Wednesday, July 1, 2020

Starting and Finishing

Finally brought out the Chunky Tulips for hand work. It feels like a great project for July and I definitely need to get moving on the applique list. These four represent 30% of the blocks being finished so that's a good start!
Chunky Tulip blocks
I've been thinking and thinking and then, thinking some more about the latest AHIQ challenge. It's called 'Positive Thinking' which isn't always my strong suit. I'm more the glass half empty gal, generally expecting things to get worse before they get better! Probably why I tend to veer towards making happy looking quilts, always wanting my surroundings to be more hopeful than I am on the inside. I live with an incredibly optimistic guy which is a blessing and honestly, sometimes a little, tiny bit of hardship. He's Sunny Sam to my Pragmatic Pam and well..., you can only envision how that turns out on occasion! We have learned to avoid mornings. That's where everything falls apart if it's going to.*wink

So lots of ideas have been swirling around in my brain, but nothing very concrete coming together except of course that it needed to be improv. Then, last Friday, I walked past a saying {verse} I had stuck up on my inspiration board in the quilting room. It's something that I've had vague ideas about incorporating into a quilt some day, but never could quite conjure up the details. All of a sudden, the Positive Thinking challenge clicked into place.
The start of a new AHIQ challenge
Instead of starting yet another super, labor intensive applique quilt, why not go with improv. letters? And by deliberately choosing this verse, perhaps I can focus on 'positivity' in a more personal way. I just don't wanna get sucked down into the mire of Covid-19 emotional ups and downs in regards to a quilt. If I worked exclusively with those feelings, I might have a very bleak quilt indeed. Ughh...  There's actually a meme going around that says this, 'Stop complaining about your life. There are literally people who live in Washington State.' Ha! 'Nuff said.

Anyway, this is the start of whatever it will be. I'm not sure beyond finishing the verse. So far it's all been going very well, lots of intuitive cutting and sewing on the letters. Definitely more free-style than I've ever accomplished before! I know it's been mentioned before, but here it is again. The book you want to reference for making custom pieced letters is 'Word Play Quilts' by Tonya Ricucci. The method she explains easily translates/incorporates your personal 'voice' through the style of letters you personally choose to make. This is the third time around for me and it's absolutely getting easier each and every time I attempt this!

The cream print, softer purple and blue fabrics are all cut up shirts, straight out of the closet. The cream print is running out fast which is a shame, because I wanted all the background of the letters to be the same. Waah...
Had to fix a letter or two
That's default thinking though. Mixing up the backgrounds will probably make the quilt more interesting in the long run, right? I've already went back and fixed the second 'o' in Wool and also, had to fix the 'n' in the second And. When I sewed the pieces together, it ended up looking like an 'r' next to an 'i'. The third 'W' was sewn, redefined, and then finally tossed out altogether and restarted. While there's no reason to get terribly fussy with this quilt, it's important that it reads well overall. It's a subtle thing, the attitude that develops alongside the message. Trying to get it right....
Completed baby quilt!
The baby quit is finished up now, just needs a label! It was hard to get a good picture of it because the light kept washing out the lighter pinks. The plaid border reads green or yellow depending on the light, but regardless, it seems to help keep the quilt from looking too moody.
Still happy with the floral sashing...
I'm very happy with this sweet little quilt, but it obviously will read as too 'traditional' for some people. One of the few people who have seen this already, told me that she probably wouldn't like it for a baby quilt for herself, but nevertheless, assured me that my sister-in-law will undoubtedly appreciate the old-fashioned theme. Crossing my fingers the little bit of added hand quilting will up the appeal factor!
A feminine, old fashioned look
Sometimes I wonder. What exactly are the important variables of our lives that make up our intensely personal likes and dislikes? Apparently these preferences can change somewhat with the times, trends and life experiences. And too, there are those of us who can more more easily overlook qualities that don't necessarily appeal, if the item in question is home-made. Thankfully, that is something that still matters in our huge, extended family. There's only been one time in all these years of gifting where I had a quilt basically discarded as worthless {that I'm aware of!}. Lesson learned. When we gift something, it's not longer ours. Gift generously as our hearts dictate, but preferably with no strings {expectations} attached.
A little bit of machine and hand quilting....
It's hard to see, but if you look closely, you can see that this backing fabric has little mice on it. I don't often give a shout out to designers, but this is a Cotton & Steel fabric that I bought special for this little quilt. It just felt like it needed something to 'baby' it up. This particular fabric caught my eye because it was a subtle pink, with fun, discreetly babyish elements,. More, because it feels amazing. Then after being washed up, it gets even better! So,so soft. Sort of a cross between a muslin and a linen fabric which drapes wonderfully. Love it!


  1. I love this baby quilt. No, it’s not as unique as your other work. The work, and your voice that draws my back to your blog time after time. But it is lovely and charming.

  2. I love that baby quilt and I'm sure the recipient will cherish it too. The extra hand stitching gives it a lovely, personal touch and that backing is perfect.
    Your wordy quilt is coming along nicely. I'd not heard of that book you mentioned, so I'll go and have a little google.

  3. I just love the baby quilt--I like the "old fashioned" vintage-y looking pieces--so soft and cuddley for a baby quilt...great work...

    Your letters are amazing--I have only make a few applique letters on my hubby's retirement quilt long ago...(we are musicians and he is a jazz guy so "dig man bop gig" were the words...).

    I don't want to make "dark" quilts (emotionally) either...need uplifting ideas...
    ~ ~ ~ waving in my recliner ~ ~ ~ Julierose

  4. Terrific! You're enthusiasm for the new project feels so refreshing. Not many things I hear lately have that feel-good enthusiasm. The baby quilt turned out perfect. When is "too traditional" out of style? NEVER! I know how you feel when you find out one of your quilts hasn't been appreciated. But, it happens to all of us and then there's that one that the person you made it for won't let it out of his sight.

  5. What a beautiful, powerful, and positive verse to be the focal point and inspiration for this newest quilt.

  6. I love the baby quilt - it is what the parent's wanted also - and I think the light colors are perfect -- after all do we all want a baby quilt with a heart or cartoon character or whatever - this one is unique and no other baby will have it

  7. I love the domestic and dignified nature of that verse! Also, cute baby quilt - cute backing. I know what you mean....when we give quilts we just have to let them go. But.... if I've noticed an indifferent response to a quilt gift, I'm not likely to make a second for that family... and years ago I'd make a quilt for just about every baby shower - definitely not doing that anymore.;).

  8. I love the baby quilt, it looks lovely and soft and has a kind of shabby chic, vintagey look. I have Tonya's book too, I've used it to make a couple of letter quilts, I find making the letters gets easier the more you make. I usually make quite easy quilts to give away, it makes it easy to let them go.

  9. Oh I love your Motto words, I love anything with words and this is exceptional. Are these the fabrics you had to find in your closet? [I'd be in trouble, don't have but a few clothes, and some saved garish sports jerseys from my kids' little league/ peewee hockey years. Just one gorgeous never worn India prints skirt, 4" flounces. Never worn , not gonna cut it up.]

    The baby quilt is so sweet too. I'm pleased to see a hint of ''baby'', nowadattys all baby stuff is so adult/ mom is cool etc. Grey.

    I agree about no Covid-19 or riot quilts, just as I don't put death images, even fun Halloween skeletons on my quilts, not for a loved one to sleep under or cherish.

    What's happening in Washington? New probs or same old?



  10. I think the baby quilt is wonderful! It looks soft and cuddly and I love pink and green together. I love the chunky tulips too - can’t wait to see how you set them.

  11. I really try and give with no strings attached always- no matter what it is. Then there is no disappointment.
    I often thought if something happened to Cory I may move back to WA. Uh, no!! LOL Oregon is just as bad.

    Your improv letters are perfect and a great jumping off point. Love the finished baby quilt.
    I'm trying to stay away from the news and stay positive too.

  12. Wow Audrey - great idea for the AHIQ quilt for this six months!

  13. I have always liked the saying about working with wool and flax. Your improv version strikes my fancy!

  14. Your traditional quilt is fabulous! It will make a great gift.
    There are always mean spirited 'friends' who make rude comments about our projects,
    Maybe we should give them some grace, it might be a bad hormone day for them, after all.
    Or maybe that's how they run all the time and being around them is a pain.
    Be that as it may, I admire your work, you don't need to ever apologize for it.


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