Saturday, October 2, 2021

The Latest Quilty Progress

Believe it or not, I've been earnestly trying to scratch a couple long-ongoing projects off of the list. That open-ended, not-quite-a-quilt-top-yet list. This Improv. HST Medallion is one of the projects that has been in my sights for this fall. I kinda knew where it needed to go after the applique, just didn't have the heart to do it in the summertime. You know how it is with quilts of a certain color!

A few blocks organized for the border and leftover bits

First I quit fiddle-faddling around with how wonky the outside border should or should not be. It was just so exhausting. I ended up cutting out the hsts with the rotary cutter this time around and then let the 'wonkiness' be in the fact that I didn't square them up or try to match up any points. Turns out I'm more precise than I expected. Whoops!

Trying out the third border!

If you look closely, there's plenty of wonderful mistakes though, so I was happy with that. The quilt top looked so good at this point that I just almost called it a day and stuffed it in the finished quilt top drawers. So tempting.

Improv. HST Medallion quilt top finished up!

But no.....  66 inches just seemed a bit too small for one of my quilts. Onward ho! By this time I really wanted to be done. One more border and it's gonna be moving on regardless! I was running out of options for colors etc. so it was a simple matter to go darker {purple fabric} and a little bit dull {gold fabric} in order to not compete with the bright, sparky middle. 

I tried putting the darker triangles to the outside,
this looked much better

The dark purple was a cut up, recycled tunic shirt I had bought a couple years ago at a Rummage Room sale. It was a hundred percent cotton, but kind of loose weave fabric like linen. Hmm.. Definitely not cutting things too far off grain or everything in the outside border would be waving back and forth like a flag!

So glad the little bright tulips were added!

I'm pretty happy with the way things turned out overall, although I do have to laugh. How does almost everything around here {quilty-wise} end up being boxed in and tidied up eventually? Just can't seem to help myself trying to contain all the wild bits I guess. Still pondering the two purple hst's on the outside corner though. Could be better if those two corner squares were solid gold colored....

Really sparky looking quilt!

It's rapidly turning into fall here in Eastern Washington and so the colors in this quilt have been an absolute delight to work with. I kind of figured it would work out that way! Love it when I start seeing the trees turn yellow and all those other gorgeous fall tones! This quilt may be a limited color palette but it's not the least bit boring. I can totally see this quilt being pulled out in the future just for a Autumn vibes pick-me-up.

Even looks good folded up. Maybe I'll just leave it this way?

The hand quilting has been moving along so well on the 'Patchwork Garden' quilt, that I knew it was time to get another top into the hoop. Or at least ready to be put into the hoop! So not my favorite thing to do these days but you know, it's all part of the progress and at least hand quilting doesn't require very many pins.

A new quilt getting ready for the hoop

You might remember this one, Bullseye Medallion from a couple years ago. I've been really hoping there would be time to slide this one into the line-up for finishing up this year. Wasn't quite sure how to approach the quilting pattern {still don't know!}, but just love, Love the colors on this one so very much! It started out as an ode to making the most of certain fabrics, not cutting them too small and/or losing the effect of the prints.

That little piece of red vintage fabric on the corner!

Letting the fabric make the statement? Whatever. It totally made sense at the time. I played with a small, different element in every border just to break up the monotony of the 5" borders. A few people tried to warn me off the idea of making every border the very same width; however, I was intrigued with the challenge of attempting to make it look good. 

The floral basket handles {leftover from a long ago project} are my favorite part of the quilt. Something about how the printed fabric below sort of fades into the handles really charms me. Or maybe my fave part is the wide, red, retro looking circle in the center? The one that makes me want to do more with circles and applique in the center of a quilt? So many ideas to think about! 

You don't have to iron your quilt backings like a mad-woman
when you're hand quilting. Just get the seams tidy...

While I was totally procrastinating about applique prep {the stuff that needs done for the pear blocks}, I went ahead and sewed several quilt backings together. Yes, all for finished quilt tops waiting patiently in the drawers. I wouldn't sew random quilt backings together and cross my finger they would work! I think I managed to sew 8 or 10 before running out of steam! The one pictured above is probably about the best of the lot, unless you prefer backings made out of a total of one yardage. 

I tend to buy a smallish {yardage} amount of clearance fabric {sometimes the rest of a bolt}, and/or make do with whatever pops up in the stash in complementary colors. Yep. A lot of the larger pieces have been gifted to me and yeah, they're not always pretty prints. In fact, most of these backings are not at all fabulous. I get that! But what can I say? My creative juices are pretty much directed solely towards the fronts of the quilts. The rest of it just sort of ends up being make-do and cheap, and I'm completely on board with that. Usually..., until I see Julie's lovely quilt backings! Then I'm super jealous and think I'll just have to do better next time. But I never do.

I don't really know why I was in the mood to sew quilt backings for almost two straight evenings. Such a weird thing to want to do. Something I've figured out in all my adventuring, is that this sort of thing works out very nicely much later on when I'm actually in the mood to sandwich and pin a quilt. Might as well take advantage of wherever the mojo leads us!

A pieced together batting usually works out well for 
the baby quilts and saves money too!

The latest baby quilt was sandwiched and quilted at the same time as the Bullseye Medallion quilt. I have been dragging my heels so bad about this quilt from the very start of the making. Ughh. Just don't know what the problem is with baby quilts lately! I've already machine quilted 'in-the-ditch' around all the long pink sashing bits. And the shorter pink and/or peachy ones. Will probably go back and do some quick hand quilting {with Perle Cotton of course!} inside the brick blocks. All that can probably be done in one day if I get really diligent about it. Then the binding and yay! Giving it away! Which is the very best part.

Next thing will be cutting the circles in quarters and
sewing in the blue/green strips.

And of course, I had to start another quilt project. It's Fall. This is Me we're talking about. It's the Right Thing To Do. And I couldn't resist, obviously. Checking things off the list can only lead to starting new things, right? I'm making this one along the lines of Quarter Circles Round #2, a quilt that ended well, but didn't behave exactly as originally intended. I was trying to do an interpretation of an antique quilt and somehow hand sewed the circles onto the background squares 'on point' instead of how I wanted them. Or something. Still not sure quite sure what happened with that quilt, however well it managed to rescue itself. I'm going to study the original picture a lot before sewing these so hopefully, hopefully!, the same mistakes are not made as before. And I'm only working with nine crossroads blocks this time around, mostly because these are larger. Should go pretty fast once I get started!

Oh the angst and the frustrations of a quilt that takes a turn in the wrong direction. It's haunted me ever since and I'd really like a do-over. Do you ever feel that way with one of your older quilts? Imagine my pleasure when I stumbled upon some largish gold fabric cut-outs from behind some older applique project. Already cut out in circle shapes? Easy peasy to cut out a few more and even more fun that I left them in the same, not-quite-perfect circular shape. Hmm... This could be loads of fun. It's almost like serendipity!

Don't be surprised if I don't get back to this blog for several weeks. Lots of family stuff  in the works, no doubt to be taking up loads of my time. It's good to have hand quilting waiting in the wings and the applique bag packed up and ready for business. Of course, my good intentions are generally more than the actual output when life gets super busy. We'll see how it all shakes out! By the way, my opened ended quilt project list is now down to five projects, with another two 'gonna-happen-soon' from abandoned bits from the Melon Patch project. That feels like an excellent place to step back and take a short break!


  1. What a gorgeous quilt finish. Congratulations.

  2. Ah the purple quilt turned out just right!! Your new redo circle quilt is really motivating me to just put some things aside and pull out bits and bobs from other things and get to work. Maybe soon....

  3. That medallion quilt is one of my favorites of all your lovely pieces. Something about it just calls my name...;)))really nice work
    hugs, Julierose

  4. Wowzers - I'm in awe of all those HSTs! They definitely make for an awesome-looking quilt, especially in purple and gold (be still my Louisiana heart!)!

  5. Love the new quilt. Maybe because I love tulips? So very pretty and all the extras included in this post are wonderful too. Don't worry about being off the grid for a bit. Family first! Good to have a few hand projects ready for the quieter moments.

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  7. All those HSTs are fascinating and scary at the same time. I don't mean scary to look at, it's scary to think of making all those. Whew! The tulips soften the sharp edges of this quilt and bring it all together. I love hearing why you chose certain fabrics and designs. The marathon backing sewing sounds like a delightful way to spend a couple of evenings. I'm going to fish through my stash and find some big chunks of fabric I can sew together for that very purpose. Yes, I do sometimes wish I could have a do-over with my quilts.

  8. Taking a bit of a blog break is a good thing - life in the moment is more important. I am with you on the "sometimes I feel like . . ." business. Right now that is finishing for me. I'm tired of so many things that have been monthly or incremental hanging over me so I'm going to focus on those and ignore the squirrels (if I can). And about those scrappy backs - I love them and plan to make more of them once the current backing yardage (all bought on sale) is used up!

  9. I love the HST quilt!
    Back in the 1980's, when I was first learning how to quilt, I was taught that backings were supposed to be unbleached muslin. I'm so glad we're not limited that way anymore.

  10. 'O the angst and frustration,' ! Very dramatic here today. I enjoy your quilt progress story, reads like a saga.
    Super progress and I like the way you're using color!
    Have fun with family!

  11. You're always off and running in some creative direction. Sewing all those backings together is an accomplishment in itself. Enjoy your family time.

  12. The purple triangle quilt is wonderful! Great colors and a modern improv type aesthetic - it really draws the viewer in and satisfies!!!

  13. Love those wonderful little tulips in the midst of the sea of purple hsts! They add some wonderful sparkle. Enjoy your family activities and stitch when you can. I'm sure you'll have something wonderful to show us when you return to blogland.

  14. Loving the purple & gold together! And the centre section does sparkle, clever idea to pop a few fractionally lighter purples in there! Enjoy your family time.

  15. It can be sew satisfying to play with our fabrics! I'm not a purple girl, but I like how that one sparkles!

  16. Oh that improv - wow! I don't which part is my favorite. Of course I adore the bright appliques, but the wonkiness of the center has me salivating to try this method out. I'm guessing it is way harder than it looks. Love the other two quilts too and I'm anxious to see where you go with your new project. Your quilting energy always amazes me. I sew ever day and I don't get one tenth as much done as you do. Do you sleep?? Enjoy the day.

  17. The half square triangles quilt is fabulous! My new all time favorite.

  18. Your typed words and the craft you share always speak to me. Always a treat to read your post and look at your photos over and over. Your work is unlike any other and sets you apart. Truly a joy and visual feast for me.

  19. I love the mix of purples in your HST Medallion, one of my favourite colours, and the addition of the tulips is a wonderful finishing touch. I must have missed Bulls Eye Medallion way back so I'm going to 'hunt' down your posts later and I must say I do admire your patience sewing these little handles on the baskets - wonderful!

  20. Congratulations, Audrey. The purple flowers have always brought joy. I like the way you added that last row. Just a bit larger and in a different direction than the previous sets.
    We seem to do some things similarly. I usually get the ruler and rotary cutter out at some point but don't pay lots of attention to the points. It's liberated more than improv... except it all comes out of our heads one row at a time.
    Your Bullseye Medallion intrigued me as you made the rows. Sorting by color was smart and those extra basket handles are my favorite part, too.

  21. Always such a pleasure to visit you and hear your chatter about your wonderful projects. You are doing great getting some older ones finished (for now) and your new circular one looks intriguing! Happy stitching, Audrey!

  22. I wrote you a long comment on my ipad and I can see it didn't go through, Audrey. Hate when that happens. Always love to read your posts and get to know your thinking re your quilting and choices, etc. I always learn something. I'm intrigued now with what you will do with those circles. Happy Stitching!


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