WainwrightAL #6: Finish.
Somehow we’ve made our way to the end–or at least to the end for now.
I often have mixed feelings at the end of a project. There’s always a part of me that is excited to reach a milestone and to see it finished. And then there can also be the side of me that’s kind of sad to be done with something that has been enjoyable to work on. With my first Wainwright, I definitely felt this mix. I was excited when I had all of my blocks appliquéd and sewn together. I love seeing it for the first time after the basting stitches are gone and after a good press. It always looks so clean!
With Wainwright, there was also a little sad part of me, because I had enjoyed working on it so much. Each row brought new colors and different combinations of shapes and fabrics. I loved having an excuse to work on these fun little blocks. Luckily, this is the perfect excuse for more projects, and in this case I was excited to start the quilting.
Originally, I thought I would start off with some big-stitch hand quilting across the entire thing. Then I’d machine stitch on top to add even more texture. I tend to like the softness and color of big stitch, and then the texture and intensity of the machine quilting. But, after finishing the hand quilting, I loved the feel of it as it was.
Plus, the color effect is pretty nice–although not easy to see in the photographs. I big stitched along all of the diagonals using different colors of thread that generally related to the colors in the blocks. I liked having a loose transition of color across the quilt with the fabrics, and doing the same with the quilting threads adds another layer to that transition.
I tried out a new batting with this quilt. Quilters Dream has 4 different loft options in cotton, and this uses their heaviest (“supreme”). I’ve tried it on a few projects since this one, and I’ll admit that it’s maybe not my favorite, but in the case of this quilt, there is something nice about it after being hand quilted. It’s weighty but still soft.
Now, let’s go back to my project for this QAL. Here’s where I’m at.
When I initially thought about my QAL project, I knew that I wanted to try something a little bit different. I wanted to push myself a little in terms of the palette. I don’t typically work with a super dark, tone-on-tone palette, and I was curious to see how something like that could work out.
In doing this, it’s been a great exploration in texture, which I’m always a fan of. Handwork is the perfect way to feel out different types of fabrics, and that’s very much the case here. I have linen, sateen, quilting cotton and poplin. While it may not photograph spectacularly, in person you can see how the light plays differently on each of the fabrics. I can’t wait to get them all appliquéd, because I think the quilting will be really fun and can highlight the differences even more.
While my initial fabric pull included blacks and a range of greys, I’m now thinking I’ll separate the darkest from the lightest into separate final projects. For awhile I thought I’d make a pair of pillow shams, but now I’m thinking that I’ll do a pillow sham with the darkest stuff, and then a wall hanging–or something larger with the lighter stuff.
While cutting out the latest few blocks, I found myself wanting to make more and more pairings of the lighter guys.
And so, I think that’s what I’ll do!
For me this QAL was a great excuse to start another handwork project (like I ever need an excuse for that, ha!), to work with a new palette that I was curious about, to give myself a little something to relax with at the end of the day, AND to work along with you while doing it. If you followed along with the Eads QAL, you will have noticed that my goals were a bit different. For Eads, I had a goal to have a quilt top finished by the end of 12 weeks–and I’m SO glad that I did. That was a wonderful goal for that project, but in this case, I didn’t feel the same goal was necessary.
Having said that, I do like having goals and re-assessing progress where necessary. And so, I think that now that I have a better idea of what I want this project to shape up to be, and since we’re at a great point of assessment, I’m marking my calendar for a month from now to check back in with you on where I’m at with this guy. Goals are good, and I don’t want this guy to get lost.
+ Appliqué is actually really strong. I’ve appliquéd plenty of tote bags and other items that get used and abused, and I am happy to report that my appliqués have remained in place! Of course, if you’re new to the technique and feeling unsure about the strength, you can always take it into consideration when planning your quilting. Feel free to quilt over any areas that cause concern, and you’ll be good to go!
+ Maybe you took on more of a project than you wanted? This isn’t a bad thing, in fact I think it’s great to be excited about a project. There’s nothing wrong with making changes down the road if you decide that a smaller project is better. I personally love making smaller things like pillow shams and tote bags because you really use them. In my case, I think I’m going the opposite way–having initially thought pillow shams, and now thinking that maybe a little something larger could be good. Either way, do what feels best for you!
+ I talked about how I wanted to use this project to push myself a bit. Sometimes I really like a challenge, but it’s always a balance. When I teach, I sometimes see people feeling like they have to push themselves, because they feel like it needs to be hard in order to learn. It totally doesn’t! I’m definitely a fan of doing whatever works for you and whatever feels right. If you’re feeling good in your comfort zone, go for it, or if you’re feeling good about giving yourself a nudge, go for that too!
I really appreciate you following along whether in spirit or in actuality! Seeing projects popping up in my feed makes me so excited and eager to sew.
As a thank you, I want to do a giveaway. I recently made up some project bags–with a Wainwright theme–that I sold at QuiltCon. I secretly saved a few, including 1 to giveaway at the end of this QAL. The rest will go up for sale in my shop on Tuesday at 10am EST.
To enter the giveaway, share with me your thoughts on this QAL or a thought on a recent project that you’ve been excited about by leaving a comment here before Monday, March 26 at 10am EST.
I love that project bag! This QAL was a great kickstart to my wainwright quilt. It’s the perfect slow stitch project for weeknights, and I can’t wait to finish!
I am working on the appliqué for a very old WIP. I have wavered between the hand appliqué to thinking I might just fuse it to committing to the hand appliqué. My thought is that by the end of this project I will have conquered my fear of appliqué. I’m still not done but the challenge to myself is working out just like I hoped.
I too love slow projects. I’m still working on my Everglade project I started with you at Craft South more than a year ago (wow, how time flies). With it being my first applique project I probably took on more than I should have (aka overly ambitious), but I’m loving the results. So it’s keeping me motivated. I really enjoy having a hand project at the ready. 🙂
Sue Jackson says
The project bag would be so convenient for slow stitching supplies. Love your Wainwright quilt…so much appliqueing, a true heirloom project.
I enjoyed this QAL. I don’t often do hand work and it inspired me to give it another chance. I am happy with how mine is turning out.
CHERYL CAMPBELL says
I wanted to participate in this QAL, but have to admit I felt quite intimidated by it ….as an intermediate sewist and a lover of hand sewing. A longer time frame might have made it more doable… I plan to have another look in the not too distant future – love the design and color possibilities.
Gata Hudson says
I love your fabrics. I was excited about having you present the first segment of the #mightylucky quilt club for this year. My only wish was that there was a facebook page for the mightylucky quilt club because I do not have a mobile device and so can’t upload pictures of my progress to Instagram.
My hand projects are a few seasons behind and I’m still in the midst of a Rin quilt. I’m enjoying working on my sharp interior curves – they are my appliqué weakness!
OMG these bags are so awesome! And in green so in love.
I am excited about finishing up the modern sewcialites project (working in advance). I have so enjoyed watching your sew a long as well! So pretty.
I didn’t join in with this QAL but have loved “watching along” as you’ve gone through it! I’m nearing finishing up my current handwork project – a throw sized hexie quilt with just about every fabric from my stash. So it’s a riotous rainbow – quite a contrast to your gorgeous restrained palette on this project. I’ve been collecting grays recently though so now I’m thinking about how I can use them next. Perhaps another handwork project? (After I finally make my Wildabon that is!)
Linda Fleming says
Love your color transitions both with the fabrics and quilting in your earlier project. You’ve inspired me to start a slow stitching project!
Sandra Sparks says
Your project turned out to be fabulous. The leftovers look like they also might make great coasters. I’ve been making coasters lately using WeAllSew.com mini Drunkard’s Path quilt block. Adapting your block would make great coasters that could feature Sashiko stitching.
Megan-Christine Fisher says
I have enjoyed the slow process of this project, coupled with the bright, playful fabrics I chose. I really liked seeing what everyone else, and Carolyn, did because it inspired me in my final block arrangement. I am going big on this one, hoping to complete one massive quilt to put on our bed. Thank you so much for leading this QAL. I am excited to see how we each wrap up our Wainwright. 😄
What a cool bag!! I’ve recently been learning and practicing a lot of slow stitching including needle turned appliqué , hand quilting, and embroidery. It’s been so fun and it makes nice portable projects to use instead of using the machine all the time. It’s also been giving me a greater appreciation for hand sewing reflecting on woman in history who had to hand sew since sewing machines weren’t invented yet and they were also sewing for necessitiy not just for fun.
Love it! I need to learn how to appliqué! Just started some of your foundation paper piecing patterns. Now I need to learn the wainwright.
Ellen R says
I always learn so much from you..thank you for the photos and details. I am finishing up a wool project but want to start making up these blocks to learn more about how colors and texture play together.
Kathleen Scott says
Loved following along in spirit on this QAL…. have been deep into the Might Lucky Year of Color quilt project. It is such a delicious challenge! I am in awe of the depth and complexity of colors you have used in your various fabric lines – so much fun to work with and add to! Great looking bag as well!
Annie Jeffrey says
When I started quilting in 1984 all my piecing was done by hand and I loved every minute of the process. It is amazing how many spare minutes you can find to sew – on the bus to and from work, during a lunch break and maybe a quick sew before an appointment – my project went everywhere with me and amazingly in very little time I had my first quilt top finished. However, life gets so busy and machine quilting filled my scarce amount of free time. Fast forward quite a few years with many machine pieced quilts behind me I decided to take a needle turn appliqué class with Jo Avery at the first Threadhouse Retreat in 2017 in the UK. Despite struggling with achieving sharp points and some of my circles were a bit wonky I discovered I loved appliqué. I started with silk thread and milliners needles and last year I changed to Aurifill 80 wt thread which I love. My points are improving and curves are recognisable as smooth curves and not bumpy hills – small circles still need a bit of work. So why not tackle the Wainwright quilt I said to myself! This is also the first time I have been part of QAL. Thank you for all the great instruction and tips here and on Creative Bug. Such a calming experience – I am loving every precious, quiet, slow stitching moment.
Sally MB says
As I like appliqué, this was an adventure that I really enjoyed. I am going to add fabric out of my comfort zone to see how they work with my finished blocks.
I am actually totally loving the light basting stitches on those dark blocks. It’s reminiscent of Alabama Chanin, and you’ve given me an idea…thanks for the inspiration, again!
I learn best when there’s an ebb and flow between being challenged (or nudged) then getting comfortable, and cycling back and forth. I’ve been drawn to applique, and have enjoyed spying in on this QAL, but I haven’t gotten into a place of comfort with it. Maybe it’s about the projects I’ve chosen, but none so far have given me that balance between challenge and comfort I need. I loved seeing your work at Quiltcon, and enjoy these looks into your process. Thanks for doing what you do!
Carolina Mondello says
I didn’t get a chance to participate but enjoyed watching your colour selection as it would be very similar to what I’d have chosen! At some point, I will get to this pattern. At the moment, I’m loving working on one of your older patterns, Palmetto which I plan to have framed in a picture frame for my wall with the edges left raw. I’m excited about how it’s going to turn out and after having a break from paper piecing, I have loved getting back into it!
Wendy Wild says
Yet another great quilt along Carolyn. I’m about 40 blocks in now and am totally hooked. Last weekend I taught a class on understanding how fabrics and colours interact in our quilts . With Wainwright I am immersed in playing with all of the different colours and textures – so I’m pretty sure it will get pulled out next time I teach that class. So far I have only made the small blocks, but I’m toying with throwing in some of the large blocks once I work out how the colour flow might work.
Your project bag looks great. I love the varying sizes of the blocks. My order of your gleaned fabric arrived and now I need to get to it! Keep on inspiring us!
I ‘watched along’ with this one, but recently started a new project I’m psyched about – a quilt for my own bed! My husband has been subtly asking for a year or two, and this week I finally committed & started making blocks. It will take a looong time to finish a king size, but that’s OK. I’m looking forward to the ride. Super awesome project bag, BTW!
Allison C says
Loved watching this QAL. So inspired by all the colors and fabrics. Can’t wait to see your next pattern QAL!
Joan Kniffen says
I am currently very involved in ruler quilting on my domestic machine. so many possibllities.
Daniella Parker says
I have only recent;y found y-if QAL, and it has me excited about learning to appliqué! Honestly never thought I would want to learn until I fell in love with your Wainwright quilt! Can’t wait to get started, been ordering your fabrics for it as well 😉
I enjoyed watching this QAL. I’ve got a bit more on a Rin block to finish and then I’d like to tackle this one. The fact the blocks are small is very appealing!
Jenny Meeker says
I’ve actually been waffling on whether to do a certain idea for an appliqué project with your Botanics Line as either a wall hanging or a bed quilt because I have been concerned about the durability of appliqué on a bed quilt. But the design idea requires a large canvas space, or the design has to be implemented in smal pieces, which would hinder the effectiveness of the overall design. I’m glad you mentioned the durability aspect in this post as it just solved my dilemma!
It is so inspiring and encouraging to read about your projects and your tios are always spot on and helpful with various projects across the board. Thank you for sharing your insights, experience and creativity. Enjoy your weekend and thanks again. – Mel
I loved this QAL! I didn’t get as far as I wanted, but it was fun to watch everyone’s progress.
I just took a machine applique with Karen Kay Buckley, and now I feel confident enough to make this project, yay! Thanks for the encouragement to try a palette that might feel a bit out of your box.
I love this QAL! It’s made me put it on my list of things to make.
I’m knee deep (and a bit behind) on my “weather quilt” for 2018, which I’m making squircles and making similarly to your orange grove quilt. I quite love it, and I love the mobility of it. (A lot of progress is made at trumpet lessons for my oldest; lucky me, my middle starts percussion lessons in April.)
After taking a yearlong hiatus (full-time working mom) from sewing and quilting, I’m taking things slow with a block of the month program through my local quilt shop. Your projects are such an inspiration to me. I love all the details and textures – so much interest yet so calming too.
Your bag is so cute! I love green fabrics. I haven’t done a quilt along yet. Afraid I’d get too far behind!
Elly Van Alfen says
Hi Carolyn, I followed along and was ever so happy to find out that I love, love appliqué. It is so light and easy on my hands, I take it everywhere, even in the car on our way to yoga. 35 blocks are basted and in a ziplock ready for a mother daughter trip to Mexico this week. I am planning on a queen quilt, we’ll see. I posted on Instagram and tagged you and hope you saw it. I have been using a solid light for all the backgrounds but might add more variety and color. I like the pattern is so versatile. Thank you for your inspiration!
I’ve really enjoyed participating in this QAL, even though it’s been a bit challenging! It’s my first hand applique project and love that I’m getting lots of learning done with the pesky inside corners 😂. Sadly, I haven’t gotten as far as I’d have liked by now, but I’m still motivated to keep on stitching (I’m actually getting ready to start on my first large block tonight.)
Thanks so much for the beautiful design and fun project! I’m not sure how large mine will end up, but it’s continuing to grow ever so slowly.
Ann in NC says
I have enjoyed watching this QAL progress. I have everything I need – I just need to start!
I have enjoyed sewing along and still do so, as I am not yet finished with my wall hanging quilt. I don’t feel the urge to set myself goals or deadlines, as for me sewing is much needed “me-time” in my othewise quite busy life. I enjoy so much doing this at my own pace, slowly going one step after another, and sometimes changing to other projects if I feel to do so. The Sew-Along and the great support of all the fellow sewers over on IG really keeps me motivated. It is so much fun to be part of a community working on the same project while living in so many different parts of the world! Thank you so much for hosting this QAL and for desinging the fabrics and the pattern!
Hi Carolyn, I very much enjoyed the QAL and especially finding out that I love appliqué. I chose one light solid for the background but might add more color. I tagged you on Instagram, hope you saw my effort. My goal is a queen quilt! Thank you so much for your inspiration and beautiful design work.
I’ve loved the push this QAL has given me! I bought Wainwright when it came out, but other things got in the way, and this was just right for getting me started. I wished I had more time to work on it, but it’s coming together slowly but surely, and I’m loving the direction it’s heading.
Well done everyone – a stunning QAL!!!
I started my first “quilt” in the 3rd grade. It was nothing more than sewing scraps of squares together by hand. I quickly lost patience not only because I was 10 but also because I noticed my mom and both gradmothers were using sewing machines and thought that I must be doing everything wrong to be piecing by hand. How funny that I sincerely wish to hand piece a quilt and that I know a wainwright is in my future! Until then I am loving watching what everyone makes, soaking up the tidbits and tricks and dreaming up fabric combos :).
Whitner S Kane says
I have the QAL saved as a ‘to-do’ down the road – I see lots of sitting on sidelines in my future, and it looks like the perfect thing to do while waiting at track meets! Thanks for the planning and execution – just as lovely as all of your stuff is!
carolyn friedlander says
Glad to hear it! Thank you!