Tuesday, June 6, 2023

Introducing You to 'Ode to Joy', the Finished Quilt

 Ode To Joy is a true blue finish! The fourth finish of the year. I thoroughly enjoyed having this one in the hoop and I'm super happy about the finish. Just loving the unique look to this quilt!

Ode To Joy is finished!!
This quilt was started very impulsively one day when I wanted to make another big basket quilt. The applique flower motif was inspired from the darker blue fabric used right about the word 'joy'. Probably should have made the leaves in green, but I was wanting the result to be a nod to the Scandinavian vibe.

My first attempt at putting pears on a quilt
The pears were added in an effort to achieve a folk art look and the hearts just hopped on for the ride. I was busy hand quilting this one day when my mother-in-law was visiting and finally she asked what was on my quilt, was that pears? So I held the quilt up so she could see. She bluntly stated that she liked the pears, but not the heart things. Okay. Well. 

Loving these heart things so much.....
Guess you can understand why I rarely show her my quilts or even talk about them with her! lol  I'm still second guessing all the reasons why I didn't make sure the pink fabrics at the right side of the centerpiece weren't more blendy. The top lighter pink fabric works okay, but the one underneath is a bit too salmon-y for the bubblegum pink it's laying next to. I remember liking the tension and clashing of it all, but does it really work? hmmmm....

Good to see the texture across the quilt
I was surprised at how intriguing it was to see the outside gray border take on texture with the addition of hand quilting. Making a mental note here that I adore seeing the different gray prints and values come together to make the outside border surround. So much more interesting than a single fabric border!

A very snuggable quilt
The backing fabric worked perfectly for this quilt. It's an old fabric, probably about 20 years old. I bought it for a red and white quilt top that I made back in the day. Never could bring myself to hand quilt it, finally took it to a friend for long arming treatment. After she held on to it for two years but never did the stitching, I brought it back home and basically threw up my hands in despair. Ughh. I didn't even like the quilt anymore! So I gave it away to some church friends in Oregon to use as the base for the their annual raffle quilt. Very selfishly though, I kept the backing fabric 'cuz I love pin striped fabrics! Love, love, love seeing it used for this fun quilt. Much better use.

And it's a wrap!
I finally got the 'Old Fashioned' quilt top sewn together. You can see my original inspiration here. It doesn't look like much now, but some day when I hand quilt it? It's gonna look amazing. 

Got the top done
It'll probably make me break out in hives to hand quilt it though, because it's gonna be soooo boring! I can't help but be quietly pleased though at seeing these oldy moldy yellow and cream fabrics come together looking so well. It's so very easy to overlook fabrics that aren't as striking and eye-catching as others, but there is still plenty of value and opportunity in these understated fabrics!

Looking very sweet
I am trying to squeeze in time to work on some baby quilts too, even though I have more quilt ideas than I can shake a stick at. It's looking like I'll need to come up with at least three baby quilts, maybe four before the year is over. The first one is a baby girl quilt using the cut-out pear shapes from behind 'Ode to Joy'. It's on the floor here, being auditioned for block extender strips. 

Does this work? 
Really pushing the boundaries of the pink/red mix, but having a lot of fun with it regardless. There's a good mix of the prints, new fabrics, old fabrics, JoAnn Fabric 'meh' fabrics and even a true vintage fabric picked up at a quilt show vender years and years ago. I'm thinking this will be for my daughters baby but we'll see. Might end up with something I like better! 

Then I nixed the baby boy quilt idea that looked passable and decided to venture out with a improv. monkey wrench block instead. It was all so impulsive and compelling, I just reveled in the experience! And of course there was at least three interruptions to the flow of work that day. Right? Always seems to happen when the creativity seems to be at the highest ebb. Now I need to decide if I should make more of these, or just wrap it up with log cabin type surrounds of fabric till it's big enough. Part of me wants to go the log cabin route and see if I can sneak some applique in somewhere. 

A good start
Here's a picture of my husband and me in the last hour or so before we're finished cleaning up the campground on Memorial Day weekend. Yes, it was a great weekend once we actually arrived and got settled in. Finally starting to get a little more help from some of the younger families which is a tremendous boon. Can't even describe the relief we're feeling to see others step up and start doing more. We've been in a transition period for several years where families had moved away or aged out, and the few families doing the most work have been at or around our age. Starting to feel like maybe it's time to let the tradition go, but no.... looks like others are recognizing the need pull their own weight too.

Almost ready to head back home
It definitely helped that this was a slightly smaller crowd at 167 people, not including the kids under 5 years old. Undoubtedly a result of the economy, but it made for a little more relaxing and chill weekend than it could have been. And all the kids were great. No pockets of teenagers we had to keep an extra close eye on for potential troublemaking. You just never know! So yeah, we were glad to go, glad to enjoy the weekend and thrilled at making it back to Pizza Hut for our annual celebratory 'we made it' lunch on the way home. ha ha  Then loads and loads of laundry to wash. Still working on that as we always loan out sleeping bags, fuzzy blankets and towels to visiting teenagers. 

My daughter and I made a quick weekend jaunt to Eugene, Oregon too, for my niece and nephews graduation. Just got back on Sunday night! It's shaping up to be the busiest year ever with two of our niece and nephews getting married and now a cousin too.*sigh  Won't even get to take my quilts to {or even attend} the first regional quilt show after three years without! So sad. Is this a post Covid rebalancing of all things normal? Don't be surprised if my blogging gets more and more erratic throughout the summer. Will try to post whatever I'm doing quilty-wise, but it might be weeks apart. And I'm definitely not checking in on everyone else's blogs very often. So sorry. Just don't have time for everything these days. Crossing my fingers I'll be able to get back into being a better blogger by this coming fall.....


  1. 'Ode to Joy' is a joy indeed. You shouldn't second guess your color/fabric choices because they are what makes your quilts so uniquely you. I haven't seen one of your quilts that I don't like.

  2. I think it is great that the younger families are finally helping out with the camping - it gets tiring to have to do all the work that goes into that many people - I knew you said it was a family thing but I didn't realize just how large of a group it was camping. Sounds like one that my sister and her family go to that involves her husbands family - I know she finds it extremely tiring and they stay at a camping retreat area that has cabins. I think the quilt is great as it is with hearts and pears - some people just give too blunt of an opinion lol

  3. The ode to Joy is lovely, I like the different fabrics, pears and hearts. And the light quilt will look beautiful after quilting.

  4. Oh how I love "ode to joy" and I think it just might be a bit "meh" without those fabulous double hearts. I admire all your quilts, and am amazed at how many you hand quilt. This is definitely a passion for you and the joy you get from it must be bountiful. Enjoy your summer!

  5. Your creativity shines once again. Don't over do. Enjoy things as they come along.

  6. I always thought those hearts dancing across the quilt were the best part! Follow your heart!

  7. While I do miss your posts, I always enjoy when your blog pops up on my feed. Love your Ode to Joy! Baby quilts are always a good way to explore. They're big enough for a test run yet small enough for not too much invested. Congratulations to your daughter!

  8. As always, I love your newest finished quilt. I love the pears but also love the hearts. Some people just don't get it. Here's to doing what needs to be done and posting whenever the urge strikes - have a wonderful summer! Quiltdivajulie

  9. Your latest quilt is so charming, as usual, and why not put hearts on - they add energy and flair. Love the pears! Glad your camping event was a success!

  10. Love everything about your quilt, including those 'hearty things'. It hits the right notes all over the place, including the back (you were wise to hang onto that fabric until it's purpose was revealed).

  11. Love the pink and red together and a bit of clash. So lively.
    The baby quilt with pears is sweet. I don’t know about where you are but in Australia there is a real trend towards baby stuff being beige/ grey/ mustard… I don’t love it - but I think your pears have the soft grey and a gender neutral palette with a lovely pop of colour. Gorgeous!

  12. Yes that is a huge group, and I didn't realize that you and your husband were pretty much in charge of it. I'm glad you survived it and discovered the good news that others will do the heavy lifting. For goodness' sake, some people always need to find some flaw in the good things that other people do. Since it's subjective, anyone can make up a flaw; if not in one aspect of something, then another. Your MIL has no concept of the honor that she is being given to be in the company of one of the world's greatest artists. I love the pears and hearts basket quilt! With regard to your other commenter about the latest colors, I have made a variety of pretty flannel baby quilts to keep on hand to give to new babies, but the last two babies didn't get any because they only wanted tan and beige and I didn't have those colors.

  13. I mean the parents only wanted tan and beige! Baby doesn’t mind.

  14. The pears add the perfect finish to your Ode to Joy. What a joyful quilt. You have developed an excellent eye for color combinations that pairs (haha) well with your design sense. It’s always a treat to see what you’re making. I have several toddler quilts that I need to finish before they become teenagers. And even a few more baby quilts. But I’m drowning in Ocean Waves and also feel compelled to get them out of the sewing room. Ann at Fret Not

  15. Juch a joyful quilt. I love the pears and am happy to see them coming in another quilt too. Of course I also love your clashing pinks and reds, and the mix of greys in the border. It sounds like your life is full to over-flowing!

  16. A very suitable name for another fantastic quilt, using combinations I'd never think to try! Well Done!


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