Friday, October 4, 2019

A New Fall Project and The Completed Tidbits Quilt

Someone used the word 'Autumnal' the other day and I thought it was a beautiful word. Fall is my absolute favorite season in a place where we definitely have four full seasons! Anyway, long story short, the word has attached itself to the brand new start around here. Meet 'Autumnal Tulips', pictured below!
The start of a new project
This project was inspired by a lot of things, though no doubt primarily by this post. It somehow gave rise to feeling of longing to make yet another tulip quilt, because really, can you ever have too many of them? The kicker was a cream blouse I pulled out of the fall/winter clothes tote. Lots of these lovely fallish colors on it and everything just sort of clicked into place later in the week. Autumnal. I must make something Autumnal. The season just sort of demands it, right?
Tidbits is finished!
On another note.... as you can see, Tidbits is a finished quilt. Totally and completely! The hand quilting went so quickly on this one. The little bit of pre-marking {outside rings on the hills} really helped speed things along. Later, while in the hoop, how hard is it to freehand mark and stitch a couple frames every evening?
So hard to get a good full sized quilt pic around here...
This quilt was started as a result of not wanting to throw away the itty bitty cut-out pieces {the small appliqued hills}. Originally they went directly into the trash. It was only after the fact that I looked at them and thought, 'Seriously? Surely I can do something good with those!'

Did you make the connection from this older quilt to the current one? Yep, the seeds from one quilt so often influence the beginnings of another. I'm not nearly as good at cleaning up the leftovers and cast-offs as Julie is, but some of the most interesting quilts can come from the leftover bits. From the very impulsive beginnings, this particular quilt expanded into something much larger. Of course it did! So typical. The default setting seems to be 'bed quilt' size around here, though I do try and listen to when the quilt decides that it is plenty large enough, thank you very much!
Looks very snuggable
There's just something about this quilt that has never quite made sense. It's not perfectly designed, graceful or even exceptionally beautiful. But it has always felt very endearing to me. Charming in a subtle, hard to define way.
The quilting makes me so happy on this one!
It might be because I'm a huge fan of the log cabin block design, which is what the border add-ons are all about. They almost always seem like a cozy element in most older quilts. Who cares if this particular experiment sort of got out of hand! Then, the folksy hand quilted hills, the quiet color palette and a little bit of simple applique? Love it, love it, love it. Unabashedly my kind of quilt, though I'd never deliberately plan to make a quilt such as this one. Oh the beauty of playing with the abandoned parts and pieces! Things just happen. You never really know where you might end up, and that's the most exciting part of the process if you are brave enough to take the opportunity!
Started from little pieces that would usually go in the trash!
There are a lot of fabrics in this quilt that I suppose you would call 'taupe'. They are neither gray nor brown, but somewhere in between. While these colors are attractive to me, they haven't always been easy to include into just any old quilt project. When at times the quilt came off as a bit drab or unexciting, all I had to do was fold it up to gain a different perspective.

After the quilt top sat in the drawers for a good long while, I took it out one day to look at. Something seemed missing, and so being me, I added the appliqued flowers on the corners. I kept the shape simple though the fabrics were very carefully chosen to add just a little more touch of a blue. Oh how I dithered over them. Take them off? Leave them on? Why did I sew two on in the white fabric and two in the dark blue? How ridiculous is that! In the end, they were left as is and now, I'm very happy to see them holding down the corners of the quilt. If I could change anything, it would be to remove the much larger green applique units at the bottom of the quilt. They are whimsical, but a bit weird. I think that I was 'playing with scale', but now they seem unnecessary.

When it came time to choose the binding fabric, nothing made sense except to add more green. The quilt simply refused to play nice with any other color. When I couldn't decide between lighter greens or the dark? Well...., might as well include all the colors in the running and make it scrappy! What surprised me was how much more I liked the quilt after that little pop of color arrived on the scene. It's been a long time since I've seen the effects of adding a perfect color of binding to a quilt. And for whatever reason, this binding feels perfect. Maybe I need to try harder? Or maybe this was just one of those rare quilts where it matters more.
Loving that binding!
I've always suspected that the main reason this quilt ended up being the size that it is {82" x 87" before washing}, was because it was so very much fun to finally find a place for many of these odd colored fabrics. While quilting this one, those same fabrics whispered sweet thoughts to me and felt very 'right'. When you're buying random colored {for you} fabrics through the years, and haven't yet found a good project for them? Don't despair. Their time is coming! It might be a couple years, but there IS a quilt coming up that will soak up all those shades and tones and thank you very nicely indeed for it!
Easy to stitch the applique onto the striped fabric...
This quilt might present as a little bit more modern than others made by me, but it actually kind of defies being lumped into a single, specific category. It's just too scrappy and make-do'ish to not come off as 'utility' too! That feels good. Interesting quilts are the best, those that practically dare you to put them into a box and leave them there.
Very simple backing choices
Gonna link up to The Peacock Party once again. Wendy is showing off a beautiful, bright new quilt there this week. I could never do what she does with Kaffe fabric, but it's wonderful to have a look and be inspired!


  1. What a good idea to have taken all these scraps out of the trash! Your Tidbits quilt is fantastic!

  2. I want to snuggle up under this quilt right now! It's lovely, another expression of "Audrey style". The hand quilting is the best part. You are right about doing a little each day and it will get done. Thanks for the inspiration in this one.

  3. Never a scrap too small, is my attitude. I love the (green?) quilting!

    Wouldn't it be fun to see all of Audrey's quilts hanging together in a dedicated show? (Sandy's Autumnal fantasy 😊 )

  4. Waste not, want not, make another quilt! I love your quilting ethic, and not to mention the results!

  5. Such a fun quilt! Love how you put stuff in the trash, take it out, and then make a fabulous quilt out of it! I have taken lots of stuff out of the trash, but not much of it has made it to finished quilt status. Great use of repeated shape in the quilting design!

  6. Oh my - what a perfectly wonderful post. You captured the joy of playing with leftovers and listening to what the quilt wants to become so perfectly. And I'm so glad I'm not the only one who tosses small bits and then retrieves them to make something new.

  7. Its interesting when we stop and figure out what actually inspires us or influences us to head off in one direction or another.

  8. You should enter your Tidbits into a Modern Quilt Show and write a pattern for it. Looks modern to me and one I would duplicate. Where do you find your inbetween grey, brown, taupe fabrics ? I need several different half yard cuts for the background on a cactus applique quilt.

  9. I play with leftovers, too, but this is the best use of them I've ever seen. The quilting reprises the shapes. The colors are so soft. Beautifully understated. I hope it finds a home on your bed. Congratulations on a wonderful finish and a great post.

  10. A fantastic finish, Audrey, and I agree with Ann that this is the best use of leftovers ever. I love how the colours are so soft and calm but all those little green/blue hills give it a lift - like a little fabric grin.

  11. Autumnal Tulips is a perfect name! And, speaking of great words, I like your term, "snuggable"! Tidbits came out beautifully and very "snuggable"!

  12. Lovely start on Autumnal and soft soothing finish!

  13. beautiful finish Audrey, sorry for brief comment - hands in splints

  14. Congratulations on your finish.
    I love the borders, lots of goodness!

  15. Oh I just LOVE this quilt!! I want to make one just like it! :D

  16. Autumn Tulips is wonderfully different and Tidbits is so pretty and cozy. Your hand quilting makes your quilts so special.


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