Wednesday, June 15, 2022

Such a Good Finish!

 The HaHa quilt is totally finished up! So hard to believe after all these years that everything is done {except for a label}. It's been such a long time coming!

The HaHa Quilt is done!!!
As most of you know, I've always been just a little bit doubtful about the addition of the outside triangle border. Did it need it or not? I thought the added color would help make the center 'pop' better and give the entire quilt a bit more of a solid feeling. Then later I just wanted to rip it off because something about it didn't sit exactly right.

Looking so much better than I ever dreamed
Once again, I am tremendously relieved to see that yes, this design decision was meant to be. Every time I wavered or questioned, I ended up leaving it 'cuz what was going to replace it? With the hand quilting doing that lovely texture thing, it all suddenly makes perfect sense!*sigh  Did you notice the scallop hand quilting in the center area? First time I've ever done this motif and though I adore the look there in that spot, I'm very glad that I didn't end up stitching scallops over the entire quilt. Which I definitely considered doing for five or ten minutes. Hmm... No. Not today. So tempting and yet, it just didn't quite resonate with me at the time.

Loving the scalloped stitching texture
The color in the pictures is a little weird. The contrast between the creamy white fabric and the grayed down cream sections is very hard to get a proper representation of. And yes, I know it's not everyone's preference to blend all these shades of creams and whites into one quilt, but I personally love the juxtaposition. Looks so, so good close up and in person. No regrets there at all!

We'll all just laugh together...
I still have to laugh at the idea that the 'Ha Ha' portions of a quilt were due to me totally and completely miscalculating the measurements of the outside border. Obviously by a lot! Now I can say with absolute conviction--That was the very best mistake ever made around here!

So glad that I stuck it out with this project!
At this time that this quilt was started, zeroing in on solid colored fabrics and using lots of  'white' fabrics seemed very challenging to me. Lots of decisions felt excruciatingly difficult in terms of trying to 'see' through to the [imagined} end result. 

Testing out the look in the guest room
I wanted a quilt that gave off a whimsical vibe. Something cozy, not in the least bit cold or contemporary looking. The very last decision made, using the large, old fashioned red/white gingham fabric for binding? That almost seems like serendipity. One of those moth ball smelling fabrics given to me by my aunt last year. You know I would have never in a million years thought to go looking for that exact fabric, and yet it works wonderfully in that position. This turned out to be such a sweet, happy looking quilt. So thankful to see it finished up at at last!

The perfect binding
And 'Seedpod Flower' is next up in the hoop. I've been anxiously awaiting the time that I could spend with this beauty in my lap.

The new quilt in the hoop!
There's just something about the mixture of colors that makes this little heart of mine feel mushy and sentimental. Maybe it reminds me of colors that my grandmother used in her quilting? I did manage to slip one tiny fabric of hers into the quilt so there's that....

Scrappy, scrappy
It's been the usual CRazy around here so it took a couple nights to hand quilt the centerpiece of this quilt. Nothing flashy or extra special, just some basic big stitch diagonal lines and a little bit of echo quilting here and there. Next up will be the same, same, same throughout the rest of the quilt so mostly having to figure out colors of thread.

Just getting started with the hand quilting
All of my sisters have been in town this week, so yep, the six of us have been up to all kinds of trouble! Just kidding. Some hiking {not me}, celebrating moms birthday, thrifting, eating out, lots and lots of visiting. The thrifting stuff is right up my alley of course, and now I'm continually looking for shirts to repurpose for use in quilting. 

Adding some shirts to the fabric stash!
I try to leave the out-of-town family plenty of time to visit the parents on their own and not crowd in every moment of the visit. It's difficult not to want to be in on all the fun, but mom and dad are getting older and need some time for those good visits which only tend to happen during the quieter moments. 

So proud of her!
On a different note, mom had recently finished the machine quilting on her Improv. quilt and I had assured her that I could put the binding on for her. Just like I always did in prior years. Can you believe this is the very first quilt that my mom has completely finished since their house burned down in a fire back in 2014? She has definitely started several quilts in the ensuing years, but something changed after that event and she became very insecure about her quilting, often forgetting many of the things she knew about the process. She had difficulties with her new sewing machine. Her vision would get bad at the times she wasn't feeling good, which was often. Or her design wall too small to bother with. Long story short, we believe she has been dealing with Alzheimers for many years now, no doubt set off by that trauma. 

She was extremely excited to take part in the Improv. meetings I held earlier this year. Crazy happy to have a plan of attack. Often trying to jump ahead with the project even though she had zero experience with this method! Early on I determined that if it was remotely possibly, we were going to make sure that mom ended up with a true blue finish at the end of this effort. And so it happened. Just take a look at her proud smile! Lots and lots of hand holding and seam ripper sessions. Me trying to give suggestions and/or talk her out of something she was determined to do. Sometimes mom got mad at me or ridiculously irritated with 'Improv.', blaming all the mistakes on the method, her machine or 'the thread'. Other times she went ahead with the way she wanted to do something and then I had to come in and help her out of a bind. 

I am positively blown away by how much this quilt looks like a 'mom' quilt {colors etc. she would have used years ago} but still holds true with the improv. formula everyone used. Her memory might be a little tricky these days, but she remembers more than she knows that she knows. This was a very sweet moment, her getting to hold and peruse a quilt that was made by HER. She gets all the credit. Then she got to show it off when her daughters came to town. How perfect is that?


  1. I so enjoyed this post! The Ha Ha quilt is beautiful. I really like the scalloped hand quilting. Confining it to the center was a good decision. It’s nice to see how well that works in combination with other quilting in the rest of the quilt. I will keep this bit of inspiration in mind. I do like the variety of whites, creams, and grays! And of course the happy colors! The Seedpod quilt is a feast for the eye. The colors are comforting to me, reminding me of the scrappy quilts I grew up with. I like how the blocks, although uniform in size (I think!), are somewhat scattered rather than lined up just so. Looking forward to watching the quilting on this one. The center medallion is lovely. Your mom’s quilt is so happy! What an accomplishment for you both!
    Thank you for sharing your work!

  2. Great finish! I like the scallop hand quilting. And so wonderful to get to visit with family. Yey!

  3. Your 'hahah' quilt is great, I really love the mix of white & cream/greys... a combo guaranteed to bounce off one another! Your scallop handquilting certainly draws the eye into that center panel, well done!
    And your 'seedpod flower' quilt, well, your are so right... I think there's something so delightful about the mix of colours in this one! And big stitch hand quilting will add some lovely surface texture. Your mum's pic had me smiling ❤️ making memories & a lovely special time for you both.

  4. I love your Ha Ha quilt Audrey, it definitely has such a wonderfull whimsical feel to it, especially the centre with the blocks and the scallop quilting, just magical. I'm so pleased you decided to keep the triangle border, I think it's perfect. So happy to see Seedpod Flower is next up for quilting, this one has a happy old time feel I think, a gorgeous mix of fabrics in those blocks. Such a lovely photo of your Mum with her quilt and she must be over the moon to have it finished at last.

  5. I love the HaHa quilt - I love seeing your mom with her quilt also. I always kind of wondered what happened after that fire that took all of her quilting supplies and basically the whole house I remember a lot of us sending quilt supply packages to her afterward - such a long time now - wow. I hope she will be able to continue quilting a little - I agree a shock to the system loosing a house like that could certainly push a medical issue to the front.

  6. What a delightful post! I love your quilt and think it is a great metaphor for life... all those questions, uncertainty and possible "mistakes" combine somehow to make interesting memories and great beauty! And the story of your Mom's quilt is so special! Way to go supporting her in all the steps to completion!

  7. WOW! The HaHa quilt is amazing! I love all the details. Also though.... the Seedpod Flower quilt is right up my alley!!! Can I call dibs!?!?! Like for reals, I think it says "Rhiannon's quilt" in one of those squares. I have a room or two that it would look amazing in!! It is fantastic!! I love the picture of Grandma! She looks so proud and happy!! - Love Rhi

  8. This post was bittersweet to read - SO happy for your mom's success with her beautiful quilt but difficult to remember my own mother's decline through her Alz. journey. LOVE LOVE LOVE the seedpod quilt - eager to see it quilted. And the HA HA quilt has always been a favorite of mine. (Quiltdivajulie)

  9. You make such beautiful quilts! I love both of these. Your handquilting texture is always so lovely.

  10. Your use of the scallop design is perfect for this quilt. I'm looking forward to seeing the seedpod quilt too. Your mom looks pretty pleased with her finished quilt. Hopefully she will remember the quilting class and her enjoyment for a long time. It's so difficult to see a parent decline with Alzheimers, it seems to strip away all the personality traits that make up "who" we are. My mom was a victim of this disease and seeing her decline rapidly was very difficult. In her more lucid moments she was aware that something was wrong and it made her very sad.

  11. My first time to comment but I do enjoy your blog. I'm just not much of a writer. Really loved your story about your mom. Kudos to you for all your effort in helping her make the quilt. My mom had dementia before her death many years ago. She taught me to sew when I was a kid. She also enjoyed needlepoint and knitting. It was sad to see her decline and unable to do those things. But I have passed her interest along to my adult daughter, who quilts and has an online company making custom bias tape and quilting binding.

  12. I love the scallop hand quilting in the center. It adds softness and texture at the same time. And then there's your lovely seedpod quilt. It's so ethereal and so satisfying. I'm glad your mom was able to finish her quilt. She looks happy and satisfied in the picture.

  13. I'm enjoying white and cream backgrounds these days, too. Congratulations to your mother on her wonderful finish. What a treasure that she and your sisters could all be together with you.

  14. Congratulations on a fabulous finish! The next one looks like it will be fun to quilt, too. Best wishes to you on your mom’s situation, which may become challenging over time - hopefully there are many hands to help.

  15. Ha, Ha. Your quilt knew all along what it needed and what was best. Your mom looks lovely and pleased with her accomplishments and she should be!!

  16. Delighted that you finally*** got that longtime project done, and onward with the next... that looks so much more like you. And so happy for Mom that she got the whole thing done herself! Great job, Mom!

  17. My blog reading and commenting has been sporadic lately, but I just had to tell you how excited I am to see "Seed Pod Flower" in the hoop. I truly enjoy all your quilts, but this one really speaks to me. And, I am so very happy to see your Mom happy in her quilting again. What a treasure!

  18. What a sweet story of your Mom and her quilt (with your help). I have a time with my Mom too and her memory. I don't think hers is Alzheimer's though but definitely dementia. The Haha Quilt looks perfect on the guest bed!

  19. Hi Audrey, can only echo what the others have said. Very much enjoyed reading this post like I enjoy all your posts actually. Wonderful comentary on HaHa and an equally wonderful finish! Love it. Meanwhile, how wonderful too for 6 sisters to get together. I also enjoyed reading about your dear mom and her issue with improv. I also struggle with improv so I understand some of the frustration. She was so lucky to have such an able guide by her side for the process. Hope she continues to hold on to what she has.

  20. Wow! Your Mum’s quilt is fabulous. Congratulations to her for a wonderful finish. Do hope all goes ok with her health. I love your Seedpod quilt - would you consider doing a pattern for it? Hugs x

  21. Great clamshell quilting it looks wonderful on your HAHA quilt. Great photo of you mom with her quilt. It was good to catch up on your projects.

  22. SO cool that your mom got in on the improv fun, and good on you for supporting her efforts. She's obviously tickled with the end result, and so she should be! You are a good daughter.


Thanks for visiting! I love getting comments and always try to respond via email. Please leave an email in the comment to ensure a return reply! {Many of you are popping up as Anonymous for some reason, so I have no idea who it is.} Regardless, I appreciate all the comments and read every single one.