Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Lolly Lolly Quilt for craft book month

Lolly Lolly quilt

Way back when, I signed up to participate in Craft Book Month.   I don't do a lot of blog hops, but I think this one is so valuable because it encourages folks to pick out an inspiring project and actually make it.  Golden.  Since two quilts in Sunday Morning Quilts have been floating around my consciousness for quite some time, on a whim I selected the Gumdrops quilt as my blog hopping project.

Gumdrops quilt from Sunday Morning Quilts

Making a quilt can be so emotional, you know?  The highs, the lows, the light bulb moments, the stuck times.  Making Lolly Lolly has felt a little like a survival experience.  It's not that the pattern is hard.  "It's not you, it's me, dear Gumdrop quilt."

initial colors

*that Getting-Started high*  I love the candy-colored quilt in the book, but I want to do my own thing.  Making something different will be more exciting!  Kona Cerise makes a striking background, my neutral scraps are eager to find a home, and warm pink accents enhance the cool-girly vibe.

do you like it?

*tangly Self-Doubt*  Uhoh, a cerise background and neutral scraps pretty much kills the candy vibe.  My quilt seems to be growling, showing her teeth.  Or are they tombstones?  Enter sinking feeling - this is NOT a gumdrop quilt.

Lolly Lolly quilt

*Bright Shiny solution*  This is NOT a gumdrop quilt!  Let's alternate the rows to face each other.  Sure I had to hear that idea in my head, in the book and from my creative friend before I actually tried it, but then it finally took.  I repeat, this is not a gumdrop quilt!  Now it's a kind of funky pop art piece.

*reckless Defiance*  Is there really a baby anywhere in the world who wants a funky pop art piece for a blanket?  Really, self?  In to far to go back now...

*Sweet, Sweet progress*  It's time to baste (quick spray basting joy!).  It's time to quilt (I have a good ideeee-aaaa!).

*Big Fat Stormy Rainclouds*  Otherwise known as machine trouble.  I while away about 3 hours trying to correct skipped stitches when free motion quilting with my Juki.  Grumpiness ensues immediately and grows exponentially when every potential fix fails.

*Despair* To avoid despair, it's best to stop at those rainclouds.  Put the project away for a few days.  Eat chocolate.  Kick up your heels.  But I had a deadline (darn it!).  Picking out long passes of free motion quilting stitches repeatedly under these conditions is a recipe for emotional disaster.  I am dogged.  I am miserable.

moments dark & light

*rocky Redemption*  If you keep pushing on any project there's probably, almost certainly redemption around the corner.   It might be a winding road with lots of corners (say 80 or so?), but eventually persistence wins out and there will be, finally, a moment when you leave behind those troubles and find rest.  I ended up loving the straight line quilting.  I used Aurifil 12 wt thread in cream and Aurifil 50 wt threads in light gray and medium gray.  The variation in color and thickness shines on the minimalist Kona Melon solid I used for backing.

So, it's not the wavy quilting I had envisioned (which ironically my Kenmore was able to perform correctly on the first try), but when I finally got the FMQ effect I wanted, I didn't like it after all.  I was not in an emotional state to mess with photographs at that time, but you can see the needle holes from the wavy quilting in the brightest spot in the above image.

intense texture  

*Relief and a tiny bit of Triumph*  I survived.  At the end of the day, I finished it in time and I like it.  I'm pleased with the stripey binding, the highly textured quilting and the combination of Cerise and Melon.  It may not be my best quilt ever, but it's mine.  Someday I hope it will find it's way to a baby that appreciates the offbeat.

Lolly Lolly quilt

Lolly Lolly quilt

Lolly Lolly quilt

Making anything is an emotional journey, whether you start with your own idea or someone else's.  Sometimes its mostly about mustering the courage to start at all.  Every making experience is an opportunity to pour yourself out, sharing your perspective with the world, despite the quite-likely presence of tangly self-doubt and possibility of stormy rainclouds.

Hopefully bright shiny solutions flow effortlessly.

Hopefully your reckless defiance reaps great rewards.

Hopefully something pushes you on to finish in triumph, and let's cross fingers that your push comes from sweet, sweet progress free of despair. 

*************************************************

Craft Book Month at Craft BudsCraft Book Month is just beginning. 
The 3rd Annual Craft Book Month at Craft Buds features a blog hop of inspirational craft book projects, a crafty contest, free patterns and prizes.  Don't let those craft books sit on your shelf and collect dust! 

 

Week One
Monday 9/2: Fabric Mutt / LRstitched
Tuesday 9/3: Stitch This! The Martingale Blog / Stitched in Color
Wednesday 9/4: Fabric Seeds / Pile O Fabric
Thursday 9/5: The Feisty Redhead / Rae Gun Ramblings
Friday 9/6: Sew-Fantastic / Clover + Violet
Saturday 9/7: A Prairie Sunrise / Small Town Stitcher

Week Two
Monday 9/9: Hopeful Threads / Go To Sew
Tuesday 9/10: The Sewing Rabbit / Sewing Mama RaeAnna
Wednesday 9/11: Marci Girl Designs / imagine gnats
Thursday 9/12: Sew Sweetness / amylouwhosews
Friday 9/13: Lindsay Sews / 13 Spools
 Saturday 9/14: Inspire Me Grey / Angela Yosten 

Week Three
Monday 9/16: Sew Very / Craftside
Tuesday 9/17: The Littlest Thistle / CraftFoxes  
9/1-9/30: Link up your craft book project at Craft Buds from your blog or Flickr account, and enter to win prizes. Winners will be announced on Tuesday, October, 1!

 
2012 Craft Book Month Projects (L to R):
Sew Crafty Jess, Sewing Rabbit, Stitched in Color, MissKnitta's Studio

To participate in the month-long contest, just link up any project you've made from a pattern in a craft book. That easy! You'll tell us a little about the book, the project, how you personalized it, etc.

Rules
1) One entry per person. 
2) Your craft book project must have been completed in 2013. 
3) Create a new blog post or Flickr photo (dated September 1, 2013 or later) and link back to Craft Buds/Craft Book Month in your post or photo description. In your post or photo description, make sure to list the craft book you used and provide a link if possible.
4) All winners chosen via Random.org. Some prizes available to international winners, so please join us!

Prizes
Visit Craft Buds and link up your craft book project during the window of Sept 1-30 and you'll automatically be entered to win some fantastic prizes from the Craft Book Month sponsors!

No time to make a project? You can also follow Craft Buds all month long for your chance to comment and win some new sewing and quilting books for your library.

60 comments:

  1. This is so beautiful, Rachel! I love how you broke the rules and used Gumdrops as a starting off point. I've never thought of it as tombstones before...lol. Thanks for being a part of Craft Book Month and for sharing your process!

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  2. Fabulous! I love everything about it, and also how you shared all the highs and lows!

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  3. Heck I love it. Unabashedly. (maybe this big girl needs a funky pop-art tombstone quilt.) Reading about your process makes me love it even more! I've had that pattern picked out as a favorite from that book for a long time...

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  4. Well I certainly think it turned out beautiful and very cheerful!

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  5. Some baby is going to love this bright and happy quilt!! Thank you for sharing your journey... It's nice knowing that everybody deals with skipped stitches :)

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  6. Creating is definitely emotional and we always seem to be our own worst critics. It's absolutely beautiful!! I love how you rearranged the top and the quilting is perfect. Hope your machine cheers up for you...I know that's frustrating.

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  7. I adore how it turned out! Great job and thanks for letting us all see the behind the scenes process that came with making it...you could have easily just shown the finished product, said you wanted to change the layout and I would have thought you were brilliant and so creative and never knew you doubted yourself or had rough moments in the process! It really was brave f you, and nice so that we know it isn't always so easy for all you amazing quilt bloggers!

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  8. What a fabulous quilt, your so right about the highs and lows!

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  9. Amanda and Cheryl would both be so happy with what you have done with their pattern. They stress customizing quilts and you have done just that. Now, I'm so glad you like it because I bet you a dollar that there are loads of readers like me who would be happy to have it to snuggle with.

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  10. I loved hearing your journey from the pages of the book to the finished quilt. Thank you for sharing! Your quilt is beautiful, and knowing its path to fruition adds to the appeal!

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  11. Thanks for being honest about the ups and downs....I have a quilt sitting in the closet right now that I haven't been able to face for a few months! I absolutely loved how this turned out! Seriously fun colors that work....like a blast of optimism and courage :).

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  12. You are bang on about those emotional ups and downs. That's what makes the quilt so special! Love it!

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  13. This was such a great post! Of course we can all relate to every step.

    I absolutely love it and I think you're probably just tired of it right now. You'll probably feel better about it when you see it again after putting it away a while.

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  14. (1) I been there . . . . Way to press on.

    (2) It. Is. Amazing. I am nuts over this quilt.

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  15. Oh wow, I love this so much. It is such a unique take on that pattern. And I agree with you about making things being an emotional journal, but I think that those emotions contribute a lot to the quilt and it is an important part of the process :)

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  16. I love this quilt and I love how you showed the inspiration for it but it is so different.... and so cool!

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  17. I love this quilt, especially after seeing the journey you've been on. Sx

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  18. There's NOT one thing about this quilt I don't LOVE! Great job...great journey getting there! Thanks for sharing the path!

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  19. Are you kidding me? I know lots of babies who would love/adore this quilt! (Including this big baby). Re: the process: wonderful how your creativity was journaled. And when anyone asks me why I have three sewing machines (heck, I'd like more, but who has room?) I point to a quilt I made as a wedding gift (oh, those deadlines) and point out how it took all three to make it. (one went to the sew 'n vac hospital) Thank you thank you for your inspiration.

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  20. Great quilt - your persistence paid off. It made me think of candy right away. Not gumdrops, but Good & Plenty - the colors are perfect! (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Good_%26_Plenty) - Suzanne M. (long-time lurker)

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  21. great quilt, i love the way you have written out the whole journey too.. felt like I was there all along you were planning snd quilting it but sorry wasn't there to help you go through though.. hehe. glad you made it out perfectly with a great quilt

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  22. Loooove it! I hear you, sister, on the ups and downs. I tried to make a quilt with a 20-inch centered medallion and just couldn't stay up another late night to make a birthday deadline, so I paper-pieced a tiny version to make as a card and IOU for the big one so that I wouldn't rush.

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  23. in all honesty, it's my favorite quilt I've seen so far this year. I mean it! Yay for pushing through, it's a beauty!

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  24. I love it! My babies would've loved it! Great job! Glad it all worked out.

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  25. What a great take on the original design! Vibrant and fun (and no, they do not look like tombstones). Good choice on the binding and backing.

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  26. I think your quilt is awesome Rachel! Love the color combo and the binding is perfect!

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  27. Can I have it for my future baby ? If she doesn't like it, I will ! There are seriously no words to express how much I love this quilt. It is just so so so gorgeous.

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  28. Your quilt is beautiful and I just wanted to tell you that I really enjoy your writing. Keep up the great work!

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  29. Your description of the survival experience made me chuckle; maybe because my latest quilt has felt like a survival experience - not having enough stash fabric to execute my first vision, a few machine glitches, and slicing diagonally right through a square of fabric that I really, really needed because I'd just managed to eek out the pieces I needed during the cutting phase.

    But, quilts (and quilters) survive. I totally think there is going to be a baby and a mama out there that love this pop art eye candy!

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  30. oh, wow!!! this turned out absolutely stunning. Love all the changes you made as you were making this quilt. It's perfect.

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  31. Not sure what I love more.... the quilt or your commentary about making the quilt. I truly admire (envy?!) the way that you express yourself in your blog posts! I always enjoy reading your blog! Thank you!

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  32. I actually really like it. I like the neutrals, with just hints of color, along with the bright backing and background.

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  33. Love your quilt. Love the process and love your commentary. May I repeat, love your quilt!

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  34. You may have already tried these, but I think Don't Call Me Betsy has the best fmq troubleshooting post and she's on a Juki.
    http://www.dontcallmebetsy.com/2013/03/fmq-troubleshooting-tips-tricks.html

    And your straight lines ended up looking awesome!

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    1. Thanks! Sounds like I should try a topstitch needle.

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  35. Your quilt is awesome! I love the colors, especially the background and I love the flipped rows. I also made this quilt with my bee group helping me. I had tons of trouble with the quilting on my Bernina. Skipped stitches...what a mess! I think much of my problem was the fusible that was used on the gumdrops. Anyway, glad you shared your quilt and your experience. I love it!!

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    1. I was concerned that the fusible was causing the skipped stitches, but when I tested on an other part of the quilt, they still skipped. Maybe my machine was just mad at me by then ;)

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  36. GREAT post - it's so easy to believe no one else goes through all of these things.

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  37. I just love the colors - both front and back - they really make the greys and pops of pink pop! I really enjoyed reading about your process. Your take on the design is fantastic!

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  38. Cerise is one of my favorite Kona colors and I love how the striped binding adds a touch of whimsy. Hooray!

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  39. Love the color choices you made ~ I think this quilt turned out lovely and the striped binding is perfect!

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  40. I love your interpretation of the gumdrop quilt! Awesome work, even with the issues. Now I have a perhaps dumb question: do the "gumdrops" have raw edges? I have only quilted in straight lines - no applique for me - because frankly I am scared of it. Clipping all those curves, all that maneuvering of fabric through the machine, so much hand stitching; silly of me to be scared? Pray tell.

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    1. Yes, the curves on this one are fused with raw edges. I quilted densely to secure them even more permanently and minimize fraying along the raw edges. It will fray some, which is fine, but the fusible combined with the quilting will keep them from coming off!

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  41. Rachel. Your quilt turned out beautifully! Way to press on thru the highs and lows to finish it up. I love the way you made it yours. Nice work!

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  42. I love this quilt! Before I read the post, I thought that the quilt turned out exactly how you had intended (that you meant it to be that way). Love it, and so would a baby girl! I know my baby Cordelia would :)

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  43. This quilt is wonderful! I'm sure it was worth all the troubles :)

    Hugs,
    Tatyana

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  44. "Making anything is an emotional journey, whether you start with your own idea or someone else's. Sometimes its mostly about mustering the courage to start at all. Every making experience is an opportunity to pour yourself out, sharing your perspective with the world, despite the quite-likely presence of tangly self-doubt and possibility of stormy rainclouds."

    That beautifully sums up every project I've ever undertaken. It's brilliant! Thank you for sharing the process. It resonates with so many of us!

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  45. it's wonderful! Well worth every difficult and frustrating step.

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  46. it's wonderful! Well worth every difficult and frustrating step.

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  47. it's wonderful! Well worth every difficult and frustrating step.

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  48. I like that you modified the pattern to suit your tastes and style (and make it work with your fabrics). I love how this quilt turned out... it reminds me a bit of rick-rack. Very cheerful. Very fun. Well done!

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  49. Gorgeous, vibrant quilt. Thank you for sharing your doubts and comments from your inner critic along the way.

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  50. I think it's great Rachel! It turned out great. Thanks for always being honest with your readers. There are so many bloggers that hide the emotion, especially negative, and only share the light. While light is good and we all need more of it, it's truly enlightening I think to know that others around you suffer the same doubts, machine trouble and self-criticism that we suffer ourselves. We're all together in this craft.

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  51. Beautiful quilt! Wonderful post!

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  52. I love this quilt! It's one of my absolute favourites. All that delicious cerise just makes me want to snuggle up under it and grin whilst I examine all the pretty 'teeth'

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  53. Fabulous!! The colours are awesome and babies love bright colours :) The quilting looks great and I like the mix of different weight threads. Thanks for honestly sharing your process.

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  54. Rachel, honestly... how I like your quilt! I like the way you created this pattern. I love looking at it. The colours are not my first choice but I like what everything together looks like. Well done!
    And I'm relieved that I'm not the only one who struggles while creating. ;)
    Craftbook month. Oh well. I'd better pull out one book and make something from it before buying a new one, don't I?

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  55. I followed a "gumdrop quilt" link from another blog back to here, Rachel, and after reading this process, I sort of hope you're having a girl and this quilt ends up hers! Would be sort of serendipitous, no? Perhaps you've already passed it along, though. Either way, *love* the colors - the cerise background is delicious!

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