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July 06, 2009


dee mcdonald

my "opus" is also in hiding in a dark place and very similar to yours but in that other colorway of the 80s, sort of wine and sage green...yetch! You are so right. Color choices were grim.
Wish I was as accomplished as you have become. This last one is beautiful.

Jan Andrews

Hey, you were working with the colors that were popular at the time...that's your excuse and you need to stick to it!


I think we all have quilts that looked like the brown and orange quilt! And who can forget the country blue and mauve color combination or the peach and seafoam green??!! I have since sold or otherwise gotten rid of most of mine. But they are forever burned into my retinas!!
Your stuff is awesome and I have got a lot of inspiration from your blog. Keep up the good work!


Oh, I love your post! Made me laugh out loud. I thought that MY baby's quilt was loved! And oh my word, I love your 'opus'. Definitely a lot of growth in the color sense. ;-) And of course, love your last quilt to. Have I mentioned how flattered I am to be copied by YOU? Seriously.


Nicole, colors aside, the second quilt is stunning! It was the 80s after all, gold was quite in!


I really like the pattern of your "opus" quilt. You must give yourself credit for doing a good job on each block....but those colors....yikes!

I'm pretty much self taught, and have only been quilting around 5 years. My first quilt was perfect, only because I luckily picked a pattern I could complete without making any mistakes. My second and third quilts were horrible, I tried working with blocks set on point, I don't think either quilt has a point that's not cut off. I was so naive I didn't notice until a couple of years ago. You would think the quilter might have mentioned I was cutting off all my points! Guess she didn't want to lose a paying customer!!

Thanks so much for sharing!

Sara Homeyer

I think your 80's quilt can be resusitated! Ask someone accomplished in the current world of DYES what color or shade would tone it all down to something liveable. I'm sure that would be possible. Even "tea" dying would modify the colors to something more palatable.

I have a top that is going to get that treatment. The colors are very glaring, but in the end I plan to make it something more dark and muted.

Anne Bebbington

Sara has just taken the words clean out of my mouth - finish it and then overdye it - you'll be surprised what a swan it may just grow into

Vicki W

You know you if you are ever motivated to finish the second quilt you could overdye the whole thing. I think anyone who has made mroe than 4 quilts will have one that they now hate!


I made a quilt in the 80's with that same orange print and brown solid and off white. I sashed it in orange. I pinned it together and put it away till winter to quilt. Well it was last year that I got it out and tied it because I do not quilt now. The whole thing was hand pieced even the sashing. I did machine sew the binding. I gave it to my daughter to put in the cedar chest as a antique. What were we thinking.


Oh my goodness! What did Sara do to that quilt? It looks like she's dragged it around the world a couple of times... as in dragged it behind the car, truck, bus, boat, donkey, and train she had to ride to get there! :)

The rust one... trust me on this one, you're going to feel a lot better when you see the "green thing"... seriously. I just don't know what I was thinking. :)

And you already know that I love your latest creation ~ excellent job. (By both you and Camille.)

Nanna mary

OMG Nicole any quilt you make is gorgeous to me I dont care what colour they are they all look great.
Hugs Mary.


I'm sure that baby quilt was sweet when it was new, but that scary bunny is kind of freaking me out! Guess it's not so bad to show those since you make such beautiful quilts now.
Somewhere I have a pic of an all brown quilt I made for my mom (she picked the fabrics), it's just awful! She probably thinks it's beautiful though, since I made it for her, so I'll let her live with the delusion.


I'm so glad you showed the first quilt...because seriously, that is what my first three look like, but since they're packed away I had to show the 4th (from the same pattern, though)! And yes, we didn't have so much fabric to choose from in the 80's!

Deitra Mixer

Okay...regarding the 80's quilt...I got somthin' to say. :} You can't be hard on yourself for color choices back then. (You really can't be hard on yourself period, because it was one of your first quilts!) But honestly...what's so wrong with it? Ha! I'm serious. One of the things I love about the history of quilters is that they are resourceful! They use what they have and they make it beautiful. You did just that! I feel like it's easy to look back thirty years and say, "Ew! Gross! Tacky colors!" But in 150 years...someone will come across that quilt and say, "Oh my! This looks like a circa 1980 hand-made quilt! What a treasure! Just look at those beautiful colors...and that fantastic workmanship! These colors would have been very much in vogue at that time!" :)


Opus is a very nice quilt! Set it off with a dark binding. You'll see!


I have a few of those quilts hiding in a box somewhere. I'm amazed how much you change in what you like and dislike as your quilting skills improve. Thank goodness our colour choices change for the better. Love your most recent quilt. Inspiring!!!


i agree with the quilter who says that years from now, people will be deliberately making orange and brown quilts. i'm not a huge fan of the whole 1970's coloring and trends (no thank you on owls for me :-) that's going on right now but there's certainly a lot of people who are groovin' to that vibe. so give yourself 10 or 15 more years!

Shelley Dionne

I have to say, I really really LIKE the 80s quilt and the colors are great for someone like me who happens to love golds, oranges and all fall colors!

Lisa D.

Wow - you've been quilting since the 80s? I loved seeing your first quilts. How far we have come since then, eh?!


Well your Opus happens to be something I absolutely love. I don't know what that says about my taste but I do.


How embarrassing to say this but I will blame it on my parents...I LOVE the colors in your Opus quilt!!! My parents were total flower children and dressed me in bell bottoms and my first words were "Power to the People!" Those oranges and browns just speak to me, Man!
Thanks for the pics!


I've been quilting for four years and my first official quilt top was also done in browns, oranges, golds, and greens, and it too was a sampler. I nicknamed this top the "monstrosity", it was HUGE(larger than a king)and would have been a real bear to quilt on my little home sewing machine. Initially, I planned on quilting this "thing" but after much time and consideration I decided it would be a complete waste of money, effort, and time, especially considering that I really don't like sampler quilts (have never been a fan of trees, houses and a mish mash of other blocks on my tops - in my defense I made it whilst taking a beginning quilting class and the way we learned new techniques was to work on a variety of different type blocks), it was too big for any of the beds in my house, and the backing, batting, and thread would be expensive. At this point I took the "thing" apart block by block - and have been using these blocks to make little quilt sandwiches with extra scraps of batting to practice my free motion skills on. After four years of feeling guilty over this UFO I have finally got this "quilt monkey" off my back and am putting it to good use!
PS - I have no excuse for the colors or fabrics in mine, there were plenty of gorgeous fabrics available in 2004!


Have you thought about tea-staining the retro quilt? Might look cool. Otherwise, I'm with the others - eventually those colors will come around again!!

Lisa Vancor

Oh,those colors in your sampler are toooo awful and I had one just like it in those blues and greens with poly in them. I even pieced it by hand and the book never said a thing about squaring up. Talk about killing most of the points. Later, I let my students use it to practice quilting and finally gave it away to a thrift shop.

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