about this!

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  22. You have done a great job. I love Sujata's book. You have added the next element to it with that great border. Love Love the color combinations as well.

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  23. It's a fabulous finish! I don't think I had realized that the green for the border was one big piece - that does sound a bit tricky. It's very successful in the end.

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  24. Oh I love the color you used in this quilt. I love scrappy quilts and you are so right they need some brights to make them sparkle. I don't think there is any reason to go back your creative style always seems to produce an awesome quilt! Give yourself a pat on the back!

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  25. Love this quilt, but I especially love reading about your thought processes while making it. Every change you made was spot on and it has been fun to travel along with this one. And, by the way, except for the lime green, the colors are out of my comfort zone too, so it must be your way of putting them all together that make it great!

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  26. This palette is absolutely gorgeous ! I think this quilt is my new favourite of yours.

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  27. Beautiful Chunky Crossroads - love your colours!

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