Monday, August 5, 2013

All Grayed Down Finally in the Hoop

The quilt top I call 'All Grayed Down' is next up in the hoop. I have practically been itching to have some hand quilting time and with days like today (my upright freezer decided to call it quits), I am thinking I NEED some time with the hoop quite desperately! This quilt top was one I worked on in 2011 and then finally finished up in April of 2012.  I suppose it is a bit of a Random Sampler quilt, although I did plan it out on paper before I ever started in the individual blocks.
All Grayed Down sandwiched and ready to pin
I know there are other quilt tops that are older and technically next in line, but this quilt top is the one that has been calling my name the loudest. So be it. I started out with a pile of fabric that was way deep in the bottom of my totes and then added few newer ones to help cheer things up. You'd be amazed at how well that can work to make you happier to use some older fabrics.
I love the vintage feel to some of these blocks.
The title comes from the challenge to myself to try working with some grayish fabrics--not so successful with this quilt as I stuck mostly to tannish grays, but still... My husband said this is one of the darkest (and moodiest) quilts I've ever made, but I don't see it that way at all. The applique blocks really bring it to life I think and make it feel cheery in spite of the darker undertones! Regardless, it feels like a 'me' quilt and that's what I've been trying to accomplish for years and years. Hallelujah when that actually happens and when I fall in love with it all over again just bringing it out to hand quilt? In my book that's a roaring success. lol Still trying to figure out what the 'me' actually is though? Is it definable for each one of us?
Definitely an updated version of this block.
The applique blocks are loosely based on some quilts I saw in a (Carter Houck?) 1970's quilt book I had bought at a 2nd store several years ago. Seeing the pictures in black and white really helped me transfer the designs into my fabric selection.  No pattern used for the applique, just looking at pictures and keeping or deleting what I wanted/didn't want to use.
I adore the bird in this block!
Because I was being frugal and stash loving, I made myself be creative with the applique backgrounds too.  What I wanted to do was rush out and buy all of one particular text fabric, but I took my single fat quarter and very carefully made sure I had a piece of it for every one of the applique backgrounds, then added in blending fabrics until I had my set of 7.  It was a wonderful decision and I love the quilt ever so much more for the depth it discretely adds in.

So bright.  And to think I almost chickened out on
using these newer fabrics!
One other thing I did that seemed to meld the quilt together well was using the same floral print in each of the vases or base of the applique blocks.  That helped me keep my colors true in each block.
My quilt is already outdated--best get busy with it!
So--yes, I did sandwich and pin this quilt before I did the baby quilt. That's because I knew I couldn't delay overlong before I had no choice and this way I'll have a quilt in the hoop even after the baby quilt is done and given away.  You will be happy to know that I pinned that particular quilt just this afternoon after rescuing my soggy freezer items and hauling them up to my wonderful sister-in-laws almost empty freezer. What happened to lazy summer days anyway?*wink


  1. I completely understand working on quilts that call your name. I do that all the time. We’re kindred spirits you and I.

    All Grayed down is a lovely quilt. I really like the design...and the sampler-ish look. I think you nailed your own brief.

    Household appliances always go at the most inconvenient times...

  2. I don't even know how to describe how much I like this quilt! No wonder it was calling your name!! I think the creams and pinks just glow next to the greys and blues. It is so stunning in such an understated sort or way. Does that make sense? I wish I had made this quilt! And sorry about the freezer, that stinks! :)

  3. I think you have done really well with this quilt. I love how you used the text fabric (really need to get some for myself) and pieced the backgrounds for the appliqué. Enjoy quilting it.

  4. Well, Audrey, this quilt does not seem greyed down to me. There are a few darker blocks (several churndashes) but I think the lights and brights are much more dominant. I think if I'd seen this quilt anywhere - on pinterest or some other website - that I would have guessed that you made it. It's beautiful1

  5. A really lovely lot of fabrics and colours in this one - am looking forward to seeing how you quilt it. Nice to have a mix of piecing and applique to quilt around.

  6. you did a great job of blending in the old stash with a few newer pieces and i think the applique softens everything up beautifully. i can see why you are anxious to quilt it.


  7. I love your enthusiasm. It is so fun to be excited about a quilt. You will have it quilted in no time at all. Sorry about the freezer.

  8. I could never describe this quilt as dark and moody, it's so bright and full of pop!! I love the mix of blocks and applique. You'll enjoy quilting this quilt for sure.

  9. I really love this top, congrats ! XXX

  10. Audrey, your hubby can say whatever he likes, but I love it! Most important, so do you. No way is this dark and moody. Well done on getting out of the cupboard to quilt. Looking forward to seeing it done.

  11. I like the applique blocks very much! You used a good setting for the blocks.

  12. What a great quilt. I especially like the way you pieced the backgrounds for your appliqué. Not at all dark and moody to me.

  13. I love, love, love this quilt! The mix of applique and pieced blocks, along with your dark and light fabrics with pops of red, plus your own design, and making do with mostly what you have. I would never call it "moody," unless you mean a warm, friendly, cheerful mood!

  14. Audrey, I have long admired your quilts and the way you put them together with such thought! But this one has got to be my favorite!!! Love the applique on the pieced blocks... such lovely fabrics! My favorites are pictures # 3 and 5! Gorgeous! "Moody" in a very good way!

  15. What a great quilt! Can't blame you letting it jump the queue!! Enjoy the quilting of it.

    PS Thank goodness for your sister-in-law - hope all the freezer goods are ok.

  16. I think this quilt works so well. You always add something that makes it all come together. Isn't it a good thing we all have quilting to take away the troubles of the day? Take care, Byrd

  17. I love this quilt. You have the most unique way of combining elements ( a good thing ) those applique blocks literally levitate off the background of the pieced blocks, creating a wonderful multidimensional effect. Its funny you call it 'grayed down' or 'dark and moody' as I would consider it bright and happy along side my own quilts!


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