Monday, May 28, 2018

Patchwork Doodle Is a Done Deal

Had to keep this one back until it was safely delivered to the birthday girl! My oldest daughter said from the moment she saw this quilt on the wall, 'Mom, this one's mine!' I don't think it even had any leaves on the improv. circles yet, and so honestly, I was a bit dubious.
Got it made just in time!
Not having a clue where the quilt was headed myself, how could she be so certain it was going to turn out to be something special? But she never wavered and in fact, always insisted that the quilt needed words too before it would be properly finished. Being the stubborn sort that I am, those words didn't get added until right at the point when the backing fabric was being figured out.
Patchwork Doodle with the new border work
The quilt just looked sadly out of proportion {not that I would have admitted it at the time of supposed quilt top completion} and seemed to be whining for some extra length. Please, pretty please with sugar on top? Well fine. If I was going to add a border top and bottom of the quilt, it might as well include words too! I considered a lot of different phrases like motivational ones, sweet and sappy, biblical etc. and finally settled on the first words to a Billy Joel song. It's something that I knew she would instantly recognize as it was once her very favorite song. Quilts and smiles always make for a winning combination in my book...
Still crushing on the freestyle circles and applique addition...
I stole some of the backing fabric that I had bought for the quilt and dug up the extra log cabin blocks that never made it into the quilt top. They were a smidge more narrow than the ones along the edges of the quilt, but oh well! Improv. leaves room for variation, right? The dark maroon strip was added for extra emphasis when things started looking a little mushy, the letters were hand drawn and then traced onto the chosen fabric. and all in all, I could just feel the energy in the quilt change for the better. It was a great feeling.
Some quilts are better with a song connection...
Except that I was hiding it from her that it was going to be finished for her birthday--was working in odd little bursts of time. Oh the mistakes I made!*sigh  It never ceases to amaze me that the more I hurry, the more 'oops' that happen. Me and that trusty seam ripper definitely became best friends for awhile. Thankfully this quilt is all about freestyle and improv. and so nothing is perfectly square. A little bit more wonkiness just blends in! Oddly enough, that really did help in just shaking off the irritation of getting the math wrong yet again and moving rapidly back to the point of making good forward progress.
Nothing is square or perfect...
It still feels really incredible to look at this completed quilt. It's so not ME and yet somehow it is. I know that this quilt was started on a whim one day {mostly a bad, don't care sort of mood} and that the color scheme was developed around the vintage yellow/purple/green and orange floral proudly displayed in the center of the quilt. It was a challenge. A big, scary, improv. challenge that felt almost unattainable {and a lot overwhelming}. Yet somehow it all came together anyway. I seriously doubt I would have ever attempted something similar without the perfect storm of events and elements that happened and/or were available for my creative mental purging on that specific day. Basically I had received some of the most shake-up-my-world sort of news that day and needed to get deeply immersed in a quilting project. Pronto.
A different sort of look than the usual!
Gotta love quilting as a therapy tool! It was a rough, very unimpressive start as most of my loyal readers know, but somehow turned out to be one of the most playful quilts I've ever finished. How does that even happen? As you can see, it was quilted very simply and then I added the echo hand quilting around the letters just because I adore the look. A stripped down approach and very little big stitch quilting, a little bit of sweating and a whole lot of wondering if the whole thing was ruined forever. How I dread machine quilting!*ughh  But why bother with a massive hand quilting effort when the fabric and funky patchwork were doing all the heavy lifting?
It's not the The Beatles but I think she loved it anyway....
So now you know what I've been working on for the last couple weeks in and around a bit of hand quilting and other odd bits of sewing you've seen. Just couldn't share it with you in case my daughter decided to check in with my quilting blog as she likes to do every couple months!

 Oh. And that annual church campout thing we do every Memorial Day Weekend for about 20 + years of our life? I loved seeing this quilt below every time I walked inside my camper this past weekend. Made me smile inside. Every. Single. Time. Taking a gorgeous quilt along on a dirty, off-in-the-woods camping trip just feels a bit illogical and well, luxurious! Why not?
Be still my heart....
But it's a lovely, lovely place to camp once we get there and get settled in. Especially when the weather was as good as we had it this year. Not a drop of rain! So many memories being made and now we're making them with the next generation. Loved seeing so many of my nieces and nephews having a blast this weekend doing all the things we did when we were their age.
Nieces and nephews at the high mountain lake
I've said it before and I'll say it again--one of the very best things about our campground is that there is zero cell service. NONE. Bye, bye social media! So what do you think the first thing we do once were back in the land of civilization and have had a proper shower? You're reading it right here in real time..... lol


  1. What a fabulous way to spend Memorial Day weekend ... making memories and celebrating our freedoms.

  2. isn't it nice when you are working on a quilt and someone asks can this one be mine! I agree about travel/camping and internet service. Usually I can answer email on my phone and check a few things and stay in contact but this time I am not going to worry about my blog. We have internet service this week and when we are not busy visiting family I will do a few blog posts but then we take off next week for points further north and campgrounds that might not have electricity and I'm not going to worry about it! If readers come back they do if they don't well I won't really know about it that much.
    I bet you had fun at your camp especially if no one was on their phones!

  3. Oh my goodness. The words! Love it!

  4. What a great quilt and I love the addition of words! Makes it so personal!!
    Love to go out hiking and camping, but holiday weekends you'll find me at home. Too many people out for my comfort. Looks like it was beautiful!

  5. Your originality of thought and in your quilts inspires me!! Lovely, lovely!!

  6. This quilt is fantastic! It explodes with color and fun. What a wonderful birthday present :0)

  7. Yes..the luxury and contentment a quilt brings to camping is amazing. Love your daughters quilt.

  8. Your leftover log cabins make a perfect border. Using the dark maroon strip further out rather than as an inner border is a great idea. It grounds the colors and emphasizes the words without framing the quilt. What a treat for your daughter. Congratulations.

  9. I'm guessing you have one happy daughter right now! What a treasure. And I love it when someone likes a quilt well enough to "claim it" as theirs. Glad you had a wonderful time "unplugged"!

  10. No wonder she wanted's just adorable :)

  11. Just everything! It’s all wonderful....everything. Those words sounded familiar to me but I was a Pink Floyd mega fan and didn’t absorb a lot of Billy Joel.....then it struck me Pink Floyd song......”shine on , you crazy diamond” ......I may have to note this down in my creative space! Your work shines a diamond!

  12. Well, you did it again. Just when you think it's not going well, you step up to the plate and hit a homerun

  13. I think this is one of my favorite quilts of yours -- your daughter was SO right to lay claim to it.

  14. Love the quilt for your daughter!

  15. What a lovely quilt! Thank you so much for your posts about the process, they are so inspiring! I got the book since it was published and I have kept postponing to start trying to play in that direction... I think I will start collecting some fabrics from my stash and give it a try!

  16. Congratulations on a great finish!
    And sounds like a wonderful camping trip and
    wonderful memories.

  17. Best compliment in the world is when your child or grandchild lays claim to a quilt even before it becomes an official quilt! Looks like you have a real winner here - and so does your daughter!

  18. You hit a homer on this one and I am not even a sports fan! Awesome.

  19. Congratulations, both on a great finish and on having raised such a perceptive daughter. One of the things I love about improv is we can end up with quilts that we would NEVER have planned, and this is a perfect example of that.

  20. That's funny that you appliqued "slow down," and then kept making mistakes from rushing. Just who is the "crazy child?"

    But I love it. ☺ It has a lot of positive energy!

  21. A fantastic quilt filled with lots of energy and wonderful stories!


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