Monday, July 15, 2019

It Doesn't Look Like Much, But I'm Making Progress

Next up in the hoop is the Big Tipsy Basket quilt. I don't think it was really supposed to be next in line, but I'm playing around with the idea of putting this one into the regional quilt show. It's all been sort of up in the air as we have an older friend getting married that particular weekend near Portland, Oregon.  
Big Tipsy Basket
Quilts are supposed to be picked up directly after the end of the quilt show and I've been having trouble lining up someone to collect my 'potential' entries. Still working on that minor detail. There's a still a slim chance that we'll just skip the entire weekend away, as my husbands work has been piling up on him and so many of our weekends are being booked up. So will I? Finish this quilt in time? Yes, no, maybe so. It should quilt up quickly, but on the other hand I'm not one for added pressures in life so we'll see. In the meantime, I'm just enjoying the almost mindlessness to the echo stitching and subconsciously pondering many of life's complexities. We think as adults we should have complete and utter control over our lives, but wowsers. Just not the way it usually is!
Getting sandwiched and pinned
It was nice to get the hand quilting finished up on Vintage Flowers though. It feels like I've been working on that one forever! The binding has since been machine stitched into place and it's now just waiting for the hand work time. I don't dread hand stitching the binding like some people, just need to find the opportune moment and be 'in the mood'. Hand stitching binding doesn't take days and weeks to do as I can be pretty fast with plying my needle. I don't know how others manage, but my machine finished binding always looked terribly sloppy and would have to be redone anyway. Why bother wasting that time?
Vintage Lily
Speaking of time. Melon Patch {below} has been co-opting a ton of my time lately. Ughh! So tired of stitching these innocuous looking petals! Out of 20 sets of 4 petals, it's down to just 3 sets left to stitch. The main problem is that it takes approximately an hour from start to finish to stitch one set of petals, so do the math. There are three hours left until this particular phase is completed! And I've told myself, NO more applique projects until getting this part done. No real surprise that anything and everything else gets in the way. I've read books, made apricot jam, drove to Home Depot with my husband, played with my granddaughters, took walks with my daughter, wrote a quilty blog post...
Always more petals to stitch
Too, all the nine-patch blocks for Patchwork Garden quilt have been finished up and now are sewn into the horizontal rows. I'm not sewing those rows together until I stitch as much of the applique possible so...., yeah......*sigh  Not happening until I get going on the previous project. Cuz I mean it! Bummer. This one looks like more fun, right? I've been gathering the potential fabric together for the applique though, so it's not like I've been sitting around twiddling my thumbs here.
Patchwork Garden progress
There's even another 'all applique'  that I've been eyeballing lately too. {not that I'm counting the stacks of fabric marinating on the counter tops at all....} It's a print that I saw online and already contacted the designer to ask permission to try and recreate in fabric. Ahem! Yes. It's been gathering steam behind the scenes so to speak, fabric being gathered and contemplated in great, serious detail. Hhmm... Maybe if I get enough interesting applique projects out ahead of  me then the carrot and stick approach might actually start working?

Saturday, July 6, 2019

A Tried and True Idea That Never Seems to Get Boring

I was able to put in some good long hours on the improv. quarter log cabin quilt these last couple days.. It's an old design, but it never gets boring. All the kids were gone on the Fourth of July and we had such a peaceful day! I made a mac salad and the husband grilled us a burger. Would you believe, we didn't feel like we'd missed out on a single thing by being lazy with our day. This year I think we just needed the peace and quiet more than any socializing.
Improv. Log Cabin
Before trimming up the blocks, I laid them all out on the floor in an approximate layout. Once I had settled on a seemingly balanced layout, then I proceeded to trim the sides to 15" {the 'sane' number!}. Since I had cut and sewn them in the improv. style, they were anywhere from 15 1/4" to 18", but I didn't worry about the length so only trimmed them to be straight across the top and bottom.
It's not really a bat, honest! It's a bird in flight...
Like always, I stacked them into neat little piles with the row number pinned to the top block. Then I started making the three applique blocks. At the bottom of this post is a picture of the little drawing I made just before diving into this project. It's pretty common for me to make a doodle of the potential quilt that I'm making, but actually very uncommon of me to follow it to a T. 
Loving these colors
Luckily I stopped myself before finishing the applique work on all three blocks, as I had a hunch three might would be overkill. Just to check and be sure, I took my little stacks of blocks and did a quick layout with the background only of the applique blocks included. {Sorry, no pic as it was very late in the evening for that foray!} 

When I laid the proposed applique fabric across the top of the blocks, it was so interesting to see that the blue fabric I had chosen for the birds was NOT going to work after all. In fact, it required a deep dig into the stash totes to find something, anything! in the darker coral fabrics instead. At first I thought to use some of that raspberry colored plaid included in the quarter log cabin blocks, but it just felt too predictable. Too matchy matchy. Too meh! Choosing colors can still surprise me. You think it's so easy, so very obvious, and then, it's really not. 
Sashing worked out pretty good!
Addressing the applique blocks, I needed a shape to cut out. Still hadn't come up with anything good. Try as I might, there was not a single 'flying' bird template anywhere, in any of my books, that suited. I looked all over Pinterest too, thinking surely there was something that would fit the particular mood of this quilt. 

Finally, I went back to my little doodle drawing in defeat and quickly drew up the strange little bird that I had scribbled a couple months back. Just to have a starting point. Which, okay! Wow! Turned out a little more interesting than I had thought it would. Simple, but striking. One flying bird was just enough. Three was definitely too many. Not going to force it! And if you think my bird looks like a bat, that' okay too. I never said you had to like it.
Just a little bit of make-do sewing included
So then it was time to settle on the fabrics for between the blocks in the vertical rows and also the longer vertical sashing strips. Coming up with the very light cream for between the blocks was fairly simple. Everything else sort of disappeared or was entirely too dark, and I really didn't want to go scrappy on that part of the quilt so mixing up the fabrics was a big no

The longer, wider sashing strips were much harder to define and I dithered over a couple different dark fabrics until early one morning {half asleep}, I remembered this floral reproduction print I had bought several years ago. All my larger pieces of fabric have usually been bought for a border, background or backing. Sometimes they don't work out as planned or I hijack them for another project before they actually get used for the initial purpose.  Hmm...  I wonder? And though it seemed a little too 'yellow' at first glance, I went ahead and went with it, loving the old fashioned look to the floral and faint stripe underneath.
A quick quilty doodle drawing
All through the sewing, I was crossing my fingers that this particular choice wasn't a huge mistake, because it's not an obvious good choice either. Sometimes we just go with our gut and hope it all works out! 

Somehow in the final layout audition, several blocks got moved around {for better color flow don't you know!} and imagine my surprise when 5-6 blocks were much too wide to sew onto the 15" cream block sashing strips. Seriously? So apparently some of the blocks are now a perfect 15" square and there was a bit less of the 'make-do' look that I was hoping to see from vertical row to row. comparison-wise. Oh well! 

Overall I'm very happy with how this quilt top turned out. It seems to be a great mix of old utility quilt style and modern make-do'ism. Is that a word? Linking up with Wendy-s Peacock Party and also Julies test Linky Party. It's not a true-blue 4th of July quilt, but I thoroughly enjoyed working on it over the holiday regardless. Already have lots of ideas for the next quarter log cabin quilt too! Isn't that just the way it works around here....

Tuesday, July 2, 2019

All Finished With the String Blocks

Here they are, those string blocks that I almost gave up on doing. While I love and adore quilts made out of the scrap bin, there's just something about the process that requires a certain mood.
String blocks
In this case, it was a desire to bury my head in some well loved fabrics, not have to make a lot of decisions and just chain piece myself into a place of serenity. Or calmness. I don't think there's ever really any true serenity when doing foundation piecing! It worked pretty well right up to the point where I had to high step, jump or practically crawl over the messy little totes of spilling scraps just to get out of the quilt room. And we're ignoring all the bits and pieces of trim-offs scattered all over the floor everywhere. Wowsers! Oh yes we are! The string blocks are completely done though. All 56 of them! After working on them in fits and starts for two days, I went back upstairs last night and powered through the last 19 blocks. Didn't want to push them off for another couple months once again.

Thanks to Kyle for mentioning that she's been a 'sewing maniac' lately. She blew out her wonderful 'Burgoyne Surrounded' quilt top in just days! While I was sewing on my string blocks, her words would resonate with me and inspire me to push through {I don't like foundation piecing at all, though I love the finished product}.

I can also thank Julie for helping to inspire me too. Her blocks have been popping up on a daily basis and though I couldn't even image wanting to make one of these a day, it forced me to consider my languishing project. Like, really deeply consider it! Did I want to have this string quilt or not, 'cuz it wasn't getting anywhere all by itself? lol  

Linking up to Lori's Stringalong. Without this particular QAL, I probably would have never even started this quilt! Next up will be to trim up these blocks and then decide on the ever-other-block fabric that are needed to continue. Or if I want to make the quilt larger and make more blocks. Or if I want to add applique. Or a border. Or any one of the myriad of decisions that I love to torture myself with. Totally kidding! With the foundation piecing behind me, the torture part is OVER....

Friday, June 28, 2019

It's Like Running Into a Brick Wall

I was cruising along, working on the border to Sweet Tart and getting a lot done. So much cheddar, it just about makes me cross my eyes from the glare! Then after the little basket border was sewn on, I was thrown to a screeching halt by the realization that the quilt top was already finished. Wow. It was just over and done with.
Sweet Tart quilt top
What? There is still another border to go, right? I couldn't believe how quickly this quilt decided to call it quits. I played and played with a couple different ideas, from simple one-fabric borders to multi-colored pieced or applique ideas and nope. No dice. The only thing that seems to make anything look better {in my imagination} is using some of that lovely grass green as a binding. That's all I could come up with!*sigh  If I would have known this was the one and only border, those little baskets would have definitely been sewn up in other, probably darker colors. Don't you hate that? Second guessing the previous decisions when the future decisions are moot 'cuz they aren't even happening anymore?
Loving the big flowers
So now I'm a little bit miffed, feeling rather restless and questioning my creativity. {There was a really good border idea waiting to happen!}. I've been spending way too much time scoping out other peoples fabulous quilting efforts and feeling pretty meager in comparison. It's really probably more like Summer blues hitting early and a little too much chaos in our life. We're trying to get things scheduled so we're better prepared for the big weekends, but it's just gonna be one of those fast, crazy summers.
Just won't let me make it any bigger...
Had to go to the airport and pick up our youngest son. Took the opportunity to buy a new pair of summer, wedge, high heeled sandals while we were in the big city. Now if I could just convince myself to quit wearing pantyhose! I'm so old school it's terrifying, but in my defense I am married to a minister. Also, being a redhead and one with very pale skin there is no trying to tan. My legs are either white or sunburned red, so really, there are no good options. And I won't fake tan so that's out too. Thus the never ending quest to find great hose in the appropriate color. My fave aren't the most durable in the world, but mostly I stick to Hanes Silk Reflections in the 'Barely There' color. They feel pretty breathable, which is a plus in summer, and I don't have to buy control top in that particular brand. Ugh..  Most companies assume that because you're wearing hose, you must also want to squeeze all your innards into a sausage casing too. Umm..., why are we having this conversation? Oh yeah. Lack of creativity and a jam packed summer. You never know. I may have to start five new projects just to overcome...  Linking up with Wendy at the Peacock Party

Wednesday, June 19, 2019

A New Basket Project and The Fabric Stash

Perusing all of the previously made basket quilts made me think a lot about the obvious, making basket quilts.  And I started wondering. Why haven't I ever made the 'Patchwork Garden' quilt? It's a pattern that I absolutely drooled over and finally relented and bought the pattern many, many years ago. Jan Patek is that good. Her patterns can resonate for years!
A new project
I think there was too many cuts of fabric that needed 22" length or something? and I normally tend to buy fat quarters. Plus, making from pattern directions has not ever been my strong suit! Okay, fine! I give.The pattern will never quit haunting me otherwise! I decided it was now or never and went and dug through the stash totes for a quick fabric pull.
Looking at some possibilities
Of course, being me, I couldn't make it in the color range shown on the pattern. Oh no, have to be difficult! But you know how it is when certain colors are wistfully calling out to us. Hey sweetie, why don't you ever come play with me? The first fabric pull is shown above. Then you can see below where I started trying to match up colors with pattern directions. That's the point where I decided to throw in a little green to spark things up a bit. 

And yes, there was pattern re-writing involved too. Like mentioned earlier, I generally have smaller bits and pieces of fabric than suggested. Why? Because I love scrappy and so tend to buy in smaller yardage amounts or have a lot of cut into fabrics that aren't very long anymore! And more importantly, because I always, always try to shop from the stash first which good or bad, can create limitations.
Definitely looks better with the green!
'Tricia' has commented on my blog a number of times lately. Hi Tricia! If people don't have a link back to their email, I rarely ever comment directly back to them here on the blog. It probably feels like I'm ignoring you, but its not personal. That's just where I draw the line, responding personally by way of email or not at all. Otherwise it can be crazy town around here trying to track everyone down and responding here and there and unintentionally leaving people out regardless! 

Anyway.... one of Tricia's comments has been floating around in my brain and causing deep thoughts. 'I never cease to marvel at the depths of your stash totes. You always talk about pulling all of these (seemingly ugly) fabrics for dozens and dozens of quilts out of your stash totes. Seems like a biblical miracle along the line of the loaves and the fishes--only better!'
There are small totes and large totes
Oh my. Where to start? I started out quilting in the 'Build the Stash' era. Oh yeah, I've been at this for a very long time {20+ years}, though I started out very slowly. Only buying for a project and stashing the leftover. Buying a couple fat quarters extra in case the original choices didn't work out as well as planned, buying with gift cards, splurging on vacation, etc. You can read herehere and here where I talk about buying fabric that we love or using fabric that is personal to our tastes. I happen to believe that having a solid, personal stash is vital to generating the best kinds of creativity in regards to quilting!
Most are full or close to full
Never, ever do I suggest that this would be an excuse to use any money that simply isn't there for just those purposes! In fact, part of the reason my stash got to this size is simply this: I developed an open door policy with all family and friends in regards to accepting unwanted fabrics. You would not believe how many bags and boxes of fabrics that I've been gifted throughout the years! It's a joy {mostly} to sort through and make a little stack of fabrics to keep and then move the rest on down the road to another grateful quilter/crafter. The unexpected treasures make the entire experience totally worthwhile and slowly expands my fabric options. All without costing a penny!
15 in all just so you know...
As time has went by and my love for quilting hasn't diminished, I've had to come to grips with a few things. First, that here is very limited space in my quilting room and secondly, I have to deal with lots of direct sunlight. So yeah. This is about as big as the stash is ever going to get and boohoo! it's not ever going to be displayed beautifully! 

The best solution for storing the stash ended up being basic solid totes. So ugly. When I see the lovely open arrangement of fabrics that so many are able to have in their quilt rooms? I have such stash envy. There is serious amounts of quilt room envy too. {I'm human.} But that's not beneficial at all, so I tamp it down hard. Forget that garbage! What I want is to feel grateful and thankful. It's a blessing to have this kind of creative outlet in my life and I don't want to forget that for a minute.
And one on the counter which is a pain to lift up and down
Back to the acceptation of unwanted fabrics. I would say that policy is responsible for well over half of my stash. Seriously! I'd love to say all the fabric in the quilt room is stuff that I'm in LOVE with, but that's just not so. Sorry. It's not a magic kingdom of all the best fabrics! There's a lot of super usable blender types. Lots of fabrics I'll probably never.ever come to hate but aren't exactly fabulous. Plenty of lovely yardage that make my heart melt into a squishy little puddle. Handfuls of wonderfully challenging to me prints. Layers of oldy moldy fabrics {constantly trying to throw something new on top or beside in order to spark new love}. And yes, even those ugly bits and pieces that I'm slowly incorporating into all the improv. work as is color appropriate. Sometimes even cunningly cutting very small and disappearing them, one little fabric at a time! Larger 'less loved' fabrics get stuffed onto the backs of quilts on a very regular basis. There are creative ways to use most all fabrics! Anything truly offensive to me will end up being thrown away or given away. I won't willingly ruin a quilt, you know that!
Totes are sorted into Dark Green, Med.-Lt. Green, Oranges,
Lavenders & Purple, White/Cream with colors, Christmas fabrics
It's all mine though. MINE. And you know how personal that can be. Mary Fons has an article that I've read a few times through the years and thoroughly enjoyed, 'Consider The Stash' . In it she writes: 'If you have a stash, you made something. You’re still making it. If you have a stash, you have created, fabric by fabric (in the case of quilters) a physical manifestation of your style, your approach, your world. Stash as painting. Stash as symphony. Stash as quilt.' Later in the article she writes this, 'But I will make quilts. I always will. And just as a painter needs paint, so does a quilter need her fabric. And each fabric is a memory. And each fabric is an idea. And each fabric was brought into my home, by me, for a reason. I made my stash. And my stash is just the beginning.'
Black & Gray, Reds, Browns, Creams & Light Tans
Not to say that every single quilter will need or want to work in just this way. There are those who want to pare down for reasons of money, waste, space or even personal conviction. People who feel guilt and shame at the excess or hint of obsession? Quilters who are ready to get rid of a very old, unloved collection. Those who feel that for whatever the reason, having a stash is holding them back or causing stress in their life. Perhaps they want to upcycle and recycle more than they desire to incorporate newish fabrics into their quilting. Whatever works. Quilters can be in any number of different seasons of their quilting lives, so I try not to judge. There's definitely things to be learned from every method.
Pinks, Dark Blues, Yellow & Golds, White & Lt. Cream,
Lt.-Med. Blues
As for me? A hard and fast rule is to shop from the stash first.  Always. Have you heard this before? lol  The stash represents my old loves, my new loves and everything in between. It's my quilting voice. If something runs out or runs short? Make-do. If at all possible. And sometimes I'll try to make-do over and over before I cave and go buy something deemed essential. Have I totally quit buying new fabric? Absolutely not. Are you crazy? 

I am definitely choosier these days and don't tend to buy fabrics just because it's a good deal or I might feel sorry for it. I've learned to be much more specific in buying for the 'holes' in my stash or particular needs of a certain project. And again, I tend to buy small. Quilters have taught me to look at shirts and used clothing for possibilities too. It fits so well with the way I make and also, those stash totes? That's it. I'm all maxed out. There is literally no more space in the quilting room for any more totes. If new fabric comes in, old fabric has to go out. One way or another!*wink  Best get to quilting! There will be no hoarding and stashing in out of the way places from this quilter, 'cuz I'm not ashamed and I'm not hiding. So what about the rest of you? Stash or no stash? We'd love to see some pictures.....

Thursday, June 13, 2019

Come Take A Look At All My Basket Quilts

It was an interesting exercise to go completely through the blog from beginning to end. All very quickly of course, just looking for anything 'baskets'. The first several years of the blog found me very tentative about posting pictures and I know there are several quilts missing in action. Such a shame.
More modern looking basket wall hanging
And no, I couldn't find pictures of them elsewhere either, because the main reason I started taking pictures of any of my quilts was for the sole purpose of posting them in a blog post. In those first years, it felt very nerve-wracking to throw up a picture and basically say 'Hey! This is my work. Love it or hate it!'.  

The basket wall hanging posted above was finished in perhaps 2011? I just can't remember much about it other than it was made all in a rush one week when I was feeling desperate to have something pretty hanging on a wall in one of our bathrooms. A new shower curtain probably inspired the on-purpose color palette, but it's never been taken down since as I've always found it cheerful. The middle part is very closely based on a quilt out of 'Intuitive Color & Design' by Jean Wells; however, the border was all my own imagining.
Little Prim wall hanging
This primitive little wall hanging with the tiny little basket was the very first wall hanging I had ever made and perhaps the first time baskets were ever attempted either? If so, that would mean that I've only been indulging my love for stitching basket elements since the year 2002. Wowsers. Only 17 years? It's from an ancient American Patchwork and Quilting magazine and I assure you that I felt all the anxiety of the doomed upon starting it. Bear in mind that this little wall hanging was also the very first hand quilting attempt by yours truly as well. My hand quilting mentor was quite, quite dubious about the predictably shaky results, but I showed her. Here I am a million stitching years later, still slogging it out with the hand work. She has thoroughly moved on to bigger and better hobbies, leaving us plebeian quilters quite firmly behind in the proverbial dust. {Btw, do you feel that your quilting hobby is ignoble or unworthy? Nor do I. Her loss, really.}
Vintage Lily in the hoop
Vintage Lily is the latest quilt in the hoop and by chance it has a basket motif in it as well. I know, so very shocking. This quilt was made in response to one I saw hanging in a quilt show back in 2017. It lit a little fire in me and finally, I was able to come up with my very own interpretation.

Baskets still remain extremely inspirational to me, even after so many years of playing with them. There's a timeless beauty and charm to them that easily translates into many different styles. As you can see from comparing the Vintage Lily basket {above} to the original inspiration quilt, simply changing colors and prints can create a completely different look and feel to an entire quilt! Love that!

After considering all the different ways to show you the lineup of basket quilts made here throughout the years, I decided to keep it simple. Here's the link to my brand new Pinterest board: Quilty Folk Baskets. There's about 40 different basket quilts to look at in all. At the very least, the quilt will have a basket represented somewhere. Many of them are my own design, though some are not. Obviously. Baskets are pretty universal so don't expect anything breathtakingly new and different. If you click on a picture, it should take you directly back to a post on my blog where hopefully you can read more about that particular quilt. Please don't be shy about asking questions concerning any of the quilts pictured. Writing about each and every quilt just felt a bit too daunting for this moment in time! 

Monday, June 10, 2019

Monogamous Quilting is Not Really My Thing. I Get Bored So Quickly....

The Bullseye Medallion quilt has been quite shamelessly ignored for a good long time. Obviously something that needed to be rectified! Sometimes I'm just not in the mood and don't want to force anything into the wrong direction. This time, I only pulled it out of the shelf to take a look, remind myself that it had potential. Next thing I knew, the border idea was starting to come together in my minds eye and fabric started flying. You just never know when and why things might spark.....
First Round of Bullseye Medallion quilt
The general idea is for this, and every other border added to the centerpiece, to finish at 5". I don't want a lot of complex piecing going on, but intend to add just a touch of a pieced element here and there. At this particular moment in time {always subject to the whims of change!}, each subsequent border will follow the mock-up shown in the picture below, in regards to color. It would be good if the borders don't end up looking choppy, which is probably the biggest challenge of all moving forward. Most of the fabric I own is in fat quarters or slightly less than. You know how it is when the larger yardage is only bought for specific projects! That could be problematic in the overall flow and unity for each of the following border rounds.
Auditioning the following border colors
Wanting to keep the centerpiece looking bright and happy, black was chosen for the very first border color. Good contrast right? And black always adds a wonderfully folky vibe. Most of these black fabrics used are quite a bit more gray than black, as you can see, something I gravitated toward on purpose. I think it will end up creating a moodier 'look and feel' to the quilt, which might help save the quilt from coming off as too contemporary at time of completion. The goal around here is always 'cozy' versus 'modern', thereby invoking a look/feel that I am unreservedly more comfortable with.
Auditioning possible fabrics for this border
The pictures are terrible as I was working late into the evening. Hopefully you can still see that the very light blues used for the wonky flying geese tie right back to the color of the bird in the centerpiece. Not sure that I will use any more of those fabrics moving forward, but I do love the slight clash taking place in the blue/green family. It doesn't work for every single quilt, but there's something about using potentially clashy colors that can amp up the interest and spark in a quilt.

If you're ever unsure about where the 'going too far' line is, all you have to do is lay your new fabrics out on the quilt {as I did in the previous picture} and take a step back. Close your eyes, and pay attention to what your gut tells you when you quickly open your eyes and take a good hard look. Uggh! Get those hideous fabrics out of here! Or Hmmm..., very interesting. It might take a couple times of laying the fabrics on and taking them off again, perhaps mixing up the specifics of which 'clashing' fabrics work best together as a whole. You'll rarely be able to use only one conflicting color/fabric. It almost always takes a minimum of two or three to make it properly work. And yes, I originally chose the bird fabric precisely because I intended to add a little more of those dissimilar color choice fabrics later on. There are definitely methods to my madness!
All the flying geese sewn, just needing trimmed and arranged 
But of course, you already knew that if you've been following along with my creative journeys for any length of time at all! Rather than jump right into the next border, I also tried to work on the Sweet Tart basket blocks this weekend. Only got this far before I was completely done with working with cheddar and yellows. So bold and happy and well, sunny natured.... I started getting itchy and antsy, gave in and folded it all up for working on at a later date. So crazy because there really wasn't much left to do!
Making slow progress on the Sweet Tart baskets
Most probably I was feeling crabby because I've been longing to start a brand new applique quilt. Or two or three to be perfectly honest. And I had told myself very firmly the last time I started new applique {or maybe it was the time before that?}, that the Melon Patch project absolutely deserved progress before sidelining it once again. Yes, I have zero will power and had managed to sneak in a few little, teesy tiny applique additions such as the I Am a Maker quilt top. Always telling myself that these aren't serious applique commitments and so of course they don't count.
Another layer for the Melon Patch quilt
Poor, poor Melon Patch project. Taking so very long to gain any serious traction. I had almost talked myself out of loving it altogether. What horribly ugly fabrics and was it really going to have any redeeming qualities after digging everything out of the very depths of the stash totes? {I can always be relied upon to work up a very righteous indignation and even loathing to whatever project currently feeling inconvenient!}
Looking at what it might look like with the next layer
We all knew it was going to end this way, but as per usual, after finally making myself take the project in hand, starting to work with needle and thread, I felt curiously relaxed and was quite enjoying the process. So predictable. Look at these sweet fabrics! Why, they actually do look pretty interesting when sewn together in this subtle layering of colors and prints. Hmm... yes, what a good reminder to keep challenging myself to look harder and deeper into the stash totes. Not a waste of time and energy after all. lol  Isn't the entire creative process hilarious? Totally mind boggling at times when we think about how much we enjoy it all, every step of the way!

I started on Friday night and made steady if not amazing progress. If the neighbors hadn't been celebrating the 'after party' for their grand daughters Quinceanera on Sunday, there would no doubt be much more accomplished than these measly little stacks. Only a total of 36 finished out of 80 petals in all. After hours and hours of incessant music and loud drum beats drifting through the walls of our house, I finally retreated. So glad the Quinceanera itself was held somewhere else! They are honestly quite wonderful neighbors and we never complain about their maybe twice-a-year? large family gatherings. But wowsers, not a great environment to peacefully stitch away on the hand work!  

On another note, I counted it up and there have been at least 30 quilts with a basket element made around here in the past 10 years. Gearing up to put together an intense basket post--just for those of you who expressed an interest! lol  Gonna take a big chunk of time though, and crossing my fingers I can still find the pictures as most of these quilts are long gone...