Friday, November 21, 2014

Sticking with that Autumn Theme

Thank you so much for all the pineapple love, your timing was perfect, I was needing a little quilting love this week.

So for the last couple of months, when I wasn't working on tearing my house apart or putting my house back together, I've been working with this Autumn Woods fabric by Kate & Birdie for Moda.

I loved the fabric group the first time I saw it, but it was that tree line border fabric that really called to me.  I immediately thought some geese flying between the trees was just the way to go. I also thought the geese should be flying in some sort of pattern but I wanted it to have a random feel to it too.  So I started making geese, and some more geese and even more geese, until I had a basketful of geese.  Flying geese are the best block to work on when you have limited space and limited time.  Some days I would maybe only finish 5 geese, but at least I accomplished one thing, adding more geese to that basket.  Once my design wall was up I could hardly wait to see those geese randomly flying between those rows of trees.   Which led to this.


And while I do have to admit that this is pretty much how I pictured my project to look, it looks way better in my head.  I'm not sure I can even put my finger on what's wrong with this quilt top, I just know it doesn't look good.  I still love that tree border but the geese just don't look right with it. I'm not sure if they need to be bigger or smaller.  And even if they were a different size I'm not sure that background fabric is the way to go.

After the first couple of rows I had a feeling it wasn't working out quite right, but I've had that feeling while in the assembly stage of other quilts, and have usually been happy when they were done, so I kept making those geese blocks.  I even made a couple of blocks for that last row, 5 more blocks to piece and it would be done, close, so very close.

But it just doesn't work for me.  I tried putting the geese on point, changing up the border, but nothing really came together.  So for now my Autumn Woods project is packed up in a project box.  I'll give it some more thought.  At first I was disappointed that I hadn't been able to create the most clever pattern to go with that border fabric, and disappointed that I had spent so much time making geese, who enjoys the feeling of failure.  But I did enjoy working with that fabric, and I enjoyed making those geese, they were the only relaxing part of some of my days.  So if all I get out of this project is a basketful of geese, they at least kept me from pulling out my hair, yelling at a contractor, or crying as I tried to find a pair of decent shoes and somewhat presentable outfit in my garage full of boxes and clothes racks. Quilting is my hobby, my passion, my release, it's not my job.  I don't have to finish this project.

The good news, I already have that loving feeling back, and all it took was some fall Sandy Gervais fabric and Camille's Red Letter Day pattern.   My sister-in-law has been strongly hinting about wanting a king size quilt for their bed.  I'm out of the king size bed quilt business, I have even said so on this blog, but I'm making one last exception.  The original pattern calls for 9 blocks, but I'm adding an extra block and extra row for a nice size quilt using 16 blocks.




I only need 15 more of these blocks, a border fabric, and I'll have a quilt.   And when I sent the picture of this block to my sister-in-law she was thrilled.  That's the best thing about having a family of non quilters,  the simplest of blocks looks like a show quilt to them.  It feels great to be back on solid ground.

Oh, and one last thing, I'm already working on the next great pattern, and it looking pretty good, in  my head, lol!!  Sometimes it really is about the journey and not the destination.

Thanks for stopping by,
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19 comments:

  1. I love the quilt pattern you made with the trees and the flying geese but yes, sometimes the things we had in mind look better there than in reality. I have this problem right now somehow the background is not right and the fabrics I choose don't ahve the right color. Glad it's just a little quilt (Mini Stem for the parade) and the quilt I've made somefar is still looking good just not what I had in mind. Hope you'll find the solution for your quilt problem.

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  2. Hi Thelma! Like you, that tree lined border doesn't just speak to me, it shouts at me...I really love it. But as I was pondering your quilt and what might bother you about it, it occurred to me that in the fall, when hubby and I sit out on the deck and watch the geese flying overhead, there are a lot of them, I mean a LOT everyday for several weeks. However, they fly over in staggered groups, some larger than others, sometimes just a few, usually against a blue or often a grey sky. So I was wondering how your quilt would look if you staggered the geese blocks, rather than having every block the same. I know it would leave a few blank spaces, but good long arm quilters can breath such beautiful life into those wonderful solid blocks and really add something special to the quilts. Anyway, it's just a thought...it looks pretty good in my mind's eye, but then, I don't see so well out of my left one so you have to take that into account, *wink*. I do hope you won't give up on this quilt as it is wonderful and truly brings to mind the geese watching that we do in the spring and fall. Hugs.... Nancy in Utah

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  3. Perfection! It is about the journey, not the destination. : )

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  4. Morning. I'll add my two cents to your post, but I'll try to be brief with my words. First, I see the geese flying in the same direction. I can see a more realistic geese flying V shape starting on the top left coming down at two angles. Not straight angles, but more feathery and a bit random with the flying geese. I'm probably not making sense, I'd have to draw out a picture for you.
    The second option I see is a more falling leaves type style keeping the flying geese pointing up in the same direction, but really heavy with the flying geese on the top gradually lessening them to the bottom of the quilt to only a few at the bottom.
    I know that I am a 100% symmetrical kind of girl, and my eye needs some type of symmetry in your quilt.
    You are a brave girl for trying and thats a great thing, Thelma. I'm proud of you. Have a great day.

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  5. Thelma - I am thinking that perhaps some of your geese blocks need to be wonky, so adding some wedges around the sides of a few might help and perhaps a few of the geese should be a large size. Either that or they should be flying in wedges like geese do in real life. I know what you mean about loving a fabric and they trying to figure out how to make it work in a quilt. I just un-sewed a huge section of a quilt top because I didn't care for one of the accent fabrics I had thought would work and I have seen you do the same with your beautiful embroidered Halloween blocks, so when the "Ah-ha!" moment hits, you will be ready. I like some of the above suggestions too.

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  6. I agree with Tracey on placement. I personally don't care for the background of the geese, I think it is too dark, but I love the idea of this quilt, and sympathize with you in your disappointment.

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  7. Whatever you eventually come up with for the flying geese will be beautiful -- I have complete faith in your resourcefulness!

    That new block is absolutely stunning! What a gorgeous quilt that will be. A lucky sister-in-law indeed.

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  8. Sometimes it really is about the journey and not the destination. I agree with you on that. After all, the journey is the fun part. It's nice having a good finished product, but often I'm not totally thrilled with it. I may like it ok, but not love it. But the journey was a blast!

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  9. I follow your blog but do not have my own. I wonder if you added a skinny orange border around your field of geese if it might contain it a bit.

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  10. I like your idea, but wonder if you could change the format. Maybe if you did a band of geese , a band of border, another band of geese, etc. Make the geese bands various different widths, maybe a string of geese could fly through the tree bands, keeping a flow between sections going. I would just play with it. You have nothing to lose and lots to enjoy. Have fun!

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  11. I not sure either maybe use a partial amt of blocks sprinkled in on a different background I tell my husband its a modern quilt challenge project and then sometimes let the dogs sleep on it I use those as my own quilting projects to for practice whatever you decide make it yours and your sister will love it

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  12. Your geese are beautiful. I think what it needs is contrast, either in value or scale. It all looks similar so there's nothing to move your eye around the quilt. You will find an idea and it will be wonderful!

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  13. i was gonna totally copy you and make a quilt JUST LIKE YOURS, except i was gonna use the blue fabric in the line for the background with mostly orange geese, and surround the whole thing with the blue-background trees - so it could be my new Bronco quilt - and my geese were gonna fly in formation cuz i am too RIGID to let them have a wild goose chase ... i had the cart full and was about to click the now-or-never button when Auntia showed me the SQUIRRELS (shudder) in the border fabric ... and every time you post updates, i think that maybe, just maybe, i could live with those squirrels...

    anywho, you're right (big surprise - you're ALWAYS right) about putting it away for now ... Life IS about the Journey...

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  14. Most of my quilts originate because I saw the color selection and it brought me quilty visions. Your new block is right up the alley for a few of my recent accumulations, okay, lots of accumulations. Love it. The geese - well their flying days are about done, and then again they might just come back, with a little inspiration. Hope it works eventually. Stephani in N. TX (Tomazec@aol.com)

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  15. My only recommendation would be that the blocks should be bigger consistent with the border. I love the fabric and the concept. I myself have quite a few of these types of projects. I love your quilts. You are so creative. Mary

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  16. karen@liberty star quiltsNovember 21, 2014 at 10:09 PM

    Just took a look at your instagram post with the "pattern" in your project box....love that "pattern"....think your quilt would look great with all the flying geese...not with the "missing" geese....love the fabrics you're using...especially the border...good luck!!

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  17. So glad to know this happens to other quilters too!

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  18. Hi Thelma - I love the new block and Sandy Gervais fabric. As for the flying geese project - maybe a few less geese and more scattered? Or, how about using those tree borders for a table runner with a few rows of geese down the middle? I've had projects go south too and I agree it's disappointing, but i think you're right to focus on the journey.

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  19. Thelma- maybe you could try adding a thin border of a contrasting color btw the geese and the borders. Also, have you tried turning the tree fabric around so that the tree roots are near the center and the branches toward the outside?

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