Saturday, March 17, 2018

Inspiration Strikes

Happy St. Patrick's Day.

Pin basting several quilts at the same time has worked for me lately. So what the heck. I pinned the small medallion from last year (CCIV) that has been waiting to-be-quilted for several months - perhaps a year - at the same time as CCVII. And it sat again.

The continual problem? It looks unfinished. Of course, it is unquilted... but I mean the top itself. I've never been satisfied with this quilt. The center is chopped off. There's absolutely no more fabric so Sue Kelly's suggestion to broderie perse some elements from it wouldn't work. That's why it rested in the UFO pile for so long.

As soon as it was pinned though, inspiration struck because of that chopped-off white flower. {I would say, "Isn't that always the case?" but unfortunately, inspiration frequently strikes me after everything is done. A day late and a dollar short as it were.} What if I extended the flower with solid white fabric? And what if I scattered a few more flowers about?

I cut some mockups from paper. Looking good so far.

Potential flowers added to medallion Chinese Coin quilt
After preparing solid fabrics and letting them dry overnight, I cut the shapes out and pinned them on the top. The next problem is that the quilt is pinned and trimmed fairly close. Two choices: machine stitch through all the layers or judiciously unpin a small portion. To be even safer, I stitched the flower closest to the edge of the quilt.

Machine appliqueing a flower onto a quilt

I took the table off the machine so I'm sewing by inserting machine arm between the top and the batting-and-backing. Not an ideal situation but it works. The small arm fits without removing too many pins.

Starting at the center, without the orange star portion, I outlined petals. With the needle down on the outside edge, I put the star in place before outline stitching over it. Then I went around that shape again, a bit inside the first and ended with some circles for the very center. Now the outside edge didn't look uniform so I traveled back and went around again... deliberately very casually.  The hardest part actually was tieing and burying the threads.


Flowers are machine appliqueing onto a quilt
I thought this would take a day or more to finish but it took less than an hour {after the material was prepped.} In fact, cutting the shapes out took longer than sewing them on. While it would look better done before basting, it turned out pretty well.

Now to choose a quilting design and thread color.

Enjoy the day, Ann

36 comments:

  1. Very clever and those extra flowers give it the 'look' that you were going for.

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  2. Excellent solution for your dilemma!!!

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    1. Thanks, Julie. It worked out pretty well. Quilting can proceed and I can move this one out of the house.

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    1. Thanks, Cindy. It's always a treat to be smart a bit ahead of the finish.

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  4. It looks so good. The continuation of the flowers also integrated the light and dark elements! How pretty it is. And the curved flower accents the straight lines.

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    1. Thanks, LeeAnna. That partial flower started this whole idea once I realized solids would work. You're right; the curved flowers set off all the straight lines well.

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  5. I think the flowers set it off beautifull! Clever sister!

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    1. Thanks, Mav. It did work out well. I was a bit worried that I'd make a mess and have to unpin everything. So glad that didn't happen.

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  6. It does look good, perfect solution!

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  7. I love pin basting two quilts at a time. Started doing it a couple years ago and now I'm hooked on having a quilt waiting in the wings! LOVE your flower applique addition. This is such a fantastic addition! Kudos to you for getting it together even after the quilt was pin basted. That's such a tough decision to make at that particular moment, but wowsers! so worth the effort!

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    1. I only recently started doing this but what a time-saver. I have to move furniture and lights to prepare the area for pinning and it's nice to complete two at once. Plus, the batting is better utilized. Adding the applique looks like something you might do; I think your courage inspired me. Thanks, Audrey.

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  8. I am like you and see, after a quilt is finished, exactly what I should have done before layering it, or even earlier. I applaud your brilliant solution to the unfinished look you thought this quilt had. I thought it was wonderful without the flowers but the flowers add so much. Great solution.

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    1. Hindsight can be so annoying, can't it? I'm glad I figured this out before it was completely done. Thanks for writing, Nancy.

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  9. That solution is definitely the ticket to getting a (more) finished feel to the quilt. You could not have matched the quilt better, except to have some of the original fabric for broderie perse. I'll have to remember your technique for future quilts. You never know what tricks you'll need to get it just right. Love your quilt, Ann.

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    1. How kind of you, Mary. Broderie perse would have been better but this worked out well. Although the coral could have been a bit more of a tan. I hope you can use the idea, too. Thanks for writing.

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  10. I like your thinking, and applaud your willingness to go back and make changes at this late stage. It was well worth it.

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    1. Thanks, Kaja. I like it much better now. Even though I'm giving it away, it's better to have something I'm happy with.

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  11. Your little flower detail adds so much! Great job.

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  12. The floating flowers add such a fun detail to your quilt top. Well worth the pause to make this quilt top fantastic!!

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    1. You are always so clever with words, Mel. Floating flowers. Perfect.

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  13. Excellent "save" Ann! What fun to see it. Thanks for the nod! ;-)

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    1. Once you mentioned it, I knew it was the right thing to do. I actually spent a while looking for more of that old, old fabric. Funny that it took so long to realize I could use solids. I miss you on blogger but know you're doing well with a small group of your own.

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  14. Those sweet scattered flowers add your own unique twist. The quilt was good before, but now it's even better!

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    1. So kind of you, Lee Ann. Thanks.

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  15. The flowers add the perfect finishing touch. Quilting the flowers on thru all the layers was a good, quick way to add them and it will help hold the layers together when you do the quilting in the rest of the quilt.

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    1. They do make it look more polished. I'm much happier with the top. Thanks, Patty.

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  16. Oh love what you've done with these flowers Ann, great idea!

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    1. Thanks, Maureen. Someday I hope to do "real" applique. I hope your hands are better.

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