Friday, March 29, 2019

Dried Flowers Quilt Top is Finished!

Some quilts come about from sheer whimsy. Completely unplanned, nonetheless sparked  by something deep within our conscience, we feel there is no choice but to start stitching. Only later do we gradually realize that there needs to be an end to the story! Picture me scribbling madly on notebook paper, drawing up potential layout ideas. This of course after impulsively coming up with these flower blocks! Hmm.. What to do, what to do....
Dried Flowers quilt top
This quilt was one of those deceptively simple, but madcap sort of starts and no-one is more surprised than me at how it has turned out! I'm not sure if this is a end-of-the-summer-flower-garden or an ode to spring but, whatever! It's all good! I am loving the use-it-up feel of starting with cast-off circles and then winding my way through the depths of the stash totes, and then finally, having a play with a bit more formal looking applique! Where were the seeds of this quilt hiding and why didn't I even realize they were always there, lying in wait?
A closer look at the coin strips
Having slowly plodded through {most} of the details for the applique work, all that was needed was to add on the outside border strips. Then I impulsively decided to applique the small orangey squares at the corners too. The brighter coral flowers in the center rows were overshadowing the poor Dried Flower blocks. These little spots of color seemed to help bring a little more focus back to the sweet looking flowers. Plus, it felt whimsical and that's usually a win in my book.
The little add-ons at the corners....
I'm so pleased with the improv. cut coin strips in between the flowers. It's getting to be a default decision, adding in strippy free-cut piecing to so many of my quilts.  It might seem silly or maybe even pointless to sew them with such blendy fabrics, but the resulting texture absolutely thrills me on such an elemental level. How could I resist and why would I even want to to try....
Such a feel-good sort of finish!
Figuring out the side borders was always going to be a little tricky. I had a {perfectly perfect} brown fabric with a subtle stripe that hopped on board almost from the beginning. I knew it had to go somewhere, and eventually that 'somewhere' became obvious as an outside border. The horizontal applique border strips just kept insisting that they needed to spill out into that border. Okay, fine, but I didn't want to break up the flow up those subtle stripes either. So, yeah. Nobody was ever going to notice but me, and we all know how these things wind up. Gotta make it happen so it won't drive us insane later! Oh I should have, could have, knew it would have been better the other way.... Right?
Trying to decide measurements for the border...
It finally came down to cutting the horizontal brown strips at exactly the width of the sewn together flower block/coin strips; ie, the current width of the quilt. Then I measured {and measured again}, finally cutting the cream applique background just long enough to extend beyond, and over, into the outside border. So yes, I sewed the horizontal brown strips to the flower/coin strips in a huge big unit, then cut and sewed the outside borders onto the sides of the quilt. At that point, I then unpinned the folded up ends of the cream fabric and laid the excess lengths out over into the outside border. I used a paper template that I had drawn up to gauge where to cut the 'triangle' shape, and then finished appliqueing the rest of that strip down.*whew!  So much trouble for a a very stubborn idea.
Where the center strips extend into the side borders...
It looks a little ruffled in the picture, but in reality it lays quite flat. Maybe if I wouldn't leave my quilt tops laying around for awhile before taking pictures or even, better yet, ironed things more carefully? You wouldn't be scratching your heads at any or all of the quilts that do {amazingly} end up looking fairly square around here...

In the initial layout drawing, I had drawn two stacked circles where each of the black circles are, kind of like a colon, but it didn't look right. Eventually I determined that only one circle was needed but that it needed to be larger. Thankfully there was just enough of that particular fabric left to cut new, larger circles because for some reason that was the very best black fabric available from the stash. You know how black has so many different tones? This fabric was a super subtle woven, but spot on in intensity. With so very much brown represented in the quilt, I definitely didn't want a too-saturated black to come off as jarring and strident. And it couldn't be a modern or contemporary print. Fabric is important to the feel and vibe in a quilt. I care about these things quite a lot actually, as do many of you!

Now it'll be time to work on the baby girl quilt which was made up of the cast-off coin strips from this project. Only a week or so till the shower! Linking up with Wendy's Peacock Party!

30 comments:

  1. Another beautifull quilt! Warm greetings

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  2. OMG .... this is stunning. What you did with the points going into the border is absolutely wonderful.

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  3. SO SO SO many marvelous details - I especially like the variation in the styles of the leaves. And I am with you on the stacked coins in blended colors - you are NOT alone in liking these (to-wit: my love of low volume coins). Another incredible finish.

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  4. Lovely finishing touches on this flower quilt....
    I also like those stacked coins separators....nice work hugs, Julierose

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  5. I like the variety of neutrals you use in those strips but then I tend to do that too, the orange in the corner brings a pop of color which looks really good!

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  6. Another lovely quilt that says "Audrey" all over it. It also says "Dutch" to me. Am i crazy? Everything so creative and original. Your border is brilliant. I adore the colors!

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  7. You are such an inspiration in your writing and of course your quilting! I love hearing how people's creative thought processes happen. I think we should all share our "scribbles" from time to time. It would show everyone just how different a final quilt can be from its original inception. I adore this one!

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  8. What a lovely quilt! I enjoyed reading through your "thought process" too. Love the low volume coin strips and the carrying out of strip points (triangles) into the border! Great job!

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  9. A lovely quilt full of sunny flowers! I really enjoyed reading about the process, and all those decisions. We don't make life easy for ourselves do we?

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  10. I love this quilt! So original and fun. I really appreciate you sharing your creative process. Well done!

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  11. Your horizontal appliqued strips and the way you melded them with the brown border is pure genius!

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  12. I Am A Maker is beautiful and this one is masterfully done. Love to read your thought processes as you work through the designing of it. A splendid finish. And congrats to all on a new bundle of joy to hold and snuggle. The best!

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  13. I love to hear the process of your decision making. Some of the elements of the quilt aren't as noticeable as others and once you explain how you made it, I can't go back, I notice everything. My first glance at the quilt and the horizontal appliqued border made me think of Bavarian embroidered clothes. https://www.pinterest.com/pin/543317142515327466/
    So pretty.

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  14. A fine flimsy finish! Love those pops of coral and orange!

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  15. What a wonderful quilt! I love the points of the horizontal sashing overlapping the side borders. I look forward to seeing this again once you’ve added wonderful handquilting texture.

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  16. Have you explored other forms of art? I picture as having always been artsty.

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  17. I think it's hard to choose when to add subtle contrast vs. a harder contrast. I believe it's made this quilt more sophisticated than my initial take of 'cute'. It's really quite beautiful, Audrey.

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  18. I remember the start of this quilt with the leftover circles. Then choosing the leaves. Good decision to use both and make the wavy leaves less frequent. Great color and fabric choices.
    I think I would have cut and sewed the brown as a complete border before appliqueing the sashing. Hey, who am I kidding. I would have cut and sewed all of it but certainly like the way the striping is constant. Another good choice.
    It's always fun to read your blog; you add so much information in your posts and eye candy photos. Yum!

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  19. It's so interesting to read your thoughts as you progress through all the decisions in the creative process. I love the improv coin strips and think it adds so much more texture to the quilt than a chunk of fabric would. Beautiful!

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  20. Nothing more left to add from the previous comments except WOW! You've done it again!!! Fabulous job!!!!

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  21. I love all the different design elements of this quilt! The extended horizontal sashing is terrific and I love the color combo. It's amazing what you can do with your rejects and leftover pieces. Your seemingly go to coin sashing adds a lot of interest in a subtle way. It's a great quilt all away around.

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  22. I like it so much! That string sashing is super!!

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  23. You've done it again! I love it. What a wonderful quilty journey you must have had to get to the surprise ending.

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  24. You are on a bit of a roll. There's so much to admire in this and I like how your round-up post highlights all those tiny decisions which, together, give the quilt its special feel. I'm another fan of the Coin strips - they are such a useful option, aren't they?

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  25. I love how you explained your thought process. It's always interesting to read about how other people make their decisions. It's going to be lovely. Thank you for linking up to the Peacock Party.

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  26. In a word: YUM!! You've made another interesting, quirky, original, colorful, pleasing quilt. I enjoyed watching from afar how the applique blocks just sort of spontaneously combusted into being.

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  27. Wahoo! I love it! Those horizontal appliqued sashing strips really light it up.

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  28. Oh my goodness Audrey, Dried Flowers is absolutely stunning! What a quilt, you must be so thrilled.

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  29. Wow, that really would have twisted MY brain to figure out that border! Glad it was you and not me, and you did a fantastic job making this very original quilt. Beautiful!

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