Raspberry Applique Quilt

This Raspberry Applique Quilt needs a better name because I love it so much.  But for now, here it is, known simply by the name of the pattern/project.  I have to tell you, this one went directly to the foot of my bed.  I have other quilts dearer because of their message or personal meaning.  But this one, this one makes me want to wrap up in it simply for the color.

I learned a good lesson when finishing this quilt.  Way back in 2019 I finished the applique and sewed the blocks together with colorful sashing.  At the time I pictured it turned on point with elaborate corners added, to showcase more fabrics designed by Amy Butler.  When I got it back out last fall, I realized how huge it would be if I finished it on point.  I also realized that all along there was only one fabric I had pictured myself adding to this quilt.  Sure, I would have used more, but only one seemed essential.

So, if my heart had always only been set on this one, why not use it and call it finished?  That’s what I did.  And obviously that “one” fabric is pretty amazing.  When fussy cut, it makes a border that looks complex but is really just art.

And that is all I did.  Plus the birds in the corners, of course.  I have many other Amy Butler fabrics, definitely enough for another quilt or two, but this one is complete.  All it needed was an epic border from her Hapi collection.  I really love that print.  (I used a bit of it on the back of this quilt, too.)  

This makes me wonder, are you someone who tires of fabric after it’s been around for a while?  I’ve learned that most of the time, I am not.  I don’t care how old a print is if I like it.  And if I liked it once, I usually still like it 10 years later, even while my taste in new fabric continues to evolve.  So I’m not concerned with how old a print is, especially if I still like it and it works in my project.  In this case, it totally works.

So, it’s a finished quilt because I re-evaluated my original plan and only used the detail I cared about most.  It was a good lesson for me in finishing; I can pivot and keep only what I still care about.  I hope I remember that as I try to finish other long-standing UFO’s.  Thankfully I still had some strips of those dots I used for sashing, and they became the binding to finish the quilt.

I quilted my Raspberry applique quilt on my longarm with gold thread.  My quilting design looked good in my head, but not as good in real life.  Gratefully the fabrics are so busy that it doesn’t matter – you can hardly see it!  No one will call it a masterpiece, but every day I have smiled at it on my bed.  I call that a success.

But really, it needs a new name.  Any suggestions?

 

 

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!

-Jennifer

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