Wednesday, August 10, 2016

A Lengthy Post About Summer Finishes and Other Stuff

Okay, wow! This is exhausting trying to learn a new photo editing program. I'm not very good with new techy stuff at all. Or change. In fact, I think this is probably going to be a new chapter in my life all the way around. The new normal is well, just a bit different. My family keeps urging me to continue on with my quilty blogging in spite of the fact that I feel it can't possibly be done 'right' these days.
Some new finishes..
So I'm going to try and lower my expectations, just blog when I can. Not worry about how consistent I am or who might be disappointed. If I disappear for two {or three} weeks then that's just my present life--c'est la vie! Maybe there'll be times I can surprise us all and get in a couple posts a week too. 
Low Volume Scrappiness
Or maybe I'll combine several posts into one, like today. Three finishes this summer! Wowsers. And I thought there was little to no quilting going on. But here they are. The scrappy 'make-piece' quilt was a fast one. Relatively. The quilt top was finished a couple years ago, but the sandwiching and machine quilting only took a couple days. The blocks were all  made strictly out of my scrap bin in a low volume experiment. Then I was scratching my head trying to figure out what to do with them. Aha! Put more color with them obviously! And I adore the country, happy look to my quilt. The organic straight line quilting looked better towards the end of the quilting than the beginning. For the first little while I was gritting my teeth and feeling positive I had made a huge mistake. Thankfully it worked to the good and I'm happy as can be about the end result.

Very snuggable, huggable and lovable....
And I'm just thrilled to have my own bow-tie quilt finally all completed and being put to use. You remember all that was left to finishing this one was the binding? This Bow-ties quilt is all hand pieced quilt block and then machine sewn into rows. Sacrilege to the earnest hand piecers but it's what made sense to me at the time and I don't regret it. Here's my original inspiration for those who have chided me lately about not giving credit where credit is due. As if any quilters anywhere {no matter how famous or art school learned they are} ever truly come up with brand new ideas without years of quilty influence. Seriously folks, we don't have to defend their precious creativity. It really should be able to speak for itself if it's truly original! And most of us homegrown quilters do link back quite a lot actually....
The Bow-Tie quilt is done!!!
I did see some bad hand piecing areas when I was doing the hand quilting tho. At first I thought to fix them as I went and then decided, no. Not necessary. This is the first hand pieced quilt I've ever made. and I'm gonna love it, mistakes and all. Besides, working on this quilt helped give me the confidence to make....
Hand quilting texture is the best....
This quilt--my Cactus Basket quilt. I would never have had the courage to sew so many of those diamond shape pieces before the bow-tie quilt. Once I figured out how much simpler some piecing is with hand piecing, well, I was raring to play with a long loved block.
The Cactus Basket Quilt
Learning, growing and trusting in our desire to create takes us many places in quilting. I was able to finish this one quickly even with the chaos in my life because, drumroll.... I first machine quilted in the ditch to stabilize it! Yep, I'm learning to ask first if it's even possible. Honestly I'm not terribly thrilled about the details of where the 'in-the-ditch' stitching meandered out of the ditch, but it's just what it is. This folksy quilt feels so very 'me' regardless. Sometimes I get away from those quilty elements that speak the loudest to {and of} me in my pursuit of something I can't even properly name. Taking this blogging {and piecing} break has given me a much needed new perspective once again.
Loving the lollipop flowers so much.....
It's actually quite refreshing to come back and look through the different quilty projects in all their odd stages. What was I doing here or there? Do I still like it? Does it feel important. Worthy? Will I love it even after it's finished? Am I excited by it or possibly challenged? That can be enough sometimes.
Finally believing --If I can see it, it can be made.....
This break has been good for me in a lot of ways. I'm sure things will be different from here on out, but hopefully not in a negative way. No quilt shows this summer, not a one. I'm still a process quilter at heart and I want to focus more on the in's and out's of  how it all comes together--sometimes magically and sometimes not so much. Working with color and fabric really makes my world a happier place. How about you?

38 comments:

  1. Your quilts are lovely!! As far as blogging goes maybe you need to think about it - are you blogging for your enjoyment a journal of your quilts or is there another reason to your blogging. It shouldn't have to be work - just my opinion as I wonder why it seems to be stressing you out. I enjoy your blog as you have always done your blog in the past just sharing your experiences and your quilting. I know others enjoy it too - have fun with it

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  2. Welcome back! And thanks for the look at what you've been enjoying. (I always enjoy seeing what you're enjoying!)
    Ya know, you could just put up a photo once in a while and say 'hey, I made this and I'm glad I did' and I would be happy that you shared that part of your life.
    (I'm trying, rather incoherently, to say that your blog is ultimately for you. Diary, journal, connection with other quilters, sharing the joy of making - your choice what you do with it.)

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  3. YAY my Withdrawal Symptoms from No-Audrey-Posts have now subsided :) I love all three of these ; the brights in the bow tie and the soft dreaminess of the other more mellow colors. Those little baskets are adorable and the low volume....oh my, Audrey, this is a favorite of mine now. Though so many of your quilts are favorites.

    By the way, your photos look fine to me!!!

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  4. They are right Audrey: decide why you blog and what sort of thing you want to share. Some bloggers share all the events of their days: blog = diary for them, and they blog very frequently. Others share their finishes so we can all admire them: blog = "I made this, and I'm proud of it!". Others share their quilting experiences and processes or ask for help: blog = teaching medium. Then there are those who are promoting their products, and usually share processes as well; they blog frequently, but we don't all have to be like them!
    So, Audrey, whatever you decide, you are right! For you once a month might be right, or three times a day! πŸ˜™ Whatever you do: πŸ‘ πŸ’

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  5. YAY my Withdrawal Symptoms from No-Audrey-Posts have now subsided :) I love all three of these ; the brights in the bow tie and the soft dreaminess of the other more mellow colors. Those little baskets are adorable and the low volume....oh my, Audrey, this is a favorite of mine now. Though so many of your quilts are favorites.

    By the way, your photos look fine to me!!!

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  6. The low volume quilt has an aged look. Something you would feel comfortable using for a nap or covering up while watching television. Love the muted tones. More than I thought I would.

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  7. Well, you've certainly made great use of your spare summer moments, your three finishes are wonderful! The sawtooth sashings are just perfect to bring your low-volume blocks to life. Hard to choose a very favorite among these but Cactus Baskets really calls to me, the soft fabric choices, the hand quilting, everything about it! I do hope you'll keep on blogging, however often feels right and comfortable to you. My favorite blogs are the non-commercial ones that read like a letter from a friend, that tell a story, and that is what you always seem to manage when you write to your quilty friends.

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  8. Hi Audrey! Yes, loving that Low Volume Scrap quilt!! Is it okay is I save your photos of it for inspiration? I think it's just beautiful!!!

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  9. Thanks for the 1 woman quilt show. The low volume quilt is perfect for summer

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  10. I've missed your blogging! Love all three of the quilts -- the saw tooth border is perfect! Love the turquoise with the bow ties, and the lollipop flowers are just right for the cactus blocks. I love to start a project, and "see where it takes me" -- the finished product is never how I thought it would be, but it is a fun journey! Thanks so much for sharing your wonderful quilts!

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  11. Wow! And you thought you had no time to quilt this summer! I must have been asleep when you were working on the low volume top (or it was before my blogging time) because I surely would have remembered this one. I LOVE it!! And of course the Cactus Basket with those delightful lolipop flowers is one of my favorites. I wholeheartedly agree that "there is nothing new under the sun". A very famous artist (Dahlov Ipcar - she's 97 and still going strong!) once told me, Wendy, you have to grab inspiration from everywhere and give credit to life itself. Thanks for inspiring so many of us!

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  12. I love it when you post, and I accept and understand it when you don't. I have been seeing on a number of blogs lately that bloggers are giving thought to whether they are really enjoying blogging anymore at all. Some of them have been blogging for years and are beginning to tire. Some are feeling that there is too much pressure from their readers to constantly PRODUCE on a regular basis. Some are shifting their focus to Instagram, which is more IMMEDIATE and doesn't require as much time or thought as creating a blog post. I know that when I started to blog in 2008 it was very exciting and I loved meeting all the new people who were reading my posts. But this is 8 years later...I'm definitely slowing down...and I have given myself permission to just post when I feel like it. And that's okay with me. So I will be glad to see whatever you post, whenever you decide to post it. I have enjoyed your blog and your quilts so much, and appreciate how you share so much of yourself with (let's face it) total strangers.

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  13. Ok, now that I've wiped the drool off my screen...TMI? Seriously, this post is drool worthy. I love those bow ties in a way I can't even explain. And the low volume is genius. I'm so glad for you that you've been stitching and I'm so glad for me that you've shared that work. Thank you so much! I know it's extra work to blog, but I for one am grateful every time you do!

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  14. Well hello and welcome back! Sounds like the time away was good for you. Glad you came back to share these three quilts as they are beautiful. No worries on your blogging frequency, we will be here when you pop in :)

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  15. The scrappy low volume quilt with the small triangles around the blocks I like best, although all three quilts are beautifull. And I just love to read your blog, if it is just now and then or regularly doesn't matter. So just blog when you want to and do not feel pressured by the big world wide web! Many thanks for sharing such lovely quilts.
    Greetings

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  16. Congrats on your three finishes! Love the turquoise you picked for your bow ties. I love the traditional block you did rather than using the stitch and flip method.

    Love your cats baskets! Those lollipop flowers are wonderful. Congrats on overcoming your issues with diamond shape sewing.

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  17. Blogging breaks are good for us - and there are NO apologies or excuses needed. We all expect too much of ourselves and blogging falls right in line with that when we feel badly about posting on an erratic or infrequent schedule. It really IS all about the process whether it is fondling fabric, looking at photos/books/magazines/other blogs/etc., or stitching. And for me that process involves sharing the stories of my quilts on the blog. Not always in a neat tidy sequence, but shared nonetheless. Happy to see your finishes - especially like the low volume quilt!

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  18. Great to have you back! It seems like you have been receiving a lot of negative input about your quilting/blogging and it was good for you to get away from that for a while. I know from reading (and re-reading) your posts that quilting is a major source of stress-relief and renewal for you; so, anything that takes away from that quilting therapy is bad news! I just want to encourage you to keep posting (whenever and however you can) because your brand of make-do quilting is helpful for those of us who can't always afford the latest fabric lines and enjoy the charm of using what you have on hand. Your blog has given me MANY hours of happiness and inspiration!

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  19. WELCOME BACK TO BLOGLAND! I was so excited to log onto my email and find a post by you. Love your catcus basket quilt! Love to see what you create. Always makes my day.
    mbbaker35@yahoo.com

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  20. Lovely, lovely, lovely! Your personality always come through in your quilts and that's what originality is all about! Don't stress about blogging. We all have enough to do in our lives without putting one more smidgen of a demand on ourselves. I would much rather read about a maker's process than just another post for the sake of posting. It's all good!

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  21. Three lovely quilts! I really love the addition of those colourful triangles in your LV quilt! I too enjoy seeing what you make and reading all about your processes.

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  22. Audrey - Welcome back. And with three quilts finished!!! Hmmmm.....I finished three quilt blocks this summer. As for your blogging, is there a "RIGHT" way to blog? It's YOUR blog. And I enjoy what you share with us when you have a chance to share. Take some of the stress off of yourself. My genealogy blog gets sort of regular attention, but not daily or weekly or sometimes even monthly. My quilt/stuff blog is still finding its way...just like my quilting. I'm just learning to use my kindle to take pictures. Turns out it makes a decent picture, and it's easy to crop and upload to blogger. Life throw us lots of curve balls...every day...give yourself a break and enjoy what your are doing. There is so much joy in your quilts and that comes threw in your blog.

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  23. I recently started following you because I enjoy your quilts and to be honest, if everybody I followed was blogging every single day, I'd have to stop following some of 'em. So you just blog whenever and we'll just keep on enjoying your quilts! :)

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  24. I love to see what you are up to! The turquoise in the bow ties is great! Love the muted quilt too. So much goodness!!

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  25. It was nice to read your update today. Your quilts are lovely as always. Changes can be hard, but you need to do what's right for you.

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  26. One thing about Blogging, Email, Text messages, etc. Remember when the answering machine came into being? At least we would know who called.
    Now if we are not careful we become slaves to all the technology.
    I thought I would blog once a week. That did not work because schedules change constantly. I do what you are now doing - I blog if I have something I want to post about, or show my projects' progress, etc. It is nice seeing what you have been up to during the summer! Have a great day and look forward to the next time you Blog.

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  27. Hi Audrey, so lovely to hear from you. Glad you've enjoyed your time out and had the chance to put things into perspective; always a help. Your quilts are gorgeous and, yes please, just keep doing what you do - love it! Colour and fabric always make me happy. Hugs xx

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  28. Welcome back! Three beautiful Audrey quilts, so you've been sewing more than we thought (hooray!) The new approach to blogging sounds just plain sensible. As for your thoughts on originality, I couldn't agree more.

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  29. I'm so glad you did a blog post! Don't worry about your frequency or lack thereof. I don't post very often either. It's all about whatever works for you, if you're doing your blog for yourself, anyways. There aren't any 'blog police'! Or there shouldn't be. And don't worry about the self-appointed quilt police either.

    I love the quilts you've posted! Your low-volume is great. The trick with the not-so-straight-on-purpose quilting is, if it doesn't look great, add some more! Your bow ties just glow! And I love the lollipop flowers in the cactus baskets. So sweet and so Audrey! Actually, they have your stamp on them, and they're really lovely.

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  30. I love all of these finishes... congrats! The bow ties is probably my favourite :)

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  31. so pretty....bow tie is a fave pattern of mine and your colors are so wow! i agree...color, fabric and time...

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  32. I am relatively new to your blog. I.E. Quilty Circles which I absolutely love love love! In every post I have read you have taught me something about scrappy quilting and about myself as well... Mainly every scrap you have doesn't need to be used in the quilt. Controlled scrap piecing. I am so glad you have had time to finish these three gems this summer amid the chaos. All three rate high on my "gotta to make one of these" list. Love Popsicle flowers but am amazed at your control on the low volume scrap and to set the blocks with the hst is genius and so effective. And the bow ties with the aqua centers is just plain wonderful. Please take a moment for yourself and then come back and share those moments with us.

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  33. Nice to see what you have been working on. You have some beautiful finishes!! I am so jealous :-) I certainly can relate to the balance of blogging and stitching. Stitching should always be a priority..and giving ourselves time to be creative. But is sure is nice to hear from you. Enjoy!

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  34. You should always do what is right for you, and only you know what that is. I am a big believer in the value of perspective, and breaks!

    Three great finishes! It does not seem like you have slowed down at all. :D I am amazed at how many hsts you made for the low volume quilt, now that I see it again. It really looks good. They all do! Time for a new project?

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  35. Love all your quilts!! You do Beautiful Work! Hugs, Mary

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Thanks so much for visiting! Getting comments always makes me happy. I try to respond personally to each comment but if you happen to be a 'no-reply commenter' then you'll have to leave an e-mail to be hearing back from me!

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