Wednesday, March 13, 2019

Out With the Old, In With the New

This quilt was a great choice for putting in the hoop this time of year. I don't even remember the last time I had this much cabin fever! It's not that we've been housebound or been without electric etc., it must just be the long, never-ending winter getting to me. I'd obviously never survive living in Alaska like some of you hardy souls who seem to do just fine up north!
Improv. Postage Stamp Basket quilt is a finish!
Improv. Postage Stamp Baskets quilt has been like a breath of fresh air. The word I keep coming back to when thinking about this quilt is 'restful'. So very relaxing to stitch on this quilt. It's been much needed! I can't wait to throw this one one the bed and see how serene it makes our bedroom feel.
A little bit of basket handle stitching in the setting triangles
 As usual, the decision about what to stitch in the sashing part of the quilt was quite painful. I feel incredibly un-creative about sashings and one-fabric borders and just generally sort of panic at the thought. This time I went with my gut {although when do I ever really not do that?} and did what seemed easiest. It definitely helped when I saw that Lucy had made the same choice in her most recent finish. Her work is always so beautiful that no-one could possibly ever complain that she was taking the easy way out!
An odd color palette for me, but I'm loving it!
Though some say that these postage stamp baskets don't immediately show as baskets, I kinda like the subtle impact of the design. They were made in the improv. style which means they are not perfect at all. All the strings are varied in size which makes me like them all the more.
There's just something about hand quilting....
Originally I thought to mix up the baskets so that each block had baskets with all vertical strings or all horizontal strings. That just created a very confusing medley of conflicting blues and greens and so it seemed safer to keep all stringy baskets the same per block. In the end I found that I rather liked the way those aligning strings met up at the cornerstones, creating an indirect, secondary design. Not hugely impactful, but still, very noticeable when examining close up, such as when it might be lying across someones lap.
It acts like it needs a snuggle....
The only thing that I'm not sure that I like love, is the half cornerstone blocks on the outside of the quilt. They were deliberately chosen to sort of fade away, in direct contrast to the darker fussy-cut flower ones. There's just a question niggling at me, because it almost seems to leave the edges of the quilt looking undone. Or does it? I do love questions and mysteries in a quilt! Oh well! Keeping that in mind, I just doubled down on that particular thought and made sure the binding was extremely soft looking and wouldn't detract in any way from those busy, bossy looking baskets. Overall this quilt would readily go right into the success column, if I had any such thing. Not exactly what I started out thinking it would end up looking like, but now? I just want to cuddle up and take a nap with it. That's a very good vibe in my humble opinion...
Folksy Flower Medallion next up in the hoop!
Next up in the hoop is the Folksy Flower medallion quilt. It was started sometime in 2015 and was in the works for about two years before reaching quilt top completion. The original inspiration was lost to me for the entire time that I was working on the quilt. It was terribly frustrating when starting this quilt as I wanted to reference the picture my brain was trying to re-imagine. Though I searched and searched, I could not find this stupid picture that I KNEW had been saved somewhere in my Pinterest boards! It wasn't until the other day that I finally stumbled upon the picture, way down in the bottom of one of my boards! So crazy to see the similarities between the inspiration and my ultimate interpretation. And I wonder, what would have been different if I could have been viewing the picture all along?
Looking at the center
I do think it very important to give credit to whatever and wherever our original inspiration comes from. If we can. Sometimes we really don't have a clear answer for that and that's probably okay as long as we aren't trying to gain profit from a potential 'copy cat' design. Maybe our idea is even a conglomeration of lots of stimuli. Being awash in social media influence definitely exposes up to lots and lots of different ideas, designs and approaches. Perhaps the seed of an idea is buried so far in our subconscious we begin to think the idea is completely unique to us! You know that could happen to any one of us!  Regardless, I find it fascinating to see how far inspiration can take us into our own spin on things, then turn around and view the two results side by side. 
Getting started with the stitching!
I wondered if this quilt was a little bit too fall-ish to be working on this time of year, but no. We're doing just fine. So far there's very little precision involved in the stitching and that always makes me feel happier to dive into the hand quilting towards the end of the day. Did you notice that one of my clamps on the hoop is cracked? I'm treating it very gently and hoping it holds up for a very long time. Interestingly enough, that's the best side to slide over the bulk of the applique work. Less stress on those stitches when it's not as tight!


  1. LOVE your basket quilt - restful is indeed a great word to describe the overall vibe. And I agree about inspiration and giving credit and being amazed at the directions our ideas take us.

  2. I love the blue and green in that quilt! restful as your previous commenter says is right - I really like it.

  3. I think folks all around the country are really tired of this winter. Your new finish is so soft and summery appearing, would be perfect for curling up on a porch swing on chilly spring/summer evenings. YYour lovely quilting adds so much texture and interest.

  4. I had forgotten that the baskets were made from alternating strings. The pictures make it look like you have just used striped material. I had to look at it more closely. There's a lot of work in each basket. How nice to have a finish you love.

  5. Wonderful quilt, Audrey! 👌💐
    Best wishes!

  6. I love it! The gentle pink in there with the blues and greens gives it such a gentle, pretty look, perfect for the spring (if it ever comes!)

  7. Fab, fab, fabulous!!!! The Basket Quilt has long been one of my favorites of yours. Glad to see it reached completion. As for the Sunflower Quilt, you must have made the top some time before I stumbled across your blog. Love this one too. The center is very cool and I love the little squares in the border.

  8. Both quilts have their own unique stories.

  9. You had me at first glance with those blue green fabrics. Love the colors.

  10. I love this quilt! I agree about sashings so glad I am not the only one. Isn't Lucy's quilt amazing, she inspired me to do a hst quilt also. Isn't it just awesome that we have quilting to turn to.

  11. Your basket quilt is lovely. I like the way you aligned the stripes. It does add more interest when viewed closely, just as you wanted. And the half cornerstones fade out very well. Good decision with the binding to continue the feel.
    I try to never look at an inspirational idea once I start my own. That way I make more decisions "on my own" rather than copying the original. It was wonderful to see your quilt and the needlework that inspired it. Thanks for sharing.

  12. Your improv basket quilt is simlply lovely with it's very restful colour combo.

  13. I absolutely love that basket quilt! The colors are so calm and soothing. I need to make a basket quilt for myself soon. I made a cherry basket quilt for someone else years ago in teal and raspberry, and wanted so bad to keep it. Seeing your basket quilt reminds me that I still don't have one.

  14. The basket quilt is great! Reminds me of the ocean and the different colors blues we see depending on the time of day and which ocean you are looking at. But it seems like a very calming quilt.
    Folksy Flower is a fun and happy quilt too!

    The trip to Seattle and warmer temps was just what I needed! Cabin Fever and too much snow has hit me too!!


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