Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Hey Grandma! A Finished Quilt Top

It's AHIQ time again and I was determined to work on the border for Hey Grandma! Ultimately I settled on the endless mountains style of free form blocks by Sujata Shah. I wanted a wedge look border {but not especially spiky looking} and her methods always seem very  'doable' to me.
Hey Grandma! a completed quilt top!
The other thing that was important in the making of this quilt was that I didn't intend to buy any new fabrics whatsoever. Everything had to come straight out of the stash totes. Just a little extra challenge for me in making this oldish looking quilt! And so the light blue fabric with the medallion looking flowers ended up being the background fabric of choice. And wowsers, was it busy.
Free cutting the rectangles and then sewing the wedges
So much so that I had to wince when auditioning the completed border sections. It looked spotty and drab and actually, very disappointing. Nothing like the original mock-up seemed to indicate!
Auditioning the border lengths
After sighing a lot and feeling very put upon for having to make adjustments to my brilliant plan, I finally came up with the idea to try a very thin, hot pink sashing. Trying to break up the flow of many, many pink spots and maybe refocus the eye a bit?
Hmm... Maybe needs a narrow sashing strip?
Which I think worked very well. It might not be the perfect plan, but it solved my most pressing problem. With just that little tweak, everything started gelling again. If I had my choice, many of those green wedges would be the darker colors as that's what seems to work the best. However, since I was working directly out of my stash--this is all there is folks! Yep! I have run out of these sour, citrus colored green fabrics in a hurry. Probably making my youngest son very happy as he thinks they are a bit of an ugly green!
And finally a completed top!
Sorry about not showing the entire quilt top laying flat on the floor, but the table still has the leaf in it since Thanksgiving weekend. It's been insane around here lately, all the company and comings and goings. I am currently drowning in laundry and desperately need a grocery shopping trip as well. We had such good times though, thoroughly enjoying all the company, wonderful food and excellent visits. It was absolutely wonderful too that most of the big crowd moments were at my mom and dads. Is that terrible of me to actually admit to feeling that way? Our house was a madhouse as it was. If all the extended family had been in and out of our smaller home, I would have rented a motel room!
Not exactly what I was expecting, but I like it anyway....
My hands were literally itching to get in some hand work by late last week, but it never seemed to be a good time to bring out the quilting. So I resisted and just settled in to enjoy the time with family.

No holiday is complete without some drama and unfortunately for us, we had a boatload of it on Thanksgiving morning. About 4:30 in the morning, my sister woke my husband and I up to tell of smoke gathering upstairs. It was a very scary twenty minutes or so, trying to figure out where the smoke was coming from and if we needed to call the fire department. After the household was gathered outside, my husband and brother-in-law turned off the electric and systematically checked for where the burning electrical smell was originating. Thankfully they eventually narrowed it down to the furnace underneath the house and after a phone call asking our oldest son to please come help {he's a heat and air tech}, it was determined that the fan motor had frozen and was smoldering. Poor guy, having to get an emergency call out on his day off! Such a huge relief to find the origination and also, to have the least amount of damage done while finding it. The fire department would have quickly solved the problem, but the damage would have no doubt been extreme!

So between the three men, the problem was quickly addressed and by 6:00 the women were back in bed {or to the couch and recliners if they had been upstairs} and the men went off to the restaurant for breakfast. After a day of fans blowing air out the open windows and upstairs doorway, most of the smoke smell had dissipated and things returned to normal. Whew! So much adrenaline. I can't hardly take it anymore! All of the adults were emotionally drained, but nevertheless, we were all especially thankful the rest of the weekend. I'm quite sure things could have been a whole lot worse!

Back to the quilting--I'm linking up with Kaja and Ann for AHIQ #27. So glad I still have everything needed to quilt! This was a fun exercise in that the improv. was very planned, there wasn't a great deal of waste and Sujata's directions made for very easy block joining. My after-holiday, is-the-house-going-to-burn-down, fuzzy brain syndrome needed something exactly like this. Hopefully next time will be the improv. string baskets done in a postage stamp style block. I'm definitely ready for more improv.!


  1. Funny that such a small pink sashing can make such a difference. I'm so glad that you have found the problem with the smell quickly, it can be so scarry to smell something burned and not knowing where it comes from. Warm greetings

  2. I'm glad you found, and fixed, the source of the smoke before serious damage was done! Your pink sashing definitely makes a difference to how the border sits with the rest of the quilt and you've used some very strong prints but managed to stop them from taking over the whole show, which is very clever. Unlike your son I love 'ugly' greens, so this is right up my street.

  3. Oh no! I think you have had enough fire anxiety for any one lifetime! So happy it wasn't serious this time. Hey Grandma is sensational! That exrta pink really did the trick to soften the wild blue. I especially love the appliqué in this one. Thanksgiving day is the one day of the year where I know I won't have a needle in my dishpan hands. It is worth it though as we always have fun with family. Sorry to hear you have run out of your sour greens. You have a knack for making them sing!

  4. Wow! So glad the electrical problem was discovered when it was and that your house is OK. Truly made for a perfect Thanksgiving moment! And no, it is perfectly OK to admit that you were glad that the "big occasions" occurred at your mother's house!

    As usual, your quilt turned out beautifully! I love the applique blocks in Hey Grandma and the border(s) finished her off perfectly! I think I need to read up on Sujata Shah ...

  5. What a nightmare and on thanksgiving morning, too. i can see why you were exhausted after that scenario! Happy that everyone was safe and your problem was fixed....
    I do like how this one finished...those little chubby flowers are so darn cute--nice job on that border...hugs, Julierose

  6. you have had more than enough of smoke/fire to deal with - so glad the problem was solved and the smoke out of the house - and with company also - well I guess that was more people to find the cause.
    the quilt is a terrific use of the stash!

  7. I'm so glad that a major crisis was averted with the smoke in the house. How scary that must have been! Well, your quilt top is lovely, Audrey! I like everything about it!

  8. What a delightful quilt! It looks vintage and modern at the same time, which I think is a great combination. One of the other comments mentions the magic of the skinny pink border--it is just perfect! I could not believe the difference between the photo without the pink and the one with it. And thank goodness the smoke issue had a 'happy' ending. Your sister is the hero of the event!

  9. As usual, you've packed a lot into your post. So glad your family and house are well, that you had an HVAC person near to hand. Although we traveled around to see family, having everyone together is better.
    My mother and I both love that ugly, acid green. It's genetic. But when you show your photos I can see the problem. That narrow hot pink resolves it. I would have thought about a very dark green/brown/purple as that skinny border. It's so educational and interesting to see how we work out our difficulties.
    I wanted my spiky triangles but now like your wedges better. And Sujata's method is perfect (easy, fun, fabric-conserving) when you've chosen the colors and stick with them!
    We must have a similar problem with quilt photos. My colors look right in small pictures but change oddly in large ones. I'm trying to figure out where I can take photos outside.
    Thanks for joining in so fearlessly and linking up again with AHIQ.

  10. Those endless mountains are excellent, aren't they? I love the way this turned out, and I like the wide range of values in the border too. And of course, I like the green!

    I'm glad you were able to get things resolved quickly on Thanksgiving. It sounds like there was some smart problem solving happening!

  11. That hot pink border adds just the right amount of zip. Your top looks great now - so interesting to see the before and after with that border. So glad the smoke issue was fairly easily fixed!!

  12. The pink border is exactly right; it's amazing what a difference it has made to the whole top. I'm glad that fire didn't cause any substantial damage.

  13. Oh, the possibility of fire is SO scary! I'm glad it turned out to be minor and easily fixed.

    I'm also glad a thin border was an easy fix for the border issue. I know how disappointing it can be when pieces look better before sewing than after. I put a small flange around some blocks in my latest flimsy for exactly that reason. Not what I originally envisioned, but hey, it worked :)

  14. It's amazing to see how that little strip of pink transformed the quilt. I like that wedgy border too.

    And what a scare to smell smoke. Glad all was resolved.

  15. Wow! That does sound like quite the excitement. So glad you were able to figure out the cause of the smoke and get it fixed quickly and inexpensively. That quilt is gorgeous! I love all the greens!

  16. Your quilt top looks great and I think the hot pink sashing works perfectly.

    Thankfully your sister woke up to warn of the smoke before a disaster took place. This is a good reminder to make sure that smoke detectors and carbon monoxide monitors (all with fresh batteries) are placed on every level of our homes.

  17. The pink border and your endless mountains blocks finished this off perfectly. Love it (no surprise). I've been thinking that I need to pick up one of Sujata Shah's books (or maybe Santa needs to pick one up for me). Is there one that you would recommend?

  18. Whew, glad to hear the source of the smoke was found and solved! This quilt is just plain FUN with so much color and movement and variety.

  19. So glad the smoke situation wasn't too bad, very scary! And what a wonderful result with 'hey grandma', that little bit of pink is perfect!

  20. Wow! My thoughts are about that smoke smell! That had to have been extremely unsettling! As if you guys haven't had enough of smoke and fire! My heart was racing when you were describing it!!
    Well, your improv quilt turned out very nice and I like it with and without the skinny pink border.

  21. Hey, Grandma is wonderful. That little border of hot pink gave just enough separation to let every part work together. How scary with the smoke! Glad your family is okay and the fix wasn't too bad. Deep breath.

  22. Happy that the drama was able to be resolved without the water damage from the fire department AND that everyone is okay. LOVE that hot pink sashing - congratulations!!!


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