Harvest Melody is another one of the unfinished quilts I inherited from my Mom. When I received the quilt the majority of the pattern pieces had already been cut out and some of the components had been stitched together.
Picking-up where my Mom had left off I finished assembling the remaining pieces to create the quilt top. The pattern was designed to include more than one border. Rather than attaching all of them I decided to only add one. I used left over fabrics to piece it together.
To quilt Harvest Melody I echoed around the leaves. A pattern of continuous square swirls was stitched in the border. For a binding I used a purple fabric. On the back is a fabric with multiple colored squares. Lucky for me I had this fabric in my stash which is always a bonus. Take a look!
Before starting the process of completing this quilt I wasn’t particularly fond of it. The colors in the quilt as well as the pattern are not something I would be drawn to. I am, after all, an improv quilter at heart. However, I must say that my opinion of the quilt morphed dramatically after it was quilted. The designs created by the stitching added a layer of drama that greatly enhanced the quilt’s design. While still not one of my favorites, I am happy with it’s outcome and am honored to have it for my own.
I had the awesome opportunity to participate in a late winter retreat in March at the Woodland Ridge Retreat Center. The event was organized by my friend Barb M. The retreat gave me the chance to work on some of my unfinished projects. All of the items I took with me were quilts I had inherited from my mother. Some had already been started while others had never been touched.
I dedicated the entire trip to finishing as many as possible. Setting a goal of completing five quilt tops was a bit ambitious but by the time I left I had three of them ready for quilting. After returning home I continued my march to achieve my goal. The two remaining tops were completed in April.
Leftover from one of the tops was a stack of unused fabrics. Rather than adding them to my probably-never-stash I decided to convert them into something useable. My initial intention was to stitch them together to create a quilt back for this quilt.
The more progress I made the more I thought the fabric I was creating was much too interesting to hide on the back of a quilt.
From the stack of fabrics I was able to make two different pieces. The first one I named AQ # 30: Harvest Medley # 1. This mini art quilt measures 29″ x 17″. The second one, measuring 69″ x 24″, is called AQ # 31: Harvest Medley # 2. Both quilts have been sandwiched with a layer of Warm & Natural batting as well as a backing of fabric retrieved from my stash. A simple straight-line geometric stitch pattern was used to quilt them. Surrounding the unfinished edges is a binding made from leftover scraps. Without saying anything more, let me present my last two art quilts.
I think both the art quilts turned out really nice. I am particularly fond of the warm fall colors. Both will make wonderful additions to my family room.
The sharing of these two quilts brings to a close my long list of art quilt revelations. I have thoroughly enjoyed bringing to light my diverse collection of art. Even though these are the last art quilts I have finished my series of 16 completions is not quite over. I still have one more to share so don’t abandon me yet.
I know you must be wondering what the other fourteen quilts looked like so I’ve provided links to each of them below. 🙂
The fifth and last day of my quilting retreat finally arrived. By this time I was exhausted. Most of the spring in my step had pretty much disappeared and my mind felt a bit foggy and sluggish. But with only half a day left I had much I wanted to accomplish, so there was no time to waste.
When I turned off my sewing machine the day before I had stitched together twenty-four of the forty-eight flower blocks needed for the Harvest Melody Quilt. With my confidence high that I could finish the remaining blocks before it was time to leave I wasted no time getting started.
One by one I pulled together the units that made up each flower, then stitched and pressed their seams. With a whopping ten minutes to spare I finished the very last one. I was also able to cut and stack the spacer rectangles that would be inserted between each of the flowers.
While I was not able to get the Harvest Melody Quilt top assembled nor any progress made on the French Cottage Garden Quilt I was still very pleased with my accomplishments. I had finished way more that I had thought possible so how could I be disappointed. Here’s a photo of the stacked flower blocks.
I hope to get the Harvest Melody Quilt top completed very soon. Some how I will have to sandwich it in between the five quilts I have waiting to be longarm quilted, my husband’s upcoming surgery and a week-long visit with my grandchildren. On top of that, when I arrived home yesterday, I was sad to discover that I had the early signs of another cold. The germs that were setting in would present yet another challenge. Oh well! One thing at a time.
As I pulled into our driveway, at the end of my journey, I was warmly greeted by my husband. He was standing outside watching my progress on his Find Friends app. After sharing a warm embrace my husband and daughter quickly unpacked the car. Before I knew it my belongings were distributed to their intended locations. I was also pleasantly surprised to find that my husband had vacuumed all of the floors and did a bit of tidying up. How awesome! Thanks sweetie!
Well that’s a wrap! I will update you on the progress I make while adding the finishing touches to each of my Mom’s quilts. Who knows…I may even revisit the French Cottage Garden Quilt.
I had a wonderful time at my quilting retreat. Woodland Ridge Retreat center is a fabulous facility. If you ever have the chance to attend a class or want to schedule your own retreat I would highly recommend it! You won’t be disappointed!
If you would like to read all of the posts associated with my retreat, here are the links
You know how it is when you make plans to get away. All the excitement gets you pumped up with anticipation. Then the day of departure finally arrives and you can’t believe it’s actually time to go. You arrive at your destination, settle in, and watch as your experience unfolds. Before you know it the special event is almost over and you wonder where the time went.
Saturday, aka Day Four, I woke up in just that state of mind. With only one full day of my five day retreat left it hit me…where had the time gone? Obviously most of it was spent focused on finishing my Mom’s five quilts. But yet it just seemed so hard to believe that my retreat was almost over.
All of my companions were just as wrapped up in their projects as I was. It was absolutely amazing to watch as their works of art unfolded. They were incredibly talented quilters and I stood in awe at what they were able to accomplish. I felt so blessed to be immersed in their process.
With only one full day left I had to maintain my intense focus if I was going to be able to meet my goal. While finishing my Mom’s five in-progress quilts was a mountainous task it was attainable. Well at least I hoped it was!?!
On Friday I was very fortunate to get a deep-tissue massage. There was a group of ladies that were housed in the other wing of the retreat center. They had arranged for a masous to come and perform massages on Thursday. Once our group found out about the masous there was an overwhelming enthusiasm to ask her to return on Friday. Thankfully she agreed to come back. There were a limited number of openings available and I obtained one of those appointments.
The massage, as deep-tissue massages go, was quite painful yet relaxing. I had no idea my upper body muscles were so tangled up in knots. Thinking back over the number of quilts I had recently worked with, on my longarm quilt machine, it actually made sense. The physical movements my body goes through while manipulating my machine do tend to fatigue my muscles. The fatigue is obviously accumulative and I was totally unaware of the impact it was having on me.
When the massage was over the masous told me she was afraid she wasn’t going to be able to work all of the knots out. Some of them were so deep they were hard to get to. She was very pleased to announce that she had been successful. I know how it feels when a tough task is finally accomplished and you can stand back in amazement.
Saturday morning I focused my attention on measuring up and adding the red borders around the Stars and Stripes Table Topper. In no time I had them cut and stitched to the outer edges. Here’s how the table topper looked when I was finished.
There were now three quilts left to do, two that could be quite complicated and one that I knew was going to be super easy. Bet you can figure out what one I chose! That’s right! You guessed it! The super easy one.
My Mom’s third semi-finished quilt is called the American Flag Picnic Throw. The pattern was printed on a half sheet of tan paper. The instructions were super, super easy to follow. So easy that I had the picnic throw cut and stitched together in about an hour. Here’s the third item on my list of finished projects.
Now it was time to decide which of the two more involved quilts I wanted to tackle. My choices were these.
The Harvest Melody Quilt and the
French Cottage Garden Quilt.
Before making my decision I opened each of the bags that contained the patterns. I wanted to learn just how involved they were and their state of completion. The French Cottage Garden Quilt was easy to eliminate because it involved embroidery. There was no way I was even remotely interested in doing that so I pushed that one aside.
The Harvest Melody was designed by my sister Pat Farnsworth and Lisa Ippolito in August of 2001. After exploring the progress my Mom had made it was evident that the majority of the pattern had already been cut out and many of the individual leaves and stems had been assembled. Here’s a photo of the mockup my Mom had made.
Left to do was the stitching together of the individual sections into a completed leaf.
After making certain that there were enough of each of the units I began stitching random colors together. By the time I called it quits for the day I had assembled twenty-four of the flowers. With the pattern designed for forty-eight that meant I had twenty-five to go. I felt confident those twenty-five could easily be finished on my fifth and final day.
Thanks for you interest in my retreat experience and for stopping by. I know your time is very valuable and in short supply!
My Mom is getting on in years. For some time now she has been methodically sorting through her sewing studio removing anything and everything she no longer cares to maintain or finish. Each time I visit her she has piles of collectibles, crafts, and magazines waiting for me to browse.
After hauling home several boxes of items my spouse expressed his wish that I no longer bring things home. Before receiving that moratorium I brought with me two baskets containing the beginnings of five different quilts. All were in varying degrees of completion. Among the projects I found.