Tuesday, February 12, 2019

The Improv. Woven Basket Overload

This one feels like a good finish. You know how we always seem to have a question or two about things that could have been done different? We ponder, have a little debate with ourselves {and the quilt} and then settle into whatever decision we've come to. At that point we determinedly move forward, crossing our fingers we've followed the right path!
Improv. Woven Basket is completed!
This was one of those quilts that really felt like it could have any number of endings and my mind could never totally grasp the absolute 'best way forward'. Time and again I would make my decision, landing on the side of simplicity. Two-fabric basket. Lollipop flower motif. Utility style inner border done in fabrics that read as a solid. Unassuming border background with high contrast, but very basic leaf shapes. More of those lollipop flowers. And lots and lots of fabric repeats throughout.
2nd finish of the year
It was started back in August of 2016 on sort of a whim, just because I couldn't get the idea of a huge stringy basket out of my head. Once that was done I let it languish for a bit with pretty much zero idea how to fill the center of the basket. Until one weekend in October when I just went nuts with trying to put into place what my brain was telling me was needed!  Wow! That was a crazy weekend. It's a wonderful feeling to feel so much motivation to work on something, but then when it's done, I always sort of deflate and put the project away for a good long rest. It wasn't until February of the next year that I finally attacked the inner and outer borders.
A look at some of the stitching
Not because I was so terribly interested you understand, it was just something to throw up on the wall and contemplate at the moment. Part of my ongoing list of things to eventually check off! But as so often happens, just bringing a project front and center starts usually getting things moving and grooving along again. Fresh eyes can bring new perspective.
Approx. 73" square
I was deeply suspicious of the almost-too-simple inner border, but the more I looked at it, the more I just adored it. Such a wonderfully clean line between the basket and the outside border! And once I added that bit of cherry red there at the top? It didn't matter anymore if something else might look better. I wanted the framing this added to the quilt-- the movement that those blocks of color created by making my eyes do a slow circuit around the entirety of the quilt.
It has captured my heart, I confess...
In the little drawing {that I had doodled at the start of my improv. basket idea}, the outer border was about the only thing that ended up being the same as in the final quilt. The funny thing was, in translation, everything seemed to have a need to be brighter than anything that I had previously envisioned. In auditioning fabric colors and prints, I kept tossing out less vibrant greens and going to scrounge again and again in the stash for some more interesting fabrics for the leaves. Nothing seemed too outrageous for this particular quilt! This is definitely where I am seeing the shift in my quilts from 'before' and the choices I keep making these past couple years.
Gonna be hard to give this one away. May have to keep it!
Over and over again I am choosing brighter, lighter, or busier fabric prints. Not for every fabric in the quilt {obviously}, but most definitely for a chosen few. It's become a quest for me to find those specific fabrics deep in the stash totes! Why am I not buying more of these? My fabrics are so boring!!  I love the layers of interest it creates and the happy, sparky look it can so easily generate. The dull, plain light tan fabric in the outside border fabric was one of those 'crossing my fingers' moments. Would it be too muted and bring the whole quilt down? Or would it be the perfect foil for making those simple flowers look even better than they should be allowed to look?
Nothing like hand quilting texture to get me excited....
When the quilt top was finished, there was a 'flat' quality to the quilt that I didn't like. It troubled me. Should I add words or a date? Should there be another border? All these things were carefully considered until finally I just decided to let it be and see if the quilting stitches would create enough texture to solve my problem. 

Oh the angst in deciding how to quilt the inner and outside border! It honestly wasn't until I had those parts in my hoop and was threading the needle that a definitive plan started forming in my head. And I still had to rip out offending thread colors until I found the ones that made me happy.*sigh  

A quick dig through the stash totes found just enough of two purple fabrics for the binding and then a good long soak in the tub before drying. Just a little bit of the darkest colors bleeding, but when it went through the washer, my color catchers came out white as could be! Yay!

Now that it's done, I am so delighted by all the decisions that resulted in this sweet looking quilt.*whew! You just never know till you know, right? I look at quilts like this and I wonder, why would I ever want to go back to making other peoples patterns full time? In spite of the uncertainty and minor struggles that usually ensue, this process is wonderfully addicting. So exciting and enthralling! Figure out what makes a quilt capture your heart and start doing it! There is NOTHING that compares to looking at a quilt that is totally yours from start to finish. I heartily recommend it to all....

18 comments:

  1. quite a primitive look! glad you were finally happy with it.

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  2. This quilt is "You"! Your color sense is spot-on, and it shines in this quilt. Love it!

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  3. I must admit when I first saw the big basket I thought "where is she headed with this one?". Then you added the posies and I too was hooked. I love this quilt and I'm glad it gives you such pleasure!!

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  4. Love this quilt too! I was surprised to read how large it is and would absolutely love to see this one in person!! That basket has totally captured my heart.

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  5. Do you think your desire for brighter colors reflects your mood and life circumstances? I know when I first started reading your blog, it was during the recession and money was tight for everyone, everywhere, and life was just Hard all around. Or, do you think that the brighter colors simply reflects a new period of your quilting journey? No matter, I adore all of your quilts!

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  6. This is a beautiful quilt I love it all❤

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  7. Beautiful! A basket of beauty to help with this fridgid weather.

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  8. Just goes to show good things come to those who wait. Love this! So happy!

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  9. Lifts the spirits on a cold winter day! And makes me feel like trying my hand at some lollipop flowers! Lovely hand quilting. Congrats on the "totally yours" finish!

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  10. I wouldn't be able to part with it. It's such a happy quilt and the texture from your handquilting is superb!!

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  11. No matter the style we work with I think we all angst about all those decisions, but then like you said, there's a time to let it be! Your quilt is totally yours and a delight to view. Whew! You did it.

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  12. Lovely finish, you have outdone yourself!! Its one of my fav's. I hope you don't mind I saved a photo to remind myself of how your plain boring fabric can be made gorgeous!!

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  13. I love your enthusiasm. And the quilt.

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  14. I'm glad your keeping this one. It just makes me smile to look at it and puts me in a good mood. I, like Susie Hoover above, didn't realize it was so big. Alternating the strips for the basket part was genius.

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  15. It really is sweet and so unique! I like what you said, "fresh eyes can bring new perspective". That's why I generally do not like to rush quilts!

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  16. End result = Audrey Perfection!

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  17. I think this quilt reflects you - bits of sparkle and fun in/on ordinary times. I’m impressed with the combination of bright and dull. Useable, Happy. Spunky! Congratulations!

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