Saturday, April 1, 2023

One Step At a Time

 It's been good to get back into the more normal flow of quilting around here, though I don't know how long it might last! That often means that I'm checking in with the opened-ended projects list and trying to move things forward. Little by little, one phase at a time, one decision at a time, nudge, nudge, what does the quilt want now?

Stack of Primrose Patch blocks
I've had the Primrose Path applique done for months now and just needed to figure out how to get the corners added onto the blocks properly. All along, it's been intended that there would be a pieced sashing of sorts and I want for the blocks to sort of blend and become part of it at the corners. Hopefully this will do it! It actually took a bit of time to determine the absolute best color for these corners as the black backbround is quite, quite stark. The blocks have been trimmed to size and the underneath black corners cut out since this picture was taken. 

The first border on Herbs & Berries Baskets
The Herb and Berries Baskets quilt has also managed to be moved forward.... clear to the point of being a completed quilt top! Ta-da! I had all kinds of ideas for a pieced outer border, but just before cutting the fabric, kept changing my mind. Meh. Yuck. Ughh. Definitely not that. Are you sure? It was a bit exhausting actually.

A finished quilt top!
Finally, I just went with the warmest, most simplistic idea imaginable. A bit Jan Patek-ish, right? And I adore it. The quilt loves it. We're all happy as clams. Complicated is not always better. Another thing, the first border fabric was a cheapie, cheapie fabric gained from one of my relatives years ago. It had the perfect colors and subtle stripe look that I wanted so..... I obviously had no choice but to use it! I mean, what would you do? So annoying how it wanted to pucker though. Might have to throw the rest of it away 'cuz I'm just not sure it's worth the headache.

Looking a bit closer
Serendipitously, I was also able to get a big block of time with the upstairs floor open and free of people tromping back and forth. Uh oh. Time to quit procrastinating on the Hourglass Improv. quilt! I know it doesn't look like much right now, especially with that horrible carpet underneath, but wowsers. This work represents about four hours of really hard, keeping-my-nose-to-the-grindstone effort. Then I promptly stacked all the bits and pieces up and put them back into a tote. 

Next time they are taken out, I may or may not move them around again. Succeeding steps will be making big sections of string pieced slabs and then chopping those down into whatever size needed. Next week will probably be the next time the floor frees up again for auditioning and further layout decisions. And yes, I'm feeling great about making progress, but less great about the final results. Ho hum. Right now things seem to be looking a lot more tense than what I had hoped for. Definitely need to incorporate more light colored fabrics and work on opening up the overall flow somehow!

Hourglass Improv. progress
A big 'hope this can happen', but not entirely expected, was getting the Ormes Inspired hand quilting completely done by the end of March. Barely squeaked it into the timeframe. Wasn't it lucky that the binding was already sewn together and ready for phase one of machine sewing?*wink  Made me so, so happy! I know, I know, who cares how long it takes, really. Nobody cares but me. 

Ormes Inspired getting a binding
Next quilt up 'in the hoop' will be the Melon Patch Rows {Jubilee} quilt. The one that took years and ages to bring to quilt top stage and looks absolutely nothing like the original idea. 

Melon Patch Rows ready for pinning!
I'm usually a big proponent of cutting out the behind fabric for applique, but in this instance I took a pass for all the lettering. Just too many homespun fabrics used, which unfortunately has a tendency to fray. Normally I would do a Baptist fan stitching or something back and forth over all the double layer applique areas, but nah! This time I want to echo stitch inside all of the letters. Hmmm... Dreading it a little, but we'll see how awful it actually turns out to be. The beauty of homespun fabric is that it really is quite soft and the needle usually glides through like it's butter. Maybe a double layer of fabric won't be completely untenable.

Loving the look of the wording across the top
While pinning the quilt, I kept admiring the border applique. Really, really looks so sweet to me. Such an impulsive decision to cut those border scallops in half, but look how effective it is in that position! We just never know where a quilt wants us to go, do we!

And this flower and the border? Makes my heart melt!
So that's that. I'm feeling all sorts of creative these days, like maybe the floodgates opened up for awhile again. The main problem is that my opened-ended projects list has jumped from four or five to ten just in the past couple weeks. I should have NEVER rummaged through the orphan blocks & parts and pieces as four new projects seem to be the back up and try again sorts of effort. Oh well. It was really worrying me that the applique projects had dwindled down to a measly one on the list. Now that it's back up to a robust six applique projects {with the beginning stages prepped and ready to go}, things are feeling a lot more positive.  Just can't help myself for wanting to play with these orphaned bits and bobs right about now. 


  1. I wonder do you always design your own quilts - you don't use a pattern from a book? I can never think of a design by myself I have to have ideas from a book - I might change things up a bit - leave some things out or add something but I have to have the idea from a pattern first. The few times I totally designed one by myself I haven't always been exactly pleased with the results.

  2. Love the Herbs and Berries Baskets quilt but am really crazy for the Melon Patch Rows. The verse is spot on and stitched perfectly. Welcome back!

  3. I love the melon patch row quilt! Like you, I think your idea to cut the melons in half and make a border was the perfect decision. I have no idea what your plans are for the quilt pieces that you laid out on the carpet, but I couldn't help but see a large vine with pink and rose flowers in the open areas! I can't wait to see what you do with this one.

  4. Wouldn't it be wonderful if our quilts could just point to the fabric they want added and scream "this is it!" instead of letting us go through all the angst. What I love most about the melon patch quilt is the bold dimensionality of the lettering. It will be fun to see this one progress on to a finish.

  5. Enjoyed reading your project updates! I’m the same way - getting out and setting aside various projects as I slowly make progress on each one, bit by bit. Eventually they are completed, but new additions keep the list from dwindling 😊. Also like you, I’ve recently finished some big, long appliqué projects and will be looking for something new with that technique. The joy in the process keeps me going.

  6. Wow Audrey - Melon Patch Road is amazing! I love all your lettering and the message it gives, Im so pleased that you have gotten some of your quilting energy back again after your struggles with Covid and the lingering effects.

  7. Audrey I love your fearless style! Could you give an idea how you do your letters? The melon patch quilt is something I would drape over my casket.

  8. Always a joy to read. Keep those projects stacked, I love hearing about them. Can't wait to see where the hourglass pieces end up coming together. Can't go wrong with words on quilts. My favorite! I zoomed in on the melon pieces. I love the one piece of the melon that has a wavy edge. All the best to you Audrey, happy spring!

  9. I am so behind on reading posts . . . I don't know which of the quilts today to start with, they are all so wonderful! Of course I have always loved the quote quilt (one of my favorite phrases). Your work ALWAYS inspires me and I do SO appreciate your process posts that include your thoughts and wonderings. THANK YOU - Quiltdivajulie


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