Monday, December 11, 2017

Finished and Gifted!

In spite of my initial ambivalence towards this quilt, I was very happy to be gifting it today. Tomorrow is my oldest brother and his wife's 25th anniversary, something that I love being able to celebrate with them. 
Straight & Narrow is a finish!
This was a very fast finish for me, only just started in October of this year! Normally I would just dig through the completed quilt top drawers to find something suitable for gifting, but in this instance, I wanted something a bit more 'formal' or even 'modern' looking in terms of design. Not for the fabrics and color though. Oh no. That was the conundrum. I wanted something that was obviously toned down and perhaps mellow looking {not eye catching at all}, but of course, at the same time,  it simply had to exude that cozy feeling I'm always trying to instill directly into my quilts. Agghhh! Quilting can be so hard.....
Looking across the quilt
I finally narrowed it down to this muted color scheme of tan, creams and country blues and then of course, ended up thinking it looked so plebeian and  boring. I second guessed myself a half dozen times and had all that wonderful angst that ends up making me insist I'll never, never, in a million years make a quilt specifically for someone ever, ever again! Adding the darker fabric with the golds and orangey-red crosses definitely helped perk it all up and bring a level of interest back to the quilt. Totally helped reestablish my equilibrium.*sigh  Why do we do this to ourselves?
Outside in the frosty winter air...
I was mostly following a pattern {Quilt Sampler Fall & Winter 2013 magazine} which makes it even more incredible to see it actually finished. Following patterns is like falling into a coma for me. My entire brain just wants to shut off. But once again, I proved to myself that it's good to trust our instincts. That gut level that prompts up to continue on even while the rest of our being is trying to enact a full on resistance. But, but, but... can't I just add a little bit of excitement? Change things up for more energy and 'first look' impact? hehe   This may not be the most exciting quilt I've ever completed, it did exactly what I was hoping it would do. It looks exactly like what I WANTED, NEEDED and EXPECTED. And that's important to be able to execute and see come to fruition.
And in terrible lighting in the stairwell!
I had some struggles with the machine quilting, having to deal with some drag on the fabrics at the connecting seams. Finally I realized that if I just stitched in-the-ditch down the length of the darker strip of fabric first, then that would take care of the bulk of my problems there. And of course I came back and hand quilted in that darker area with the applique, both inside the crosses and also along the lighter blue stripes. That is most definitely my favorite part of the entire quilt, seeing that lovely texture come into play.
A closer look at the hand quilting....
Overall, I was impressed and amazed to see the quilt start coming together in such a good way that I was feeling happy about the end result. Truly, it was a good challenge. Didn't hurt me at all! On another note, the binding fabric ended up being an easy pick. I just went with a burnt orange 'feather' fabric that added a nice bit of color to the edges of the quilt. My brother has an eclectic interest in chickens and ducks {manifested into a barnyard full} and so including the feather prints just added an important bit of personality. He'll notice the feathers even if nobody else does! And yay! for me, getting some of those oldy fabric used up and out of the stash bins. That's always a win to see them used up and hopefully well appreciated.


  1. I like that quilt! didn't know you had a view of the mountains - I'm envious - I live at the foothills of the Ozark Mts. but they are a totally different kind of mountain - I love yours better from my years living in Idaho

  2. It really is wonderful - congrats to you on the finish and to them for 25 years.

  3. Great quilt! I am sure your brother & his wife will love it.

  4. What a wonderful gift to celebrate your brother and his wife's 25th wedding anniversary. Glad to hear there are some marriages lasting well after the shiny wears off! Your quilt is lovely and, although it doesn't appear at first glance to be your usual "style", it is still true to you. Great job once again!!!

  5. I'm sure they'll just love your quilt--I like those little crosses blocks--they add just the right amount of "zing" hugs, and congratulations Julierose

  6. I like this quilt!! Especially the crosses. And I feel the same when making a quilt for someone special....always saying NEVER again ;-) Congratulations to your brother and his wife!!

  7. Amazing how such a simple pattern can be so vibrant. And, you are so right about how hard it is to do a quilt specifically for someone. I really try not to, but sometimes, well, you know. The hand applique and quilting makes this a real winner in my book.

  8. What a wonderful gift! 25 years is truly something to celebrate. The row of crosses just makes this quilt - that and the handquilting :0) A lovely finish!

  9. So many good things in this quilt. First a loving gift to a beloved brother. Marking an important anniversary, too. Using older fabric in the stash. Making a quieter quilt means it will blend with the room where it's used instead of grabbing all the attention. But there's enough detail to interest people when they look. I loved that you included fabric to make your brother laugh. And... it reminds me of Chinese Coins. I'm working on one now. You're tickling my fancy to add a column of something besides applique. Thanks and congratulations.

  10. I love strip quilts. This one is even more delightful with the row of crosses. Makes me want to dig out my strings and give it a go. The Anniversary couple should be ecstatic!

    I get it with the following a pattern thing, too. Not sure I could ever follow one completely, but they are good places to jump from.

  11. Oh, a great quilt! And you got exactly what you wanted and needed - that's super! I love it. It looks just a touch Modern and still warm and cozy. I love the row of plus signs/crosses, and your quilting finishes it perfectly. Isn't it fun when something just comes together, and on time?

    I find it so hard to follow a pattern - I keep trying to find a different way to do it!

  12. Wow...this turned out so beautiful. The crosses really hit the spot. Lovely workmanship. A true gift with love filled stitches.

  13. I love the pic of the quilt hanging on the fence. Congrats on the quickie finish. You've made a lovely quilt suitable for anyone's anniversary. I like the color scheme. It just invites you to grab and cuddle up in it.

  14. A terrific finish on all counts and such a lovely gift. Love the panel of crosses.


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