Thursday, February 25, 2021

Here a Little, There a Little...

This is kind of a catch-up post. There's been a lot going on at the home front which made it seem like I didn't have time to blog. Then I had too much to post about so it really felt like there wasn't proper time and well, yeah. Vicious cycle. 

Adhoc. Hourglass project about ready for takeoff

All the applique is finished up on the latest tulip blocks. They are trimmed as are the hourglass sashing units. Things are ready to roll in terms of layout if I could find available floor space. Should I just make an appointment? 

Next up for applique was the 'quick' word addition to Ormes Inspired. It is progressing at a very plodding rate. Who's idea was it to cut the letters out of Batik fabric? Huh? Such a difficult fabric to work with when doing needle-turn applique. The fabric is a very tough weave which always destroys my fingers at the point where I'm sewing the corners of letters. Trying to ram the needle through the extra layers is killer. And really, it's very slow overall because the needle doesn't properly glide through the weave like is optimum. You constantly have to make an effort, push, push, pushing which absolutely takes away from the enjoyable aspect of applique! As you can see, it is very close to being finished, but alas, I abandoned it once again in disgust and frustration. Bah! Beautiful fabric or no, this was a bad idea from the get-go. Please don't give me wonderful advice about using a thimble. I've tried. Believe me I've tried. Yes it saves my fingers a little tiny bit. But it's awkward and even more time consuming, not to mention extremely annoying

Getting there, slowly but surely....

No surprise that once again I sabotaged the get-through-the-ufo-list and jumped into a brand new project. So nonsensical {and unrealistic} to think I won't be running full speed ahead into something brand new when there is crushing mental fatigue from difficult projects.*wink  Plus, Sharon mentioned that she had 125!! ufo's so now I'm feeling pretty awesome about my own list! Finishing up the tulip blocks felt like a finish, okay? That's pretty much all the justification needed. This particular fabric has been sitting on the counters for wow, almost three years now? Not really sure, but whenever I think they are well past their inspiration prime, I get to feeling this little bit of longing to make another cheddar quilt. Okey dokey. The fabric has spoken.

The start of new project

One random night while I was casting about for something to chain piece {knowing I didn't have the mental fortitude to properly measure things}, this project struck my fancy. It's been the plan to use these cheddar and purple fabrics for an hst improv. medallion for a very long time. Ridiculously easy to dive right into free-cutting strips and then cross cutting them into little-ish squares. I really, really wanted to cut little bitty squares for the hsts but occasionally, even I know my limits!

Breaking it down into workable units

It was easy peasy and not at all scary to make sets of purple/cheddar squares and do the diagonal sewing, never marking a single thing. Isn't it wonderful to recognize our growth as a quilter? Improv. is so liberating when you could care less about the points or anything matching up. Every now and then for about a week I sewed sets, cut them in between the sew lines and then ironed them open. Occasionally I scissor cut the edges to make them more square, but not too much! When that part was accomplished, I just slapped them up on the wall, sometimes kind of fussily moving things around, but mostly just making rows and trying to find positive energy.

Trying to bring it all together

After I had about enough for the intended centerpiece {Oh yeah, did I tell you this was going to eventually be a medallion quilt?}, then I started sewing the hsts into 9-patch units or maybe 6-patch units if that seemed better and sometimes even a 12-patch unit. Whatever felt right. All the cheddar fabric used in the hsts was either a dark tone on tone or the brighter gold cheddar solid, keeping the background very cohesive. For the purposes of evening up the larger hst units, I deliberately introduced one busier cheddar print. Same color family, still ALL cheddar, but more tension. At first I used it quite a bit, then slowly realized that I didn't like the vibe of that print used in excess. You'll be hard pressed to see where, but I eventually went back and replaced that print in just a few areas with the original tone on tone cheddar. Balance. It's always comes down to that doesn't it?

Touching up the outside edges

I didn't mind the look of '9-patch' hsts, but I also wanted a couple areas to kind of flow into others. Fuss, fuss, fuss. Do I like this? Or that? How could I make this work? Also, I was trying to make sure the centerpiece didn't have an obvious seam directly down the middle. Ughh. Wouldn't that just look stupid? This is the part that stressed me out a little and where I had to take a lot more breaks. Eventually I got one large piece that seemed to lay relatively flat. Yay for curved piecing techniques! Though I'm not a pro, it definitely helps ease improv. blocks into submission when you don't want to tidy up {chop} every single unit as you're going along. 

At the outside edges, I simply added long strips here and there and then trimmed the whole to an approx. 30 inches. It was never going to be perfect with me at the helm. I could have easily added in more strips of hsts and then whacked them off {and in fact I diligently considered that}, but I rather thought the breathing space of more background fabric would be good. Yes, I did have to rip a seam out occasionally to add smaller pieces of fabric back into the original unit before sewing on a long strip. There are always details ready and willing to trip us up in our mad dash to the finish!

Making it square-ish

Overall I was pleased and happy and then abruptly, I wasn't. What was that curved thing on the bottom sticking out like a sore thumb? Part of me wanted to leave it be and just let it disappear into the larger quilt plan. The other part of me knew it would knaw away at me until I'd probably find myself ripping it out at a very inopportune moment. Been there done that doing that right now with Ormes Inspired! So... I fiddled around thinking I would have to re-work the entire bottom of the centerpiece, grumbling all the while. Then I remembered that there was just a couple leftover hsts that had been thrown out. Aha! Slapped them up on the wall, played a little with adjustment and wallah! Simple fix and it was done! More colors will be introduced moving forward, but for now, it's feeling pretty good! One thing I've unquestionably learned through the years about {me and} improv., is to take advantage of the mood. Finish it out to a good stopping place and then more easily pack it away for a short time.

Looking better!

As most of you know, I am still dedicated to hand quilting on this more traditional HST Medallion quilt. I'm sure it's quite obvious where I got the impetuous for making a much more free looking hst medallion quilt at this particular moment in time! hehe  All these tidy little rows are starting to drive me crazy!

Starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel

I have been pushing myself very hard with the quilting on this one, stitching for up to three hours many, many evenings. No need to wonder at all why improv. has been especially alluring to me at the moment! The need to rest my hands, my brain and probably my resolution too? I finally took a couple days off over this past weekend and didn't feel guilty at all. 

It's a big quilt....

I have two more corners of stitching and then all that remains will be the flying geese border on the far outside of the quilt. I have been boot, scoot and boogying right along! For that border, I will probably switch to my q-snap frame that is just as long as the current one, though only about 7 inches wide. No need to have this huge frame for such a narrow width of stitching. It's time to think about the next quilt top to go in the hoop, but all I can think is that it better be an easy one. It I have learned one thing with hand quilting this quilt, it's to always end the thread somewhere besides at the top corner of an hst! You don't even want to know how many pieces of thread that I've had snap off right at the knot....

Inspiration

Just for fun the other night, I had to pull another stack and bury myself in fabric love! I tell myself that you can never really have too many of these and then I realized, there are three stacks in these approximate colors! Ahem! I'm sensing a theme? Must pull them all out and compare, then ditch the less-worthy stacks. Gotta save room on the counters and in the little totes for plenty of variety!


Thursday, February 11, 2021

I Think This is Called Momentum

I have a rather large list of opened ended UFO's at the moment. Imagine me wincing right now! It's definitely more than is normally allowed to happen around here, even with the typical do-what-feels-good-in-the-quilting-room attitude that generally reigns supreme here at Quilty Folk.

Moody 9-Patch is a completed quilt top!

As usual though, my brain keeps coming up with ever more interesting ideas to try. Yep, there are unquestionably gonna be new and improved quilts in my future! In this vein, I decided to dedicate myself to at least one more 'finish' here in the short term. Once a project is dumped onto the completed quilt top list, then the burgeoning sense of overwhelm seems to drastically reduce. People ask how I can have so many open ended projects going on, but the wholly, 100% finished quilt tops just don't have the same effect. All the major decision making struggle and angst is done and over with at that point! Right now, at least part of the problem with the too-long UFO list is this: I have a couple quilt tops that unexpectedly jumped OUT of the drawers and demanded more work done on them. So not playing fair! 

Loving the effect of the floral

In the spirit of crossing things off the list, the 9-patch seemed like an easy target. Like I've stated before, it was started in November of last year and then essentially forgotten about. In my memory, it was started in a rare moment of basically looking around the quilt room and wanting/needing to start something new. Now, sometimes {rarely} I'll go totally off the rails and just dive into something super spur of the moment and not very well thought out. Most times though when this particular feeling overtakes me, I look to the stacks of marinating fabric sitting around the quilt room. 

This is where I've spent countless hours pondering all kinds of fabulous to-me options. This is dream time. These fabrics have been pulled out numerous times in a period of months and years. Stacked and restacked. Fabrics and colors tossed or perhaps newly introduced? Ideas, patterns and design concepts distilled into an important nugget or two. What story does this specific blend of fabric want to tell?

Kind of a rich look to this one!

Like so many other projects started around here, Moody 9-patch ended up being an interpretation of an antique quilt. That probably sounds relatively simple. It can be, but this time it most certainly wasn't. I have played with this pile of fabric many, many times in the past couple years and just couldn't wrap my mind around which fabric should go where. I considered several different other design ideas too. No dice. No matter what direction my musings may have taken me on any particular day {and you can bet a few were vastly different than this oh-so-simple setting}, I would always come back this basic 9-patch with large sashing units. Apparently, that part HAD to be!

Simple but sweet

Most probably, it was the floral fabric holding me back. Though I love and adore them, {why else would I buy them?}, florals often times throw my brain into a tizzy of doubt and confusion. And I positively dread cutting into them. How do you successfully cut up and incorporate a strong floral into a quilt design without it completely overpowering everything? Or cutting it into without ruining the floral gorgeousness. Is it even going to look good cut into little squares etc.? And then, what if the floral turns out to be a huge mistake {the quilt wants a geometric print instead?}. You won't KNOW until the quilt top is near completion. What a disaster that would turn out to be! Ah, well. Eventually it's time to do something even if it turns out to be wrong. Gotta love those days of longing to start something new. They oftentimes turn out to be wonderful permission to plunge right into the thoughtfully, oh-so-carefully charted path of 'unknowns'!

Does this moody looking quilt top make you smile too? I'm sure you were wondering why I didn't just toss the floral fabric and do something easier. Well....., would I be sitting here smiling if it was just any old boring fabric used instead of that fantabulous print? Part of the thrill is meeting and conquering the challenge, whatever it may be. When intuition and instinct is telling us something needs to be done a certain, specific way, then it's our job to go the extra mile to make sure that it happens. We're not going to be happy with the end result if we know within ourselves that we've cut corners on what could have been.

Gonna be fun to hand quilt this one some day!

When cutting the floral strips, there ended up being a couple strips where the floral design aligned along the edge instead of being centered. Not having enough fabric to properly fussy cut, I determined to use these specific units along the outside edges of the quilt. Problem solved!

Overall, it was a great play with color, really stretching me. The floral fabric is actually a very deep, brownish purple fabric at base, but I didn't want a purple quilt, which is what I figured I'd get if I went too 'matchy-matchy'. Luckily I had enough yardage with four or five different fabrics to create the blue 'background' effect, something I hoped would accentuate the floral and kind of show it off. They tied in well with the blue flowers in the floral without being an exact color match. I like that. Too much perfection bores me to tears! 

One blue fabric was almost too dull to use, but I basically just held my nose and started cutting. Even after I dug through the stash totes, it was so much better than anything else, I felt like there was no other choice. It's amazing and wonderful how forgiving color/tones can be when you go 'scrappy'! 

In the case of the cornerstone squares, I deliberately used the lighter, but obviously more drab looking purples. Wowsers have these fabrics been difficult to find a good home for through the years! Those areas needed to be an obvious contrast without competing in any way with the floral, but still tie back in and transition well with the dark brown. The more 'brownish' of those drab purples tended to go to the outside edges of the quilt so as to not deliberately bring down the sparkle in the quilt. 

The horizontal sashing was actually harder to decide on because I absolutely didn't have what seemed like a best option. Not that I knew for sure what that might be! And so I dithered and dithered until finally going with that very dark brown fabric. It's almost purple, it's so deeply brown. Truly, I thought that particular area of the sashing needed to be a medium tone but Meh! What do I know? lol  Make the call and just move on is generally how I roll these days. Seriously, what would be the point of trying to use up these languishing stash prints and then run to the quilt store for a flawless fabric match in yet another area of the quilt? I'm not saying I'll never, ever do that, but I'm generally gonna try everything else possible first!

4 Blocks on the wall

Another project that I'm trying to work on a little every day or so is these tulips blocks. Which didn't start with these applique blocks, but rather the abandoned bits from another tulip quilt! Of course. Are you surprised? So many of my projects start with little seeds from another quilt and then spill into each other willy nilly until I end up with a series of ideas! 

Auditioning the hourglass units

So... the little hourglass units were the actual 'start' of the previous tulip quilt, an AHIQ prompt and now this one too. Somehow I had cut them out the wrong size and rather than fixing them or starting new, I promptly ditched the idea altogether and went in a totally different direction. Which was fine except for the fact of  all these little hourglass units wasting away!

Looking better with more blocks

Uh huh. Can't have that. And why not have another tulip quilt? It's been very, very tedious sewing up all these hourglass units and I can only handle so much before moving on to another project. Finally I'm at the point where all 196 units are sewn together, points trimmed off and ready to go. Honestly, I've worked on them off and on for weeks!

Do I even need more blocks?

Just need these tulip blocks finished up and it'll be on to the sewing up rows phase. At first, I wasn't at all sure about the leaves. My parents are both gardeners, as are a couple siblings and even my daughter. Tulip quilts have these wide, flowy leaves that never ever show up in quilts for some reason. For this particular quilt I wanted to at least make a nod to the reality of nature! Four blocks in made me frown, then six blocks in I was cocking my head over to the side saying 'maybe' and now at nine blocks on the wall, I'm finally sold on the idea.*whew!  Okay. This will do. Onward ho! And I'm also settling in to the idea of having the hourglass units join together with the brown square in the middle. Things are progressing. What more can we ask for?


Thursday, February 4, 2021

First Finish of 2021!

Woohoo! Comfortably Quirky is the first finish of 2021! I was starting to wonder if there would ever be one. This quilt was started in December of 2019. The general thinking was that this would be another 'Christmas' quilt for the seasonal stacks, but now that it's totally completed? Not so holiday-ish looking after all.

Comfortably Quirky is finished!

In fact, it's residing very comfortably on my bed right at this moment. This quilt got its design genesis from a rather funky looking quilt in the Roderick Kiracofe book 'Unconventional and Unexpected'. {Look at the December link earlier in this post to check it out.} I took that particular quilt and multiplied the basic design times four, and then of course, had to take a little bit of artistic liberty to make it all meld properly together.

A little spotty looking....

While the original quilt looks charming with just a few circles, increasing the amount x 4 was perhaps a bit of overkill. Perhaps. There's really no regret here, in case you were wondering! There are some things you don't/won't know until you see it. That's just the way it goes when you're flying by the seat of your pants and making things up as you go along.

A little softer looking in certain light...

One of the things that I was trying to do, was to use up some of the old, tired green fabrics in the stash. Mission accomplished! The fact that I also used up many other older, difficult {but well loved} fabrics during the making was just bonus. I loved being able to finally work in a small piece of vintage green, a plucky blue and red recycled shirting, a dotty green/cream that never really played well in other quilts {but looks so wonderful in this one!}, lovely {but troublesome} florals and other various bits and pieces that just were never enough. You know how it is. 

Probably could have put more floral
in the border areas....

In that regard, this quilt is a magnificent success. You cannot even begin to comprehend how very pleased I am with the overall vibe of this particular quilt! Especially when viewing it up close and personal or draped over my bed. It's very, very good in the soft winter light, however the pictures try to portray it as dark and gloomy. Blame that on the photographer! Also, I'm always so pleased {and just a little bit startled too}, by how much difference the hand quilting texture can make. I should know better. Time after time, I am amazed to see a rather blasé quilt top take on life after just a few evenings of stitching. It's rather remarkable really and always makes it entirely worthwhile.

Very cozy vibe

Though the timing was terrible, I am so, so happy that I actually stopped and added the applique tulips when I did. It would have been much easier to say, 'Nope, way too late for this quilt!', and just leave it be. Admittedly, the quilt was quite insistent and probably would have put up a pretty good pout. Lovely to see proof that these six little pieces of applique indeed are important and definitely help to make this quilt shine just a little bit brighter.

Loving the center!

Next up in the hoop is the Hst Medallion quilt, started clear back in 2017! It's been a finished quilt top for quite awhile, but I kept ignoring it in the hopes that some quilting fairy would come and hand quilt it while I wasn't looking!

Middle section of HST Medallion

It wasn't meant to be I guess.*sigh  It's just that this quilt is SO LARGE! HST Medallion finishes out at somewhere around 103" square, which is absolutely ridiculous. I don't even know what I was thinking. Regardless, the time had finally came to move this quilt off of the unfinished quilt top list by hook or by crook. No sense spending a million hours sewing together a quilt top and then leaving it for the kids and grandkids to chuck into the Goodwill bin some day!

Ready for pinning

Would you believe it's been sandwiched and pinned since early December and even then other quilts got in the way? Yep. I'm such a procrastinator when it comes to this quilt. Maybe because it always feels just a little bit overwhelming?

Trying to get the full quilt effect just isn't possible on the floor!

Years and years ago {lets say about 15 years and not get too jiggy with the correct time frame}, I would set up a floor hoop every January for the largest quilt top resting in the queue. There would be a very intense four to six weeks while I quilted and dealt with grumbly family members over the monstrosity taking over the corner of the living room. Great motivation! Nowadays, those floor frames are long gone and it's just me and the hand held hoop on the couch. Which totally works. Uh huh. If I can manage to get the quilt into the hoop and a needle and thread in my hand to actually do some stitching....

Finally in the hoop!

So here I am, nine rows out from the center are totally hand quilted now! Lots and lots to go of course, but officially at a point where I am positive it won't end up being buried back in the quilt top drawers in a fit of pique. There was no way I could ever hand quilt this one during the summer months and well, it's gonna take awhile... Hard to explain, but where I'm at now, it finally feels like the rest is doable. Which it always was if you look at it from the perspective of 'one hoop at a time'. It just took getting a big chunk of the center done to be able to feel it. Don't ask me why that matters. Or why this quilt messes with my head. Best get going on it and hopefully bring it to a true-blue finish some time in the near future. Hope I don't run out of thread!


Saturday, January 30, 2021

Getting Projects Prepped and Ready to Go

 I've been trying to get some of the endless applique projects prepped. The list is a little overwhelming at the moment and I know from experience it helps a lot to have things ready to go. Plus, hand work is seriously calling my name of late. So soothing when the mood is right!

Ormes Inspired getting a word added on

First up was to finally settle on a word to add to Ormes Inspired. I've know for awhile that something needed to be done about that bottom left corner, but nothing ever seemed right. Last week I took a seam ripper and just removed it completely from the quilt top. The word 'Inspired' is what I ended up with, though honestly, I don't feel especially inspired right at the moment.
AHIQhourglass Tulip blocks

Then I decided to get the third? round of tulips blocks prepped and ready to go. These are the blocks that I've been positively itching to get started on and have been making myself do other things in that 'carrot and stick' sort of thing that I do to get through the tedious stuff! I'm not 100% sure about the raspberry pink backgrounds, but I do get tired of cream and bland backgrounds. Nice to shake it up occasionally!

Big Kiss needs a border

These borders should be a very quick wrap up for the Big Kiss quilt. Totally unnecessary as the quilt top is already plenty large enough to finish as a lap quilt. However.... the quilt top just hasn't felt like a 'me' quilt and quite frankly, it looks boring as is. While I didn't want to spend a lot of time on the applique work, it needed something fun looking. I especially love the little pointy top on the pomegranate-look flower. When I free cut that part out during auditioning time, I almost jumped for joy! Yes! It's totally the little things that make us fall in love with our quilts. Why do we ever forget that?

More progress on Melon Patch Rows

All the melon petals have been sewn onto the pink chain rows and are now ready to be further stitched down to the dark red background lengths. This project is taking FOREVER and I'm not at all sure it will even be worth the effort. Still trying to come up with a brilliant idea for the every-other rows of whatever block that seems appropriate. I've mostly settled on an x shaped block, but we'll see. This could end up being an incredibly boring looking quilt too!

Moody 9-Patch quilt blocks

Then there's these very simple 9-patch blocks taking shape on the wall. I had completely forgotten that the parts and pieces were cut out back in November. Too much water under the bridge since then and for some reason I failed to add this new quilt start to my list of ufo's. Which really wouldn't have mattered too much because that list has been ignored much more than looked at lately! Sometimes when there is an excess of hand work, it just feels good to grab something and chain piece. Funny how forward progress happens so much faster with a sewing machine! 

In other happenings, I've been washing up another batch of fabric given to me of late. One of my aunts is moving to another state and wanted to know if I'd like to have the bulk of her fabric? She didn't have a lot, but the trouble is, it all smells heavily of moth balls. Ughh... After trying for most on one day and about to give up on ever eradicating the smell, I finally stumbled upon the answer. Have any of you ever attempted to wash the smell of moth balls out of fabric? The smell is so pervasive, it's almost impossible.

What eventually worked was to soak the fabric in med. sized totes with approx. 1/3 to 1/5 parts white or apple vinegar {both worked fine though I've heard apple vinegar can stain fabric?} to water for 20-24 hours. Then I washed the fabric in the washer with a cup of cleaning strength vinegar. After that I washed the fabric with 1 cup of bleach. Uh huh, really. Then after that I washed it again with about 1/4 cup of bleach and a very small amount of some lightly scented detergent. At that point there is still a faint whiff of moth balls, but after running it through the dryer, out comes wonderfully fresh smelling laundry. Am I crazy?

Okay, so why bother? What a risk! It's not like I need the fabric and we all know what bleach does to color. Mostly I wanted to be able to honestly say to my older aunt that I am using and appreciating some of her fabric. Though I did dump the lower quality and decor style fabrics, it's good to be on the list of give-Audrey-all-the-fabric-you-don't-want-anymore. Right?  Also, it became quite a challenge. And... I got some free quilt backing fabrics out of the deal. Very interesting to see how bleach can massively change the colors in a piece of fabric OR barely change it at all. What made it easy to take the risk of possibly ruining any and all the fabric, was that it was already a lost cause due to the odor issue. My family was laughing at me. Apparently I will do almost anything for free fabric!



Friday, January 22, 2021

Moving Love Apples To the Finished Quilt Top Drawers

So Love Apples is a finished quilt top now! It was a bit difficult to photograph because the peachy pinks keep reflecting back a dingy vibe that isn't nearly as apparent in person. Overall, I'm quite relieved and happy to see this one come about as well as it did. This is a block that I always thought should have another go-round after I finished with my first effort back in 2015. Just took awhile to get back to the idea!

Love Apples is a finished quilt top!

This time around I made the love apples a little fatter with squat little stems. Such a fun, antique-look block to stitch on, you really should try your own variation some day! If you plan of doing any hand quilting at the end of the project, I recommend cutting out the excess fabric on the back of each layer. Will makes stitching much, much easier later on.

It wasn't very fun pinning and sewing all the long rows together, but it definitely wasn't hard to do. I love that this quilt was started from the remnants of a previous border attempt. One that failed spectacularly, but also one that tugged on my heartstrings and begged for yet another chance.

A little bit retro looking perhaps?

The fabrics all came together from a marinating stack that somehow had just never clicked into place. Keeping to the original challenge of using up the improv. peachy pink strips proved to be a struggle at times. Often, I pondered simply kicking those pieces out and doing something completely different, but why? They were the point of the entire exercise! 

Happy vibes...

There are several stacks of fabric sitting about in my quilt room with various amounts of old yellow fabrics included. I have lots and lots of yellow and it's not something that I tend to use oodles of, though apparently I tend to buy and/or acquire? So... this was also a great project to see some of them find a good home. I like that.

Always fun to work with a new
color palette!

My energy has felt very low ebb in the last couple weeks so it's been easy to wander in and out of the quilt room and ignore all the lists. I pick up a project here, set one down and just generally gain very little ground on anything. So imagine my surprise when I found myself starting a brand new project?

Starting a brand new project!

Yah. Not sure how that happens, but I'm not gonna hide it away like a guilty secret. Around Christmas one of my daughters approached me about making a quilt with one of her old Summer dresses. It's a lovely, lovely floral fabric that really could/should shine in a quilt, but honestly, I'm feeling a bit inadequate for the task these days.

The first thing I did was gather a group of fabrics together and then I just sort of eyeballed them once in awhile when I passed through the quilt room. Hmm... Eventually I did a quick pass through Pinterest and subconsciously gathered ideas for quilts with large pieces of intact fabric. Oh, did I mention that we'd like to keep the floral pieces as large and uncut as possible? A couple rough sketches and finally one day I found myself trying to get started on the centerpiece. I ended up hand stitching the blue striped fabric over the top of the other fabrics, just so the floral didn't get cut into any more than necessary. There's still one more large piece of that floral left and several smaller strips. We'll see where the quilt goes from here, but I'm leaning hard towards a border of improv. strippy coins. Can't hardly go wrong with that, right? Thankfully I have 100% design control other than the 'keep the florals large please!'


Monday, January 11, 2021

Checking A Couple Things Off the List

The first thing that I wanted to check off the list of in-the-progress projects this year was the Christmas Bearpaw. I had cut it out in December of 2019 but didn't actually sew on it until December 2020.

Christmas Bearpaw quilt top

It was a project where using up more of the tired old green fabrics was priority. Also, I had decided it was past time to focus on gathering more Christmas-look quilts together. Why not have a whole stack to enjoy?

Completed quilt top

The quilt blocks went together very well. Tedious work, but not especially difficult or time consuming. Just worked on them here and there whenever the mood struck during the season. Finally it was time to sew the blocks together into rows. Initially the plan was to place all the blocks side by side sans sashing.

Auditioning the applique in the center

But that didn't work out so well because my seams were not totally precise and accurate.*meh  Oh well! It was no problem to dig around and find a fabric to use for sashing and thus create a little bit of breathing room to help disguise the humble stitching. Totally made my day when that sashing fabric ended up being cut-offs from previous quilt backings! Then of course I decided the quilt needed just a teeny tiny bit of applique.

My favorite block on the right bottom corner

As you can see in a prior picture, I auditioned it first and then pondered what the overall effect would be. Was it necessary? No. Did I like it? Mostly. Some would say the applique busied it up too much. How did I intend to use the quilt? Draped over a couch or directly in my lap during the holidays. Decision? Do it!

After the applique is stitched down

And that was that. Now I have another holiday quilt to hand quilt next year during the holidays if/when I get in the proper mood.

Yep! I'm keeping it like this!

I've also finally finished stitching all the applique parts and pieces down to the centerpiece of 'Coronacrazy'. Love, love, love the look now that all the seams are tucked under and everything is presenting in the proportion that it will remain.

Coronacrazy

This quilt is such an odd-ball creation, it still makes my head spin. Lots of ideas for moving forward but you have to know, there's probably going to have to be more applique included, probably on an outside border. I want to tell the quilt that there's plenty of applique already, but it's just not listening to me. Will be letting it simmer for awhile longer now while I contemplate and consider....

Loving all the details

Love Apples is the other project that has received some love here at the first of the year. It's just something that has been on the verge of coming together and suddenly I'm terribly impatient to put it into the finished quilt top drawers.

Nice to see progress on this one...

All the rows have been sewn together and work is being done here and there to move it along. 

These blocks should totally make the quilt!

There's always something in the air during the January month that motivates me to check things off the list and then.... start new. Of course. And why wouldn't we?