Friday, December 26, 2014

Planting a forest

Ever had an idea that seemed logical in your head and once you executed it - you weren't so sure?  That's what's going on here.
This started out as a version of crazy mom quilts "birch trees".  I love this pattern and bought it with the intent of making it for our new grandson who is to put in an appearance in early March.  I started piecing the brightly colored birches - I studied her version - I pondered lights and darks.  And then it took a right turn.
And I began to wonder if I could do more realistic birch trees.  And would that make sense for a baby quilt?  So I began to do a search on Pinterest and Google and came up with a beautiful and sophisticated wall hanging from tallgrass prairie studio's "night forest".   Isn't this lovely?  And I loved the contrast of lights and darks and all the different fabrics she used.
I still wasn't sure but I was intrigued and decided to try it.  It's for family, after all, and if it's a little too "out there" or non-traditional, they won't have trouble telling me.  So I started and had no idea what I was doing.  I went through my strings; I pulled some pre cut strips from my bins; and I dug into my strips from men's shirts.
I had forgotten how much I Iike improvisational piecing.  I just put away the ruler and started cutting.  It went together quickly and when I did something I didn't intend to -- I just made it work.  This is what the first version looked like when I added strips.  The first image is the finished top and there was some evolution in design -- but not a lot. No pinning!  Just cut, sew, and repeat.
This required me to stop working on the Quiltville mystery for a few days but I'm hoping to get caught back up while I ponder how to quilt this.  I love the negative space but I've learned that dense quilting on a baby quilt takes away any "drape" until it's been washed a number of times.  So, rather than create a "stiff" quilt for "Rex Webb Steve" (the name our grandson has chosen -- we're not monogramming anything just yet!), I'll restrain myself and not over quilt it.
I hope you are finding time to "create" and improvise occasionally and enjoy the process! Looking forward to a wonderful 2015 and more creativity!


Saturday, December 6, 2014

And now there are 10...

......and "only" six to go.  ONLY.  Only?  Only.  No matter how I say it -- it's still six blocks and I'm not working on any of them right now.  My goal to get Kim McLean's Lollypop Quilt appliqued this year won't happen. So - "maybe" 2015. MAYBE. Maybe? Maybe.
Nevertheless, I do love this quilt and I will finish it -- and the border blocks too! It will be huge. It will be a terror to quilt.  It will be a quilt I keep forever. It will be done!
I'd like to say I've accomplished all matter of other things. Not the case. I have started a lot of things -- including the mystery quilt by Bonnie Hunter. Here are the remnants of step 1. Step 2 is about half done.

I have a few things I have to get done by Christmas so I'll work on the mystery quilt as much as I can - but I'm going to have to start focusing on gifts and commitments (not to mention Christmas, baking, decorating, and the best -- family).

I hope you are enjoying the holidays - finishing a few things - starting new things - and loving every minute of it!