Thursday, September 7, 2023

An improv log cabin top

 I guess it was finally time to take the plunge, away from the tightly controlled piecing, bland color combos, etc., and reach out for something that seems desperately needed right now - cheerful and bright! Fun, and easy!  

I have two  of my favorite quilty bloggers to thank for this latest adventure. First, Audrey at Quilty Folk who is one of the most creative quilters I've ever encountered, and never fails to inspire me.  She had a little giveaway several years ago, a small quilt top she had begun but lost interest in.  After receiving the piece shown below, I stashed it in a small tote adding bits and pieces of fabric I thought might coordinate, and there it sat for several years.

That little bird really wanted to be placed on-point, but as we all know, you can't always get what you want!

Anyhow, a couple months ago Linda at Kokaquilts posted her latest version of the "Daylesford Quilt", a pattern from Jen Kingwell's book Quilt Recipes.  I fell in love with her version and her creative take on the pattern.  And that was the inspiration for finally turning Audrey's start into a quilt top.

The Daylesford Quilt is basically one big log cabin block, round and round, with some rows and partial rows made up of individual quilt blocks rather than one long strip.  So, I have boxes of small quilt blocks left over from other projects, so I brought them out to play along rather than piecing the blocks indicated in the pattern.  

My "plan" was to incorporate a couple themes from Audrey's small quilt including the bird and her primary colors - pink, lime green and a bit of blue, mixing in some of my leftover blocks here and there. I had pieces of several fabrics with birds and so began with those. The next photo shows the first couple rounds. Adding those bits from previous quilts dictates the width of the next round (and sometimes the previous one).

Auditioning the next round:

Trying out a potential outer round that was later nixed.

I was happy with the top at this point, but it was way too small to become anything but a wallhanging, which we don't need. I love that I was able to use several of my leftover Quilty 365 blocks here.

What about this luscious iris print for the outside round/border?  Hemmed and hawed for a couple days over this, though I'd already cut a couple strips from the yardage ...

What if ...
That dark piece had to go.

Checked homespun to fill out the border - just right.  The last two rounds each have just two prints rather than four.  And we have a finished top - about 58x66 inches.

It feels so good to have had some quality stitching time after a summer of very little sewing other than finishing others' quilt tops for the auction.  And this easy-peasy piecing was just what I needed relative to the deterioration of my vision which has gotten much worse during the past couple months.  I ended up attaching a Sewing Edge Reusable Vinyl Stop to the bed of my Singer 201 so that I could guide the fabric through more by touch than sight to keep a consistent quarter inch seam.  We quilters always find a way!  And, I have an appointment with a retina specialist in another week.  Hopefully the current issues can be improved upon or at the very least kept from getting any worse.   

As for this quilt top, I love it!  It will be machine quilted, hopefully before too many months.  And this one is not going anywhere except to the back of my recliner or the couch for cozy warmth this winter.  

Til next time, happy stitching!