Tuesday, March 31, 2020

Thank Goodness For Quilting

I'm going about it all backwards, but the stack of tulip blocks below represent my answer to the #AHIQhourglass prompt over at AHIQ. Yep, I'm diving head first into yet another tulip quilt. The challenge was given out in January and I'm only now getting to it--so many internal questions about where to take this. You'd have to know that I've been mulling it over inside this brain of mine for almost the entire time.
Chunky Tulips
Where's the hourglass you ask? Well, that's going to be in the sashing units between 13 of these tulip blocks set on point. What took the most time is that I wanted the tulips to be red, but had my misgivings about the reds in this particular fabric stack. They tend to lean to the tomato-red side of the spectrum and I just wasn't sure that I was okay with that. But then in these uncertain times, decided why not. Go for it!

And then came the decisions about background fabric etc., which always is a challenge in and of itself. Never have large enough pieces of fabric, thus the blendy strips added to the block. Hideous fabric {so late 90's} but it should fade away to nothing once the quilt is all put together. 

I'm hoping to make the hourglass units in a subtle play-off of the neutrals and keep them very low key. We'll see. The thing that I'm happiest about at the moment is the blue/white print for the stems. Just love the energy it adds! Though the tulips will be similar but different fabrics overall, the stems will all be the same. My default was wanting to go searching for a green fabric for the stems and everything inside of me was rebelling. No! Do something different for a change! You can find the inspiration for these tulips over here. As you can see, my focus is not quite 'there' on the hourglass part of the quilt quite yet....
Coronacrazy Quilt
I've been spending some time in the quilting room here and there, getting some of my lists tidied up and running in and out with all the various pieces of fabric that might need to be soaked before cutting into. If you count the stack of fabric that I gathered together just yesterday, there are now 16 different stacks of wonderfully promising potential quilts. It's a bit over the top, I admit! but so much more rewarding than catching up on all the latest grim and terrible news. I am staying off the computer/phone even more now, but there's just no getting away from it completely.

You can thank me later, I just deleted four paragraphs of ranting about our current state of affairs here in the lovely state of Washington. Frustrations abound and I have questions. Enough said. Moving on....
The lists and inspiration board
Okay, so with that in mind {my general attitude and precarious emotional state of late} it's absolutely not surprising at all that I impulsively started a brand new quilt. Kind of a crazy one so yeah, I'm calling it Coronacrazy. It's the so-pink-it's-almost-red hills and valley's quilt up above. I took Sharon Strouds advice and have already thread basted the bias applique down. Why didn't I think of that? The whole thing is about 41" x 46" so having pins falling out while stitching is not a great plan. Love that its all ready to go whenever I feel the urge to get stitching too. The tentative plan at the moment is to applique some very small flowers in the open areas under the arches. And then from there I will probably add on a border or two or three. Perhaps more applique on them? I really don't know, don't even care. Will decide when I get there! The entire idea came about almost overnight and for some reason it felt right. Notice that I'm prepping lots of applique these days? lol
Hand quilting on Shimmer
I've also been hand quilting like a madwoman the last couple days. First I stitch at with a purple/black thread on the insides of all the purplish rectangles, emphasizing the overall design. Then I come back and echo stitch on the outside of those same purple rectangles, in the cream areas, with a mustard gold thread. Also, there is a double line of stitching in the very middle where 7 colored rectangles meet up. I've finally found my groove with the stitching and while it's not free sailing quilting where the seam allowance is extra thick, the rest is fairly relaxing. Which is good news. The whole thing is starting to take on a little bit of an old fashioned charm which really surprised me but shouldn't have. It's finally, finally coming together as a win, something I've been a little bit dubious about. All that scrappy goodness plus hand stitching, I should have know. It was bound to happen sooner or later! Though I will say it would have probably looked great with machine quilting as well. Not mine! But someone who knows what they're doing.....


  1. Thank you for the shout-out! I'm a dyed-in-the-wool thread baster, but I try really hard not to recommend that too freely. Glad it will work for you! Love all your pieces! Stay safe! sharon at sharonstroud dot com

  2. don't apologize for your rant that you deleted - I have felt like it numerous times and have deleted paragraphs also at times. You are right so often ugly fabric fades back into the quilt with quilting. glad to see you are ok and hope your entire family is too

  3. Love all your hand quilting on 'shimmer'. You are keeping busy! I seem to flucuate, just doing little things when I can, and trying not to be too hard on myself when I can't. Kia kaha x

  4. I hope to get back to quilting this week. This week got overtaken by mask making for family and some workers. I would like to make a tulip quilt. Yours always attract me. What a great idea to make a common stem that is not green. And Coronacrazy looks fabulous. Love the arcs and the upcoming flowers. Clever you.
    The news tonight that WA and CA quick responses are flattening the curve was so heartening. If we can just keep it up everywhere. Stay safe.

  5. Great new starts on these quilts. The arcs and flowers one will be very interesting.

  6. I love your tulips; thanks for the link to your inspiration block. You have brilliant idea in using your hourglasses as sashing; pathways among the tulips! I look forward to seeing this one. I'm struggling with my pile of orange (!) hourglasses.

  7. Thank goodness for quilting is right! I feel sorry for those who have no passion to get them through this mess. LOVE the blue stems too! And your Corona Crazy is fabulous. Just the smile I needed today. I haven't been able to muster a quilt out of this yet, but I am thinking... Stay safe and healthy my friend!

  8. Quilting keeps me sane even when life is on an even keel. I love your chunky tulips! Shimmer is really beginning to shimmer with all that lovely hand quilted texture. Hope you all can stay healthy and we'll all look forward to summer.

  9. Beautiful posting today--I think we all have a rant we need to cross out these days...;000
    Love those tulips a lot--thanks for the tulip link--lovely vintage ones...I just love the look of those quilts--[I have an old "roses" one made by my Grand-mere that I have to repair..on my list for this year...]
    I also like the short chunky stems--such a good vintage vibe to them..

    I am finishing up Kimmi's hand quilting and deciding on the next one to do...
    I have to have hand quilting to winnow those daily worries away...
    ~ ~ ~ waving from julierose

  10. Hope typing and then deleting the rant helped clear your head. Emotions and tensions are high everywhere - not to mention elements of actual fear. Stitching is our salvation . . .

  11. Oh, I like those tulips! They have a nice vintage vibe that I love. Hoping to see some real ones out in the flower garden soon.

    And thanks for deleting your rant. I move on when the ranting and/or preaching starts. It would have been a shame to miss that lovely hand quilting.

  12. Tulips, of course, it's been a while. I love the framing of the background for these. I started a new quilt and now I'm on block three and want to start a different one. I, like many others, am having a terrible time focusing. We'll get through this. . .

  13. Tulips, slender or chunky are just the right spring flowers to lighten our hearts. Quilting is and will be the saving grace for many of us.

  14. Sometimes it is nice to rant, then its off your chest, even if you don't hit print.
    Such fun and diverse projects you have going.

  15. It really is a crazy time. I'm having a hard time focusing. Looks like you have a good start to another great original quilt. Great idea to thread baste - I never regret the time spent doing that!

  16. I just LOVE the tulip block! :-)

  17. Isn't it fun pulling fabric and making stacks of deliciously interesting pieces for new quilts!

  18. Aha, you finally mentioned a state that you are from! I have been searching for that. Have you ever been to the La Conner tulip farms when they are in bloom? My brother and his wife live in Everett, and went up to see the daffodils when they were in bloom, fewer people go to that. There is also a lovely tulip farm on the west end of Highway 12 , west of Packwood a ways, that we have gone to when visiting family in Chehalis. I have wanted to make a tulip quilt, but have yet to start. show us more inspiration to get us going, please. I love repro 1800's and 1930's! I didn't inherit enough old quilts, so have to make me some of my own that look old. That is my goal.

  19. I love the chunky tulips. Its the perfect flower to be appliqueing in spring.

  20. new beginnings in quilts are a good thing right now. My BIL and SIL live in washington, at least your leadership was ahead of the curve.
    Hope you are feeling well and stay well.
    I'm a thread baster too.


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