Monday, July 27, 2020

Working Through the Steps

It was great to see Antique Crows finally come together for a true blue finish! The hand quilting wasn't always the most fun as I was stitching on the inside of each of the 'points'. That's what I wanted for the look and texture though, so just kept slogging along regardless of extra layers of fabric. 
Antique Crows for the finish!

The backing is a bought-on-clearance, Kaffe, woven, stripe fabric. Makes for a great drape and feel and especially wonderful for summer! I'm already using this on our bed although it's a bit girly compared to the colors I usually prefer in our bedroom. Just. Could. Not. Resist.

Full view

This was a quilt where I really pushed myself to use busier prints than normal. It's a little frustrating to see fabrics stacking up in the totes and never quite feel comfortable enough to use them. I'd been wanting to make a New York Beauty quilt for years and that has always been just a little beyond my comfort zone as well. 

Love the mismatched circles....

Finally, in the year 2017, I admitted to myself that the New York Beauty was probably never gonna happen and instead decided to draft this more simplistic, chunkier-look block. Hey, why not? I started with cream quarter circle cut-outs from behind some other {previous} quilt and that was it, I was charmed into following my curiosity. This particular stack of fabric caught my eye and I was off and running. Catch me if you can!

Such a happy, fun look!

Like most everything else, it was a lot harder in my imagination than it was in reality. I'm so very glad that I made up my own block and ended up with this folksy, happy looking quilt! The colors may be a tad modern looking, but overall the vibe seems fairly cozy which of course is always my end goal. The added whimsy of the blocks coming together into a mismatched circle totally makes me smile. How could it get any better?

Spring Flowers

Lots of jumping around from project to project this past week. There are other things that I should be working on, but these flowers went ahead and pulled me in instead. At this point, I have all the stems and flowers stitched down and now just need to attack the leaves.

Seedpod Flower quilt

Uh huh. That seemed rather boring and so I changed directions altogether. This is an oldish project that I last worked on around this time last year. Well, that's not entirely true because I'm pretty sure that I cut some of the blocks out in December. It just never gained any real traction because of that border around the Seedpod flower. It has always been just a little bit wrong and thus, made the whole project rather confusing.

Starting to put the parts together

So I totally ignored this project in the hopes that it would somehow fix itself. But it didn't. Of course not! Why do some quilts always have to be so unreasonable? Having a rare, relatively empty house over the weekend tipped me over into the red zone as far as guilt goes, though. The centerpiece is just too good to abandon forever. Best get crack-a-lackin' and figure something out! 

The little blocks were oh-so-tedious to sew together. I think there's over 150 of them? I knew they needed to be available for auditioning purposes before making any serious decisions about moving forward. And I was right about needing to have the border attached, whether it was exactly how/what I envisioned or not. That's the point where I had stopped last August. More like froze in total indecision! The way this scrappy block {look} goes together, it seemed critical to have the width measurement for those little blocks in order to feel perfectly okay about moving forward. I do so hate to have an excess of wasted parts and too, I only have a finite amount of appropriate colored fabric to use in this quilt. What's a girl to do?

Why couldn't I just wing it like I do with everything else you ask? I don't know! Everything within resisted so strongly, there seemed to be no other option. If there's one thing I've learned through the years, it's to trust the quilt. Just had to keep tamping down the panic trying to rise up and take it one step at a time. By the time the quilt was at the stage you can see in the last picture, ideas were finally, finally starting to well up in my brain. There's something very palpable about the energy that builds when chain piecing and 'thinking' without really 'thinking' about a specific problem in a quilt. Then, when trying to lay different colored blocks out and balance appropriately with the various fabric strips? It all just sort of gelled. Thank goodness! What about this? How about that? Until all the working parts started making sense as a unit.

So that's where my time and attention has been for several days. I've finally got everything sewed up into rows and a serious applique plan for dealing with the blue border. It isn't very complicated after all, just fussy cutting from a rather small hunk of what used to be a fat quarter. And the width of the border remains exactly the same. No lost time and effort there after all!*sigh  Don't you love it when a difficult quilt starts cooperating?

25 comments:

  1. nice job....hate it when get stuck on things like that...but i'm flitting from one project to another as well...too much time sheltering in place i think...

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  2. I know that feeling of getting stuck--and if i push ahead too soon i end up "deep-sixing" the whole project.
    I love how your New York cu ky Beauty came out..it is just so charming...I think the colors are lovely...
    nice work ;)))
    Hugs from AC AGAIN--hot and humid even this early in the a.m. Julierose

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  3. Love your chunky NY Beauty ..... the crows add such whimsy to the quilt. Looking forward to seeing more of your Seedpod!

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  4. I love it every time you post another I think I like this one more than the last one and then you post another :)

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  5. Well, the seedpod flower quilt may be giving you fits, but it is absolutely spectacular. I know I say this a lot, but I think it is one of my favorites. Of course I love the Antique Crows and Spring Flowers too so I guess my "favorite" button doesn't mean much. Thank goodness we are all staying sane because of our quilting endeavors.

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  6. Wonderful flowers, nice colors, and Crows ;-) Flower quilts are nice reminders of sunny days. Inspirational!

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  7. How good to have the Crows on your bed. Using sale Kaffe on the back works so well, especially because of the softness of the hand. And your organic circles look wonderful. I work so hard to make mine "perfect" and need to relax like you.
    The seedpod has been a favorite of mine so I'm selfishly delighted you are working on it again. The center scrap circle encased in the pink ribs draws me every time. It's eye-opening to watch you build this border. Very unexpected. And wonderful.
    Stay safe.

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  8. Your Crows quilt is fantastic! The design and variability of the blocks really creates interest and the colors are great! And the pink and green of the seed pod quilt is a winner too!

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  9. I really like the seed pod quilt and will be watching to see what you do with it! I hardly ever use aqua or teal so it kind of surprised me that I immediately liked it.

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  10. The NYB is the ONLY quilt I've ever been willing to paper piece - I've made one iteration twice (Colors of Joy and Spirit Song). I keep thinking I'd like to make another but then the liberated part of me says, "WHY?!!!" and I veer off to coins or my dumpster diving series or something inspired by a vintage quilt instead. I do want to play with tulips soon - maybe my own take on a commercial design. Who knows yet. Totally get the unreasonable quilt syndrome - like what you've put together for the seed pod (although I doubt I could be brave enough to locate it in the lower corner as you have (grin).

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  11. The Antique Crows quilt just sparkles. I'm glad you're using it. That's why we make them - right? The seedpod blocks and center are just so interesting. It's coming together really well. I'm sorry it took you so long to get back to it. I love hearing about your creative process' and the relief and delight when it all comes together.

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  12. YES, your chunky dunk is very homey and cozy and I love it. It's perfect. And you little teaser you! You are going to keep us in suspense about what you decided to do with your Seedpod quilt? AAAARGH! (just teasin' ya)

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  13. How ingenious to get a wanna make quilt NYB made in your own way. Good for you to be using it right away. I love the colors. Glad you called it Antique Crows instead of Old Crows! And you are right...many things are a lot harder in my imagination too!

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  14. Your chunky New York Beauty is definitely delightful. It's character is whimsy and wonderful. The quilting adds great texture. I know an idea will come to your mind as you work with the Seed Pod quilt. Probably when you least expect it.

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  15. I really like your Antique Crows quilt! And I so enjoy reading about (and identifying with!) your thought processes as your quilts develop - I've also had many quilts that didn't want to "cooperate" at first, but finally saw fit to "come around" over time :)

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  16. Love your Antique Crows quilt - colors, design, everything about it! I would love to make a similar one if there was a pattern. (hint, hint)

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  17. Your Antique Crows quilt is terrific - I wouldn't worry about it being too girly. The backing sounds soft and drapey - perfect. I think the Seed Pod quilt will come together as all your quilts do! I think the parts are looking great together!

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  18. Fun with design! I like various components you use all fitting together in one happy statement.

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  19. Love that flower one you got going on❤

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  20. Your chunky NYB blocks have a glow in the lighting you've photographed them. That entire quilt is wonderful, from the crow to all the purple of the blocks and looking so soft and inviting with the hand quilting. Seedpod is going to be a winner, I like the medallion surrounded by all those colorful pieced blocks. Looking forward to what comes next.

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  21. Love your crows in the echinacea garden! Got any more of your border fabric, I think it needs a little thrown in in the economy squares to help hold it together.

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  22. Great finish on Antique Crows. I adore your Seedpod Flower Quilt - it’s gorgeous!!!!

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  23. The chunky NYB turned out fabulous! This is a quilt I wish I would have thought of and made! You are always such an inspiration with your cozy designs and fun color choices!

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