Thursday, December 30, 2021

About Ready To Turn the Page To the New Year!

Got the Christmas Stars quilt into the hoop. Finally! I've been running so far behind on where the quilt line-up 'should be' this year that I just wanna shake my head. Not making a lot of progress on plowing through the completed quilt tops 'cuz I'm too busy making new.

Christmas Stars next up in the hoop
No matter. Christmas Day might be behind us, but I'm still very much in the mood to work on a quilt that looks like this. I made a total of four Christmas-look quilt tops within the last year and a half. Just to hand quilt during the holidays! This was one of the first two attempted and probably the most obviously holiday looking.

Almost ready to pin...
Very poor planning for fitting the individual blocks inside the quilting hoop though.*wink  How inefficient is this? Mostly I just get a larger background square into the hoop and then pull off the side clamps whenever they get in the way of stitching on the stars. So annoying to move the hoop every half an hour or so.

Keeping the stitching simple on this one!
And it always feels wonderful to have a true blue, absolutely finished quilt to finish out the year. This one has such a cozy vibe, it could have happily been laying across my lap for another week or two and I wouldn't even have cared. Love all the scrappy feels.
Strippy Triangles is a finish!
It was tricky to get try and get a good pic of the full quilt, so this will have to do. I'm sure it would be soo much better if I managed to get the quilt properly arranged during that 20 minutes of perfect lighting we seem to have this time of year!

Lots and lots of triangles
It took me almost three evenings to finally figure out exactly how those long skinny gray strips were going to have to be hand quilted. I tried vines with leaves, vines with berries, straight lines, and then finally ended up with a double stitched wavy vine without any extras at all. Still wasn't 100% sure until there was several stitched frames to look at. Okay. That should do it!

Hand quilting for the win!
All along I thought the binding would have to be black, but then.... Nope! The quilt wanted red for some reason. Good thing there was enough of the right colors hanging around in the stash totes or this would have had to be delayed for quite awhile. Fabric shopping is not exactly on the priority list right after the holidays, though of course I wish it was. No gift cards for Christmas this year, but I really can't complain. My youngest daughter gifted me with a box of Valdani perle cotton thread.*sigh  I'm so in love.... Would it be silly to design an entire quilt around a variegated thread color?

All ready for cuddling
Also included in this end-of-the-year post is the very last completed quilt top, Crossroads. Once I got the applique out of the way, then it was only a matter of cutting out the sashing strips and finding time to sew the rows.

Just a little underwhelming
As you can see, I was trying to stick fairly close to the antique quilt inspiration this time. Not ever exactly, but hopefully my interpretation rings true for the overall spirit of the quilt! How boring if it was a spitting image! This quilt has been in a couple different books I believe, but where I found it is: 'Quilts. An American Heritage' by Terri Zegart, a book published in 1994. I literally paid a dollar for at a quilt show guild booth a couple years ago. 

Taking another look at the original Inspiration
At first, I was just a little disappointed with the wispy, fade-away look it had {see first picture}. If you remember, I had a little play at this very same inspiration with this previous quilt, and somewhere along the way, the vibe of that particular quilt had went sideways on me too. In that case, I just shrugged and went with it. Basically, I was thinking 'Wow, here we go again! Just cannot seem to get this quilt figured out!'

Playing with border ideas
Since border additions are like my secret little addiction, I almost instantly talked myself into adding a blue/peachy pink triangle border. I mean really, before I even gave it any other serious thought, there I was doing the math and auditioning for the most likely scenario. Then I sorta stepped back from it all and thought, 'What am I doing?' A pieced border was going to blow this whole quilt vibe into a million pieces!

So much better with the subtle-y scrappy but plain border
So I folded the quilt top up and purposefully left it on a slow simmer for awhile. Sometime just before I fell asleep that night {the subconscious can work so fast!}, it occurred to me that maybe, maybe? the quilt might welcome a slightly larger, but definitely darker surround of fabric. Hmmm... And something like that probably wouldn't ruin the lovely feeling the original maker had so successfully ended up with. Of course I wanted to immediately run upstairs and check the idea out, but decided that was a very poor idea. Would probably freak everybody in the house out if mama got busy in the quilt room at 1:30 in the morning...

Ahh.. Surely you can see that this make-do, pieced but plain, border looks so much better already. You'll never believe how ugly the darker, almost dingy peachy pinks {mauve?} looked all by their lonesome! It was almost scary to even properly audition them. But attached to the quilt? They are Beea-utiful! Such a wonderful, lovely complement to the rest of the quilt. So very glad that I hit pause and took a few extra minutes to think it all through.

Still trying to learn what the secret really is!
It's always so exciting when the perfect solution makes itself known and all the cranky quilt problems can just drift away. I totally have a soft spot for these antique quilt interpretations that I've been dabbling with now for several years. I always think that if I can just successfully interpret a few of these fabulously unpretentious quilts {unpack their secrets}, then in some mysterious way, the look/feel/spirit of these quilts will somehow rub off onto mine. I'm earnestly trying because these are the best of best quilts to me. 

Now I'm dreaming up ideas for the cream fabric cut-outs from behind these gold circles. Which absolutely needs to be a series, right? Because there's definitely gonna be a quilt from those cut-out circles next. I mean, why not? Happy Happy New Year to All! We'll probably be having a quiet evening at home this year by ourselves, just me and the husband. Sounds good to me!


  1. Loving your strippy triangles, your hand quilting is so special and, yes the binding is Just. Right! What I've enjoyed the most from your posts this year is your sharing of unfinished work. While it’s easy being our own critic, I think there is a lot to be learnt from others sharing what’s not working so well… it’s all part of the process, so thank you so much Audrey! Our New year is going to be noisy, we have the grandchildren for a sleepover, Mum & Dad so excited for a whole night off! Happy happy New Year to you & yours too, x

  2. Again some lovely quilts. And the quilting makes the quilts even more beautifull.
    Wishing you Happy and Healthy New Year

  3. Audrey preciosas colchas. Me encanta la de triángulos
    Feliz año 2022

  4. they are all beautiful but i love the strippy triangles the best i think...might have to make one of these myself

  5. I love your Xmas quilts - what size Perle Cotton thread do you use? Is it like Aurifil #12 which is maybe like 3 strands of embroidery thread? something like that. I always find historic quilts calling to me to make them but then I start and get disappointed in the drab color or something and have a hard time finishing them - maybe a darker border and a little applique :)

  6. I just love that Crossroads quilt--I think it is so comforting--what is it about circles that I like so much...A beautiful piece...
    I hope your New Year will be happy and healthy
    hugs, Julierose

  7. Beautiful quilts and tops! I'm amazed how much hand quilting you get done per year. Beautiful quilts as a result!

  8. Still absolutely love this one Audrey - I think that red is what makes it for me. Like it so much that I'm feeling the urge to run to the sewing room ;). What size are the star blocks? Happy New Year to you and yours!

  9. Your red and green quilt is beautiful! You always have something cooking to make it interesting! Your hand quilting adds such a lovely texture. Happy New Year Audrey!

  10. Christmas Stars, beautiful and 'Lots and Lots' is exciting because I enjoy triangles, so much design fun and possibilities.
    Thanks for sharing and Happy New Year!

  11. Oh, those strippy triangles . . . I have so many HST pieces and parts I may just need to try this layout myself (do you mind?). We are having a quiet/at-home NYEve as well. Sounds delightful to me. Love reading your posts - here's to many more in the coming year!

  12. Your strippy triangle quilt is scrumptious! The handquilting texture is wonderful. Love the Christmas stars as well. I hope you do design a quilt around your variegated thread - sounds fun!

  13. Traveling with you through your quilting process is always so satisfying. The red stars is a perfect quilt to work on with the holiday season coming to an end. I've made Christmas quilts the last two Januarys and have been looking for a new idea for one in 2022. I'm glad I'm not the only one that designs quilts when I should be sleeping.

  14. I love the hand quilting you did on Strippy Triangles- perfect! Just last year one of my quilts told me to go with a red binding instead of a black one 😊. Agree with your border solution for the circles quilt; taking the time to think things through is always a good idea! Wishing you a healthy and creative new year!!

  15. To me it looks like a very productive and inspiring year of quilting. Doing the hand quilting just....takes....time. But the joy!! I absolutely love it but it definitely is slow going.

  16. I so love your strippy triangle quilt, a perfect finish. The red star quilt will be ready for Valentines day, giving us a longer time to appreciate the deep warm reds for a couple months beyond Christmas. A quiet New Years eve sounds lovely, we're doing the same here. May the new year bring peace, joy and good health to you and yours.

  17. Oh, the Christmas Stars is so elegant looking with those rich colors. It doesn't read only Christmas to me. And those Strippy Triangles...oh, joy! It says "wrap up in me". And the Crossroads...I have some large brown pieces cut away from one quilt and some cw repros cut out from behind another and so I see something like what you've done in my future...maybe...

    Happy New Year.

  18. Fun projects! I love your Circles quilt. I always enjoy the thought and enthusiasm and personality you bring to your projects. Happy New Year!


  19. Valdani thread is a wonderful present. Enjoy.
    I love your Christmas quilt. It's hard to find reds that aren't neon but you've done it. Just delightful.
    Thanks for pointing us to the previous Crossroads quilt. They are both charming.
    As is the strippy quilt. I may adapt that for a baby quilt sometime. What a good way to use scraps and one larger chunk.

  20. I love your idea of having something to hand quilt during the holidays. All of your quilts are fantastic and so enhanced by your hand quilting. Your crossroads top is beautiful and you really gave the border some careful thought. It is true to the inspiration quilt but also one of your originals.

  21. How interesting that you find your inspiration in antique quilts and I find my inspiration in your quilts!

  22. Love everything here and think at lest two might go onto my "To Do" list, Lol! There is not enough said about the benefit of letting some ideas/projects "simmer" like a good stew until you can really make a decision about their final flavor. They are usually much better for it too!

  23. Oh, you have given me an idea of what to do with my star blocks! Thanks!

  24. I love those Christmassy reds and stars - just so lovely and warm and cheery looking. I don't think basing a quilt on Valdani threads is at all a silly idea - they have some fabulous combinations. I'm looking forward to watching you do your quilty thing through 2022. Happy New Year!


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