Wednesday, March 24, 2021

A Design Wall, Pins, Scotch Tape, and a Top is Born

 My diamond jubilee quilt top is finished.  Mixed emotions about this one, on the one hand thinking it is a hot mess, but absolutely loving so many of the details.  It was definitely a challenge quilt from beginning to this point, and that was exactly what my beginning goal was, to see if I could make a pattern this complex.  I wanted a brain challenge, and boy did I achieve that goal!

This month has been spent doing what I thought would be the easy part of the process, stitching up 324 flying geese for the sashings.  After all the sunflower blocks pretty much went together without a major hitch, how hard could flying geese be?  Turns out the geese became a huge growling bear!  I cut the first few according to the pattern directions and after attempting to trim them up using my bloc-loc flying geese ruler, they were coming out too small.  Cut larger pieces, but still many of them did not trim perfectly to size.  At that point "done is better than perfect" became the slogan of the week, along with Gwen Marston's advice that if it's to small, add something, and if too large cut something off.  I've really come to appreciate her sage advice!

So, a few photos of the assembly process.

The pins and scotch tape starting to come into play - this thing is WAY bigger than my design wall!


Trying out the setting triangles

Taping around the door frame, more pins, decisions-decisions!


At this point I decided to add a narrow border using the same setting fabric.  While pinning that border I happened to walk in the room and saw this stained glass effect.



The sun was getting low in the sky and as soon as that last border was stitched I ran outside to see if we could achieve the same stained glass look of the entire quilt.  But the sun was just disappearing behind the hill and the stained glass effect was all washed out by the low angle light.  And now it's rain, rain, rain in the forecast for the next several days.
Really difficult to get an accurate photo of that setting/border fabric.  It's much darker than it appears here, probably because it's an older 1980s or 90s print and the fabric is a bit thinner than some of the newer reproductions.  The setting fabric is more true to its color in the lower left corner of this next photo, which also happens to be one of my favorite blocks.
 

This will be next in the hand quilting lineup, and hopefully it will become a finished quilt sometime during my diamond jubilee year.  

The first snowdrops have bloomed by the garage where the sun has warmed the soil this past week.  A few other green shoots are popping up here and there, though the snow still lingers along the edge of the woods where sunlight doesn't reach.  This may be the week I sow the tomato seeds in their little containers though and that will seem to make spring that much more real in our neck of the woods.

Hope your Wednesday is going well, and that you have some happy sewing to fill your days!

28 comments:

  1. Oh wow! If this is a hot mess, I would like to know what you consider perfection. I adore this. And, I do remember that setting fabric. I may even still have a piece somewhere. I love it. And the stained glass effect is gorgeous too. Great job!

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  2. Oh My! This is quite an accomplishment! It's very well done. The sunflowers look so hard to make. I admire your desire to stick with something so intricate. I used flying geese as sashing in one of my quilts. I loved quilting them because they were so predictable.

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  3. Your quilt is gorgeous!! Congratulations for taking on and meeting your challenge! No matter how much trouble you might have had with the geese, it all looks marvelous. The on point setting is perfect and the colors are great. Will look forward to seeing the quilting eventually :)!

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    1. Thank you Gladi! It has really been a good challenge, and someday I may even attempt a smaller wall hanging size sunflower quilt, probably using a much more limited color palette. The sunflowers were really a lot of fun to create, even though fiddly at every step.

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  4. I really don't have words... well, it's big time beautiful, for sure! The stained glass effect is stunning. Wow! And, all in your "Diamond Jubilee Year." (And, mine too!) You took the challenge and walked away with the prize! Yay, for you! I love it!

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    1. Thank you for your sweet encouragement Mary! Congratulations on your jubilee year too!

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  5. Beautiful! I can't imagine making a quilt that big and that intricate. I'm more of a mini quilt gal, lol. It's warming up here in MA, we have daffodils in bloom by the side of the house and my hens are laying lots of eggs! Jan in MA

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  6. Wow, it's simply stunning! The colors and so rich and you've achieved a beautiful balance in your layout. You really took on a great challenge! We are in peak cherry blossom mode here - I love spring.

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  7. Sorry are your geese supposed to be flying in opposite directions if so two lots need a tweak other than that I love the design well done love love the stained glass effect,would love to do a curtain like that but it wouldn’t last too long I don’t think. Elizabeth s why I can’t change my setting I don’t know as to whom I am

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    1. When I watch the flocks of Canada geese overhead there are always some flying off-course from the others, just imitating nature I guess, lol.

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  8. What a stunning piece! I love that you let yourself “make do” ala Gwennie M. And omg the stained glass effect! I’d be tempted to hang the top in a big window and forget about the quilting!

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  9. Congrats on finishing your DJ top - I think it looks fantastic - definitely not a hot mess! Flying Geese are always my nemesis, so good on you for plowing through. Good luck with the hand quilting. I think that would be more of a challenge than making the top!

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  10. Wonderful looking! Flying geese are so challenging, I applaud your moves to get it to the finished top stage! Lovely.:)

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  11. I see NOTHING of a hot mess here! This quilt is stunning!
    The stained glass effect is beautiful.
    Wow--just WOW!!

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  12. Your hot mess is sizzling! Your quilt is absolutely gorgeous. Sorry the geese were a pain, but I'm glad you were up for the challenge.

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  13. How dare you even think that is a hot mess! What a beauty. And if you hadn't mentioned you had a difficult time with those Flying Geese who would have known. Can't tell from this angle. Congrats on seeing it through to this stage.

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  14. Gosh, Pat! This is such a gorgeous quilt top! As challenging as it was to make those flying geese, they're exactly what the sunflowers needed to make them pop. Such a fantastic design, and I'm marveling that you think it's a hot mess. Really, even without the sunshine behind the quilt, it glows! You have a real winner there, and I'm sure it will be a treat for you to hand quilt. Glad to know you're seeing early signs of spring. Planting tomato seeds sounds like just the thing to recognize that warm weather is around the corner. And pandemic freedom. Can there be a better combination for optimism?!

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  15. Wow, what a fabulous quilt! So glad to hear you were up for a challenge because I think you found it :) The flying geese sashing is perfect and I love the stained glass photos! Great job all around!

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  16. Wow. That is really impressive. Good for you for tackling that challenge as you have a gorgeous quilt to show for it.

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  17. Oh boy, a loooooot of tiny pieces! Your quilt is wonderful!

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  18. what a gorgeous quilt. Your fabric choices are just lovely.
    The stained glass photo is so pretty and would be a lovely window!
    Congrats on a wonderful quilt.

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  19. Soooo Lovely!! It is so perfect! I love flying geese and have never made that many for a quilt. I use the no waste method and they usually turn out pretty well, but I hate having to square them up. You did good!!!

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  20. Gorgeous! And such a hard block pattern... well done!

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  21. Oh, beautiful! I know you wrote you had "mixed emotions" about this quilt but I hope they soon sway to the totally positive side. I can't see this as anything but a great success -- the blocks, the fabrics you chose, the geese, the border fabric. Really just a fabulous quilt.

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