Tuesday, June 16, 2020

'Cuz Applique Never Gets Boring

Here I go, once again. trying to gain some ground on all the applique that seems to have exploded around here. Coronacrazy is the most recent one to get some love. My plan of attack was to stitch the underside of every single arch, and then decide how to move forward from there. The stitching does gets fairly tedious, but I've found it's an excellent project for working on while visiting.
Coronacrazy Quilt
I was approximately 2 1/2 arches from that part being fulfilled when I impulsively decided to drag the quilt back into the quilt room and do a little auditioning. If you've followed me for very long at all, you would know that I have a couple small totes of applique parts and pieces. These are the orphaned bits from previous projects, along with anything cut out of the scrap bin 'in the moment' {but then deemed undesirable because of imperfect fabric color match, size etc.}. I keep it all for future use of course. Saves me boatloads of time and generally provides a great starting place!

At first I was looking through the totes for auditioning purposes, not paying attention to good color matches in regard to this specific project!  A funny thing happened when I started laying random pieces onto the background. I started falling in love with the unexpected-ness of having a total mismatch in applique shapes across the quilt. It feels so folky and old fashioned! Very make-do, which of course is my sweet spot. It's terribly hard for me to plan this level of mismatch out beforehand though. You have to understand that I generally adore the look, but my brain just doesn't seem to allow for this much planned chaos if/when I'm in the middle of actual designing, planning out MY quilts. It's just not logical enough!

Obviously there are some similarities to many of the elements as I definitely have a preference for tulip shapes and, what are they called? Lollypop flowers? So that helps a lot. Those repeats are probably the key to getting the uncertainty boosted over the hump of feeling like the entire idea is positively doomed to failure. What? You honestly think that I don't feel all the doom and gloom and apprehension that many of you regularly experience too? The difference, as we all know, is that certain moment when the excitement generated becomes so much more than we should ever possibly ignore! I like to think of it as the cumulative affect of years of experience in 'playing'. Serious, intentional, purposeful PLAY TIME. The urge is louder and surely more recognizable for all the times you actually do dare to pay attention! Ignore this only if your purpose in life is to turn out dreadfully boring quilts.*wink
Playing with the applique bits and pieces....
So now the question is, how many of these flowers will actually need stems? If I place a green stem on every single flower, then this busy, busy quilt gets almost psychedelic looking! Hhmm... So many things to consider! For now I had to take everything off just to finish up those last couple arches. I really don't plan very well! Next I intend to stitch smaller circles onto the larger circles until I have a good little stack of lollypop flowers ready to go. There's also a decent amount of the brighter green bias that could probably work very well for this quilt, but first, some of it needs sewed to a more narrow width. And I'll probably make more just to have it on hand. Potentially {hopefully?} help the creativity flow better when it's time to play again? Even if the answer proves elusive for the time being, it's amazing what the mind comes up when the subconscious has plenty of time to whir through the details far, far away in the background. 
Seeing progress on Spring Flowers!
These circles were supposed to wait until other things were stitched, but my typical carrot and stick approach sadly failed this time. Totally crashed and burned actually! I know the colors look very uninspiring in the pictures, but do not be deceived, they are so very yummy to work with!
Trying to draw the templates for the leaves
I just love a serene look/feel project every once in awhile, and these Spring Flowers totally fit the bill! The circles went together so fast that I went ahead and planned out the background fabric and got the stem and leaf configuration decided on too. All is cut out, the bias stem is sewn and cut to approx. length and the leaves are just waiting for proper motivation. For those, I went digging through the scrap bin and found a bunch of blue/green fabrics that should work well. So fun to find scrap fabrics for the littlest pieces of applique work. Some of those fabrics have a very sentimental value and it's always lovely to use up the last tiny bits!
Finally getting these blocks finished up!
Only four blocks needed for the 4-Block Tulip Medallion, but they proved difficult to work on. Just couldn't quite ever muster up the energy to make much progress, until finally, it happened. So simple, but so difficult. There's always a tipping point where it makes more sense to knuckle down and work your way through, than to keep procrastinating for a better day! Now I can start addressing the sashing work that I intend to do between and around these blocks. It's going to be small, pieced tumbler shapes and I've already got the fabric lined out. Still not 100% convinced that I've chosen the best colors, but that will sort itself out with one more session of 'auditioning', something that I'm very attached to. Ha. Like that's not readily apparent! You will never know how many times I change my mind at the very last minute and ultimately decide that everything previously decided is utter rubbish! It's a wonder anything ever gets started, much less finished around here....
One of the inspiration pages on my calendar!
I've also spent about four hours this past week on fixing a bridesmaid dress for one of my daughters. So lovely to work on slippery polyester fabric, NOT! It's only because I love her very much and don't want her to spend another dime on this wedding. Wowsers! What with the bridal shower, the drive to another state, motel costs, food, dress, shoes & undergarments, bridal party mani-pedi session, time off work, etc, etc, etc, this is getting exorbitant! Is it just me, or is this 'honor' becoming more and more elaborate and/or expensive throughout the years? I don't recall asking any of my bridesmaids to cough up quite so much denero, you know... 30 years ago? lol  And this isn't even a destination wedding!


  1. I think weddings have gotten kind of crazy now days for some of the stuff that is required now - and like you say that is for the bridesmaid not the bride! some people spend way too much for this stuff (in my opinion but then we went to the courthouse and spent about $20.00 lol) you show so many nice quilts there I don't know what I like best!!

  2. i love all your work..really play...and it is true, applique can be so calming, what hawthorne called 'delicate toil with the needle'...

  3. Once again, you just make me smile! And, yes these wedding "honors" have gotten out of hand. My daughter nearly went broke over them which is why I paid for all my nieces dresses at my daughter's wedding. Such is life I guess.

  4. Sometimes I think that your totes are like mystical carpet bags! Out comes this and then that! That's a quote you shared. Food for thought.

  5. What a clever idea to keep applique leftovers. Now that I've made some applique myself I will start keeping the extras in a bag, too. Thanks. I love, love Spring Flowers and have yardage with oversized flowers in those exact colors! Can't wait to see what you do with them.
    I agree weddings have gotten way out of hand. Too much focus on topping the previous year and not enough focus on the reason for the ceremony. Just an old codger here.

  6. Wow, you packed so much good stuff in this post. LOVE the varied flowers, just like a garden. Those soft muted colors will certainly come alive if any of your previous quilts have shown. And just say no to being the bridesmaid. I know, it's a tough one (and too late for this one). My sister asked me and I knew she would be a freak about everything, so i said no. Told her I might have trade shows out of My other sister did the job and it wasn't pretty.

  7. Green stems - I like the idea of a few randomly placed ones across the surface of the quilt (at least for a starting point). Adding one in every case seems boring/predictable. And yes, I lost my best friend 35 years ago over my not being willing to pay to fly cross country, etc. to serve as her maid of honor. She cut me off because she was so mad. It hurt at the time but now I'm glad I stood my ground (I really could NOT afford the expenses).

  8. The appliques under the arches are so darling and adorable and happy! I just love them so much.

    The pale multi-circles must be for another project? I must be foggy today, as they don't seem to ''go'' with the arches project.

    It is rather lovely to hear a wedding will take place, a celebrating crowd allowed to gather.

  9. A lot going on with your quilting Audrey! I don't think you would need a stem on each flower, that might be a bit much but of course we all see different things in our quilts and change plans as we go along, I do love the pink solid in the top quilt.

  10. I love the way your flowers are scattered somewhat randomly in your mystical pink hoop-fence garden. BUt I really love the inspiration photo and quote from your calendar! The colors, the appliques over a purple batik, be still my heart!

  11. Just caught up on your posts, Audrey. Lovely reading for me. As always such a treat to read your thoughts as you decide this or that about your projects. All of which are wonderful.

  12. Audrey I love your Corona quilt!!! You have such an amazing way with applique. You make me want to start another project!

  13. Lovely applique projects, so pretty

  14. Your "playtime" always results in fabulous original quilts! Totally agree about the bridesmaids "inflation."

  15. I agree about the sudden pops of unexpected colour in amongst your pink arches: they just give the whole thing a charm and energy and quirkiness that feels perfect. Your applique tote seems to provide an almost endless supply of parts, not to mention inspiration.

  16. Lots of applique, lots of pretty colour, and I just love how you 'play', and share your thoughts as you go. I also love the random splashes of green on your 'coronacrazy' quilt.


Thanks for visiting! I love getting comments and always try to respond via email. Blogger is being especially difficult right now so leave an email within the comment if you aren't getting a reply from me. Also, gonna have to use Captcha for awhile to see if the spam will go away. Sorry!