Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Coins and Baskets a Good Journey Toward Completed Quilt Top

Once I changed direction with this quilt project, then it started going together like a well oiled machine. It finally dawned on me that these colors feel completely comfortable to me. It used to be my safe zone for so many years and so there is almost zero drama involved in the process. {Or challenge or real inspiration}  Aha! That's what I thought initially, but then had to reconsider by the end.
The middle part of Coins & Baskets
My daughter refers to this quilt as one of 'my old lady quilts'. I'd prefer to call it the antique influence or a cozy, homey look. But yes, I'll admit to drifting away from these colors for quite some time now and starting to embrace the lighter, more colorful palette my daughters prefer. Quilters do have the option of evolving and growing you know and part of that is reverting back {on purpose} when desired. It's always an interesting exercise because it feels like going straight back to our roots--often our comfort zone. And that's a simple place to easily make comparison within the basics and perimeters of our process.

As I've mentioned before, the coin sashing was cut and sewn together very improv. style {a relatively new-to-me process} and then carefully cut into the proper measurements required to make a 3-row wide block of  6" x 8" sashing. The original plan was a dud, color-wise, and so the project ended up being split into two quilt tops. It just couldn't seem to be resolved with the combined elements previously proposed. These baskets seemed like a no-brainer with these particular sashing colors, and so the quilt evolved. A basket pattern was drawn from a quilt in 'Treasures From The Barn' book by Linda Collins. It had to be made larger to fit in with my quilt plan and also the handle was changed to make it wider. Why not if that's what I prefer!
Adding on an outside border
When I started sewing the quilt layout together, I ended up taking out some of the extra coin sashing blocks that would have enclosed every basket block, sort of stripping down the busyness of the quilt {see the first picture}. It happened almost without conscious thought {actually, quite a few of the design decisions did}, which was quite interesting. Normally I spend some serious time making a decision like that, but this time I was just doing. Then once the process was fully realized, I just sort of shrugged my shoulders and continued on.

With this part of the quilt sewn together, I could have quite easily folded it up and called it a finish. Very cute and it feels pulled together in all the important ways. But.... you know me. The quilt was too small {52" X 71"} which totally annoyed me. I get irritated at little quilts that force us to decided if we want our torso covered or perhaps our toes? And also, there was approx. 25 coin sashing units left which really bothered me. What a waste!
Coins & Baskets a finished quilt top
It was quickly determined to add the extra coin sashing blocks on as an outside border. Perhaps not the best design decision, but I personally love how that imperfect border looks. It looks especially wonderful to me close up, such as how we would view it if perhaps the quilt was 'in-use' and laying across our laps. Working with coins was the original challenge {later amended with Kaja's challenge to combine with a second block} and it felt right to include the leftover blocks. This felt important, trying to include all the coin sashing without wasting or abandoning them. Sort of a nod to the old utility style of quilts that I love.
The border just makes me happy
While not a fabulous or particularly exciting quilt top, this one feels like a rather good finish. It has definitely served its purpose in underlining some basic things about my quilting process. While working practically on auto-pilot through much of the decision making, I later realized how incredible that actually is. Not obvious to anyone but me, the single most interesting thing about this entire project was how working with these specific colors felt like slipping on well-worn shoes. Other design decisions seemed far less complicated in the immediate comparison. Ding, ding! I needed that realization as I so often tend to over-think and complicate matters.

Am I making sense at all? The final result in regards to this quilt is this: I'm quite happy with the antique mood of the fabrics and elements mixed into the quilt. The make-do look to the stacked coins in the border just make me inexplicably happy which gives me permission to leave the quilt  'as-is' rather than removing the outside border like some might think would be necessary. It might not be perfectly balanced, perhaps it doesn't make sense to others or it might even be considered a dull looking quilt now that I've inserted the rest of the coins. That doesn't matter because quilts down the line will no doubt be the better for this little exercise. I needed to see this border to understand.

We need to continue to emphasize making for our own pleasure and knowledge--let the process take us to the next level in its own sweet time. There's no shame in adding another 'learning and growing' quilt top to the stack and in fact it could be considered a positive thing. There will be many of these before we make that rare fabulous quilt and then many more mistakes, learning and challenges met before the next great quilt. I'm determined to show my struggles along with my successes, record them along the way. How about you?

Linking to Sew, Stitch, Snap, Share!

28 comments:

  1. Sometimes it is nice to revisit favourite/comfortable colour palettes - I find you don't double guess your self as often this way. Well done on a finish!! Thanks for linking to Sew, Stitch, Snap SHARE.

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  2. quilters do evolve - I am using up tons of scraps still from years gone by and I get tired of them, but I do like the scrappy quilts that come from them

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  3. Yes! I'm the little old lady that loves this top! Your use of the extra coin units was genious, looking at that photo of the completed top I already see amazing basket-weave texture in those coin borders. Echoing the interwoven theme of the middle of the quilt, and set off perfectly with the striped setting triangles. This is definitely a winner.

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  4. I think most of do all this stitching and sewing to please ourselves and maybe the closest people in our lives. It seems to involve challenges and comfort. You do all these things well. You have another delightful finish.

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  5. I love this quilt top - and I agree that being able to simply work without overthinking is a rarity and feels VERY good when it happens. Here's to being ourselves!

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  6. Cute finish in soothing tonings. I have popped over from New Zealand with the "Sew-Stitch-Snap-Share" linky............

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  7. This is a beautiful quilt top!

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  8. This quilt has undergone such an interesting journey! Lovely colours and a lovely finish!

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  9. I really admire your approach. I think it is a marvelous quilt too and will be the kind of quilt you love more and more over time with use.

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  10. I feel the added coin units work very well on the sides what a delight this is you must be thrilled with it now for the quilting of it

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  11. great basket quilt variation! love those greens

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  12. I totally understand the addition of those "extra-not to be put aside" coins ;))). I often think in that way too. I like how this one turned out--it looks like a "quilt" and not anything else. I am reverting to this mode of thinking...love the modern look, but prefer the old fashioned (in a good way) quilt look...hugs, Julierose

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  13. I love your thought provoking posts! And, yes we all need a few "learning and growing" tops in the queue. After a while mine end up at my group's UFO auction. I'm happy you are keeping this one. I love it!

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  14. I love this top!
    To me, the coin blocks are reading as 'paths' running in the direction of the coins' long sides. So, the outer borders are saying "yes, we all follow our own paths, but we're all headed in the right direction."

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  15. I like this top quite a lot! And the longer I look at it, the more I like it. We've been talking a lot about "make do" lately, but I think the real appeal of that approach is that it's elegant. The construction informs the design. There's no waste, or anything precious or self conscious. To me, those are all very desirable things!

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    1. I couldn't put it any better than this.

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  16. I really like your quilt, Audrey. Probably because it leans toward my own color choices and "feel". Of course, this is from someone who very rarely leaves her comfort zone!

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  17. I like:
    The value range; this quilt is large enough to flow well from white to black with lots of mediums.
    The plaid effect of your layout.
    The two different point depths on the outside (floating and matching.)
    The way you used the coins to create a fabric. Those sets look almost like a print; very cool.
    That these are your favorite colors.
    The way you based the basket on something you saw but changed to suit you.
    And finally, that the quilt is large enough to cover torso to toes.
    Congratulations!

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  18. It's a beautiful quilt top and I love these baskets!

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  19. I love it! I'm not much of a fan of the "modern" quilts and so many of the newer quilts all look alike. This looks homey and loveable instead of something you're afraid to snuggle under for fear you'll wrinkle it or get it dirty. Hurray for your originality!

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  20. It's been very interesting to read your post - plus the one showing the start of this quilt. What you have come up with is truly unique and beautiful - it works! Interesting also what you have to say about comfort zones - and so on - isn't this one of the things that makes our quilting world so fascinating :-)

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  21. I definitely like the quilt with the borders! I agree we need to enjoy working through our quilt making process, making decisions as we go, enjoying and having fun with it for ourselves.

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  22. The added borders really finish off this quilt well. It needed a repeat of one of the center elements and the blocks you added were definitely a good choice. It will make it fun to quilt too.

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  23. I have made quilts that are referred to as "old lady quilts" so we are in the club together.

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  24. I love your "old lady" quilts!

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  25. Well done you! I love the learning along the way when we make our quilts, and using up your coins for the outside borders is a great idea and looks so good. Another satisfying finish for you.

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  26. LOL I love and prefer the old lady / vintage / antique colors :) That is not to say that I don't appreciate variety or other color schemes..I work with them myself...but my true love and what I am drawn to the most is always something that looks older / vintage

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  27. my quilts are all old lady quilts...my stash of fabric is being used up and not added to so they will always be dull and drab and just perfect for my primitive home...but I have come to love the more modern quilts being created today...a treat for the eyes...

    I mostly do rug hooking, one thing to love about it is how easy it is to change your mind, reverse hook the wool and make it better...it's all about enjoying the process, quilting or hooking

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