Monday, August 23, 2021

It's Always a Pleasure to Switch Out the Old Quilt in the Hoop For a New One

This quilt has been in the hoop for longer than any other quilt in years. So very happy to see it finally come to a good finish and give me an excuse to move on to another quilt! It's an AHIQFlowers prompt where I took great liberty in the interpretation of one of those intriguing Unconventional & Unexpected scrap quilts. 

AHIQFlowers quilt finish!

As you can quickly see when looking at the picture of the original quilt, there were no flower shapes involved in the original make. Somehow though, {to me}, the scrappy mess down on the lower right corner of the quilt always vaguely looked like a Lemoyne star. Which, of course, in my quirky brain, is a very short jump to 'flower' shape!

Turned out to be much more interesting than it should have

And so it was. This project looks like a super easy, dump all the fabric out and zip, zip! All sewn up! But no. It actually has to have a bit of balance in all the mumble jumble of scraps.

Loving the soft colors with the gold

I pushed myself quite a lot in order to bring the entire quilt to a successful conclusion. Almost threw up my hands in defeat a time or two, but eventually managed to figure things out one little decision at a time. Improv. is such an exhilarating way to play, but then, also terribly grueling at times. For me, these U&U interpretations provide an excellent framework of where I might want to start. 

And the scrappy, scrappy vibe

Though they never turn out identical, I adore the similar-but-different feeling when it's all said and done. When I can add a whimsical twist that makes it more of a 'me' quilt, then it's all the more satisfying.

This flower still makes me smile!

The colors in the particular quilt were a puzzle. Lots of blues, yellows and pinks in all shades and tones. It almost has a cold feel to the quilt instead of the more usual warm and cozy vibe that I normal shoot for.

Looks like it's ready for snuggling!

I think that's partly why I went ahead and stitched with a heavier hand than I might normally attempt to do. More stitching equals a cozier look if it's not completely overdone. Right?

Just can't resist looking across a well stitched quilt

The backing fabric was a fun pick from the bottom of the languishing stash totes. This old-timey circus print was given to me years and years ago and it was super entertaining to finally find a perfect quilt top to match up with. Every good quilt should make us smile at the end of the day!

All happiness and feelings of victory in conquering the AHIQFlowers quilt aside, I was absolutely thrilled to be moving another quilt into the hoop.*sigh  

Patina getting sandwiched and quilted!

This log cabin quilt is the perfect thing to switch my attention to. No decision making other than which colors the thread needs to be. Get it in the hoop and just start stitching away. I am in LOVE! So very, very peaceful and satisfying to stitch on the improv. log cabin quilts. I really don't know why there isn't a mile high stack of these tops on demand! Something to think about?

Looking so good in the hoop!

On another note, my youngest daughter went and spent the weekend with our granddaughters {and their parents}. She sent me this sweet picture of one of my late quilts hanging out on one of the granddaughters beds! Makes me so happy to see it put to good use!

Loving this quilt on Reagan's bed

And... then there's the clamshell borders that I am finally, finally attempting to figure out how to do. These will be attached to the Positive Thinking quilt. It's another one of those AHIQ challenges that I enjoy playing around with. The center of the quilt has been done since April and I'd pretty much determined that it needed an interesting border.

We'll see if I can do this!

Color us all shocked that it ended up being an 'applique' design! I decided to go with the clamshells because I've loved the look forever and have never managed to work one into a quilt. 'Cuz well... I'm quite terrified of the entire process. Not to mention, simultaneously outraged that there's anything there for me to actually be terrified of. I know, I know. It's all in my mind as I've made lots and lots of swag applique borders. The general idea of the clamshells should not be the least bit intimidating! So... here goes nothing!

p.s. Here's some links to my previous 'Unconventional & Unexpected' by Roderick Kiracofe interpretation quilts if you'd like to take a look.


  1. Your Flowers quilt is out of this world! I love it. I agree that making such a scrap quilt isn't as "random" as you might think - a lot of work and thought goes into the balance. It's beautiful and the quilting is so perfect. Congratulations and your other projects are similarly beautiful. I love how you use your fabric from your totes in such beautiful and original ways.

  2. your quilts are great as always - I think the quilting in that first quilt is just perfect!

  3. i love your (yes) cozy quilt...the quilting really makes it...

  4. It's true, some quilts are a delight to quilt and others are a real chore. I love the simplicity of this log cabin quilt, I don't have to figure out the design elements or the inspiration. I can just enjoy the combination of repeated colors. Of course, not all quilts can be this way, many are complicated and demanding and feed the need to be creative. They help us learn and grow. But, I do really enjoy the non-fussy quilts in between. Best of luck with the clamshells, I've never tried them. I think it's because I know it will be a large investment of time.

  5. I've played with clam shells and THEY ARE SO FUN!!! Your quilts are beautiful but the icing on the cake of this post is the quilt on your granddaughter's bed! I loved that quilt when you made it and it sparkles now on her bed. Love it!

  6. I am completely amazed and impressed with your Flower quilt. I've never known someone who actually made such an improvisational top. As your write, it seems like one simply slaps stuff up but that is not at all the case. My attempts have been awful but you inspire me to try again... some day.
    Congratulations on the glorious finish. And on immediately having a new quilt to put in the hoop. Also love the clamshells and have never made one either.

  7. Gorgeous hand quilting, I'm falling deeper and deeper for hand quilting. The organic soft look is priceless.
    And yes, The quilt on your grand daughter's bed is cozy!

  8. Your new finish is wonderful - I love it!! The stitching is perfect for it and the colors and backing are great too. So cozy looking!! I also love the log cabin you are now quilting. I haven't made this variation and your quilt makes me want to add it to my "to do" list. Good luck with your clamshells! I, too, am terrified to try these and will be watching you to see how it goes :):)

  9. Another super finish - I especially love the unexpected circus print backing. AND your heavier-than usual stitching. Hooray for AHIQ and the way it pushes us around (and usually out of our ruts).

  10. Your flower quilt has come to a happy ending. All the quilting made a cozy finish. Following your heart and head put all those ideas and choices together perfectly.

  11. Yes! Loving your 'flower' quilt, great rendition of that tricky inspirational improv quilt Audrey! You've definitely got those colours flowing from one area to the next. And your flower makes me smile too :)

  12. Your flowers sure remind me of the sunflowers that were recently blooming near here, but now with heads bent have gone to seed. You did wonders with your improv!

  13. What a stunning finish of your interpretation of the original quilt from U and U book. Your flowers are the perfect addition. Patina is a beauty and I do like the simple straight line quilting.

  14. Loving your finished quilt. Always so good to see a quilt being used and loved. Enjoy your clamshells - you can do it!


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