Thursday, August 15, 2019

Another Saga of Similar But Different Quilts

I don't always know when walking into the quilt room, exactly which project will be seeing some forward progress. Bullseye Medallion is one that usually gets the side eye and then unfortunately, a serious lack of interest. Some quilts demand so much from us that it's easier to avoid dealing with them altogether. Or at least until their moodiness is firmly under control.
Bullseye Medallion quilt gets another border!
Lately I found myself expending the absolute minimum amount of effort required {to gain some ground} on another project and then, wallah! the Bullseye Medallion suddenly looked quite attractive. Funny how that happens. As this project has had built in expectations from the very start, I'm always working at it from a set of controlled factors. These constraints are entirely self manufactured and could even possibly be changed at a moments notice. Ha! The fact that it even has any 'built-in perimeters' {possibly} makes me more stubborn than ever about working on it. If there are any hard and fast rules around here, it's that 'Quilting Rules are Made to be Broken'. Right?

Nevertheless, at the moment, the control factors are thus: Each border is to be 5" finished, sewn together in similar color family fabrics {very broad interpretation there}, and also include some form of pieced sewing elements--though not for the entire border surround. It would be nice if every border introduced a new pieced element, but don't think that part is set in concrete. We shall see. It was pretty touch and go as to whether or not I was going to break the 5" rule even this early in the project. Those Ohio Stars were not cooperating!
Adding a few little Ohio Stars
In a nutshell, I'm trying to focus on the fabric with this particular quilt. Since this is the second border, I'm still muddling along and it feels very pie in the sky as to whether or not the end results will be wonderfully exciting. As per usual when working this way, I like to get the main part of the quilt on the floor {or wall} and then start throwing fabrics around. Does this one look good? Hmm... what about that one? Can I get away with this? Ahh.. yes, definitely that piece needs to stay. And so on and so forth....
Playing with the layout and auditioning fabrics
Often, I have to walk away for a few hours or a day. Perhaps two. Then I can come back with relatively fresh eyes. At that point I can either sweep it all up and start from scratch, move a couple pieces around, exchange fabrics out. Whatever seems to make sense. All options are on the table! Once I have a clear plan for how it needs to look, then its time to puzzle out the cutting and sewing it together. And then it's back into the tote for another day and yet another round, next potential stack of fabrics grouped together in a gallon ziploc bag. Medallion quilts are really one of my favorite ways to work and I never completely tire of them, self-induced rules notwithstanding....
Putting it away until next time
So yeah, the quilt below is the one tat seemed to take an enormous amount of energy just to get this rinky-dink little border decided on. And I'm still a little indecisive about the ultimate benefits of making every border side the same exact fabric, much less the same exact color. I won't be surprised if some unsewing happens eventually, but for some reason, it felt important to get to HERE, even if it might be wrong. 'Wrong' can be fixed later. Limbo land is just another excuse for procrastination.
Seedpod Flower 
This old quilt pictured below is the inspiration pic for the rest of the quilt. That part that is only being imagined in my head so far! I have searched high and low for ideas to complete the Seedpod Flower and finally decided on something fairly scrappy and informal. Wow. What a shock.
Inspiration pic
The centerpiece flower will probably be offset in this particular quilt, with rows of these square-in-a-square blocks surrounding it. I want to make the blocks all the same size {so no improv. cutting and sewing}, but will then add the alternate rectangle pieces of fabric in random widths.
Gathering fabrics
The original fabric pull kept nagging at me, though part of me thought it pretty fantastic. Finally a couple of days ago, I went and dug through the stash totes and found quite a few darker tones to properly flesh out the values. Wincing a little here, but you can probably see that brown has even found its way back into the quilt. Which shouldn't be a huge problem as it's in the centerpiece too! Not that I don't love brown, but there was something about this fabric mix that felt a bit joyful. Wouldn't want to dumb that down in my zeal to expand the fabric/color range.

It might feel that these quilts are very similar in style right now, but I think you'll find them to be very different in the end. It's true that I often play with several quilt projects in very similar color palettes--all at the same time. It happens over and over. But remember, the Seedpod Flower only came about because of the abandoned bits from the Bullseye Medallion in the first place!  Yep, a never-ending cycle! It's a compulsion that doesn't trouble me and I don't even bother to question it anymore. Who cares? The quilts love telling me what to do and obviously, I'm just along for the ride.*wink

Linking to Wendy's Peacock Party.


  1. I do not recall seeing any of these - I'm beginning to wonder how many you have started LOL

  2. It's amazing how one quilt leads to another, to another. Your seedpod quilt is looking great. Love that old scrappy inspiration quilt.

  3. Always so fun to see where your quilty muse is taking you this week. I had to go back to your original post about the Bullseye Medallion to see the beginning of the Seedpod quilt.

  4. Love all your quilts but I'm especially in love with Seed Pod. That pink in the middle!!!! Wow! Your fabric pull looks gorgeous and I'm happy to see some more pinks. They'll definitely balance out the brown (which I love too!)! Don't pack it away too long. Hahaha!

  5. Both the Bullseye and SeedPod are great. Now to see how you work around the Seed Pod. Isn't it funny how we can restrict our quilting creativity by putting up boundaries, and yet learn from them.

  6. So much to look at. I had to go back and forth, back and forth, to see where you got the leftovers to make the seed pod center. I never would have noticed. (Maybe if I saw the two of them together) I like to make medallion quilts too but what I've observed is that my mind doesn't shut down. I am constantly coming up with new options to try for the next border. I like the idea of putting a pieced element in each border. It adds interest and makes it more fun for you. Fun - fun!

  7. I do love the bullseye medallion, but that seed pod flower is truly haunting me. I cannot keep my eyes off that shape. I just want to snatch up all your efforts of designing it and call it my own. I can't wait to see how it progresses.

  8. A lot of thought and what ifs go into your quilts! That seed pod is very unique. I love the colors you're working in.

  9. Your quilts take you on some wild rides and I'm glad we get to ride along too.

  10. That inspiration quilt inspired my Dumpster Diving II quilt -- and your iteration and mine will be totally different even though we share the inspiration source which I find to be very cool. Love the seed pod and the proposed color palette. And my quilts tell me what to do, too -- including make another one from the scraps!

  11. I have always loved the seedpod quilt. The lines of the pod and leaves, the colors. Beautiful. Love your idea for the borders, too. Have fun!

    1. I'm glad you started your bullseye again and think you'll probably change some of the border widths.

  12. Now I am so looking forward to seeing this next-up quilt using Seedpod Flower!, and what a beautiful selection of fabrics being gathered!

  13. Love the relaxed process story. I think creativity flows better that way.
    Exciting projects and I found your Antique Crows on a previous post, wonderful design!

  14. I certainly here you about naughty quilts! I've had one in progress for two years, and the maths required to add the next border kept stumping me. I pulled it out this week, and suddenly wondered why I'd been avoiding it. Thank you for linking up to the Peacock Party.

  15. Your "saga" of dithering between which quilt gets your attention for the day seems to be one that is played out in many quilters' homes. I must say your progress on all looks fabulous. Love your Seedpod is exquisite.

  16. And all this time I thought I was the moody one, good to know I can blame that on the quilt! LOL

  17. The seed pod flower is very interesting.....I have not seen a applique design like that before. You come up with some of the best flowers. Prim in style and not the usual faire.

  18. I know exactly what you mean by some projects demanding more time than the others. You have a lovely collection of projects here. Have fun!! :)


  19. so enjoy reading your thought process about how/why you make colour & design choices. Yep, I am in Limbo land most of the time and dealing with life's unexpected happenings, sucks away the remaining bit of interest in sewing I have at the moment.


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