Saturday, May 16, 2009

Spring CQ...Achillea

Sometimes crazy quilts need to go to sleep for awhile...as has my Spring CQ. When I laid it away last summer, I somehow knew that it wasn't finished, but I was kind of "used up" and didn't trust myself to keep going at that point.

The same thing happened with "Summer Lake Day", only that quilt slept for two whole years before my friend Tracey Brookshier helped me figure out what it needed!

The outer two borders were added at Tracey's suggestion....the "woods" element, essentially. It seems obvious now, but back then I was stuck.

With the Spring CQ, I've decided that it just needs more detail, more lushness...and it being spring again, inspiration is revisiting me too. I don't know how much time I'll have to pour into this right now, as I have some other projects lined up and waiting like planes stacked up on final approach at LAX.

But for now..."Achillea", or yarrow....

Little rick rack flowers!
The best kind of rick rack for this is rayon 3 mm....hard to find, but Mokuba does make it. Used here is cotton 3mm that my dear student Maureen kindly gave me after the rick rack I had put in the kits for class prooved so hard to work with. (Bummer! Thanks again, Maureen, and all the others who brought rick rack from their stashes to bail me out.)
I did use some of the smaller rayon rick rack here too....

I like the contrast in fibers, color and size the two rick racks give. This is on the left side of the quilt...

...and this is on the right side.
I'm not going for pure symmetry, but for balance.

Other elements I've added to the quilt are these lovely vintage motifs that I bought at Tinsel Trading last week with Susan.

The threads in these are silk and metallic. Aren't they wonderful?

Here is an overall shot of the quilt with all its new elements, including some white lace flowers that are pinned onto the center section but are not sewn down yet...they'll be more for texture than anything else.

Those vintage motifs are sewn on along the very bottom edge on either side of that California poppy. They are contributing to the kind of grassy, grounding effect I'm going for...I will have to add some clover along there too....a "weed", true, but definitely part of the garden scenario!
Can you spot the achillea and the two beaded butterflies? (One more of those is coming.)

I truly love how machine embroidered motifs mix with other elements in crazy quilting.
My friend Debra Spincic and her daughter-in-law Laura are teaming up to start a business selling motifs for quilters and other needleworkers. I've ordered 4 more butterflies from them via email (their Etsy shop is almost ready..)
Visit Debra's blog for details!

20 comments :

Melissa Haren said...

These quilts are so beautiful! I really like the way your crazy quilts are planned out to create such wonderful images. That is a really unique touch versus the completely random type of CQ I am familiar with.

Possibilities, Etc. said...

This is really starting to sing and dance - exuberant! I love the birds and butterflies.

Mylyne said...

Impressive pieces!

Debra said...

Gosh, thanks for the nod to my shop. June 1st is the planned opening!

Truly pretty & especially with those hummingbirds!

Bunny said...

Oh my I love this "Lake Day" quilt it is just amazing. Well all your work is just amazing. A true artist. Thanks for inspiring me.

Robin said...

When I saw this quilt in person, I couldn't imagine needing to add anything else... Yet right away (when I clicked to enlarge), I loved butterflies your added. And, of course, the Achillea is adorable! I've got to get to Mokuba and order some of that rayon ric rac. The two sizes and colors of blue are nicer than if they were the same. More lushness? Yep... You're doing it! Spring hugs, Robin A.

Summerset said...

Looking good - what great additions to the quilt. I understand why you let the quilt rest. Sometimes being away from a project lets you see it more clearly.

Judy S. said...

So pretty, Allie! I especially love the hummingbirds. How did you do them? You are such a talented needlewoman!

Plays with Needles said...

mmmm....I like the two sizes of the achillea and love love love the idea of a more "lush" Spring CQ -- bring it on!! It really gives me a warm feeling to see the connections from your trip to your quilting...and Uncle Hal's butterfly is very special too.

Raspberry said...

Beautiful, but my favorite is Summer Lake Day. I said, "wow" when I saw it. It's really beautiful, and you can even see a lot of the detail if you click on the picture - that was a lot of work so far! It looks as though all the fabric pieces were roughly the same shape?

kerrykatiecakeskeb43 said...

Hi Allie! Obviously taking a hiatus from these two quilts was what was needed because they are both drop dead gorgeous now you have gone back to them!
Hugs,
Kerry

EMBELLISHER said...

A number of my projects need to sleep I find its an intergral part of the design process.
Summer Lake Day is absolutely stunning.

JoWynn Johns said...

What can I add? The ric rac blossoms are adorable. The birds and butterflies add just the right punctuation. Very satisfying to view. And so is the marvelous other quilt you just finished with borders. Perfect! And a loving goodbye to Uncle Bill. So fortunate--dying with his boots on. Blessings, Allie.

Marg said...

Oh, Allie, you've done it again! I often look at your blog first thing in the a.m., and this morning, with the Spring Sampler (and the temptation of the Summer one), it's just so refreshing! :-)

Mal* (turning*turning) said...

I love the idea of quilts "going to sleep" for a while and then waking up refreshed. I have always said that my projects (and essays) are "incubating." Sometimes that time is difficult -- I thrash about and feel guilty and horrible -- but there's no sense taking a cake out of the oven until it's finished.

Mary Corbet said...

As usual, Allie, your work is beautiful and really captivating. I love the birds! And the flowers!

Irish Kathi said...

"Summer Lake Day" is an art quilt! Just gorgeous. I am always intrigued by your quilts...the planning, execution and seeing the results are highly anticipated!

Jean said...

Allie, I really love your work... it's so pretty... it just of draws me into it! Just pretty and lush and just like I would like my flower gardens to be like. But, that's just not my forte. Such is life! Beautiful... you know, I've seen a lot of cq at museums etc... and most of them seem to be quite, I suppose "dry" is what I'm looking to say... not so with yours... thanks for sharing with us!

Patricia said...

Wow! So beautiful. The achillea is so pretty, never would have used rickrack flowers but that looks terrific. The quilt is just amazing. I learn so much from reading your blog.
Pat
Patricia Rose-A Potpourri of Fabric, Fragrance and Findings
www.patriciarose-apotpourri.com
www.patriciarose-apotpourriof.blogspot.com

Kay said...

Another beauty. I love the little rick-rack achillea. Do you ever do Queen Anne's Lace? It's a favorite of mine, and I bet you could do it beautifully. If you have already, I missed it.