Monday, August 24, 2020

August Update

Decisions, decisions. It was either take the time to go quilt or take the time to actually write a post. Today I decided the post had to come first. 
Seedpod Flower quilt top is done!
What can I say about this quilt top? You already know that the flower itself was kind of an impulse, use-up-the-abandoned-bits sort of start
The full view
You also know that the inspiration pic was one that I fell head over heels in love with a very long time ago. Or did you? Regardless, I'm pretty impressed to actually see this interpretation finally come to reality. I do so adore a scrappy, utilitarian sort of look!
Scrappy goodness
I suppose this quilt would have looked fine without the Seedpod Flower center. Maybe. At this point I can't even imagine the quilt without it though. Once I wrapped my mind around how it all needed to fit together, then the top went together relatively easily. The anxiety and avoidance up to that point was stupid. Why do I always tend to overthink?
Trying to UP the 'busyness' factor with the prints this time!
All the economy blocks are the same size which means the horizontal rows are the exact same width. That was an important detail moving forward. The random placement thus relies strictly upon the differences in the various lengths of the connecting rectangles. 
A new color palette for me, but somehow it seems to work!
While they are not nearly as tall as the ones used in the inspiration picture, these started out from the scraps leftover from cutting the economy blocks. That was a good place to start. Hard to throw away the very narrow ones!  And so... determining approx. vertical measurements for the connecting rectangles became unexpectedly very simple. After all, I really didn't want the differences to be super extreme. A couple inches at most and there I was. Easy peasy.
Looking across...
Crazy how the bright, sparky applique addition to the inside border brightens everything up. I do wish the very slight, lighter blue outline above the curves still showed, but it ended up being turned under for seam allowance. This was just another one of those impulse rabbit trails that turned out to be a wonderful idea in the end. Sometimes it's nearly impossible to keep myself from traveling down the path of 'I wonder if x, y, or z would make things look better....'. 

Sometimes it works to the good and other times I find out that it's clearly wasted time. Never really know till you try though! I love how the yellow in the applique surround is more citrus than the rest of the yellow golds in the quilt. Yet it works as a very definitive framing for the Seedpod Flower, which of course, is the star of the entire quilt. Why not emphasize that even more!

This quilt top has a very distinctive mood, one that I can't quite put a proper label to. Is it retro? Vintage? Does it just convey fond memories of my grandmothers house dresses or perhaps it was the aprons she wore? Whatever it is, the mood as a whole, brings a smile to my face every time. 
Working on Spring Flowers
Another project that I've been spending time on in Spring Flowers. After seeing how washed out the flowers looked, I decided they needed a little bit of pzazz added in somewhere. After debating several different ideas {most of them ridiculously complex}, I ended up going with a very simple rail fence sort of block as the alternate. Lots of turquoise used to wake things up, but I also made sure to add insome clashy blue. For value and interest of course. There's just something about doing the unpredictable that always strongly appeals to me when it comes to quilting! The long narrow strips of the cream background fabric were added in after I realized that the flowers now needed some breathing room. So glad I had enough of that particular fabric because everything else just looked sloppy.
Auditioning border ideas
The brown and light cream striped fabric was something that I locked onto early on in auditioning border ideas. There's just something about a good striped border that speaks to me. Lots of ideas in play until abruptly I was completely done with dithering. The pink/rose fabrics were totally scrapped and simplicity became the name of the game. While I kept the strong chrome yellow, narrow, inner border {the blendy mustard gold fabric that seemed obvious was boring}, everything else got stripped down to basics. Will see how this border turns out in the end, but the thrill was just gone. Oh, and all the other orphan bits were dumped back into the totes too. So done with this particular project.Time to move on when it's not fun anymore!
Peachy Cameo in the hoop
The hand quilting is moving quite slowly on Peachy Cameo, but there's nothing very complex about what I'm doing. Sensing a theme here? One last hoop on the blue circle areas and then I'll be working on the two outside borders. I think they both will fit into one hoop {as far as width} so that's good. We're entering the long, long home stretch!
A closer look
As you can see, I often take the clamp off of one side when hand quilting. In this case, two of the blue 'circles' are right where the clamp would be, making it impossible to quilt in that area if it were to be attached. Honestly, I don't know if this is laziness or efficiency, but with this sort of quilting, having one clamp off is rarely a problem. The funny thing is, after all these years of working with only Perle Cotton thread and a long needle, my stitches are getting smaller. Still not super close together, but it's not exactly big stitching any longer. Oh well. Love the look regardless. All that instant texture is very addicting!

Will try to catch up with my emails and reading and/or commenting on other blogs in the next couple days. Have seen several posts in the Bloglover app that feel important to comment on, but the time simply hasn't been there. With time being diminished for quilting around here, often times there's really only one choice!

20 comments:

  1. Love the seedpod center so much! I think the decisions you made on Spring Flowers work so well - clashy blue! It's always a delight to see how your various projects are going.

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  2. omigosh...not one but two fantastic medallion quilts....love 'em!

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  3. Those railfence blocks on Spring flowers end up looking to me like flowerpots--nice quiet piece...
    I love how Seed Pod looks in among the Economy blocks--and Peachy Cameo is just gorgeous..nice works all
    hugs from humidity central here Julierose

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  4. I love to listen to your creative process. What lovely quilts you make!

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  5. I find that quilting with the thicker thread I never really do big stitch either - I automatically take smaller stitches. I'm not sure if your quilts would be vintage look or retro or what - but the are certainly "you"

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  6. Well, now you have done it. Seedpod Flower is my absolute favorite! Just when I think your quilts can't get any better, you knock it out of the park. I hope you know how much we all appreciate reading your thought processes too. I know I am not the only one who gets inspired each time I read your one of your posts. Thanks a million!

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  7. I love reading about your decisions in a quilt. So here too with the seed pod. I learn so much from your process descriptions. You always manage to create the unexpected.

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  8. Your Seed Pod quilt turned out fabulously - I love the different setting for the economy blocks - such a great way to use that venerable block. Thanks (again and again) for sharing your process (the good, the bad, and the challenging). Like what you did with the other flower blocks, too -- your design sense is impeccable!!

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  9. Oh, they're both so, so lovely! I have few words this morning, just that I want to look at them both a long, long time!

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  10. Your Seedpod Flower quilt is wonderful. The scrappy economy blocks are a great supporting team. I like how you set them asymmetrical around the center medallion. Spring Flowers is all about a different time and place. The rail fence blocks gives those sweet flowers a base. Good advice to not over think things.

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  11. Your projects never cease to inspire me. Love your seed pod top!

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  12. Loving everything about seedpod. I think it's going to be an all-time favorite for a lot of us. Your big stitch hand quilting looks a lot like mine, size-wise in the photos. I've been calling mine 'little big-stitch' because it tends to be fairly small. Never could make larger stitches turn out evenly spaced. Anyway, I like the look, and hand quilting is always so appealing in any quilt.

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  13. The spring flowers did look a bit pale the last time you showed them but with the added stripes I like them better. The seed pod flower I love. As always your blog is a joy to read.

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  14. such pretty sewing, love your finished top and the one in the hoop is just gorgeous. Lovely work.

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  15. What a joyful post, Audrey. I've been thinking of Seedpod as quiet and calm but your Economy border pumped up the energy. What a delightful change. And the Seedpod still focuses all that energy.
    Spring Flowers was another quiet one. I love the strips you added; they remind me of flower pots. Thanks for the tip about sashing between the blocks. Such a subtle difference but it makes the quilt.
    Peachy Cameo is a beauty. Those peaches and blues are one of my favorite combinations. Pieced blocks make wonderful borders. So much more interesting and exciting than slapping a length of fabric on... although we both do that sometimes, too. Ha.
    I'm glad you're so productive. Thanks for sharing.

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  16. Love your quilts, very unique and personal.

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  17. Oh my goodness!! I mean oh, your goodness, found in three wonderful projects. I do love the vibe, whatever it is, of Seedpod and the quiet comfort of Spring Flowers (which I thought was called Dried Flowers at one time?). You have the best mixes of fabrics. And I use the same hoop for hand stitching and also take off a side or sometimes two.

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  18. Oh my - I am in love with your Seedpod Flower quilt Audrey!! It truly is so beautiful. Can't quite believe you're now also working on two more exciting quilts.

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  19. Lovely to see such individual interesting quilts and to learn your thinking. The results are great!

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