Tuesday, March 3, 2020

A Hand Work Update and a Finish

Lots of hand work in the last several weeks. I finally picked the 'Melon Patch' applique back up and just slogged my way through. Why am I doing this? What in the world was I thinking? And then... Oh my, I just love these colors and fabrics. This is gonna be great! And that's generally the gist of this quilt every single time. 
Melon Patch petals all ready to sew onto the background now
There are 20 sets of 4 pieces each and I figured it takes me approximately one hour to stitch the petals for each block. Ouch. That's a lot of time spent on this project alone in the past six weeks or so, not to mention the stitching time taken just to get to this starting point! Absolutely a forever type of quilt project which makes it easy to 'back burner' again after each additional layer gets some needed attention.

The pattern is based on a quilt that I saw in an old quilt book. It was pictured in black and white but the templates were included so I just went with it. Turns out the picture was very deceptive. The melon petals were much wider and shorter in the picture and these ended up being kind of skinny and gangly looking. Plus, they don't leave enough room at the edges for the additional medallions to be stitched  down over the corner seams!
Auditioning the petals on the background. Hm... needs a little more?
I don't know why it took me so long to wise up to the problem, but now I'm a little grumpy about the entire look. So much time and it's not exactly turning out as planned! I'll probably just stitch these down to the main block and see if adding some little red buds to the center will help with the overall look. Not exactly wanting to dump all this effort just because there will probably have to be a detour from initial plans. What a waste that would be!
Prepping for some new basket blocks
For this newest project, I've had these fabrics pulled for almost three years and just could not figure out how to start. Lots of colors There's also some blues and deep violet reds included in the mix and initially it seemed like the obvious choice was to use blue fabrics for the baskets.
Looking very traditional!
But no matter how much I played with the fabrics, it always got stalled. This was the year that the project was going to move forward or all the fabrics were going straight back into the totes. After much deliberation one day last week, I finally, finally knuckled down and to my surprise, decided all the baskets need to be green and the backgrounds were going to be yellow. Okay then. That's that. Eventually these four basket blocks will be the center of a medallion style quilt just because it's time. Love playing around with potential borders!
Ormes Inspired ready for the next layer!
I also found the time to finish stitching down all the leaves on the upper right corner of the 'Ormes Inspired' quilt. I've mostly determined the colors/fabrics for the next layer of applique and just need to finish getting it cut out and ready to go. Which means that my applique projects are down to the measly number of three! No worries though. I have another one or two or three? applique projects anxiously awaiting their turn to be started too. Of course. Regular readers know good and well that it never really ends around here....
Home Sweet Home is finished!
In other hand work news, my Home Sweet Home quilt is all finished up and ready for a label. I machine sewed some straight lines across the quilt in strategic places and then hand quilted everywhere else. At first I was annoyed to be spending my 'quality' hand quilting time working on this impulse, came-from-out-of-the-blue quilt, but then I settled down and just enjoyed the process. Hand quilting is never, ever about the time. Not really. It it was, no-one would ever finish anything!
Lots of impulse and leftover applique pieces...
So very glad now that this quilt spent the time in the hoop because it's a much, much better quilt now. I adore hand quilting with homespun fabrics as they are amazingly receptive to the texture achieved from stitching. They just soak it up like a sponge and then wrinkle up so nicely after being washed and dried.
So simple
It's an odd, ugly duckling sort of quilt and I definitely don't expect everyone to join in my love for it. My girls are my greatest fans and they're still very ambivalent about the use of the green/gold color in the background position, though they do appreciate that the quilt has some good qualities now. It's not a show quilt whatsoever, and I'm very okay with that.
Very happy with the range of purples used....
I scrounged around and found some great purple fabrics that had just a touch of pink in them for use as binding. So happy with how it boxes the quilt in and gives it a sweet little spark. One of my favorite things about this quilt is the very wide range of purples used. They go from royal purple to a deep blue-purple to a lovely violet then to a brownish purple and then clear back again to a pink-purple {orchid?}. Yes! Pushing the boundaries of color and creating depth. Makes it ever so much more fun!
Finally a good use for the cream/pink/green petal fabric!
Because I'm not entirely sure what colors the recipient of this quilt prefers {other than purple}, I decided to use a girly, peachy-pink fabric on the back. When the backing is folded over against the top of the quilt, it definitely elevates the overall feeling to a more light-hearted and happy vibe.
Crossing my fingers this one will be loved too!
Hopefully she will appreciate all the love that went into this quilt and smile at the {six} birdies. With the recent addition of her sixth{!} child, I decided that the momma needed a new quilt probably more than the newest baby did. Some quilts are not at all about impactful design, but strive merely to convey love and comfort. As experienced quilters, we should all be able recognize that important difference and not make light of the fact when/if have the skills to make it happen. I can so make a better comfort quilt these days than I could have 10-15 years ago! Though I wouldn't want to make comfort quilts ALL of the time, it feels pretty wonderful to touch a heart here or there in the course of my journey. So far we have had enough family and friends to not have to start making/gifting comfort type quilts to complete strangers though I applaud the ones who do that. Giving is good...


  1. Hi Audrey, so interesting to be along with you on your quilting journey. Green baskets on yellow will be so pretty and Ormes is wonderful. Home Sweet Home is a wonderful finish. But it is the melon petals that caught my eye. How interesting! I know you will work out exactly how to place them and they will be awesome.

  2. Oh I'm sorry your melon blocks aren't coming along as you'd imagined, but I've no doubt that you'll work some magic and ending up with a beautiful quilt.

  3. Heartwarming to read your thoughts. Especially as I just ended my tonight’s sewing session a bit earlier than I had planned. I’m working oN a Quilt of Vqlor and my machine was .being naughty. It didn’t help that I hadn’t slept well at all last two nights. Reading this post quickly restored my happiness. And I will get up a bit earlier than usual to make today’s quota. (Self imposed). The group is through my local high school Adult Ed and only two weeks of meetings left. I so want to have it quilted and bound by then and I quilt with my dsm.

  4. Ok. I'm going to write a quick note and another later when I read the rest. Have you considered making the background for your melons like you just did for Coxcombs? I think that might give you room to work.

  5. Wonderful thoughts as always. I know you'll come up with a plan for the melons and the baskets seemed to have told you, "We need to be green". It's interesting how allowing quilts to simmer, out of sight and mind gives us a clearer perspective on how to go forward or in some not too. Home Sweet Home will give your friend a sense of comfort and like you said, Touch her heart.

  6. I definitely do not think of your Home Sweet Home is an ugly duckling sort of quilt at all - I love it!
    The Ormes Inspired quilt is coming along, I look forward to seeing the next layer, and I have to repeat myself and say how beautiful I think your Melon Patch blocks are, the detail and colour, beautiful!

  7. I feel Home Sweet Home looks very "Easter" holiday-ish to me..and I, personally, love it--
    those petals are amazing...talk about a lot of work...you do applique so well...hugs, Julierose

  8. Your elephant piece has such an organic look. I look forward to seeing where this project takes you.
    The colors used for the melon blocks are good. Though not getting exactly the look you expected, they do remind me of a section of a melon.

  9. I like those melon petals but see what you mean about the corners when you would attach blocks - why don't you try putting a couple blocks together and then see how the blocks join - maybe appliqueing something to area where the four seams of blocks join would help your look? you will come up with something you always do!!

  10. I always am inspired by your creative/organic quilt designs! I am sure you will figure out how to get things to come together. A reason I have never done an orange peel quilt. UGH!

  11. Love that Home Sweet Home co fort quilt, and all the thought and artistry that went into its creation. You are so right about the value of knowing the recipient of a comfort quilt before starting. So often with our quilt ministry we have never met the person who ends up with our quilts, so they are just given with a prayer that they bring hope and comfort for the situation that person is facing. Your Ormes is so utterly adorable, can't imagine you giving that one up, except maybe to a granddaughter "someday." I hope your melon patches come together for you in the way you had envisioned, maybe a different background fabric might do the trick?

  12. Love those melon patches! And, why do we torment ourselves about the time it takes? Beautiful things take time! And that Ormes quilt is really speaking to me!

  13. You have been a busy girl! Looking forward to seeing where you go with the Melon Patches. Yay for the Ormes quilt - love it.

  14. The melon patch fabrics/combos really are great. And I just love your home sweet home quilt - you have such a way of utilizing your stash in creative and unexpected ways. The light pink backing is perfect for it. I agree - making and giving comfort quilts is a great feeling;).

  15. Perhaps what your mellon quilt needs is a larger back ground square? Love your elle-frump quilt! Home sweet home should be a welcome nap quilt!

  16. It is so fun reading your blog. It's like a trip through someone else's mind and getting to know exactly what you are thinking all along the way through making your creations. I enjoy it.

  17. I always find I have learned something when I finish your posts, Audrey. You are such a transparent writer that I feel like you speak as I read. Thank you for that. I was a little shocked when you said your applique WIP/UFOs were down to 3. Egads! No, I know a good quilter's projects are endless, and you'll splice some more leftovers together. I had to enlarge the picture on this project several times to look closely at your quilting. I like the way you go straight down the stems, and echo the outline inside the applique. It almost looks like you buttonhole stitched without that close up, and I really love the added texture. That will get added to my own bag of tricks should I ever get my own applique WIP/UFO done. there is hope this year!

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  19. I love the melon blocks I think they are very beautiful, the shape and the curly edges. Would it be possible to get a copy of the pattern? theredhenshop@gmail.com Happy Sewing from Iowa


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