Monday, October 8, 2018

And To Think, When I Was 16 I Hated the Color Purple

Basket Love is the fourteenth finish of the year! To some, it probably looks like I'm racing through the quilts and never stop to take a deep breath. Others see it for exactly what it is--Quilting is my happy place. Well, right after the husband, kids and grandchild. Never want to minimize the importance of those particular persons in my life!
Basket Love is finished!
But quilting and more importantly, working with my hands, keeps the endless worries and cares at bay. Long ago I made hand quilting an important and necessary part of my daily and weekly routine. The stitching isn't usually super complex or detailed, but it is extremely peaceful and meditative. In our fast paced culture and lifestyle, that fills a valuable space in my life. At this point, I honestly think I could hand stitch a whole cloth quilt and be happy. Oh wait! I already did that once before!
A little longer than I intended, but I think it works!
Also, I genuinely love to play with color. So much potential. So many unexplored ideas! The slightest deviation from something tried before makes for the most interesting change or look in a quilt.

Basket Love was started in May of 2017 as an extension of a AHIQ 2-block challenge. Mostly I just wanted to play with some more baskets and the idea of incorporating string/coin columns helped fill the quilt with minimal effort. Plus, the previous attempt at the challenge had left me feeling a bit let down. Totally my own fault but something to be expected after a series of missteps and a boring color palette failed to generate much enthusiasm.
The greens look different depending of the light
This particular blend of colors really intrigued me. Previously, I had scoured the stash totes for all the sour, sharp and/or muddy looking greens that I could find, and just sat there, looking and looking at them. It was way.... past time to move these out of the totes and make way for other newer, prettier fabrics. Was there any possible way to make these fabrics look well loved and appreciated though? Once upon a time I had paid good money for these fabrics because I just couldn't resist! Eventually other colors joined the stack and the bedrock of a quilt started to form. Imagine how incredulous I was when the quilt started getting more and more purple included. When I was 16, that was the color that I loathed with all of my heart!
Simple stitching as always...
The basket idea quickly coalesced into the perfect launching pad for these fabrics/colors and I was off and running. Quilting has a way of making us appreciate all the colors under the sun, right? When the supply of  'good' greens ran short, I dug even deeper and found more fabrics to add in. These later additions didn't feel quite as friendly, and I found myself working hard to spread out the brighter, happier colored green fabrics throughout the vertical string rows. Waste not, want not. Our quilting ancestors didn't give up in despair, they learned how to make do with what they had!

Probably gonna have to keep this one.
No one will ever like it as well as I do!
This quilt top went together very quickly. While it doesn't feel like the best, most vibrant, or even the most charming quilt ever made by 'moi', it does make me very happy. There's just something about the slightly imperfect balance of the setting triangles, the mishmash of basket sizes and coping strips, and all those improv. strings that fits together into one perfect whole. At least in my mind. And the hand stitching is icing on the cake, even in the areas where you have to get close to better appreciate the texture.
Love the carefree look to this quilt
All serious quilters understand what matters most. It's when a quilt made by our hands speaks loudly to our head and heart! I have to say that I also truly loved the challenge of working with long overlooked fabrics in the stash totes. Love, love, love when it works to the good in a quilting effort. Trying to manipulate oldish, stale looking fabrics into something that looks very purposeful and important. Boom! Dontcha want some nice fabric like me? lol  Cracking myself up over here....

The secret ingredient is always and ever the same though, isn't it? Usually just gotta add in a a few 'much newer' fabrics to hold the main stage--have that important 'contrast' so as to be used successfully in a limelight sort of effect. Then the less favored fabrics can do the steadfast and reliable work of filling up the background. What happens when a quilt is full to the brim of only fabulous fabrics? We've all seen it and yes, it sounds crazy. I call it an over-saturation to the senses--too much of a good thing. But maybe that's just me. I've always had a soft spot for those older make-do, utility sorts of quilts anyway. You already know that if you've followed me for very long! The best quilts are the ones that somehow manage to say 'Don't take me too seriously, I certainly don't!'......

21 comments:

  1. I love it...I like purple! I also like that it grew on you, to be a lovely member of the quilt family!

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  2. What a beautiful quilt ..... and hand quilted ...... what is there not to love!

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  3. Funny, I've had a love/hate relationship with purple my whole life. Either love it or wonder why I ever purchased any of it. My beloved sister loved it, though, so now it reminds me of her. OTOH, I like those odd, acid greens and so did my mother. This quilt sings of you but reminds me of family. Plus there's a bunch of Coins in it. Yay!

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  4. Another most excellent post -- you said it SO well!

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  5. Just a lovely quilt--I also like the "make do" idea that makes a quilt "look like a quilt" if you know what I mean..happy that your quilting gives you as much pleasure as it does our seeing them hugs, Julierose

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  6. A beautifully written post, you've got me even thinking I could use purple somewhere ... somehow... someday too! And you are so right, most of us have a mish-mash of old stash, we loved it enough to buy it ages ago, so we do need to use it! I tend to pop in something 'new' to bring a bit of life back into my selections. I love the different sized baskets and all your hand quilting makes it extra special!

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  7. I always feel like I need to run out and start something new after reading one of your posts!I really love this quilt and its "evolution". I am wondering though just what your favorite color was when you were 16. I find it interesting that your were so vehemently opposed to purple. I don't remember a time when I didn't love all colors (well, maybe not 70's shiny polyester brown!). Thanks for another great post.

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  8. When I was 15 I knitted a sweater (with cables) in a wonderful purple color. I loved that sweater and thought it looked fabulous with my red pants! My mother said I could not wear those colors together but I did anyway. Today mixing those colors is totally ok.... time changes perspective! Your baskets are wonderful!

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  9. Our tastes change over the years, don't they! I love, love, love your color combo. Together, everything just pops.

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  10. What a fun quilt! I'm not a fan of purple but in quilting I love all colors!!

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  11. AMEN!!! to everything you said! oh, and the quilt is beautiful. Now I can't wait to come home from vacation and start digging. Thanks for reinforcing the hand workers.

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  12. It is a beautifull and warm looking quilt. The colors are different but interesting and look very good together. Warm greetings

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  13. I love your thoughts on using some of the long forgotten fabrics tucked or hidden away and adding a sprinkling of something new. I've got a lot of oldies, that need to be used.

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  14. Always loved this quilt, I also love the colour purple so congratulations on a super finish.

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  15. Brilliant, simply stunning!! I love this quilt for the splash of purple and how determined the background colors give your explosive purple baskets the calm and special place to hang on. Man I wished I lived closer.

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  16. Thank you again Audrey, your blog posts remind me that quilts dont just materialize out of thin air.....(made a punny pun there)....each time i read i am reminded to take time and let the process take you to an end. My brain is slowly getting the message...but its not always the message i wanted....

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  17. Oh I love greens with purple but your dull greens with the vibrant purple is awesome. A real winner! Bravo!

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  18. Another beauty to add to your stack of beauties Audrey. Such great colour work.

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  19. Yay you! Another great finish. I do love your quilting philosophies and they way you work your colours and designs x

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  20. I will be glad to get back home to my quilting frame in a couple weeks - I too like the relaxation it brings - I love working on my quilts every day

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  21. Couldn't agree more with everything you say here. I'm not so much of a purple person but I would once have said the same about red, and yellow...quilting definitely teaches that every colour has its moment and its place. I love how your purples work with those mucky greens.

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