Wednesday, April 14, 2021

Extra Time Just to Get it Right

Do you remember the Big Kiss quilt? Over the winter I decided that it probably needed more attention and pulled it out of the finished quilt top drawers for further scrutiny. {Or maybe it wouldn't quit haunting me?} After much pondering, I finally decided to go for it. The applique that I decided on has been prepped and waiting for quite awhile, just patiently waiting their turn in the queue!

Big Kiss quilt top is finished! 

It's kind of a bold looking border, but very simple in terms of hand work. Then of course,  I made it more complicated by deciding to put a little crown on the top of the center flowers {for the pomegrante effect}, and then later, eight leaves on each border instead of four. Just can't leave well enough alone!

Close-up of the border work

I did something that rarely happens around here, with the fussy cut flowers on the ends of the vines. There was only a fat quarter of that particular fabric, so there wasn't a lot of cutting options to choose from. Some of the flowers look better than the others! It seemed like they needed to be cut out larger, but that wasn't possible either.

Fussy cut flowers

In the end, I just made that specific fabric work {regardless of its limitations} because it really looked to be the best option for the overall look I was aiming for! In the case of the flower below, I actually pieced four different pieces of fabric together from that same fat quarter. Super obvious up close, but not at all noticeable from a distance. Whatever. It works, right?

Very pieced flower

Though the border fabric looks quite black in some of these pics, the previous color is probably closest to reality, more of a dark gray. That charcoal-ish gray really makes the colors pop and lift up the entire quilt. On another note, I knew there was a bit of bias stretch in this quilt and wowsers! Adding the borders made that even more obvious. As I was sewing, that is. 

The Whole quilt

I carefully measured and pinned so that I didn't make things worse and in fact, it looks quite a bit better overall. Crossing my fingers that the hand quilting {which will happen later on} will ease out the worst of the rumples. It usually does! 

 So glad that I went with my instincts and tapered the vines down in a slight curve instead of keeping them in that straight line that I originally intended. Looks loads better this way! The only thing that I seriously regret at this point, is that I wish the little pomegranate crowns would have been pushed down further behind the flower. Oh well. What's done is done! The quilt top definitely has a cozier, more personal vibe than it did before and really, that's all that matters. We are all very happy campers now and this top is going straight back into quilt top drawers for a good long nap....

Loving the brighter colors!

Moving on to a different project, here's a few pics of the 1991 quilt that somehow snuck into the hand quilting line-up. It was never, ever my intention to hand quilt this one, but since the HST Medallion has been finished up, I've been gravitating to really basic hand quilting efforts.

An old project

Sometimes it doesn't even matter what is in the hoop, it just matters that the stitching can be done with a minimal amount of thinking, marking and effort! Call me crazy, but I just adore hand stitching through strips and log cabin type quilts are an easy pick-me-up.

30 years married in June!

This is such an oldy moldy quilt start, I almost don't even like the color palette anymore. Most of the blocks are from the early 2000's and all the house blocks were finished up by 2007. They represent the first seven homes my husband and I lived in after we were married, one of those 'good idea quilts' that never really gained enough traction to flourish.

Very soft colors

At some point, I did a Marie Kondo thing to the quilt room and purposefully got rid of many of the parts. This top is what happened when I decided to make a few comfort quilts from various orphan blocks here in the quilt room. Whether or not this ends up being given away though, remains to be seen. This quilt finish would have positively delighted me even ten years ago. Today, I'm working on much more exciting things, though of course, I'm happy to bring it to a proper finish.

Interesting to see it without the words...

Speaking of which .... Here's Coronacrazy, back for another day in the sun! It's trimmed down now, with a strong looking sashing added on. I loved the look of the edges before the sashing was sewn on, but alas, there's no way to finish up a quilt without adding fabric onto the sides, be it sashing, border or even a binding!

Working on the border

As per usual these days, I had to make-do the border, as most of the yardage I have is in too small of a piece for the entire surround. That's okay though, as the look is very appealing to me in it's rough form. Add a little bit of applique over the top, and I'm practically swooning!

All prepped and ready for hand work

See? There's always a silver lining if you care to look for it! I ended up using a striped green fabric for the vine and what you see in the previous picture is where I determined to sew it onto the border. All prepped and ready to go! One large applique flower is cut out and ready for hand work too. It had to be figured out before moving forward as the vine will be tucked underneath at both sides of the flower. 

The vine will actually only be sewn down within a couple inches of each border length {for now} as several parts of it will need to 'flow' from one border to the next. A little bit of extra time and effort trying to get this all figured out 'prior' to sewing the borders onto the centerpiece, but very worthwhile in the long run. Though it might not be obvious to the casual reader, I do actually expend quite a bit of effort trying to sew as much of the applique onto smaller pieces of the quilt, rather than try and work with a whole big quilt! If I wasn't such a make-it-up-as-I-go sort of quilter, things would probably go along much more smoothly. Hmm... maybe not. 


  1. Great progress! And the pomegranates are wonderful.
    Congrats coming up in June!

  2. wow you got a lot going on and yes hand quilting will ease those ruffles out and washing and drying it too - you might know but no one else! I have pieced parts together at times to make a piece right - I like that border in the last quilt

  3. Your quilt top is looking beautiful. You have been so busy. Have a lovely rest of the week.

  4. You know I love borders so these are a delight. The floral vines on Big Kiss take it over the top - from okay to spectacular. Love the pomegranate crown. Don't you know future generations will thrill to discover your pieced flowers.
    Aren't we delighted to move some of our old projects along and out? It amuses me to see older quilts of mine. Like you, I thought they were fabulous back then and now see them as learning pieces. Still better to have a finish than bits in a box.
    I wasn't sure how you'd finish Coronacrazy but this wide border looks great. The strong green gives some structure between two wild and crazy parts. Go, you!

  5. Excellent! Nothing more energizing than having a plan and it just moves everything else forward.

  6. Love that swagg-ey border on coronacrazy...really nice...hugs, Julierose

  7. OK! The big kiss didn't do much for me until you added the applique. Now I love it. The crown making flowers into pomegranates is brilliant. I am intrigued by your latest, the applique will really be wonderful. imho.

  8. OOooo that little pomegranate crown. Funny how a tiny touch or addition can be so perfect, the ''crowning touch".

  9. Taking the time to get things just right can drive you crazy until you take a deep breath and know it's not a race and that you'll be happier in the end. Always love your quilts.

  10. The border additions to Big Kiss make it so much better - good call!!! Coronacrazy is advancing nicely and I look forward to seeing what you do with its border. I like your phrase "long nap" for what happens to your finished tops as they wait for quilting. :) My "napping" pile is growing too!

  11. Sealed with a (Big) Kiss after adding that perfect border! Always so good to have those bias edges corralled too. The border really makes this top look finished. Coronacrazy's wide border is looking great already, looking forward to seeing the next embellishments.

  12. You are soooo clever. Please mail some of your energy to me. I want to be like you!!!

  13. I love that big X pattern. I want to try that one. The applique really frames it nicely! take care!

  14. su trabajo es espectacular

  15. Love the border on Big Kiss - now it's like a Big Chef's Kiss! Your CoronaCrazy turns the tribulations of 2020 into a celebration!

  16. Your posts are always so interesting, following along with your progress on various fronts. Didn't realize Big Kiss was so BIG until further along in the post. It is wonderful and the applique border really did finish it off. CoronaCrazy is FABULOUS! The colors & movement. Super! Duper!

  17. I LOVE the appliqué addition to Big Kiss. Fabulous! I am also liking the border for Coronacrazy so far too. Appliqué borders are really the best!

  18. Such a great idea, adding those borders to your 'big kiss' quilt! Love the pomegranate crowns!

  19. You are my hero - glorious transformation on that Big Kiss project and I adore the new borders in the making for CoronaCrazy.

  20. Love the border changes you are including.

  21. You say you are making it up as you go along, but what I realised, reading this post, was how much you know about applique. Your improvising is based on a really sound knowledge of what works and how to go about getting the look you want. And, of course, the quilts themselves are awesome.

  22. Of the quilts in this post, Coronacrazy speaks to me! Its a pleasure to watch the process and where its taking you.


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