Bow Quilt Blocks Finished

Do you ever feel like you’re constantly working on things but somehow nothing gets done?  That’s me so far in January.  I mean, how on earth is it January 24th?  And how has it been so full and so busy, and I have so little to show for it?  I’m not just talking about sewing here.  Seriously, though, life does seem to be “more” lately.  More of just about everything.  So last night, to give myself a progress point I could SEE, I didn’t go to bed until I’d stitched the last applique stitches in my bow quilt blocks.

I shared my first set of blocks back in September, and sometime later I prepped all the rest.  Since then, this has been the project I stitch on in the car and occasionally in the evenings.  I mentioned in that post that I cut WAY too many pieces, probably enough to make a second quilt.  Well, that will not be happening.  While the Bow Quilt by Carolyn Friedlander is a fun project, I have a long list of other applique patterns I’m dreaming of making.  I’m ready for a more challenging applique project.  Or ten.  

I will say, however, that Carolyn Friedlander’s patterns really helped me fall in love with applique.  This pattern in particular is beginner friendly and fun to make.  I’m curious now to try new methods of applique and see how they compare to what I’ve already done.  

Anyway, back to the rainbows you see here.  I loved mixing and matching fabrics at whim, then stitching them down.  My favorite blocks are definitely the ones that have 4 fabrics in them, although they also take the longest to stitch.  

So, with my bow quilt blocks finished it’s time to sew the quilt top together.  I might change the layout a little bit, but still plan to keep it simple.  And when I do, it will feel SO good to have a quilt top finished!  It’s been a while.  I’m excited to turn on my sewing machine again.  After all, more sewing contributes to a happier, calmer Mom around here, especially after long periods of putting it all away.  Fingers crossed this is a quilt top tomorrow!

Vintage Spin Quilt

This is my Vintage Spin quilt, and it’s also a quilt that started a journey.  I made the quilt top years ago and like so many others, it sat, waiting for the perfect quilting.  My new approach to all those quilt tops is to just finish them.  Even average quilting (which is definitely what mine is on my little old longarm) makes a finished quilt.  I would also like to give more quilts away, another reason to get them quilted.  So with that mentality, I loaded Vintage Spin and did my best. 

The pattern for this quilt is by Kathy Doughty in her book, Adding Layers.  I used mine to cut into all my Art Gallery fabrics and mixed them together.  It’s a fun quilt to make.  I love seeing all these fabrics together, and the pattern creates lots of movement for the eye to track.  But my favorite part of this quilt came later, over time.

The scraps.  Yes, the scraps.  You see, this pattern is made by trimming a round dresden block down to a square.  And because I loved those fabric so much, I couldn’t bear to discard the edges.  They sat for a while, and then got them out to play with.  

First I made my Awake Quilt.  Awake might be my favorite of all my quilts.  (Don’t tell the others!)  Something about using those little arcs to create blocks with stars in circles thrilled me.  And then came Morn Shall Tearless Be.  A more predictable layout, but really meaningful for me.  I shared that one recently, and have leaned on it personally as I carry on with a challenge in my life that I’ve shouldered for many years.  Someday it will lift, someday there will be a morning without that weight.  So even if the layout was more predictable, my heart needed that quilt.

And I have more of them.  My Vintage Spin Quilt provided a generous contribution to future creativity, perhaps more than any other I’ve made.  There is a third spinoff in progress, and I’ve sketched a few other ideas too.  So the journey that followed the quilt top is my favorite part.

But back to the quilt.  I quilted it, intending to gift it for Christmas.  Unfortunately, while binding it I discovered an area on the back with tension issues, so it stays here.  I gave another quilt to my friends.  I’m not sad to keep Vintage Spin because it’s nice to have the quilt that started the journey. 

I used a yellow Art Gallery print to bind it, and it’s actually a print I set aside back when I finished the quilt top, intended for binding.  Why make a decision twice?  While I prefer the look of hand binding, I’ve had challenges with elbow tendinitis lately, so I did it by machine.  

Do you have a quilt that started a new creative journey for you?  If so, please share!  All this talk about the journey my Vintage Spin Quilt started makes me hungry to sew.  I think I’ll go do just that.  Have the best day!  Thanks for visiting!


Winter Sky In Morning – A Finished Quilt

It’s January.  Only the 12th, to be exact.  And already I am sick of winter.  Granted, we’re in severe drought here in Utah, and we’ve been praying for moisture for years.  It seems like we’re getting it all at once, though I’m sure it’s not enough.  Still, I can’t remember a Utah winter of so much rain.  But the gray skies…that’s another story.  The gray skies feel like a staple of Utah winters, and let’s just say they get to me after a while.  I’m feeling it lately.  A couple of winters ago I set out to prove to myself that it wasn’t ALL gray skies, that there was beauty in winter.  Today I’m sharing the quilt that resulted from that exercise:  Winter Sky in Morning.

Because of the season, I’m frequently in my car when the sun comes up in winter.  Fortunately I drive east first, facing the sunrise on our way to school.  I also faced the mountains which provided great contrast to the saturated light that finally appeared.  On the way home, I drove west, where the wide open sky had often paled to a gentle pastel color wash.  I watched these colors in the sky every morning, and translated them to fabric when I got home.  

I picked a few fabrics that reminded me of colors I’d just seen.  The pile grew, and eventually I started.  To represent the mountains I chose the flying geese block.  I cut fabric for a few blocks from each set of colors.  Never a set number, I just cut what I could or what felt right.  Then I made a few flying geese and set them aside.

Eventually my piles had grown enough to compose a quilt.  For my layout I placed the darker colors at the bottom, near the “horizon”, and then I moved to lighter colors at the top.  So the bottom of the quilt represents my drive east, and the top, my drive west.

I quilted Winter Sky in Morning in straight lines, using metallic copper thread.  For the back I chose an awesome tone on tone print by Heather Bailey in one of my favorite sunrise colors.

This exercise yielded more than a lovely quilt; I proved to myself that there is always beauty.  Even on gray days, and even in winter. 

There is always a little color, a little light to be found.  Much like my Morn Shall Tearless Be quilt, Winter Sky in Morning is a quilt about looking for beauty and finding it.  The best kind of sewing – a quilt that expresses my heart!

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