Monday, December 30, 2013

Struggling with Design....How to Finish a Top that Didn't Quite Live up to Expectations....

I've been back in my sewing room, continuing my work with "found blocks."  This morning, I decided to concentrate on this:

These blocks were started last you can see from the photo above, I was struggling with whether or not to sash them and what color to use.  The pinks, all of which actually look OK together when you just stack them up next to each other, were just fighting each other and the greys on my design wall.  I just couldn't seem to get a layout that I liked.  I tried it without sashing, but this time I alternated the center brown blocks so there was at least some symmetry to the layout. I swear those browns looked almost identical in value when I was using them, but obviously one of them is significantly darker than the other.

Today I bit the bullet and decided that a rich, small-print brown with white would serve for the sashing strips.  Now I'm contemplating whether to add a gray border or not; I'm looking to make this a tad larger; right now it's 49 x 64; I'll probably take it up to 60 x 74, which will make a nice lap-sized quilt.

Have you ever started a quilt with pretty concrete notions and a good sense of confidence as to what you wanted, and had it "go south" on you?  I was determined to make this quilt from my stash, and use grey, brown and pink variations.    I found fat quarters, a few solids, some scraps, and some minimal yardage.  The block pattern is from Creative Sewlutions; it's Dee Moore's "Dupont Circle". 

I keep trying to push my boundaries away from "safe" and "matchy-matchy".....I guess this is an example of an exercise that turned out "all right" but doesn't necessarily have me overwhelmed with delight......but I'm happy I was able to rescue it and it will make a nice lap napping quilt for someone.

Have a good day....sometimes you just have to keep on keeping on.....these blocks aren't sitting in a drawer anymore!  That's a good thing....


Thursday, December 26, 2013

Some Post-Christmas Projects

Yesterday was such a quiet day, I decided it would be nice to sew a little before I started in on dinner for Guy and me.  I was able to finish up two projects that are gifts (these didn't require wrapping or mailing).

I had made a Christmas block for our quilt guild exchange, but got sick and didn't go.  Instead, I turned it into a pillow for my neighbor, Vickie.  The colors match the quilt I made for her last Christmas.  I think it's a pretty cheerful little house decoration:

I had some scraps left from Tracey's Christmas tree skirt, so I did a disappearing nine-patch table topper.  I think this is going to be another gift for will go perfectly on her coffee table and match her new d├ęcor.

I started putting together some scrappy "little monkeys" and snowball blocks early last year.  I just kept plugging away at them and finally got a 7 x 7 baby quilt finished.  My baby quilt supply is sadly lacking right now (well, I'm happy that so many new babies got quilts this year---7 in all), but I always like to keep a supply on hand.  This was made from dress scraps from the 40s and 50s, mixed in with some of my 30s/40s reproduction fabrics.  It's pretty cheerful, don't you think?

I so rarely use plain white anymore....I love the crispness of it.  This will make a sweet addition to my
"new baby" collection for future gift-giving.

It feels good to accomplish something concrete so soon after Christmas; what with my cold and just the anticipation of the holidays, I found it hard to concentrate on much in my quilt room over the last few weeks.  Now I'm sort of on a roll to see what other UFOs I can finish before the New Year. 

Hope you all had a blessed holiday with family and friends.  Stay warm.......and just for fun, here's a photo of the sweet baby girl who has captured our hearts this year...our newest granddaughter, Paije.