Friday, November 17, 2023

So Many Projects

 I've been in a flurry of getting things prepped and ready for 'the next phase' this past couple weeks. With the holidays right around the corner, I know the quilting side of things will slow down and then, if I'm not careful, all the momentum could be long gone.

All the prep work for another
Autumnal Tulips quilt
Right in the middle of all this busyness, there was an email asking me to consider doing a commission quilt. It was a very sweet request which made it hard to say no. After some serious deliberation and a little back and forth with the customer, we settled on a plan of attack. The timing isn't the greatest with everything else going on in our lives, but it's a good challenge! Thankfully I will only be doing the quilt top, so that feels helpful in limiting the overall amount of time involved in reaching a satisfactory conclusion.

Auditioning fabrics
One of the projects that has been nagging at me for a very long time, is the Improv. Hourglass Abstract quilt. I'm one of those people who have a LIST {or two} of open ended projects, which makes it extremely difficult to sincerely 'forget' about any one quilt. It's hard to believe this top has been ready for applique since April and I've just been steadfastly ignoring it.*wince

Auditioning color and shape
I finally got the mojo to dig it out of the project totes and start figuring out the details for the larger applique motifs it always seemed to desire. I knew if it could just get to the point of being ready for hand stitching, then most of my agonizing would be gone. The problem was, this was a large applique endeavor, taking over most of the top of a quilt. It's a time thing really. Did I actually have hours and hours to dedicate to figuring out this one quilt? And eventually, yes. Yes I did. Because I wanted it to happen too badly to let it fade away at the back of a shelf forever.

In transferring ideas from the original drawing into templates, some of the units were large enough that I really struggled with wanting to unnecessarily 'waste' too much freezer paper. It was kind of funny when I happened upon an old roll of Christmas paper and the light bulb went off in my brain! Oh yes! Much better than using smudgy old newspaper sheets!

Christmas paper works too
And it's always kind of interesting cutting out the individual pieces of fabric and laying them onto the quilt. Placement here? Or there? Will this work better? Definitely not that fabric... etc., etc. The process is a little uncomfortable at times, requiring decision after decision after decision. 

Figuring out the details
It can be the silliest of things that take oodles of time. In this case, it was the slivers of narrow fabric over the top of the sun. I'm just not sure if they will look right if they match up too exactly with the lower sun rays. Hmmm...

A very small change
But then I sort of love the way it pulls the eye right into examining the sun so much more closely! It gives a better energy in some ways. Ah..., those dreadful decisions. Love them and hate them. It feels marvelously good to have all the prep work done on the largest sun here, and the vine plus lower leaf units. I won't actually be doing any handwork here until the commission quilt is done and mailed off but this feels like a weight off. I'm so relieved that my procrastination didn't end up making the whole effort feel flat and uninspired. You know how some ideas have an expiration date and you don't even realize it until you're knee deep in trying to successfully implement it? I've learned the hard way that some quilts won't wait forever.
Applique prep ready to go!
In case you're interested, here are the two doodle drawings that ended up competing for design details. As you can see, I chose this first pic.

Inspiration doodles
The second one was very tempting, but I so wanted to have more options for using up the yellow fabrics especially. Also, this sun applique will nicely dovetail with this 2022 AHIQ Prompt. I am very, very behind on completing that particular challenge because there was way too many ideas floating around in my head. Many of us are too aware of how often that can make a sort of paralysis happen in the decision making department. I've been contemplating the merits of both of these designs for literally months now!

Inspiration doodles
Another quick applique project that needed attention was this 'worthy' block. It will probably be the only applique in a entire quilt made up of improv. piecing, but this time I wanted to start here, not with the piecing. This pineapple motif was lifted from a previous quilt made in 2021. That quilt was gifted to one of my DIL's so I get to see it often when visiting. Lets hope the rest of this quilt will be half as interesting as the first one!

Worthy quilt
Also happening in the quilt room was this 'Good Vibes' quilt top coming together. I have wanted to make another awkward tulip quilt for years and years after completing this Spring Forward quilt. There's just something so quirky and endearing about the clumsy lines in an out-of-proportion-tulip-look. 

Good Vibes quilt
Now that I'm looking at this picture though, I am deeply regretting not putting the purple and coral center piecing directly inside of the tulip petals. Wouldn't that have looked sweet poking out of the middle of the flower? Oh well. Not fixing it now! Next up will probably be some sort of outside border because of course I can't resist that particular challenge.

Close up of the large tulips
Something completely unrelated to recent work, but just too cute too pass up.... I happened across this picture of an older quilt of mine with some little hooligans wrestling around on it. This quilt was gifted to a close friend of ours years and years ago. After she passed away, earlier this year, it found its way to one of her sons family home and that's how I stumbled across it on Instagram! 

Monkey Wrench quilt
I love that her family wanted to hang on to the quilt as so many times, the younger generation doesn't have the same attachment as the original recipient. Once, years ago, one of my gifted quilts ended up in a dumpster! Ugghh... Why not give it to a second hand store? And yes, I got permission to post the picture if I made sure not to add names and physical address etc. 

BBI centerpiece
BRAMBLE BLOOM QAL: All of the stitching is now done on my centerpiece which helps me progress on details for the next prompt. I've been working on it, but unfortunately, most of that will have to wait until after the Thanksgiving holiday and all of our out-of-town guests leave to go home. As before, I'm not quite sure how much information to try and provide without dulling things down to the point of exhaustion for the more experienced improv. quilters. It might be best to break it up into two different posts? We'll see.

Anyone who has posted a comment requesting to join the BBI participants list and NOT received a reply back from me via email needs to privately send me an email or drop your email address into a comment here on the blog. Anonymous commenters are a real thing here at Blogger. Please check too as your name might be at the top of the comment, but the email link will have been disabled due to your privacy settings I believe. Which only you can change! Very frustrating for all of us. 

Sorry for the confusion, but the participants list is only for those quilters who choose to publicly share their progress so as to give other participants the chance to go take a look and perhaps receive encouragement /and/or get inspiration for their own work. There are many other quilters who have notified me that they too are silently working on this QAL, but choose not to have social media for whatever reason. I do not and will not ever have a master list of every single quilter who chooses to take part in this--though of course it would be very interesting!

In other news, my husband has been sick for the past week. Naturally, this is absolutely wrecking my schedule, both in preparing the QAL posts and also, getting ready for our holiday company. Boohoo.  So, so thankful that our daughter gets to come home for Thanksgiving and we finally get precious grandbaby hugging time! In fact, all of our kids will be home this year. Love it! I've been trying to pre-bake the rolls and get them all in the freezer this week. So ambitious of me. Using a recipe where you only partially bake them and then cook them more fully the day of? It has to be better than the absolute chaos we usually endure trying to prepare a holiday dinner with only one oven! 


  1. Audrey, do you have 36 hours in a day and sleep only 6 of them?! You have so many projects on the go and all of them seem to be making progress at the same time. Amazing.
    I love that you shared some of your thoughts on your decision-making process. So very helpful.
    I may be the only one but I'm grateful we won't get the next Bramble Blooms prompt until after Thanksgiving. Maybe my center will be ready by then.
    I hope your husband feels better soon and I hope you and your family have a wonderful Thanksgiving.

  2. Excellent post! As someone who tries to design most of my own quilts, I enjoy reading about your design processes and challenges. Totally identify! Your comment about how some ideas have expiration dates and some quilts won’t wait is so true. I hope to eventually join your sew-along and will let you know when that happens. Wishing you a lovely holiday! (

  3. I, too, am glad the BB1 posts will be delayed. I'm moving a little slow on that one. Currently quilting one for a friend.
    Love the sun.
    I would love to have the roll recipe for later as my oven is inoperable, parts are on backorder and I host Thanksgiving. UGHHH. Turkey in a roaster, casseroles in the toaster oven and purchased pies this year.

    1. At least we have a local pie maker and his pies are awesome.

  4. You have so much "on your plate" right now!!
    And, FYI: for me there can never be too much information on the Improv Bramble piece --just sayin' ;)))
    I like how that sun is coming out a lot...take care and try not to overdo
    hugs, Julierose

  5. I'm very new to your blog, but I LOVE what I'm seeing. It's so different from what I've been entertaining myself with and the change is so refreshing. I've joined the BB quilt along and it's wonderful - just what I needed. Though I feel confident with my skills to complete the "assignments," I also like that you explain a lot about your process and give hints. I know that takes extra time, but I'm all for the longer, detailed posts. (I'm glad, though, for the next step not coming till after Thanksgiving because time is getting away from me with family commitments!)

  6. Your sun is very happy and sunny! I wonder though, how do you appliqué on such a large background? I am having a hard time holding my center panel while I am appliquéing the flowers and the thought of doing it on such a large scale baffles me. Louise

  7. Lots happening over at yours! I love the low volume hourglass blocks as a background! And here comes the sun... it's all looking exciting!

  8. Thankful that the next BB1 post will be delayed since things are progressing very slowly here. My hubby was sick for an entire week also, better now thankfully. How wonderful that all your kids and the grandies will be celebrating with you, the times are precious!

  9. You certainly manage to get more quity things done than anyone else I know. The sun on the hourglass quilt is quite intriguing. It's turning out great. Thanks for the heads up about not expecting the next prompt on Bramble Blossoms until after Thanksgiving. I can relax with my applique instead of stressing about getting behind. Thanks for sharing your drawings too.

  10. I would like to join the challenge I have an Instagram account

  11. Oh how I love the first line of the comment from Nancy asking if you have 36 hours in the day!!!! Perfect! You have so many projects happening at your place and then taking on a commission into the bargain. I'm pleased you give us a hint at the timin g of the next round of BB1, I'm still dithering with my applique and fear it's not "free" enough, time will tell. Sorry to read that your husband is unwell but hope that he's well enought to enjoy
    Thanksgiving with all the family.

  12. I love, love, love, the sun on your Hourglass top! Another Tulip quilt, perfect! What a blessing to see your quilt still being used, I wonder sometimes what happens to some I have gifted. I try to get all the applique prep done ahead of time especially at this time of year. I bake loads of cinnamon rolls, cookies and etc for Christmas so after a busy day of baking I can relax by doing some hand stitching.

  13. This Thanksgiving (in Canada) my DIL made the mashed potatoes in her crockpot, and I made the stuffing in mine. Both were excellent, and great for a busy day!

  14. Quiltdivajulie - WOOT - I just checked and I still have your design for Autumnal Tulips! Your Hourglass top is fabulous (and I'm so glad you share your process). My flowers for Bramble Blossoms are cut out an fused to my background awaiting machine appliqué . . . progress on other fronts but at least fabric flowers don't wilt.

  15. I esp love the Sunshine quilt! Relax and enjoy your holidays.


  16. Sun, moon, and house images have been abundant in my 2023 making and planning. I am smitten by your sun 😍. I am finishing up my center appliqué and looking forward to the next step. It has been wonderful to see hat others are making so thank you for that Bramble quilters list.

  17. Your projects are beautiful! Thanks so much for hosting the brambleblooms qal! I've decided to join, but I have no URL. My Insta name is susan.beddig, and I’ve published my centerpiece there. Yours, Susan

  18. Audrey,
    Hope all is well. Sending prayers


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