Tuesday, January 29, 2019

January Progress on Several Projects

So here's my start to the latest AHIQ 'Red is a Neutral' challenge. I had a stack of fabric already pre-selected for making a quilt for a certain someone. The red is not that gorgeous cherry red that looks so wonderful in most quilts, but most are the deeper, darker shades--more maroon. Very, very difficult for me to imagine working beautifully into a quilt, but exactly the shades this particular person prefers.
AHIQ: Red and U&U

I went ahead and combined the AHIQ prompt with the UANDUQAL challenge hoping to end up with something charming rather than flat out ugly! To further the challenge for me personally, I'm using the reds in the background {or neutral} position. I know it's confusing when you look at my practice block, but flip the colors and that's how it will look. All the lattice pieces will be blues and grays with maybe a few in a bright red fabric. Crossing my fingers it will be fast and easy and more importantly, look amazing. hehe  Well, maybe just look good. I have another idea for U&U challenge that feels more 'me' and also, now that I'm thinking about red as a neutral? Lots of things to consider there...

You probably forgot all about these baskets, but I've also been plugging along with the applique work for a long time now. Just little bits of time here and there when I was in the mood. I am positive that there were four identical green print leaves at the beginning, but somewhere along the way, one leaf apparently went missing.
Sweet Tart Baskets
We searched high and low, but never did find it. And of course, as usually happens, that was the very last of that particular fabric so had to find a substitute! The green plaid actually makes me very happy as I always love incorporating plaids and directionals into every quilt possible.  Then, imagine my surprise and dismay when I realized that somehow I had miscalculated the amount needed for the chosen sashing print! If I had a brain, I'd probably take it out and play with it! The closest matching fabric to this one looked very yellow/green and sallow when placed side by side, thus the decision to go with the almost solid green. Some of you might have ditched the original sashing print altogether when coming up short, but I just couldn't. It's absolutely perfect for the look and feel that I was aiming for and that was that.
Working on the center of the quilt...
I did have to take some extra time considering and weighing my options for the little cornerstone squares. Black? Green? Are they needed on the corners? Is this going to look awkward moving forward? Lots of decisions to make and really, it's all about learning to trust our instincts and doing what feels right in the moment.

Another project that I've been playing with lately is my Bullseye Medallion. I've had this stack of fabric sitting on the counters for a very long time and was determined not to let it be one of those projects that never ever gets going.  This blend of colors is quite a bit different for me too, but you know how it is, when something quilty is loudly calling our names! 
Starting the centerpiece for the Bullseye Medallion
This is an idea I drew up after looking at an antique quilt several years ago. Since then, I've looked and looked for that particular quilt and cannot find a picture, so off I go with my own made-up version! I made the mistake of using a lighter weight fabric behind the red circle, but the color is exactly what I was looking for--a charcoal with a blue tinge. It actually does lay flat, contrary to what the picture shows, but I am going to have to be careful when I add the applique stitching. It probably doesn't help that I don't iron and starch to the nth degree and therefore ensure that all my projects are polished and fabulous looking when presented on the blog!
Auditioning a bird
Originally, I had thought to leave the center of the circle bare {like what I remember in the antique quilt}, but the more I considered, it just had to have a bird included. I drew several different options and wound up with something that felt okay. Not great but doable. Then, on impulse, I told my daughter what I wanted and asked her to draw some free hand birds too. After seeing her birds, it became apparent that what I wanted had to be shorter and 'chunkier' looking than what I had settled on as 'okay'. 
Looking at the paper bird folded
Rather than drawing a new bird, I just played around with folding the paper bird until it looked right in my minds eye. Wallah! Applique template all ready for business! After that it was a short time until all the rest fell into place. You can see that all the various parts and pieces are now cut out and waiting on applique stitching. Yes, the centerpiece does look a bit busy at the moment, but should look better after the seam allowance is turned under and out of the way. So funny how any and every idea is completely open to change at any particular phase in a quilt!
Add with applique pieces ready to stitch
And of course, now there is this circular cut-out from behind the applique. Hmm...  It is oh-so intriguing and I find myself very determined to find something interesting to do with it. I'm leaving it on the design wall for the moment just waiting to see if something will spark and yet another quilt will be in the making here shortly. Just can't resist these sorts of challenges!
So many possibilities!
Normally at least part of January is a slow time for us, but wowsers, it feels like we've been on a runaway train. Tonight is Senior Night for our youngest son in his varsity basketball season and later in the week we are having a very delayed 'Christmas' evening with my husbands mother. Sometime in the next month I have to get serious about making a baby quilt too as my next grandchild is due to arrive sometime in March! I have been longing for some quiet weeks but alas, it has not been on the agenda for us at all. Best to keep the applique bag prepped and ready to go and have the hand quilting hoop available at a moments notice....


  1. congrats on another grandchild! you make so many quilts and move from one to the next so fast - I have slowed down in my old age LOL you have me beat for sure

  2. I think your Red is Neutral quilt will look great. So interesting to read your thoughts on your progress of your work & how you 'make do', which seems to give the quilts such character.

  3. I think that red will look great as the backgroundof the quilt, looking forward to seeing how that quilt develops.

  4. My son's first baby is due in March, too. This will be our 8th grandchild, not that we get credit for that! :) I'm putting off starting the quilt, though I probably have a plan for it. Enjoy your next few weeks. Time flies!

  5. Your Sweet Tart baskets are so charming--;))) I finally have run out of grandchildren to make quilts for, for now. My 1st four all have "college" quilts ready and waiting--yikes how did they get that old?? Anyway, my two other little sweeties are 5 and 7 --so a few more left to do for them--if I live that long hahaha...hugs, Julierose

  6. Anticipation of new grandbabies is a quilter's happy time, making their quilts and receiving blankets and finding just the perfect fabrics for them to love and snuggle a joy like no other. Red has always been one of my favorite colors so I could completely embrace the concept of red as a neutral. I've been eyeing that particular quilt you're planning for awhile now, and I think it will be wonderful in the reds you've chosen.

  7. So many irons in your fire right now! As far as those sashing strips, I think that running out of a particular fabric is a "good" thing because it forces me to be more creative and less predictable. I like the way you resolved your situation with the Sweet Tarts baskets (great name, too). You do such lovely, interesting work!!!

  8. A new grandchild. How delightful!
    I love the way you're working out the sashing. That's what happened with my large spiderweb. It ended with two different borders which look much better than the original plan. This will work out the same way because you're so clever.
    Good luck making a quilt in someone else's colors. Always a good challenge.

  9. Love that you did put the bird and little qpplique flowers in the circle. Congratulations on being "an expectant grandmother" again! It's a good idea to combine both these challenges, I would have saved some time if I had gone in that direction, but I didn't! The Red will have to wait until the end of this month, in the meantime I shall enjoy seeing your progress!

  10. You have so much going on! I like your little birds a lot and your mismatched sashing seems perfect. As for maroon, it's not a colour I'm comfortable with either but I looking forward to seeing how you work your way with it.

  11. I am not sure if I have ever seen a quilt of yours that is flat out ugly. I absolutely love your quilts and colors and fabrics you choose for every project. I love the bird on Bullseye medallion and now I am really curious on what happens with that cut out. Oh the fun continues! xo


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