Saturday, December 14, 2019

Finishing Up the Last Minute Christmas Makes Was Great Fun

Well, here it is! Playing with Scale #2 is a true blue finish. It's been hanging around for awhile, just waiting on the binding stitches. While hand quilting this one, I decided to gift it to our oldest granddaughter. This seems to have a happy, youthful vibe plus it will match with the decor in her bedroom. Not that it matters to me, but it will probably make her mama happy!
Playing With Scale #2 is finished!
It's large enough that she should be able to use it for years and years too. Personally I have a fondness for quilts that will grow with children. My own children very much cherished the ones given to them by me and others, when they were little. By the time they were old enough for a change, those quilts were often faded and many times mended. Three times is the charm. Time to put them up for good!

I have been stressing over making a princess quilt or something equally appealing to this sweet little charmer, but never felt any major inspiration strike. Finally, I tried to look at it from the position of just being gifted a quilt 'from grandma'. Okay, that works too! She's only four. I could probably make her a frog quilt and she would be delighted, she's just that easy.

So glad I added the applique flowers.
I have to say that it was an absolute joy to hand quilt this particular quilt. No pressure whatsoever, no marking, and no thinking really, except for whichever thread I had picked out for each specific area. Love that so much! It makes me realize that I need to keep making scrappy, improv. quilts to mix in with the other more ordered quilts that I make, even if just for the hand quilting love.
The hand quilting really added to the quilt....
It was difficult to get proper pictures with the winter light being so variable these days. I actually had to get the quilt out for two different settings because so many pictures were just too dark the first time around. Now there's a Christmas tree right in the middle of the best-lighting-in-the-house, so pictures are going to be getting more and more problematic until the end of the month.
Love the vintage fabric addition {in green}
Not quite sure when this quilt was actually started, but it's not been much more than a year. The entire quilt was started based on an AHIQ challenge, Playing With Scale. This was the second attempt at this challenge and yes, I know the large and small triangles are different types. That was totally on purpose. The concept of scale still works and was actually quite fun seeing it all come together. In spite of the nerves 'cuz there's most generally a wee bit of anxiety when doing improv. around here! That's just part and parcel of trying to work free of a script, but always so thrilling when things start to 'click' properly and you can see some momentum happening.
A different color palette, but lots of fun to work with!
One of the things that makes this quilt work, {in my mind} is that it mostly has the same background fabric throughout. This light green/white print was one where I bought the rest of a bolt of clearance fabric {for a backing fabric} and then switched quilt tops and only used up about three yards of it. Then I was like, 'What am I going to do with all this leftover fabric?'  Hmm.... That may have been what jump started this entire fabric stack!

You'll find that I rarely, ever intentionally buy a great lot of a single fabric for background fabric usage. Instead, I rely on pulling enough similar feel fabrics together from the stash to fake it or else, don't care if they blend less than perfectly together. Truly, in my mind, it's {usually} much more interesting if they don't work fabulously well together, and even more intriguing if one or two of the fabrics squawk a little about the ultimate pairing. More of that utility, make-do siren song that speaks so well to me?
A few strips of shirting fabric added in here and there for character
It's just funny that whenever something like this happens, on those very rare occasion, it's totally by accident. I mean seriously. What if I bought oodles of some odd print and brought it home and absolutely hated it in the potential background fabric position? Then I'd be out all that money and end up having to use it as a backing fabric. The horror! In this case though, I found it very refreshing to keep reaching for the same fabric over and over, knowing it was going to be the 'calm' area in my busy, scrappy improv. quilt. I know this is the way a lot of quilters work, but it's the opposite of how I normally do things!
Wonky quilts are the best
Lots of pictures of the same quilt, but well, you gotta remember that this is my quilting journal. That's really what this has been about from the start. The chronicles of Quilty Folk if you will, and I've invited others to take a peek as I travel along.
All free cut strips
As of this weekend, all of my {soon-to-be-gifted} Christmas makes are finally done! Yay! The two little doll quilts, below, ended up being such a blast to put together. Both of these were started from leftover bits in the orphan totes which totally makes me smile. Such a good idea and also, excellent procrastination from what really should have been happening around here. For some reason, the season came way too early this year...
Doll quilts for some of my nieces
The first little doll quilt used up the very last blocks from a project I've previously turned into two different baby quilts, one that happened just last month. These blocks were right on top so an easy choice, and wowsers, am I glad to see the last of them used up.The first two went for little baby boys and now the last, is a doll quilt for a young girl. Really versatile blocks depending on the colors used alongside! Now I just wish there was record of whether the original project used up one jelly roll or maybe two? Cannot remember those details just now. 

The second doll quilt came from the abandoned bits from the earlier Improv. Wheels quilt and also just a day playing with free cut Drunkards Path blocks a long while ago. Was terrible at it and they mostly ended up being wrinkly and not lying flat at all. Love the look, but hate the massive amount of fabric waste too. Will have to try again some day in the future when I have a mountain of fabric that needs to go.*wink  Weren't we just sort of talking about that?

And then there was also this quilt, you might remember, which was made from literally, the cut-offs from those same, original Improv. Wheels blocks. It's always endlessly fascinating for me to see the similar but oh-so-unique look derived from exact same pieced units or fabric pieces. It's silly, but sometimes there seems to be more of a thrill from the second or third time around quilt than the first! Orphan blocks/units are just too much fun to throw out, don't you think? So many possibilities and then lookie, lookie! Super fast doll quilts all because I had something easy to start playing with. What it does is eliminate that initial step of decision making. What color does this need to be? What fabrics should I pull? The Orphan blocks lead the way and before you know it, you're already halfway through with a project!
 Machine quilted in straight rows, nothing fancy
And last but not least, are the matching {Barbie} doll quilts for the granddaughter. Of course. It's not like I ever did this for my own girls! So sad, that, but it's too late for that now. I couldn't stop at just one right? And before even making an attempt to check myself, was also making matching pillows. Pillows? I am smiling so much as I'm typing this. Just too funny! They perfectly match the little charmers Christmas quilt and should bring her oodles of fun for all her dolls living in the three-story play townhouse. See, now she'll like the larger quilt even more because it will 'match' the Barbie quilts, which is a very important thing. Our granddaughter is a details girl at heart. Aha! There's actually a method to my madness!
The Barbie quilts, all washed up and ready for play
My daughters rolled their eyes at me and my husband agreed that I was a bit crazy. Totally drawing the line at making Barbie clothes though. Not gonna happen! So that's that. Other than one long afternoon ordering Christmas presents online and buying a couple little baby dolls while doing the grocery shopping, there's not much Christmas organization going on here yet. Will have to step it up and stop with all the fun, quilty procrastination! Who knew last minute Christmas projects could be so enjoyable? 


  1. It's all fabulous! Love the applique flowers. Of course Barbie needs a quilt or two.

  2. Methinks the new grandma is having way too much fun! Just wait til the little charmer is old enough to start making her own doll quilts. That will be a day to remember!

  3. I hear you on no Barbie clothes - too tiny for one thing - I remember when I was quite young - eons ago - a friend had a Barbie I never did and her older sister made Barbie clothes all the time! so tiny - now I realize that gal was quite talented
    love the quilts!

  4. Audrey - a glorious finish, congratulations! This is a really beautiful quilt, perfect for the
    Playing with Scale challenge. The colour I find so very appealing.
    A very good use of leftovers in the small doll quilts, and I'm sure Barbie will be very happy tucked underneath her tiny quilts!

  5. I love the mix of strips and triangles in your Playing with scale quilt !

  6. What a happy gift. The quilting created beautiful texture. Sweet dolly quilts as well, but don't agree to Barbie clothes. All your quilting time will disappear.

  7. Yes, your granddaughter will enjoy having doll quilts that match her big quilt. And... those larger triangle sets look a bit like crowns. So you did make a princess quilt. Haha.
    Beautiful Christmas presents. Thanks for sharing the photos. Enjoy your holidays now that all the gifts are finished.

  8. What a beautiful quilt you made for your granddaughter! I love the colors you chose and that appliqued flower was the best idea ever! And then, to make a coordinating quilt and pillows was just too cute. You are right, she will love her quilt even more since her doll has a matching one. Your granddaughter is a very lucky little girl!

  9. Absolutely a gorgeous bunch of projects. Love your granddaughter's quilt.

  10. Love that quilt and I'm sure your granddaughter will love it. The spikes remind me of a crown. Her quilt must be perfect for a queen!!

  11. Wow, what a special Christmas for that precious granddaughter! Hope parents take lots of pictures to help her remember it later!

  12. What a wonderful little girl quilt! ANd, you daughter may have rolled her yes, but I am sure she is delighted that you made these little Barbie quilts and your granddaughter will be even more thrilled. What fun! Merry Christmas!

  13. A lovely selection of Christmas gifts, and I'm sure your granddaughter will be so happy! And I too love the addition of that vintage fabric, it really caught my eye! Merry Christmas!

  14. Audrey, what a unique and lovely quilt for your granddaughter. And sweet little doll quilts and itsy pillows too. So cute. I love how you used orphan blocks and scraps. You have quite the eye for matching fabrics and colours. Merry Christmas!


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