Thursday, February 4, 2021

First Finish of 2021!

Woohoo! Comfortably Quirky is the first finish of 2021! I was starting to wonder if there would ever be one. This quilt was started in December of 2019. The general thinking was that this would be another 'Christmas' quilt for the seasonal stacks, but now that it's totally completed? Not so holiday-ish looking after all.

Comfortably Quirky is finished!

In fact, it's residing very comfortably on my bed right at this moment. This quilt got its design genesis from a rather funky looking quilt in the Roderick Kiracofe book 'Unconventional and Unexpected'. {Look at the December link earlier in this post to check it out.} I took that particular quilt and multiplied the basic design times four, and then of course, had to take a little bit of artistic liberty to make it all meld properly together.

A little spotty looking....

While the original quilt looks charming with just a few circles, increasing the amount x 4 was perhaps a bit of overkill. Perhaps. There's really no regret here, in case you were wondering! There are some things you don't/won't know until you see it. That's just the way it goes when you're flying by the seat of your pants and making things up as you go along.

A little softer looking in certain light...

One of the things that I was trying to do, was to use up some of the old, tired green fabrics in the stash. Mission accomplished! The fact that I also used up many other older, difficult {but well loved} fabrics during the making was just bonus. I loved being able to finally work in a small piece of vintage green, a plucky blue and red recycled shirting, a dotty green/cream that never really played well in other quilts {but looks so wonderful in this one!}, lovely {but troublesome} florals and other various bits and pieces that just were never enough. You know how it is. 

Probably could have put more floral
in the border areas....

In that regard, this quilt is a magnificent success. You cannot even begin to comprehend how very pleased I am with the overall vibe of this particular quilt! Especially when viewing it up close and personal or draped over my bed. It's very, very good in the soft winter light, however the pictures try to portray it as dark and gloomy. Blame that on the photographer! Also, I'm always so pleased {and just a little bit startled too}, by how much difference the hand quilting texture can make. I should know better. Time after time, I am amazed to see a rather blasé quilt top take on life after just a few evenings of stitching. It's rather remarkable really and always makes it entirely worthwhile.

Very cozy vibe

Though the timing was terrible, I am so, so happy that I actually stopped and added the applique tulips when I did. It would have been much easier to say, 'Nope, way too late for this quilt!', and just leave it be. Admittedly, the quilt was quite insistent and probably would have put up a pretty good pout. Lovely to see proof that these six little pieces of applique indeed are important and definitely help to make this quilt shine just a little bit brighter.

Loving the center!

Next up in the hoop is the Hst Medallion quilt, started clear back in 2017! It's been a finished quilt top for quite awhile, but I kept ignoring it in the hopes that some quilting fairy would come and hand quilt it while I wasn't looking!

Middle section of HST Medallion

It wasn't meant to be I guess.*sigh  It's just that this quilt is SO LARGE! HST Medallion finishes out at somewhere around 103" square, which is absolutely ridiculous. I don't even know what I was thinking. Regardless, the time had finally came to move this quilt off of the unfinished quilt top list by hook or by crook. No sense spending a million hours sewing together a quilt top and then leaving it for the kids and grandkids to chuck into the Goodwill bin some day!

Ready for pinning

Would you believe it's been sandwiched and pinned since early December and even then other quilts got in the way? Yep. I'm such a procrastinator when it comes to this quilt. Maybe because it always feels just a little bit overwhelming?

Trying to get the full quilt effect just isn't possible on the floor!

Years and years ago {lets say about 15 years and not get too jiggy with the correct time frame}, I would set up a floor hoop every January for the largest quilt top resting in the queue. There would be a very intense four to six weeks while I quilted and dealt with grumbly family members over the monstrosity taking over the corner of the living room. Great motivation! Nowadays, those floor frames are long gone and it's just me and the hand held hoop on the couch. Which totally works. Uh huh. If I can manage to get the quilt into the hoop and a needle and thread in my hand to actually do some stitching....

Finally in the hoop!

So here I am, nine rows out from the center are totally hand quilted now! Lots and lots to go of course, but officially at a point where I am positive it won't end up being buried back in the quilt top drawers in a fit of pique. There was no way I could ever hand quilt this one during the summer months and well, it's gonna take awhile... Hard to explain, but where I'm at now, it finally feels like the rest is doable. Which it always was if you look at it from the perspective of 'one hoop at a time'. It just took getting a big chunk of the center done to be able to feel it. Don't ask me why that matters. Or why this quilt messes with my head. Best get going on it and hopefully bring it to a true-blue finish some time in the near future. Hope I don't run out of thread!


22 comments:

  1. I love that book and I think your quilt definetly captures that 'unconventional' vib! The Hst quilt is wonderful to! Time to get it quilted!!!!

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  2. I love visiting your blog, you are so inspiring! I just spent a half hour looking at all things tagged applique. I want to make them all! What kind of batting do you use? It gives all your quilts such a nice cozy look

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  3. Audrey felicidades!! me encanta tu nueva colcha, sus apliques, sus tonos y su especial acolchado.
    Cuídate

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  4. it turned out so good - congratulations on the finish I love it

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  5. What a cozy quilt. You are genius at putting disparate parts together so beautifully. And your hand quilting is wonderful! Congratulations on a great first finish of the year and the quilt in your hoop now is a stunner!

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  6. Yes, your Comfortably Cozy does have a homey comfortable vibe. The quilting softens the designs. The HST Medallion is incredibly dramatic. You're on your way to a getting this quilt to a finish. It's very impressive.

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  7. Audrey, Comfortably Quirky is a fabulous and unique quilt! I really love looking at it. Every decision you made along the way is perfect. What a great feeling to use so many fabrics that kept getting put aside for so long. Everything about this quilt makes it all the more special. It has a wonderful story. Your HST Medallion quilt is an amazing piecing feat! It’s beautiful. It will be another treasured finish after all your procrastinating with it.

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  8. Absolutely love your quilt! I couldn't tell from the pictures --- can you say how you are quilting the HSTs? I exclusively do hand quilting and have a hard time coming up with designs for them. Thank you.

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  9. Good luck with the medallion - a big quilt is quite a challenge. I have to admit I have one quilt which I got half quilted and then threw aside in disgust because there was still so much to do. Comfortably Quirky is fantastic.

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  10. Your Comfortably Quirky quilt is really wonderful. Love the big circles and the appliqued tulips. I remember you working on the Medallion Quilt. So.Many.HSTs. You did a fabulous job and it's really stunning. I love the colors in the center. I would've never put that pink & cheddar together with a turquoise center but WOW! I love it. I hope you can enjoy the quilting of it. Sounds like so far (9 rows in), so good!

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  11. I love your names for quilts! Comfortably Quirky is a great quilt and I love the name. Funny that is so subtle yet such a happy quilt. When I opened this post and saw what was "in the hoop", I shuddered. No wonder it has taken you a while to get it in position for quilting. How daunting! You will do your magic and it will be even more beautiful with the added texture.

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  12. I'm glad you went with your instinct and added the applique tulips. They pack a real punch among the circles and other fairly low volume blocks. I don't envy you hand quilting that huge hst quilt in a hand held hoop. I had to move my quilty 365 to a floor hoop stand and even that is a bear to try to turn the hoop. Probably the major reason it's not finished. It's about 114 inches square.

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  13. I was wondering if you had finished this one. I must have missed the post showing the top finished. It is really stunning. I'm hand quilting a big quilt right now too. Sometimes I feel rather overwhelmed and other times I have all the enthusiasm in the world. Glad you are finding motivation to continue on.

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  14. Lovely, lovely! You may have inspired me to try some hand-quilting myself.

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  15. Love your HST Medallion, so glad you're back working on it! It'll be a special one, with all that quilty texture! 'Comfortably Quirky' is looking amazing too, nothing beats hand quilting texture. Just wish I had the patience to hand quilt more of my quilts too!

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  16. Wonderful job on the hand quilting... it gives a texture and an added design element that nothing else can!

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  17. I certainly don't think that there is any suggestion of overkill by increasing the circles at all! Love your mix of softer fabrics in this quilt and the addition of tulips was a brilliant idea! You are so right with your thoughts on the quilting making all the difference, beautiful texture added.
    Oh my goodness - Your HST Medallion is amazing and I truly don't know how you were able to put all those hst's together and the size of it is unbelievable - I should think this going to be a mammoth long term quilting project.

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  18. Your little tulips make Quirky! I wouldn't have thought of it but love how they add interest in the center and keep the quilt from being a large stretch of polka dots in the center. The punctuate the quilt. That's the word.
    And your medallion is a beauty. I can't believe you're hand quilting it but, you go, Audrey.

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  19. Quilt fairy! lol! I'm glad you don't have one. If you did we wouldn't be able to follow your process. Its all about the ride. I have the same fear about the kids and thrift store. Kudos on finishes and new starts!
    Rondi
    rondiquilts@yahoo.com

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  20. Congratulations on you beautiful finished quilt and your quilt in the hoop is so stunning. Wonderful project. You are a very fast handquilter. It takes me months to finish a handquilted project.

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  21. Congrats on your first finish for the year! And I adore you HST Medallion - it’s sooo lush! Happy quilting.

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