Wednesday, November 16, 2011

a little progress: the return of the Mystery Quilt and the "dead simple" Little Apples quilt

We are having the most beautiful, extended fall in recent memory, and this week I took advantage of the mild weather to document -- outdoors -- some recent progress in ongoing sewing projects.

First off, I took a little break from lecture prep to make the "week 7" (really fortnight 7) blocks for the Mystery Quilt project by Bluepatch Quilter (Sheila).  I was off to such a good start with this fun quiltalong, blogged here, here, and here, but that was months ago -- May, to be exact! Yikes.  And so now, after a long hiatus, I finally seem to be back on track with this one.

Sheila had us make two Friendship blocks.  Here's one:

 We also made two strips of plaiting, used to link one of the new blocks and one from earlier weeks:

Finally, this cluster of blocks was joined to a couple more blocks from previous weeks.

I rethought my choice of the light pink Alexander Henry "Heath" fabric used as filler (above), and wanting more contrast I substituted more of the AMH dots that I have been using as my (unlikely) background fabric throughout the project.

Okay dokey.

Since the mystery of the Mystery Quilt's final design has already been revealed (I am that far behind!), I know that I have a few more piecing adventures ahead of me.  I love the fact that this project has pushed me to do new things.

Yesterday happened to be a very good mail day: not only did I receive my new Gutentags-made labels (more on that in a future post!), but I also received the Little Apples yardage and gorgeous red flannel for my simple patchwork nap quilt (inspired by Lynne's "Dead Simple" QAL).  You'd better believe that I cut into the LA yardage straight away, and now -- ta da! -- here is the completed quilt top, on my leaf-strewn, overgrown lawn:

This is such a crazy-easy quilt, but I adore it.  The colours in the aqua Little Apples print look so much more rich and vibrant than I expected.  Sometimes a small swatch -- like the charm squares of this print, already in my possession and already part of the quilt -- fails to capture the appeal of a print. That's definitely the case here.

The central panel in this quilt is made from one charm pack of Aneela Hooey's "Little Apples" combined with 5" squares of a variety of prints and solids from my stash (bringing the total number of "charms" used to 81, arranged 9 x 9).  I surrounded that panel with a 1.5" strip of white sashing (finishing to 1") and then an 8" border of the Little Apples print (I had 1.5 yards, and now have some nice sized scraps left over).

This quilt top is special because the stash fabrics were chosen with the assistance of my littlest one: she was really and truly helped, and expressed opinions, and that makes it all the more beautiful to me.

I have a sewing day scheduled with my quilty friends Tong, Sheila, and Sylvia -- and maybe I'll make some progress on quilting this one.  My sewing time is still so precious that I am trying to avoid feeling any pressure to finish this or that project: whatever I feel like making or doing is what I will make or do.  So there!

In the meantime, I would love to find a name for this new quilt.  It isn't constructed ONLY from "Little Apples" fabric, and it wasn't STRICTLY following the quilt-along, and yet it is awfully simple so its name really shouldn't be anything too elaborate...any ideas?


Judith, Belfast said...

Lovely quilt! I thought of 'Picnic in the Fall' cos it reminds me of a picnic blanket, apples fall off trees, and you made it during Fall!!!!! Jxo

Sheila said...

Can't beat Judith's idea - I love seeing this quilt as i have a mix of Little Apples and Pips charms sorted and ready for Baby Quilt #2 - the Boy One. I wasn't planning a border but am loving the big area of the print, I might re-think my plan.
Glad you are back on track with the Mystery.

Annabella said...

So wish I had done the Mystery QAL as the finished product is so beautiful. I`ll add it to the bucket list. Hope your daughter loves the quilt - perhaps she has a great name for it?

Archie The Wonder Dog said...

I love the as-yet-nameless quilt! Stunning!!!

Michelle @ the quilted tortoise said...

Love both of these, your mystery quilt blocks look gorgeous, I love the colours!

What is your daughter's name? Maybe you could call it "[her name]'s choices" as she had such great input?

I love the Autumn leaves surrounding the quilt in your photo too!