Saturday, October 3, 2020

The Applique Ideas That Never Seem to End

I've been home for a few days now and have thoroughly enjoyed some quality time to sit and quilt. Quietly. Peacefully. Getting to go to the Oregon coast for a couple days apparently reinvigorated something deep within me. We don't always realize how badly a little 'time out of time' vacation is needed until the moment that we're breathing it in. Until the moment we walk back through the door of our home and are so very glad to be HOME.
Love Apples progress

The main project that I worked on while away from home was the 'Love Apples' quilt. I couldn't believe it when I looked back and realized that this quilt has been in the works since May. My oh my, how time slips away! Such a happy project. I knew I would love doing the stitching on this one! With a little more time spent on it after returning home, all the stems are stitched now on the 21 background squares. One block is completely finished up just so I could see how it was all going to look. And then I was abruptly done with that project for the present. Funny how that happens. 

Thankfully I hadn't cut out all the leaves as I determined that the size of my template needed to be one seam allowance larger. That's something that happens altogether too often around here, so I've learned to expect it and actually, even to look for it. The smallest pile of lemon shaped parts is the cut-outs from behind the larger, layered pieces that make up the Love Apple flowers. No clue what will happen with those little bits yet, but I'm sure they'll be happy enough to rest in the orphan applique totes until further notice.


And speaking of orphaned applique bits.... After being home for a little bit, I decided the project that I most wanted to work on was Coronacrazy. Kind of surprising as it's been awhile and honestly, at times, I was feeling a bit down with the entire idea. Another whole applique quilt? Whose idea was this anyway? The quilt start is approx. 42" x 47", so lots bigger than is naturally comfortable for hand applique work. It's crazy. {Thus the name.} Lets just call it a Covid-19 mush brain quilt and every quilter {everywhere} totally gets it. All I know is that it totally made sense at the time.

Looking at the 'hills' that still need to be stitched down

All previous angst aside, this week I have slowly been plodding forward. Improbably, feeling really good about this quilt too! What I'm showing you here represents hours and hours of stitching effort so I guess you could say that I've fully and unabashedly recommitted to finishing this quilt. I mean, not right this very minute, but eventually--as free time and mojo permits. 

Finally, last night I succeeded in reaching the point of getting all this initial flower applique stitched down. All the stems that tuck under the hills are fixed in place. Yes! Of course, there's still the upper side of the arches to stitch down and then next up I will address where and what leaves will be needed. After that, there will be the question of which other orphaned floral pieces will go on and yada yada yada. It's a phase by phase sort of quilt and I totally expect answers to manifest as each area become more and more defined. At some point I fully intend to think about a border. Or two. But that's in the future. Plenty of time for that when we get there!

As far as answers go, for instance, there was an area on the right side of the quilt where the hills looked pretty ragged as they practically dove off the side of the quilt. You can see this more clearly from the August auditioning work. It's something that I've considered here and there. Hmm.., does it look sloppy? Rushed? Crazy? lol  Could it be cleaned up without destroying the integrity of the folksy look that I was initially striving for? These and other random thoughts swirled around in the deep recesses of my mind on occasion.

As I was laying the quilt on the floor the other night {to better admire the whole effect of the finished applique stitching}, suddenly my brain engaged and I immediately knew what to do. Lightbulb time! It was so simple and yet, if I hadn't been steadily working on the quilt over a period of several days, my subconscious wouldn't have had that quiet time to dwell on and seek for answers. 'Cuz you have to know that I wasn't even positive that it needed changed. It was more like a little niggle of irritation, not a clarion call to action! Whatever. I am loads happier with the look now. The quilt already seems to have oodles more potential to turn out well, right? It's okay. I think so and that's really all that matters.
The new start

And lest you think that I am losing my awesome abilities to impulsively start a brand new project, never fear. The squirrels are here. Oh yes. One of the marinating stacks of fabric is now well on its way to becoming yet another applique project. As if I don't have enough! Just blocks for right now in blue like the ocean. Wow. Just wow. So shocking! I'm calling this one 'Crazy Daisy'. Nope, not a tulip in sight fo this particular quilt. Just a ruffle-y look flower that will probably end up on with the blocks on point but yeah, we'll see about that. I don't even care. It's hand work. Fabric. Color. Peace.

I'm gearing up for yet another stressful month, albeit from a slightly healthier place. Lots of challenges facing us during this season that I'm not looking forward to at all, but that I know are unavoidable. Yay. 

Julie said something the other day that really resonated. I probably need to cut myself some slack too. She said her stash was soul soothing and I definitely feel that way about mine as well. What a great place to start. It's okay to dive in and start something new from pieces of what we already love or maybe even just stack up the fabrics and dream. Dreaming is good, even if it never goes anywhere tangible in the immediate future. {But I'm betting it will!}  Without getting too deep in the weeds, I just love how her observations matched up with several of the things that I've observed or experienced lately as well. It's good to have quilty friends. Enough babbling though. I've got approximately one day left of my gloriously people free home.*wink  Something that rarely ever happens around here....


  1. sometimes a little time away from home is what is needed to get the creative juices flowing again!

  2. I agree, dreaming adds some excitement which is good for you. Sometimes my quilt dreams don't turn out the way I expected, sometimes they are even better. Take care of yourself and chase a few squirrels along the way!

  3. Nice that the time away re-focused your creative self;)))
    I like your Love apples and the crazy corona piece is super...
    hugs julierose

  4. Several of you have mentioned that my recent words resonated . . . clearly the universe is calling many of us to listen! Love your new squirrel (and the others you shared today). I miss doing oodles of handwork - so I am enjoying your efforts instead.

  5. Glad you’ve had some time away and are feeling better. Loving all your projects and am intrigued by the new one. All the beat for the coming time - you can get through it!!

  6. I dream of many more quilts than I ever sew. Thinking, dreaming, planning and maybe even sewing. It all works together and makes us feel good.

  7. I could only dream of having a mush brain like yours, Audrey! I adore these hills and the flowers in between. So creative and not wobbly at all. I can't wait to see what it is you are dreaming up next. I need more applique in my life right now too. Nothing soothes like hand work.

  8. I'd love to take a bite out of those Love Apples! Delicious! My favorite quote for this years is, "When in doubt... start something new".

  9. Your applique flowers have such a whimsical look. And so pretty in the pinks.

  10. I'm delighted that you were able to get away for a while. Just to see the ocean and smell some fresh air. We have barely been out of the house although we are busy making plans.
    What a treat to see Love Apples progress. The tiny stem and leaves are adorable. I like your decision to use the same fabric as the outer flower layer. Do you cut out behind all those layers of flowers?
    Coronacrazy is another interesting piece. I'd never have thought of it but enjoy your idea. Are the hills all bias strips? Watching you work on this I'm becoming aware of the specific order of applique necessary here. Very intriguing.
    How good to have had some away time and come home refreshed. Stay safe.

  11. I enjoy looking at your hand applique projects. Hand piecing and stitching has been growing on me lately. I used to think it was too time consuming, but really is punching out a new quilt weekly what I'm striving for? And face it, machines are limiting.
    Thanks for your thoughtful inspiration.

  12. Love those loveapple blocks you have on deck! Every time I see Coronacrazy I look for a crow to appear somewhere in the mix, wonder why. I love the quote Wendy shared, probably why there's a stack of fabrics building on the chair while two other squirrels are fighting for piecing time at the 201 while the next 8 sunflower block pieces await (impatiently) stitching in the background. Yes, this year is definitely one that has thrown all of us out of whack, and it can't be over soon enough. We all need those days of respite, so good that you were able to get away to the coast for a bit.

  13. So happy to see your Love Apples again Audrey! Coronacrazy is a whole lot of applique, like Julie I miss handwork, I used to love sitting piecing quietly but the hands won't play nicely these days.
    Julie's words also struck a chord with me and I see from her comment above that a lot of folks felt the same. I have been absent for around four weeks due to things cropping up here but hope to post tomorrow. Like yourself no shortage of projects underway but just come across a new quilt I'd like to make a start on - oh well, that's what our fabric stash is for. Happy that you enjoyed your quiet time at home.

  14. Audrey, your posts are always like I've sat down across a warm hearth from you and having a cuppa. Applique is definately the medium I am most comfortable in. Crazy quilts girl me are all about applique and hand stitching. Good to have a week getaway and having time at home without the busy voices of a growing family. Cheers!

  15. Just LOOK at all your fabulous appliqué!! My eyes are always bigger than my stomach, or bigger than my patience, or something like that when it comes to appliqué. Everything takes so much longer than I ever dreamed it would when I started, but that doesn’t keep me from starting new appliqué projects, either! SOMEDAY I shall finish one of them!! :-)


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