Saturday, January 6, 2018

Fifth Chinese Coins Quilt Sewn and an Annual Review

Fifth Chinese Coins appeared to be finished until I found several more coin strips - enough for a couple of rows. A bit of hesitation. Should I add them in or not? Yes. With extra rows the quilt fits a double bed {if I use pillow shams.} So one wide row on the left and a skinny row to the right. Now the columns are sewn and I'm considering sashing strips.

Fifth Chinese Coins quilt with possible sashing

I'm not sure why I keep trying to add sashing to this quilt or why it's always dark sashing. Once up, it always seems overpowering and unnecessary so I sewed the top without any.

Chinese Coins quilt of vintage household fabrics and scraps
Fifth Chinese Coins quilt top
It was the correct choice.


2017 Review

I intended to review and set goals before the New Year but was sidelined by a racetrack quilt. With a bit of free time I can now organize the thoughts that have been playing in the back of my mind.

Last year was the first time I publicly wrote an annual plan: five quilts-in-progress and four goals.  Only two of the five from last year's post were completed - one way or another. Polka Dots was quilted and gifted. The selvedge top was donated.

On the other hand, I finished a record 23 projects counting all pillows and stockings. {And of course, I'll do that.} Nine older projects miraculously sewed themselves up and moved out. The rest were started and finished this year.

I finally included recycled fabric in a few. Kaja's photos of her bundled shirts and the subsequent pull from her stash highlighted my problem. Pulling the recycled material first completely changes the choices of new fabrics. {I think that's why her quilts have become noticeably softer this year.} Following suit I chose a wide assortment of "home recycled" fabrics first for pillows and the fifth Chinese Coins quilt then filled in with the new stuff.

Monica at Lakeview Stitching finds end use drives her color choices. She wants her bed quilts subtly shaded, leaving the "more energetic color combinations" to her art quilts. It's a point I've been pondering for a while. Although our level of quiet for bedrooms varies significantly, I too want that room to be restful and relaxing.

Four quilts finished in 2017 involved complex designs that encompassed all my abilities. I like having projects with depth and challenge but also need some easier ones to simply keep the scrap bag in stasis.

Considering the quilting backlog whittled away, the new projects carried across the finish line, and the fabric stash used or donated, publicly announcing my goals helped me achieve them. Worth repeating.

2018 Plans
  1. Write the baseball quilt pattern.
  2. Finish New York Beauty, Ocean Waves, and Quilty 365.
  3. Focus on smaller quilts, beginning with the three designs already drafted.
  4. Pay attention to color and fabric choices.
  5. Practice simpler quilting designs.
  6. Continue combinations: recycled + scraps + new fabrics; traditional + improvisation + original designs. 
  7. Add more details. This probably means applique or printing and stamping. Thanks for the inspiring posts, Audrey and Kaja.
Enjoy the day, Ann

22 comments:

  1. I think it is most interesting how the AHIQ challenge regarding coins quilts has carried on and on for so many of us. I am about to embark and yet another iteration myself. And yes, I do think it helps to stop and consider where we want to focus our energies - understanding that new information along the way has the absolute right to cause us to adjust those plans mid-stream (when warranted). Glad you opted to leave out the sashing in your fifth coins quilt!

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    1. I know, Julie. Previously I used nine-patches and string blocks to use up scraps but find these more satisfying. They've become my favorite scrap quilt and I have ideas for more artistic quilts with Coins, too. Yours have been gorgeous - a product of your good eye and lovely color schemes. I can't wait to see your next Chinese Coin iteration.
      I'm trying to keep my options open with plans. The quilts that didn't get finished last year were mainly too planned (and without a reason to finish.) Once I've made every decision, it's hard to maintain interest. This year I hope broad categories will remind me of what I want to think about. We'll see. Yes, we do get ot change plans mid-stream. This is our fun time.

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  2. I love this iteration of Chinese Coins and like Julie I'm glad you left out the sashing though it's clearly an itch you'll need to scratch at some point.I especially like your thought to focus on 'combinations'; it feels like a good approach: manageable but with plenty of creative potential. Here's to a productive and satisfying year's quilting.

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    1. I became engaged with Chinese Coins when I left the sashing off but there are still ways to add some back in that I want to explore. It is an itch.
      We'll never get through everything we have planned and I don't do well completely changing gears. My first love is scrap/multi-fabric quilting. So I need to find a way to incorporate aspects of that in what I'm working on. I'm inspired by the way you've merged a seascape, a traditional block, and printing. Each could be fairly ordinary but your blending skills are creating a masterpiece. In your own voice. So wonderful to watch.

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  3. Enjoy the spontaneity of your coins quilt. It's very cheerful. Look forward to the next challenge

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    1. Thanks, Robin. I'm so pleased with the way it turned out. I can see this on our bed... although we don't have a bed this small. Ha.
      We're working on the next challenge.

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  4. What a great way to use up scraps / the Coins quilt is just bursting with color and fabric history :)

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    1. How kind of you, Deb. Everytime I look at this quilt I see fabrics we've used and remember events associated with them. It's incredibly special which makes it more fun than using material from an anonymous charity store. I've been surprised.

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  5. Another lovely 'coins' quilt, I really like the colour combo in this one! I too perfer a 'quiet' quilt to sleep under, I just rarely manage to achieve this!

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    1. Thanks, Linda. I've been thinking that since these are household goods (sundress, shirts, napkins, etc) they are not nearly as loud as the quilting fabric I buy. It's something to think about although it's hard to change quilt shopping habits.

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  6. I think it is very interesting that setting goals last year led to a new level of productivity, and especially that the productivity turned in a different direction than the initial goals! What an exciting possibility! I think you have a great open ended set of goals for this year too. Should be fun!

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    1. Wasn't that lucky? The more open-ended goals got my attention. Perhaps because they are forward-looking? I am pleased that to have finished or donated several old ones.
      Best wishes to you, too.

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  7. Love the scattered reds and purples that spark up the blues. The varied widths give great movement. Going to try this rather than my very planned, exact strips.

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    1. They worked out so well. I'm glad I took the time to move them around and delete a few. This sprinkling does what I want. I like equal columns but have more fun with these varied ones. I look forward to seeing your work. Thanks for writing.

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  8. I like your 'fifth Chinese coin' quilt top. Good design choices.
    The blues are soothing with enough contrast colors to make it pleasing to the eye.
    And your plans look like they'll keep you running efficiently through the year!

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    1. Thanks, Janie. It came out better than expected. Choosing the recycled fabric first and only then adding new stuff helped. You are having a wonderful year helping your family and visiting places on the West Coast.

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  9. You’re really rocking those Chinese coins! Love this one! Great goals for 2018! Very achievable! Happy New Year!

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    1. Chinese Coins replaces nine patches as my new favorite scrap quilt. It certainly uses a lot of scraps.

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  10. Your 2018 list is a good one! I can relate totally to number 6. I will probably have another Chinese coin quilt in my future as I have found a lot of irregular strips in my scrap bins. Once I gather enough of them I will make an improv coin quilt with them. Most of the strips are too narrow or wedge shaped so I can't cut a square or rectangle out them, but they are too good to just toss.

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    1. My working methods are pretty well set. I like the challenge of new techniques but always return to old tried-and-true. The only way to incorporate them is to combine them. Your Chinese Coin quilt is one of my favorites. You have a fabulous eye for neutrals. The wedges combined with the partial border always draws me back for another look. I look forward to your newest one.

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  11. You are on fire with your productivity!! Some day you will have to share your secret. Great goals for 2018...happy new year!!

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    1. You are the productivity champ, Mel. I'm just trying to keep up.

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