Tuesday, December 26, 2017

Taking a Good Look at the Current AHIQ Projects

It's that AHIQ time of the month again! Considering how close to the end of the year we are, it feels like a good time to evaluate what projects are currently 'in the works'. Here is where things left off back in October for the 'Use Your Words Quilt', now changed to 'Make Beautiful Things'.
Make Beautiful Things getting a little border work!
Since I was feeling a bit lazy about taking the pieced borders completely apart, my goal was to find a small change that would make everything {somehow} work wonderfully well together. Hopefully with a minimum of fuss and confusion! And I think the solution was finally found in these small lavender and purple crosses. The addition of these small bits of color seems to take some of the punch and power away from this hot, hot pink that was trying to overpower the rest of the quilt. I'm having a hard time finding enough floor space during the holidays to lay the entire quilt out and show you how it will look in entirety, but trust me. Though the color is a little tricky, it somehow works to the good. At the moment there are still lots and lots of crosses to stitch. Ahem! Did someone mention a minimum of fuss?

Another AHIQ project that has been in the works for a long while, but was barely moving forward? These are the slab strings that will eventually be turned into postage stamp basket blocks for the every-other blocks in The Pineapple Quilt.
Slab strips for the improv. postage stamp basket blocks
Right now I am wincing at some of the Seahawks colored combinations, but when paired with the other fabrics from the stack, it all makes perfect sense. My mock-up postage stamp basket block is shown below--totally made from the scrap bin so don't pay attention to those fabric choices! These slab strings will have to be trimmed to a 9 1/2" square, stay stitched around the outside edge, sewn hst style throughout the middles and then carefully cut apart, then finally be sewn to a central square in which basket handles can be stitched down to. {Probably best to stitch the basket handles prior to sewing on stringy triangles though!} I really had to play with the measurements before I got something that should match up with those pineapple blocks. Totally worth the effort though as these feel like a fun choice.

 I'm really excited to introduce navy and other blues into the mix, but there are lots of nerves yet with this particular plan of attack. I switched gears at the last minute and combined blues with the greens instead of the rose reds I originally intended. And you never know, I could totally end up with two completely separate quilt tops once again. It's happened before around here! Some blocks/colors just don't wanna share quilt space with others no matter how much we plead and cajole...
A practice {improv.} postage stamp basket block
The only other open ended AHIQ project I have is the Vintage Lily quilt. So far the only thing accomplished is the centerpiece, and that's not even totally complete as it needs some kind of framework before joining with rows of blocks. What has happened with this project--is the fact that I've finally made a few decisions about how to move forward. Whew! So much time spent dilly dallying just trying to settle and then of course, trying to stay content with that particular choice!

For this project I have had it in my mind to try and evoke a old timey patchwork look. Something very simple and no frills. There are so many ways to approach that idea that my mind was simply overwhelmed with options. And there I stuttered-stepped and bounced around until eventually I just hit pause for awhile. I didn't come back to it until yesterday when I finally narrowed it down to one of Sujata Shahs free form blocks in a 'square in a square' pattern. I've always loved the idea of including improv. for this particular project and also, I don't want the piecing to be too perfect. This decision at the very least gives me a place to start, which is not always as easy as it seems!
Vintage Lily
So that's that. All three of my {current} AHIQ #28 projects are on the move! In contemplating whether or not to continue with improv. work in the next year, my answer is a resounding YES! I have not been able to join up with every single linkup since the beginning, but it's definitely worked as a gentle prod to keep opening up to and experimenting with different aspects of improvisational piecing and/or design.

It's absolutely slow going for me at times, although thankfully, not nearly as bad as it once was. Not something that comes naturally to me {still have the training wheels on}, so I often have to push against my default position of well..., whatever negativity that my brain is telling me might happen. I still occasionally {mentally} kick and scream at the idea of starting out without any concrete sort of plan or get balky at cutting fabric with abandon and potentially wasting some precious bits of fabric. The horror! Then later on, I always wonder what it is exactly I'm fighting against?

The beauty of continuing on with what my gut tells me is so very necessary, is that the outcome is more and more what I have wanted and needed to see happen in regards to my own personal quilting style. That utility look that comes about from free style piecing is something I wholeheartedly adore. There's a connection to the old style of utility quilts that deeply resonates for me, as it can feel genuine and authentic. You know, it if all turns out exactly the right way. hehe  So thank you Kaja and Ann for the supportive community, year round prompts and encouragement, and also the constant source of inspiration! With or without the AHIQ linkups {of which I'm obviously linking up to this month!}, I can't imagine ever leaving this sort of style firmly behind.
Christmas Dinner 2017
Hope you are all having a marvelous holiday! We have really needed this family time and of course the food.*sigh  Not much needed, but still, greatly appreciated regardless. SO much food that we are all in danger of starting to waddle.....


  1. I do so enjoy your posts - so honest and insightful. I too have enjoyed this year of AHIQ and watching what others are sharing. Wonderful community!

  2. Love your work. And your writing. Curious about the 'nobody cares' - will need to go back in your blog posts to see if you've shared the story of that phrase or not. It resonates with me. :) I have an idea rolling in the back of my head for a word quilt..."my favorite word is ****". It might be a quilt for my eyes only.

  3. love all your quilts they are always so original I'm not sure how you come up with your ideas but they work for you.

  4. I'm always fascinated with your improv posts. I admire all your quilts, and love to see them each time in all their stages of progress. My attempts at improv always end up with me stuffing fabrics back into stash with an "I'll think about it later" echoing through the studio...

  5. I have to confess to a deep down liking of the Seahawks colors - at least for starters. It speaks to my inner green, I guess. Loved your pictures.

  6. I love the way you use colors and the details in your quilts. You encourage me to pick up applique. What a great way to layer meaning while Kaja pushes me to stamp and print. You add improv in such a personal way. It's always fun to see which bits of ideas you've pulled from various sources and how they metamorphose in your hands. You make them uniquely you yet very approachable, useable. One of my goals is to channel my idea of how you work and see what comes. (I'll let you know.)
    I remember the postage stamp quilt block from year ago. Love the way you're recreating it. Baskets are definitely on my list.

  7. A great post, Audrey. I am really enjoying watching your version of improv emerge and evolve while still retaining all the elements I love in your non-improv quilts. It may sometimes feel like slow going but you are working in a way that remains consistent to your own style, which is not always easy.

  8. I love those Vintage Lilies! Carolina Lily has been on my to do list for ages, but I can't seem to make a decision. Your applique is a great solution! And I do love the navy, too. Plenty to do!

  9. Your style keeps evolving and remains playful and charming despite what you refer to as dilly dallying and stutter stepping. I think it's just part of the process.

  10. Thanks for a year of innovation and interesting insights. Look forward to seeing what you create in 2018 and reading about your creative process. I'm in finish-it-up mode with a few projects before I feel like I can start from scratch like you do.

  11. Audrey you are always an inspiration :) Happy New Year to you and yours :) The way that you use color blows me away each and every time.


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