Saturday, September 8, 2012

The Pass/Fail Grading System as it Pertains to Quilt Tops

It's been a crazy week.  My son is now a full-time student at OSUIT in Okmulgee, Oklahoma.  He is all set up and having a great time although he needs to find a job asap if he wants to have gas money.  Also, my youngest sister (she's 27) is getting married in 6 weeks and I've been co-opted to help my 66 yr. old mother--driving duties, sounding board and general seamstress ideas.  Fun stuff.  

So... quilting.  I worked on my mini-cake stand quilt off and on this week.  If, for some reason, I was being graded on a pass/fail standard, I'd say that this quilt top is a big fat fail.  No, really.  I bought the big floral print sometime last year because it is beautiful and I adore it, but now I'm finding out that it is impossible for me to work with.  Every time I see beautiful floral prints, I should just RUN away.
Mini Cake Stand quilt in progress
The blues and greens looked really great with my lovely floral print when they were all snuggled together in a thick stack.  They still looked good even after being cut and sewn into the cute little mini-cake stand blocks.  In my imagination, this quilt was going to be fabulous.  Apparently I'm still having immense difficulty with applying my wonderful ideas to reality.
This is the entire quilt--looking incredibly sad
in the bad lighting of my living room
I quickly realized that my printed fabric was going to be a huge problem when I attempted to use it as the alternate blocks to my mini-cake stands.  Waaay too busy and the light bounces around on that fabric like crazy.   So, after much contemplation....  Do I ditch the printed fabric altogether and save my mini-cake stand blocks from massive disappointment?  Put the printed fabric on the back?  Charge full speed ahead?  My oldest daughter was a great help to me at this stage.
On a whim I took a picture from the opposite direction
and the lighting is much more flattering tho the quilt is
now presented in the upside down view....
In the end, I used the printed fabric for my setting triangles and a few alternate blocks.  I arranged all the mini-cake stand blocks in a very value oriented way with some intense spots of color and a few fade away corners etc.  Not great, but I kind of like it.  Antique setting meet the crazy modern era.  Or something.  Help me out here.
My freehand birdie looking somewhat like a crawdad?
At some point I had made a conscious choice to sew two mini-cake stand blocks with one less point.  I liked the idea of a birdie or two stealing pieces from my quilt.  Of course I didn't understand how busy my quilt would be then.
Much better after the wing is added....
I've decided to go with the applique bird thing.  It's whimsical and amusing, which this quilt desperately needs.  There will be a total of four birds scattered over the quilt top unless I change my mind.
The weird, funky flower that holds down a busy, ultra-light
spot in the quilt.
You can't really see it in the pictures, but this flower does amazing things to the quilt.  It kind of says, 'We don't take ourselves very seriously around here and maybe you shouldn't either.'*wink


  1. Oh my goodness, you are too funny! I actually love the large floral and think it is amazing. I prefer it to the dark gray, actually. Your bird is too cute and he does NOT look like a crawdad, but that made me laugh! I was going to suggest the floral for the setting triangles but you already did that. What is that they say about great minds??? haha

  2. Love your quilt. I like the floral fabric. From my side of the world it is the dark brown squares that pop out of the quilt. Love the birdies and the flower block you have put in. It sure do make the quilt fun and funky. Do you have other fabrics you could audition?

  3. Sometimes those are going to be the best quilts! Sometimes not... LOL my design ideas never really turn out like I envision. I'm leaving the designing to the pros.... lol

  4. I like the combination of the fabrics and the colors.


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