I wiped away the weeds & foam. / I fetched my sea-born treasures home... Ralph Waldo Emerson

Sunday, June 18, 2017

Really Truly Finished This Time

Hi everyone! A few weeks ago I put the final-final-final stitches into  two big projects from last year. Yes, P2 is done as is the redo-rescue quilt, Sunflowers, which was an antique quilt top from eBay. I finally had a sunny dry day to take outdoor photos.

Here is P2 completed. The pattern was called Summer Porch by Jan Patek.

I love this quilt. It's a bit too bright for everyday use but I think it's beautiful. So happy, such pretty fabrics! I'm kind of amazed such a lovely item was produced during such a difficult, painful--yes awful!--year. Just goes to show [something].

I've been complaining about quilt projects being so large---for one thing, it's expensive to quilt the big projects, but also it's very costly to supply the backing, since long arm quilters need 4"6" all around of excess fabric to secure a backing in their frames. This means you might need as much as 9 yards? of a single fabric for a backing, and at the current price of approx. $11.oo--well! Big bucks. I got fed up and for P2 I used a queen sized percale sheet from Target. Tiny stars on cream.

It came out great, no seams and as far as I know, no probs with the machine quilting, an allover tossed daisy and clouds pattern.
Kite with 3-D tail.

Ubiquitous Jan Patek Saltbox  and my Mr Sun.

Kitty on a Stack of books.

Bowl with Flag and Bluebird.


Whalies, the block that made me fall in love with this pattern.

Pinwheels and other subbed blocks. I enjoy the extra fun of these.

Pinwheel Sun:

This Basket was so pretty but didn't fit between Kitty and Kite. I made it into the label instead.

The Big Sawtooths.

 Fun details and many memories of Mo and my [lonely, but who'd ever know!] summer 2016 on the deck.

And here is Sunflowers.

The pattern is actually called Russian Sunflowers, after the popular hybrid seeds that brought giant headed sunflowers to the US in the late 1800s. The pattern design predates that, and has other older names, but this is to me the epitome of a field of sunflowers.

I did NOT make this top. It dates from about 1890-1900, was all hand pieced. I repaired it, replaced fragile flaking greens, stabilized the wildly shifting circles.
Probably it was entirely red, cheddar and green, but the red on many for the blocks has faded to tan.

I especially love the blocks where just a few of the ''good'' red, probably turkey red, survived.

The top was far too fragile for hand quilting. Instead I had it custom machine quilted. I asked for wreaths on the circles but the circles were too uneven. My quilter found this wonderful pinwheel design, plus a separate design to fill to the faded olive green spacer areas.

I chose this bright double pink for the backing. I love shocking/ surprising backs.

And the binding is antique turkey red cotton from my collection of old fabrics.

I love how this came out. And I love saving a textile that was crumbling to flakes and shreds. Some purists say not to quilt old tops, but in this case it was a way of giving a beautiful top a chance for survival.
Finishes are very important to me as a quilter and as a person. I like to finish what I start, I need to feel I have reached a goal. I'm not someone who has dozens of unfinished projects floating around. It's rare I set something aside completely. How about you, do you like the feeling of that last stitch being sewn? Or the non-quilter equivalent? Or do you enjoy the start-up, without the need to finish?

PS Please check out my Dollar Day sale in my etsy shop! Everything must go, sale ends week of 4th of July. Dollar Days and Sidewalk Sales  or My Shop



gone to the beach....


  1. Thanks for the final photos of P2 and sunflowers! both are lovely, and will be warm reminders of a summer where you had enforced rest. Congratulations on completing them!

  2. Oh how I love that first quilt. You are right, it is happy! It helped get you thru a rough patch. :) Kit

    1. I did enjoy making P2, loved the fabric I chose.

  3. Summer porch is so fun & whimsical. A great therapy quilt! And the vintage sunflowers is gorgeous. I'm so glad you rescued it and brought it to a finish! The blocks with faded bits are wonderful! So charming.🙂
    Years ago I was very dedicated about finishing quilt tops before moving on--very strict about it in fact. Then along the way something changed and I started working on multiple projects at once. The crazy thing for me is that I end up finishing so many more this way! Which is still important, that last satisfying stitch. But to be honest maybe not quite as important as the process of making & creating? All I know for sure is that before I'd only finish 1 or 2 (3 quilts in a good year) and now I regularly finish 12 in a year. some are simple & some are not but I love giving most away.😊

  4. You should be delighted with this finish after the hard times you went through while making it. Such an achievement. It is lovely and bright and cheery.

  5. P2 came along at just the right time, it seems. All of that emotion you were experiencing... So glad you did something positive with it. The quilt is just beautiful, and happy. Be proud!

    The sunflower save is pretty special too. Do you plan to keep it?

    I bought a bag of soil yesterday. Will be starting the seeds you sent. Thanks again for them :)


    1. Hi Kel, I planned to keep Sunflowers but I d sell it if I was offered a sufficient amount. I d sell prob anything, except Mo and the kids, LOL. [We were talking about tag sales tonight! Do I really need two sets of Haviland gramma china? etc]

      I hope your seeds grow. Mine are sprouted and doing quite well!



  6. Congrats on two beautiful finishes! The details on P2 are so fun!

  7. Yay for the finishes! My favorite parts of P2 were the changes you made - the cat and books, the sun. It came out great! You *ought* to use it, to remind yourself that even when you were down you weren't OUT!

    The sunflowers quilt came out lovely, the blocks with just bits of the red make me smile.

    I love Mo's close-up. He's so adorable.

    Thanks for sharing!

  8. Liz..I tried to post a few days ago, but, somehow, I could not get thru. Must have been my location at the time! Anyway, P2 is incredible! All those loving stitches and appliques. Awesome. Each one a story within itself. Woo Hoo! The sunflowers are so pretty. What a find.

  9. Such gorgeous work! You can have summer any time you want (in January, maybe?)! There's no such thing as too bright!

    It's awesome that you share your projects at all of their stages with the rest of us!



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