Tuesday, May 14, 2019

Chinese Coins in Yellow Baby Quilt

As I wrote recently, I haven't felt very creative lately; I still don't. Sewing is relaxing but making all the decisions for a new quilt overwhelms me. Working on leftovers, extras, and older projects fits my abilities for now. Plus, they are {finally} moving along. {Go, team, go. On the floor and out the door.}

Case in point: If you recall Chinese Coins XII, made for my co-grandmother, started with columns from a Coin that didn't work. Adding sashing makes a few Coins go a long way so there are still loads of these columns left. As you would expect, I cut several extra WOF solids strips, too. How easy to sew them into another baby quilt.

At the end of last year I had five baby quilts; now they are all gifted. Nothing in the queue and DH's co-workers are still having babies!

This time I pulled the yellows and ochers. The yellow and white stripe sets them off well, especially after  the strong inner border was added. It looks as if these fabric purchases were planned but that is not the case. Buying fabric at one time for a quilt usually is a recipe for disaster for me.

As Audrey wrote recently, it's much better to pull from different years and brands. Making things work that aren't dyed to match gives me so much pleasure. After all, when all the decisions are made, there's nothing else to do but sew them up. That may be why we have so many UFOs. All the creative parts are done and we're left with the chores of sewing, pressing, and trimming.

scrap quilt with yellow and ocher sashing
Chinese Coins in Yellows (CCXIII) baby quilt

However, compared to Chinese Coins XII, this top seems unfinished. It lacks the snappiness the rows of tulips gave the previous quilt. What to do?

The spirals in the border gave me the idea to add spirals in the center. They are black so it was my original choice but when the fabric was laid on the quilt, anyone can see it's too severe. Back to the stash where I pulled this marsala shade of shot cotton. Much improved.

Possible applique fabrics for Chinese Coins in Yellow (CCXIII) baby quilt

With only a ten-inch WOF, I cut it on the diagonal and made two bias strips to put through bias tape makers of 9- and 12-mm. Pinned on the top, they are much too small and insignificant.


It either needs a larger spiral or many more small spirals. I've never had much luck sewing strips together and putting them through the bias tape maker. They always pooch out where the seams join. Shot cotton is very thin so I decided to try it again but didn't have confidence it would work. Wrong-o. No trouble at all.

One larger spiral of 12-mm bias tape pinned on the quilt scales better.


"This is just a baby quilt," I kept repeating but the tiny spirals looked too ... tiny. Eventually I replaced the narrowest one with new, large 12-mm spiral. Then I left it on the wall for a couple of days.


scrap quilt with yellow and ocher sashing and marsala spirals
Chinese Coins in Yellows with Spirals (CCXIII) baby quilt

I like the mixed spiral sizes {and I liked not having to replace the third} so I sewed each side of the spirals down. The inner end is tucked under the spiral; that wasn't difficult. The outer end had to be turned; that took a while. Obviously I need more practice.

detail of Chinese Coins in Yellows with Spirals (CCXIII) baby quilt

The thread ends need to be pulled to the back and tied. And look. Those aren't spirals in the border; they're concentric circles. Someone needs new glasses.

Enjoy the day, Ann

24 comments:

  1. I would have just quilted it and called it a day, but you did take the top to the next level! The spirals do add a lot of interest to the quilt top. They almost look like they are floating. Spirals - Circles - close enough! LOL!!!

    I only have 3 blue baby quilts in my stash so I need to get the Harley quilt and my nephew's quilt done so I can get some baby quilts made. My SIL is going to be needing one for a friend and one of my co-workers just had their first g-baby, so there goes one of the blue quilts.

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    1. I just thought the top was boring. I forget that some people like quieter things. Learning to applique those spirals was enjoyable. It's the first time bias tape didn't bulge where seams joined two sections. Plus, figuring out how to turn the ends under (and practicing) was good experience.
      We both will be busy the next few months trying to get ahead on baby quilts - a lost cause.

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  2. Must be spring Fever (as in Spring where art thou?) I am feeling like everything is hard work lately...so taking a little refreshing break from any sewing...except for my hand work -- hexagons...In Mid-May it feels like March here...anyway--I like your spiral additions...nice work hugs, Julierose

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    1. There are times we need breaks from our normal routine. With all the beauty of spring around, this is a great time to change pace. Have fun.

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  3. you're in an uncomfortable place right now... I've been there. You want to create but don't feel the muse. It'll return. The spirals were inspired though, they add a spark or punctuation mark to the whole thing. Good job keeping on! Do you paint? I'm finding an outlet just seeing bright color appear on paper again. Or bead? Music? Thank you again for sharing honestly how you feel, and how you come up with ideas. LeeAnna

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    1. Thanks, LeeAnna. The spirals were the only bit of creativity I could handle right now. Completing them has helped; my rusted wheels are starting to turn again. I don't paint but have tried little bits of watercolor and should get those out again. Hopefully you are feeling better. Your blog posts are increasingly active. Good for you.

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  4. I really like the way this turned out. Isn't it funny how sometimes we just want to sew - we don't want to make decisions about it - we just want to sew. I think the spirals added a lot to this little quilt.

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    1. Thanks, Robin. It is funny because I usually want to create rather than sew. I can keep myself at it if the sewing is part of the creative process, but once everything is laid out, it becomes much harder. This one, however, is so small I sewed it before I got tired. I wonder what the recipient will think of the spirals but they amuse me. Glad you like them, too.

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  5. I like your little coins, even w/o the spirals. Thanks for sharing your thoughts and process. How else do we get anywhere but by getting something done and making some decisions. And letting go of the inner critic. I personally think being critical is way over rated.
    Feelings and health go up and down for everyone. But that need to make something with our hands, not everyone has that.
    In season or out of season, I think your work is great and you're very inspiring.

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    1. Yes, I forget many people like quieter things than I. Still, it was fun to add the spirals. I learned some new tricks and practiced applique. There is a fine line between analyzing and criticizing. It's easy for us to overstep the mark - especially when evaluating our own work. I promised I'd try more applique; that was the impetus to attempt it here.
      Aren't we fortunate that we like to create with our hands? I'd be bored just sitting around and looking at other people all the time.

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  6. I've taken a break to play in the leftovers and orphans -- the three 70273 quilts are taking most of my energy to get finished in the next week so the small scrappy projects are a nice counter-balance. LOVE those spirals - what a great idea.

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    1. Your 70273 quilts move me. Great job. I can see how they take all your energy so it's good to have leftovers to play with. Just something to relax that you haven't got much invested in. A little downtime if you will.

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  7. Very unique! So you! I love it!

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  8. Love your twist of adding bias tape applique spirals!!

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    1. I feel like a mini-Mel. Trying something way out of my comfort zone.

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  9. I love the colours of this one and how clever of you to come up with the spirals. I agree that they just give things a little boost - a spark of creativity sneaking out.

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    1. Thanks, Kaja. They are your colors, aren't they?

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  10. It's funny, the juxtaposition of work and play in all things creative. We adore the play time when our mind feels sharp but feel overwhelmed when our energies are at a low ebb. We embrace the mindless doing at these times when in other instances, that chain piecing/ironing or trimming is so very frustrating. We just want to fast forward to the fun stuff! I can see your mind trying to make connections with the addition of the spirals. It adds a bit of modern flair to your otherwise sweet baby quilt! I especially like the outside border fabric you chose. If it weren't for the energy in that fabric, I don't think the spirals would have worked.

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    1. When I was in college I only read light, mindless paperbacks (other than textbooks) but I the summer I only read serious biographies and histories. I guess we need a change of pace during the week.
      Good point about the border. Yes, I’m trying to connect the addition. I always forget some people really like quiet.

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  11. The spirals are an inspired idea Ann. The creativity will come back again, in it's own good time. Just enjoy this lovely quilt, it could be relaxing to hand quilt Kantha style rather than having to plan the machine quilting, if that was your intention.

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    1. I hope ideas will start blossoming but I do have a few ufo blocks to use up. Kantha quilting sounds wonderful but handwork makes my wrist ache.

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