Monday, April 15, 2019

Ta-da! The Hst Medallion is a Finished Quilt Top!

It's been awhile.  Earlier in the year I had determined that this quilt top was going to be finished up just as soon as I could drum up the energy. Eventually it became obvious that I would never truly feel up to this particular task. And so I set a timeline, made promises to myself. And finally, there was nothing left to procrastinate over or 'accidentally' nudge in front of this difficult project.
Hst Medallion Quilt top finish
Ughh.. Whose idea was this to recreate this antique quilt anyway? Pretty sure it was mine. Regardless, I have trembled in my shoes a time or two over the amount of work involved. I like dreaming up ideas, not sewing hsts and other mulitiple border units for literally days on end...
So many borders
You have to know it was a LOT of work. So many hours spent on this quilt. Mind numbing amounts of time. Crazy amounts of TIME wrapped up in this quilt. Am I repeating myself? I think I might be repeating myself....
256 flying geese units to piece
Cutting. Sewing. Ironing. Trimming. Sewing. Measuring. Pinning. Sewing. Ironing. Repeat and rinse... Cutting, Sewing, Ironing... I thought it might possibly never end. Obviously patience is not my strong suit these days.
Sewing, sewing, sewing...
I worked a little bit on the accuracy issue with this particular quilt, but I'm still me. Oh, am I ever! On occasion, it feels good to know that seams actually can match up, that everything learned has not been lost. And that seemed to pay off, until it didn't. In the end though {which is all that matters}, the quilt turned out relatively square. I'm very satisfied with 'relatively' and know that the planned future of hand quilting will, um... distract from anything obvious? Make it look amazing? For sure, make me forget about any supposed inadequacies!

I did wonder about not using pink for the square in a square border. The original quilt went off on a completely different tangent, color-wise, at this point. Nothing auditioned hit the happy button though, and almost all of the fabric used was dug straight out of the stash totes. Buying new would have had to involve strong motivation for its 'rightness'. When I couldn't determine a color that would almost definitely make things sing, then I went ahead with more of the pink. Oh well. Honestly, in some ways, I'm a little disappointed with the look. Playing with values with the blues and pinks apparently limited other color-use though. At least in my minds eye. That's the only thing that makes sense.
Getting ready to sew on the pink square borders
Every single strip and border had to be sewn on with lots of pins keeping things where they needed to be. So many seams.... I had to take a million breaks and go do laundry or file my nails. Do the dishes. Something really, really important. Whatever. My primary goal {quilty-wise}, was to not work on any other quilt, other than hand quilting which is always fair game, until this quilt was crossed off the list. This was a nose-to-the-grindstone sort of finish it up project. Many, many times I questioned why. Why? Why did I think the last two border additions were so important?
The very last pink border sewn on...
The last two borders measurements were cut out knowing that every single strip would undoubtedly end up being 'off' by approximately half an inch. At the very least. There was just no way I was cutting the pink squares or the geese units in 16th inch increments. I made an executive decision to not stress over perfect math. Ahh.. I do know myself so very well. Because it worked out just fine with my oh-so-accurate piecing. Nothing is ever exactly the length it's 'supposed' to be around here!

The pink strips ended up being more accurate than the geese ones, maybe because there are less of them per border length. All I had to do was lose between 1/4" and a 1/2" per length to make the borders fit. The flying geese borders were a bit trickier. Even going by the 'math', I somehow mis-figured by a lot. Each flying geese border should have had 64 units per side. Uh huh. That did not happen because I somehow ended up with 60 per side! The thing is though, I rarely ever trim them to an 'exact' size before sewing them into a border. So yes, you could say that I totally set myself up for variable border lengths! My feelings are, if the flying geese units are trimmed straight on the top and bottom sides, then they're good to go. Perfect quilts are so... boring!

I also decide what is most important before diving in with my make-it-up, make-it-do, make-it-work sort of work ethic. For this quilt? Keeping the tops points of the geese. That was the number one goal! After sewing on both side of the geese units, there will definitely be some side points disappearing into the seams. I know that. If the geese keep their pointy tops, everything else is well camouflaged except from the pickiest of quilters. And they can go jump in a lake!
Working on the flying geese borders!
To recap, the end goal was only to have borders that {fingers crossed} did not make for a wavy-edged ,waving hi! sort of quilt. Count the borders. This was a LOT of measuring and fiddling and fudging. Though I started out with a 'goal' measurement per border, in reality, they just had to fit nicely. Most of the black strips were used to whip the stitching errors back into place. You don't know how many times I had to grin at the original makers probable intent at the 'why' those specific strips were included. Wonderful design element, but wow! so genius for a subtle, but consistent course correction. Just for the record, I did eliminate one border from the original quilt look. Increasing the size of the hsts at the start made for a problematic finished quilt size
Uh oh! My bad!
Most of the time I don't take pictures while family members are at home. They would think I'm a weirdo, right? Somehow today, I got caught. There's that hypocritical thing that happens when moms do things they've always yelled at their children for doing. Who stands on a couch??? Seriously?
It's a big quilt, even folded into quarters...
Well, this quilt is obviously too big to take be taking pictures of inside of the house. I'm quite positive that other quilters do like I do though and make the best of what they have to work with. Including standing on the furniture if that's what it takes!

The spot where the best quilty pictures are taken was just kind of a joke today. That place works best for lap sized quilts and maybe bed size quilts if they are more narrow. I included the picture below so you could know how much bigger this quilt is than what I normally try to take pictures of. Perhaps we could get rid of the dining room table so I'd always have enough room, even for the biggest of quilts. lol
It's an old design, but it still somehow works!
Maybe too, I can somehow bribe my children to be quilt holders for me once again. Right now they seem to think they have better things to do, like take funny, ha ha pictures of mom doing things she hasn't ever liked for them to do. Did I mention that sewing this quilt together was quite tedious? ha! Only once or twice. I didn't ever feel very creative about the whole endeavor, to be perfectly frank with you. The design was already set, the colors mostly repetitive and the entire thing was more about implementation than true creative brain storming.
Antique quilts make for the best inspiration...
But I love it anyway. All 103" inches of it. I did it! Yay me! Now I'm left wondering if I'll ever let anyone use it after it's truly finished up some day in the future?



34 comments:

  1. I can see how making a quilt like this (all those hst borders!) would drive anyone crazy. But you did it, and it's magnificent! I have to say, your version is so much more ALIVE than the original! To say "good job" almost seems trite. How about, YOU ROCK, LADY! Now I'm itching to see how you quilt it.

    ReplyDelete
  2. It's phenomenal, a true labor of (ahem!) love! Finished is better than perfect, but in my eyes, all of the work, the color choices, everything came together and this is one, perfect quilt. Just beautiful!

    ReplyDelete
  3. you are a "better man than i, gunga din"...seriously it is gorgeous and doesn't everyone take on a behemoth like this at least once? well worth the effort and angst...

    ReplyDelete
  4. wow - done!! it is seriously hard to take a photo inside the house of a large quilt, I have to move furniture and at times it is still crinkled up on the edges - I stand on top of the coffee table, balance on the couch but you did it! and that quilt was a lot of work!

    ReplyDelete
  5. That is a big quilt! Great job on keeping your nose to the grindstone!!! It is beautiful and worth it!!

    ReplyDelete
  6. Yowee! This is a beautiful accomplishment, all 103" of it. Years from now, you'll forget the pain and just be amazed that you did it. I love the pink squares, the darks, all of it. Congratulations!!!

    ReplyDelete
  7. Victory is yours! It's an amazing top. I hope you have a king size bed so you can enjoy the dreams it gives. Looking forward to seeing it in your "Quilt in the Hoop" box.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Wow. Just, wow. This is one impressive Quilt! My own quilts are definitely lower-case 'q' quilts when compared to this!
    I really love how you set some perfectionist boundaries that were important to you, and let others slide a little. This is a good recipe for happiness when sewing. Thanks for the process tip.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Just amazing work to actually persevere and finish this one__Huge Kudos--you deserve a big cake with candles on it--!!:)))
    It is just beautiful, Audrey--
    (By the way, I often stand on furniture to take pictures of quilts--what ever works, right?)
    And here I am moaning about just finishing up 3 flimsies...very inspiring....hugs, Julierose

    ReplyDelete
  10. WOW, it's simply amazing. Very impressive finish.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Honestly, I just can't imagine tackling this one. Kudos to you for sticking with it! I cannot even imagine the hours (not to mention the frustration) that went into this gem. I think I'd have to iron it with a steamroller if I tried to make it! I just love it and can't wit to see how the texture changes with your fabulous quilting.

    ReplyDelete
  12. Fabulous, that's all I can say!

    ReplyDelete
  13. I was wondering how you were coming along with this quilt. It is beautiful and so worth all the frustration and effort. I know what you mean about letting anyone use it. I am the same way. If I've invested that much time and "angst" into a quilt (and it turned out as nicely as this one did), it's going to get a lot of TLC and reminders to my kids of my valiant efforts. Love the repeat of the pink.

    ReplyDelete
  14. This is gorgeous, what an accomplishment! A work of art. And a beautiful tribute to your tenacity and vision. I sympathise with the oddly fitting geese border, on a recent much small quilt my sides needed to finish 64", so 32 geese per side. LOL somehow it is almost square but there are NOT exactly 32 per side, I think one had 34! But who's counting, at least it is square-ish.

    lizzy

    ReplyDelete
  15. Another beautiful quilt from one of my favorite quilters!

    ReplyDelete
  16. Oh my goodness I cannot even imagine! So much work... so many borders to make fit!
    Absolutely amazing!

    ReplyDelete
  17. Gobsmacked! (That was the first word that came to mind.) I am totally amazed by this quilt! You have a lot more perseverance than I do and it really paid off. I can't wait to see you beautiful hand quilting bring this top to life!

    ReplyDelete
  18. Audrey,
    I love your work! AND I am so impressed with the quantity and quality of what you do AND you have teenagers. I have a hard time getting into the sewing room never the less sew anything. Keep up the awesome work! I am striving to make more me time to sew but so far it's not going well.
    mbbaker35@yahoo.com

    ReplyDelete
  19. You deserve the HST/Flying Geese Medal of Honour - good for you Audrey! It will be a treasure, I'm sure.

    ReplyDelete
  20. Wow, Audrey! Spectacular quilt. Glad you persevered to the finish. I'ts a beauty!!

    ReplyDelete
  21. Oh my goodness, such an amazing quilt, I love it, all 103" of it!

    ReplyDelete
  22. I'll bet if we're truthful, we've ALL stood on the furniture to get just the right photo of our precious newborn quilts, lol! This one should be just for you, when you finish it. It's been a labor of love and perseverence from the start, and it will continue to be when its turn comes to be quilted. Just ask me how I know ... my Quilty 365 is Still in the hoop!

    ReplyDelete
  23. It looks amazing, Audrey! So much work and so worth getting past all that procrastination to a fabulous finish. And it’s HUGE! Can’t wait to see this one in the hoop.

    ReplyDelete
  24. Oh my, the work this took and yes, I wouldn't have made it to completion.Beautiful quilt.

    ReplyDelete
  25. You saw and you conquered. You might have changed a few tactics along the way, but your quilt is truly awesome, all 103"!

    ReplyDelete
  26. I love all 103 inches of it too! Congrats on that beautiful labor of love.
    (I don't even think my bedroom is 103 inches wide or long ;-) )

    ReplyDelete
  27. Wow, this is a beautiful work of art (and patience and persistence)! Love it, especially those radiating pops of yellow!

    ReplyDelete
  28. It's blooming amazing, Audrey!

    ReplyDelete
  29. Your quilt is absolutely wonderful! So many hsts and flying geese to contend with in a 103" quilt! Great job!

    ReplyDelete
  30. It's a beautiful quilt and the size makes it great for a large bed. Yay, you. I know what you mean about quilts becoming tedious once the design is set. That's why I rarely graph out an entire quilt. All the fun is gone. And it's why I'm enjoying adding more details like you do. Oh, goody. Extra icing.
    But this is a wonderful quilt. Repeat that as often as you repeated tedium. Super job. Love the black strips between the HSTs and totally get that they corral the waviness.
    About the dining room table... After decades of designing on the floor I finally made a large design wall (moveable insulation boards.) I have to enter the room sideways. It's still not big enough. They end up back on the floor. Resist that idea! Your quilts will expand to overfill anything. ;-)

    ReplyDelete
  31. Yay!!! The results are worth the effort because this is gorgeous! (I'm in the middle of my own multi-thousands of HSTs project, so this gives me hope!)

    ReplyDelete
  32. I had been whining to myself about all the half square triangle units I had to make for my recent two tree blocks. And here you have made a million of them for your quilt.

    ReplyDelete
  33. BEAUTIFUL! No matter what any one (judge) says!

    ReplyDelete
  34. Love the quilt top! I enjoyed your comments--Mom standing on the sofa, endless making of units, who's idea anyway, tedious sewing... Your blog posts always give me food for thought. This time it's the black borders added in for "course correction". Win/win. So true, I just never thought of it that way. Thanks for the turn of phrase.

    ReplyDelete

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!