Saturday, April 20, 2024

Thought I Might be Done

But wait, there's more.

I'm talking about my Bramble Blooms quilt, although you may have thought I meant something else, such as the status of my blogging these days (to be honest, I’ve wondered that as well).

After a couple-month hiatus, I have been working on the Bramble Blooms quilt once again.  I had put it aside in the beginning of the year while I did other things.  Among them, scanning some very old photographs, which led to an interesting connection on Ancestry and a happy little genealogical bunny trail.  Then moved on to giving the upstairs bathroom a facelift (fresh paint, new lighting, fixtures, mirror, and decor).  My talented and creative sister-in-law helped immensely with the bathroom redo.  It's always fun to work with her. 

Anyway, here was my Bramble Blooms quilt as of last November.  You may recall I had deconstructed a vintage Seminole skirt to use in the poppies.  The red fabric's faded streaks, due to age and a soaking gone wrong, became features of the petals.

While I waited for the next clue in the QAL, I continued to deconstruct the skirt, removing more rick-rack and cutting out the strips that weren't too badly stained.  You can see those here on the back of the chair.  The ones on the seat went into the discard pile.

The rest I sewed back together in a different striped configuration and then sub-cut those into squares, which then became colorful pinwheels.

Audrey's next clue mentioned borders with more applique and X-blocks in the corners.  I decided to use my pinwheel blocks for the corners.  Close enough to an X, with a little imagination.

Here I was playing with border ideas.  I wanted to use the blue and yellow piece of Seminole patchwork from the skirt, so that's what you see hanging on the design wall, along with some other bits I pulled out of my stash to pick up on that blue color.  Kind of wildly geometric, but I liked where it seemed to be going.

(Trimming frayed threads from the vintage piecing; damage control after soak/wash)

As far as more applique in the borders, I considered birds or butterflies or more flower or leaf elements, but in the end none of them seemed right.  Meanwhile, while cleaning out a scrap bin, I found some pre-cut circles from a former project, which I threw on the design board as more or less placeholders for applique bits.

The more I thought about it, though, simple circles seemed the way to go.  Perhaps if I cut them from solids in colors that mirrored the colors in the pinwheel corners?  And then, to add a bit more interest and subtle detail to the poppy section, I took some of those gray border fabrics, cut more circles, and randomly popped them, wrong side up, in the central part of the quilt.

Here's how that turned out.  At this point, I thought I might be done!  But then there was another clue for the QAL:  Add 4- or 9- or whatever-number-patches as another border.

Really?!  I wasn't sure I wanted to do that.  I thought about just calling it good and letting that be that.  But I got over myself and eventually put up a few red squares on the design wall and let it marinate for a week or so.  Ultimately, I consulted my resident advisor (aka my husband) for his opinion and he said he liked it and to give it a try.  Okay, I thought, worst case scenario, I could take it off if I didn't like it.

So I went and fished the skirt remnants out of the garbage can (no kidding), and made a bunch of red and white squares from that, as well as from the other darker red stash fabric that I had used in the poppies.

I sewed those into four patches, then end to end for borders—and, what do you know, I liked it!

So this is where my Bramble Blooms quilt is now.  It feels interesting and fun and playful.  I'm happy I utilized more of the skirt; it was such a great piece, despite my attempt to clean it that went a bit sideways.  And I’m glad to have pushed on whenever I stalled or thought it was good enough as is, and that I tried something I was perhaps not initially on board with, trusted the process, yada yada.  

You really can learn a lot from a quilt-along! ;)