Friday, January 17, 2020

Finish It Up January

It's amazing how quickly something can happen once we're in the right frame of mind. This quilt project has been on the back burner for practically forever. Then comes January and I'm chomping at the bit to clear off the 'in-progress' list. Gotta free up space to start new projects!
Shimmer is a finished quilt top!
All the blocks were done, but I was dragging my feet big time. All those strippy pieces cut, sewn and then cut again? Yep. Though I pinned at every seam, just the weight of the rows kept pulling seams apart until I wanted to scream. Finally, I hit on the solution to fold the rows up accordion style {while resting in my lap} to take a majority of the weight off. That was way better. And for the record, all the seams nested together wonderfully, could have eliminated many, many pins if the seams had just behaved better!
The full quilt
Love the scrappy look so much and yes, the design is a bit mushier in my quilt than in Diane's {look for this quilt pattern in Strip Quilt Secrets book by Diane Knott}. These fabrics choices pretty much guaranteed a soft look which is very sweet to see closer up. So glad that the red and yellow bits add just enough spark to keep things interesting. I was afraid they might end up being too distracting in the overall scheme of things, but hey, look at that, they might actually help! I spent so many of my early quilting years trying earnestly to make 'blended' quilts, that sometimes I think it happens almost subconsciously, my inborn saboteur. Then I can end up with these terribly muted, 'flat' looking quilts that I'm looking at thinking, 'What just happened here? {Never said my blended quilts were successful, now did I?} Seriously though, have to fight that habit off all of the time.

I had thoughts about adding a border after, 'cuz you know, BORDERS?  but couldn't come up with anything that set my pulse racing. Never say never as it's not quilted yet! There's still time to drag it out of the drawers and slap some fabric along the outside edges if I so get the urge....
Love the scrappiness!
Though it should be way down at the bottom of the quilting queue, I already have someone in mind for this quilt, so that feels good. Wonderful to have a destination already in the works. It just somehow looks like great potential for excellent snuggling and with all the purple involved here, maybe I won't have to intentionally make a purple quilt, which has been stressing me out. Just a little, nothing important. Definitely not my favorite thing though, to try and make a quilt FOR someone, with all their potential likes and dislikes in mind. Not that I ever ask, but we can only imagine?

So much easier to end up with a great 'match' at the end of a enjoyable little quilting adventure that had nothing at all to do with anything, other than the fact that we were just having fun. Did you catch all that? The point is, I'm exceedingly happy to have another stalled project checked off the list and team that up with 'maybe I don't have to make a special quilt for so&so after all, 'cuz hallelujah, this little quilt will work out just fine there.'  There's something about starting a new year that helps motivate me even more towards crossing things off lists and moving them along. It seems to come free with the frosty air around here!
Pattern is much more obvious when it's laid flat..
I put the last {quilting} stitch in 'Gather Ye Roses' quilt just the other day too. I had completely underestimated how much time I would be willing to put into this one. One area would be quilted and then I'd go back and add in more stitching. Just because it didn't look right. There's even more stitching that could probably be done, but I just don't wanna. I'm done. This isn't an heirloom quilt after all, and it's time to move on. The binding was put together from various, scrappy lengths of complimentary red fabrics, though darker than the reds used in the center of the quilt. It's a perfect quilt for the make-do, use-it-up binding look, and much, much easier on my pocket book!
Waiting for binding work
The next quilt in the hoop is 'Directions From a Local'. It has such an old fashioned, serene color palette, perfect for our very cold, winter weather of late. Been itching to get this one in the hoop! So looking forward to the simple quilting too. Nothing complicated about a big 'ol Log Cabin quilt.
Directions From a Local next up in the hoop
This project was started as an interpretation of one of those 'Unconventional & Unexpected' quilts that I so love to play with. Then later, the idea morphed into a blend of that, and also, meeting the Maps challenge over at AHIQ. I obviously went my own direction, but it's something that has made me smile. Never underestimate the power of a quilt that can make you smile!
Getting it sandwiched and pinned
So yeah, it ended up being a 'don't-take-me-seriously'' type of quilt, which is good, as I am absolutely loving jumping into the hand quilting now. Some quilts want to be stubborn and reticent, won't tell you right off what they need for the stitching. They make you attempt several different designs or colors of thread, and basically waste a lot of time with guesswork and what-ifs. This quilt doesn't seem to be the least bit interested in anything complex or different. So relaxing and chill, makes easy to settle into my corner of the couch and dive right in.
Already started with the stitching!
It's been a little challenging to carve out enough time to hand quilt,as my mind has been turning to hand work and attacking the applique projects once again too. You know how I sort of cycle back and forth with the hand work, sometimes expending big chunks of time on it and others, barely pecking away. Lately I've been wanting to do more with the hand work projects {they are starting to squawk loudly from sheer neglect}, but then found myself getting completely sidetracked on the latest Ugly quilt. Was gonna get it totally finished up and then... once I started working on it, decided to play with even more applique. Why do I do this? I have perfectly good applique projects begging for attention! Anyway, the real problem is that my sit down time is about the same time of day most days of the week, and it's usually either or. Either the hand applique or the hand quilting. Do one then their's not a lot of time for the other. I've been trying to squeeze in more minutes there and that does help. Maybe if I could kick myself off the computer more often?

Also, the upstairs has been in a constant state of uproar since sometime in October when our youngest son moved out. I wrote a long segment about that and then deleted it. Suffice it to say that my husband has completely taken over most of the upstairs with all his stuff, sorting, organizing and even tossing. Good stuff, it definitely needed to be done, but wowsers does he take forever. And a day. My brief time with laying quilts out flat on the floor nearby the quilt room has been done and over with for at least 2 months now, and now I'm basically just squeezing through, past all the rubble, just to get back to my area . I'm trying to be patient and supportive and have gained extra shelving in my quilt room as a result. Yay! No extra floor space, but a good place to get stuff up off the floor and help in de-cluttering the counter tops. Pretty amazing. Of course that means a little bit of time sorting and tidying myself. So ready for that chaos to be over and done with, but I keep telling myself, 'At least it's not in the living room'. Right?*sigh 


  1. Two great quilts Audrey - just love the scrappy one! And I had to smile at the second one. We always joke about 'turn right where the church used to be' in our family but to see it on the quilt was perfect. Guess we're not alone? :)

  2. I love that first quilt you show - I thought you were going to say you get your son's room now for a sewing room - no? that's too bad

  3. The quilts are lovely and challenging (the first one!) but the Directions From a Local made me laugh out loud. I may have to adapt that one for myself. It's great!

  4. Love Shimmer! And you mentioned that 'Gather Ye Rosebuds' is not an heirloom quilt? I beg to differ. In my definition it is!

  5. I haven't seen that first one yet. Love it! Great fabrics and colours. Good to run with that energy when you've got it!

  6. You've been on a roll, making tons of progress on all fronts! Shimmer really does just that with the reds and golds, it would be too bland without them, and then, you know, you'd "have to" scatter appliques right over the top to give it life. This way, it's done if you want it to be. "Rosebuds" is an heirloom quilt, whether you think so now or not. And you can always add more quilting later if it still whispers to you in the night!

  7. I Love "Directions from a local" quilt--I really like muted colors (then why are my quilts all so loud and brassy? ) Anyway, I have acquired more soft colors in December so perhaps I can tone down my intensity--altho' Greens and Franken-Quilt belie that!! ;000 Hugs, Julierose

  8. Audrey, you are on a roll with more quilts getting crossed off your list. So many beautiful projects and all deserving of heirloom designation. I love them all and somehow especially the ones you debated the most about. You do have an eye for making what turn out to be such happy fabric choices. As always love to read your musings...

  9. Shimmer is not your typical decide as you go quilt but it turned out lovely. I hope it's as fun to quilt. I know what you mean about quilting time vs applique time. It isn't a matter of time for me - it's more a matter of how sore my fingers get with needle pricks. I've been trying to do more quilting in the evenings, like you do, and I seem to get more other things done during the day. I'm not any faster at it unfortunately.

  10. Your posts are always a treat to read with my morning coffee... or any other time of day as long as there's enough time to really soak them all in.
    I think I might have made a wide inner border and ended with a couple more rows of Shimmer but will be interested in what you do. Part depends of the recipient, too. And yes, it's a trial to try to make something for somebody specific. Much easier and more fun to gift one that's finished. I worry too much about what they might or might not like.
    After a relative chewed me out about pink on a boy's baby quilt, I hesitate to gift boys anything with any pink even though my son and grandson chose quilts that included pink. You never know about people.
    I always love sights of Directions from a Local. The subdued colors are restful and the words and arrow add whimsy.

  11. Oh that quilt reminds me of Indian Corn! That is meant as a compliment in case your wondering!!!! Love your log cabin, and I love quilting those kinds of quilts too.

  12. Oh I love your new quilt top, Shimmer is a perfect name for this pattern. Somewhere along the way I seem to have missed a post with your interpretation quilt "Directions From a Local' what a great idea!

  13. Oh I do love getting caught up with your news and thoughts about quilts and their ideas. You have done a lovely job with Shimmer and I agree that the yellows and pinks really do sparkle. I'm so happy that you felt the need to check it off the list so we could enjoy seeing it! Congrats on all your progress on all fronts.

  14. Why is it that tidying up always involves making a big mess first? I love Directions from a Local - and it really is the perfect mid-winter quilt too. I like Shimmer a lot too (and totally agree about trying to make something for someone specific -one of the hardest things to do!)

  15. Love that Pink House quilt! We have had similar directions given us, soon after we moved here.

  16. Your Shimmer quilt is so pretty. It looks like one thing up close, and another thing from farther away when you can see the overall pattern. The purple/yellow works so well. Ah empty nest - it's an adjustment!

  17. You go girl! I love the hand quilting on your "local" quilt and your red shimmer stars for xmas is fantastic.
    Yes, January is a great time to move projects along, the motivation level is high and things seem to get done

  18. Good job on getting Shimmer done! I love the reds and yellows in there - they add a lovely spark! And Yay! if you can use it for a commitment. I agree, making a quilt for someone can be very difficult. You're never sure if it will be "right".

    I think your "Gather Rosebuds" quilt definitely qualifies as an heirloom quilt!!

    And I love your "Directions From a Local" is wonderful! Love your quote! I've always driven by landmarks, so it was really hard to move to a new place and figure that out. Never mind giving someone directions to my house! It does look like a perfect winter quilt - it has that same cool palette as winter, and it looks like the perfect snuggle quilt on a cold winter's day.
    Good luck with the sorting mess. It does make a mess, but hopefully things will be better when it's done and you'll have more space. A place to lay out a quilt-in-progress is so important!

  19. Nice job, Audrey! It seems to be a love/hate relationship with me too -- do I knit today or do I applique? Do I piece today or do I prep other projects? Ugh! Hate having to choose but love that I have so many choices! Have a great day!

  20. Shimmer is just my kind of quilt, beautiful. x

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