Saturday, February 16, 2019

It Finally Has a Real Name Now

We've been having our winter storm weather for the past two weeks. Lots and lots of snow, which makes for gorgeous scenery, and also, whenever it stops snowing, lovely, lovely light shining into the house. Thankfully it looks like it will melt off rather quickly and not stick around for too long. We don't care to drive in those conditions on a regular basis!
Antique Crows a completed quilt top now!
Feeling quite home bound when the snow is doing its worst, I have dedicated myself to finishing up the quilt top for Quarter Circles, hereafter to be called 'Antique Crows'. I'm not sure when this one was officially started, but I think it was sometime in 2017? As all the blocks were applique, it's something that I took time with working on, never making it a top priority. And in fact, this project was more of a 'squirrel' project as the little cream quarter circles were cut-outs from behind the applique on a previous quilt. Waste not, want not!
Looking at the top border....
It always amuses me how one quilt project can so extemporaneously spark yet another idea or even, at times, turn into an unplanned series of quilts created with similar elements. The ideas just keep flowing and with this one in particular, two ideas somehow joined together: the chunky New York Beauty blocks {leftover quarter circles} and the interpretation of the Antique Crows applique. So efficient when it works that way!*wink
These blocks just make me smile
The inspiration photo really made an impression on me when first seeing it. I so wanted to add it into one of my quilts some day! How to do that? Start from scratch and design a quilt around the idea? Like a lot of other great ideas, this one was probably better in theory than in actual practice, but whatever, had to try! And this was the quilt it landed on. If you looked at the photo, the whole design was a little bit short for the top border of a quilt, unless perhaps all the pieces were made really large. Putting the entire design in the center of a quilt? Maybe a better idea, but nah! I wanted these blocks to be a unit. Not every quilt is destined to be a medallion style.

So yeah, that's the real reason this particular design ended up being extended lengthwise. All about where I decided to place these larger birds in my quilt. Rather than absolute repeats of the original, I just determined to add on to the 'story'. I'm sure there are a lot of great ways this design could have tinkered with, but this way makes me smile. Plus it feels right for the fabric choices on hand. Lets not forget how important that is!

And just so you know, originally I wanted the crows to be anything but black {just to try something not as traditional looking?}, but, hmm...,  it just didn't make sense. I already had the blocks made for the base of the quilt. That part was NOT changing! No matter which fabric/color I auditioned with, those birds were determined to be made out of the darkest fabric. Okay, fine, have it your way! Who am I to argue with a quilt! In an effort to make that black look a little less stark, I made the smaller birds out of similar fabrics too. That's kinda the rule of thumb. If something stands out a little too much, then simply add more of it. Easy peasy. It's not like there's a lot of black in the quilt otherwise, right?
A close up
So no, its not identical to the original. I'm not one to worry much about accuracy in interpretation, you know that. Its more about successfully translating the feel of it all--that part that resonates so well in our heads for whatever reason. The green stems and leaves are possibly {I'm still considering} a little too florescent looking for my taste, still, they were the only greens that I could find to properly blend with all the other colors. 

Overall, I'd say this was a good ending, somehow keeping with the primitive look while at the same time leaving off most of the dark and broody elements. There was a time that I adored the darker look of most traditional primitive quilts. Now, however, I tend to want something with that same, lovely, lovely naive look {feel?}, but with perhaps a lighter, happier vibe. You know exactly what I'm talking about.
Strips sewn together for Shimmer Quilt
I also ended up sewing together all the strips for Shimmer, the strip quilt that was started during Diane Knotts book blog hop. As usual, I am looking at my fabric choices and wanting to poke my eyes out with a big stick. How could this have been a good idea? Just kidding! I'm not really that much of an emotional basket case. Mostly I'm just a wee bit concerned that I didn't use enough variation in the color palette.  I seem to have this comfort zone of two colors, an accent, and then lots and lots of neutrals that behave themselves and play very nicely in the background.

This is a common theme with me--getting all excited about my original stacks of fabric, cutting into them and then at some point, having a form of buyers remorse. Questioning myself. Doubting everything. Wanting to turn back the clock and make a small correction. Thankfully, that's usually a very brief stage of the process and honestly, it's not even very stressful anymore because I just figure it comes with the territory! If I was a complete and total control freak, it would be easy enough to reload Electric Quilt 7 on my computer and do a computer generation. They say it can be done in color and with actual look-like-the-fabric swatches. Oh my goodness, how boring would that be? Knowing exactly what our quilts would like like before we ever sewed up a single stitch! 


  1. I love this quilt, I like the vibrant colours and the crows

  2. I'm with you on this - if I knew exactly what a quilt would look like before I'd even sewed a stitch, I'd have exactly zero interest in sewing it. I love your antique crows. One of the reasons I think they work is that you have used subtle prints rather than solids; it just helps them to sit nicely in with the chunky NY Beauties.

  3. Beautiful. I love the birds on top.

  4. Using color or other elements: "If something stands out a little too much, then simply add more of it. " ALWAYS. And if you already have two of something, might as well add a third. Also on your "problem" of using two colors, and accent, and a bunch of neutrals, yeah, I get you. It is slightly formulaic, and I do it, too. And sometimes I get quite bored with it. Now and then I like to make a quilt that it's hard to decide what color it is, because there are lots of colors, and in relatively equal proportions. I have to finish a couple more projects and then I think I'll be back in that mode. I NEED COLOR!

  5. Oh, also -- if you're not happy with the greens of the stems, you could try muting them with a bit of crayon. Press it (with a pressing sheet or paper towel or something!) with a hot iron to set.

  6. I love the birds! they really add to the quilt

  7. Oh I do hope no big sticks were involved!! LOL You crack me up. I can so relate to your second guessing about fabric choices, but in the end I always adore your quilts, so something is going right! The crows are adorable. I'm glad they decided to land on your quilt.

  8. Your crows, your fabric for the top, the primitive little flowers by the crows.. all inspired and just right. Your comment on the lower part, about what was I thinking? ha ha ha. I get that when I dig through my UFO basket, WTF? you make me laugh. I love your chunky beauties and their name. Love love love

  9. Your 'antique crows' quilt has turned out to be a beauty! I love the crows, and the grey plaid borders, and all your mix of pinks & purples in this one!

  10. Those crows flew onto your quilt right on the right spot. Those chunky blocks make me smile too.

  11. Just love it! And please, don't poke your eye out with a big stick...:)

  12. Fabulous finish! You just can't go wrong with crows. It's like Dr Suess says, "I like on a house, I like them with a mouse, I like them here or there, I like them anywhere!"

  13. Your Antique Crows quilt looks like the sunshine I've been missing! February has been a snowy month for us.
    Why not stick to those strips and make a quilt to donate to CA?? Doesn't hurt to ask, right?

  14. Great quilt, Audrey! I always love your applique additions. The crows and flowers are perfect. They really lighten up the quilt. I'm with you about fabric choices and remorse. If I could see it all done on a computer, I wouldn't have a reason to make it! It's the adventure of seeing what turns comes from our initial choices and all the other choices we make along the way that keeps us going. The final product has got to be a mystery, or I lose interest.

  15. Crows are one of our favorite birds and I love seeing them in quilts! Antique Crows is a fun top with so much going on to explore.


I love getting comments and always try to respond via email if possible. If you aren't getting replies back from me, try leaving your email address within the comment. Due to Blogger changes, I've heard that some people aren't able to leave comments here at all. In that case, you can always email me at audkateaster at gmail dot com if you'd like and I'll respond from there. Thanks so much for visiting!