Red Rows and More Indecision, Plus Some Vacation Adventures

I worked again today and it was a long day! I am nowhere near getting through the 2.5 weeks worth of email waiting for me. Maybe I’ll be lucky and get it done next week.

After a delicious dinner of chili verde that I pulled out of the freezer, we took the boys for a quick walk. It was absolutely gorgeous weather today and they snoozed in the back yard sun all day long! They needed some activity.

When we got home we hit my sewing room and moved a few blocks for my red Fractured quilt around and decided it was all good. Then we sewed all five rows together… me pinning and sewing, my friend pinning and pressing. We had all five rows done in less than an hour and decided to stop there for the night.

It’s funny, but I’m waffling again on whether or not to add the purple horizontal strips to this quilt. I thought I had decided last night that I didn’t want the strips. Now tonight I’m thinking it needs the strips.

Here’s why I think it needs the strips. I made this black quilt top last year and was really disappointed in how it turned out. Why? Because it feels all muddy to me. All the fabrics are too similar. It all blends together and is chaotic at the same time. I think this quilt could have made more sense if it had some solid fabric pieces to calm it all down.

So, I’m feeling a little bit the same about this red quilt. Without the horizontal strips it’s feeling a little muddy… a little chaotic, and usually I’m all over chaos in a quilt! I think the horizontal strips make it all feel more organized and it all seems to make more sense. It’s less muddy.

What do you think? Strips or no strips? And tell me why?

I’ve been trying to remember what my friend and I have done every day of my vacation and I’ve got big gaps. I’m thinking that might be a really good thing! One of the best things we did was visit my brother and SIL for a few days.

We drove down last Thursday and got there in the late afternoon. We had a really good dinner of some of my chili verde over my SIL’s home made corn bread. We sat outside for a couple hours first, enjoying a nice cold beer and watching the dogs run and run and run around the property. My dogs love this place! Acres for them to run, up the hill, around the garden, down into the orchard, around by the sheep pasture… and back around the shop.

Occasionally they stop to just enjoy the beautiful place they are existing in.

Sometimes they dream about the sheep that are … just… over… there…

They were completely spent by the time it got dark! They slept as we talked into the wee hours.

The next day we were expecting the sheep shearer to come by to take care of my brother’s two lambs. They had never been sheared so they were in for a treat.

First, my SIL’s brother helped wrangle the sheep for the shearer since my brother had just had surgery on his hand and couldn’t do it.

The sheep he’s lifting is the second one to be sheared. His freshly sheared friend is at the left.

It was amazing to watch the shearer get this job done. I timed the second sheep and it only took her about 3-1/2 minutes! And the sheep looked so good!

Shearers really know how to handle sheep and the sheep are quite calm and cooperative for the entire thing.

Here’s the freshly sheared sheep hiding behind the unsuspecting next one in line.

And here’s the first guy thinking he needs to get the hell out of Dodge!

It’s amazing how clean the wool is down near the skin. It’s a good illustration of how it protects the sheep from the elements.

Later that day my friend and I took a quick trip to the beach. My brother’s place is only about a half hour from the coast and we definitely take advantage of that proximity when we visit. And my boys definitely appreciate it!

It was a gorgeous sunny day and I didn’t even need a jacket.

My friend caught me taking a photo of Rico. Well, TRYING to take a photo of him… he HATES to have his photo taken! Bender, as usual, was ready for his close up!

Here’s some photos of happy beach dogs!

Here’s a blog post from MANY years ago – 2014 – about a visit to my brother’s place.

Tomorrow we’re heading down to Molalla for Rico’s weekly sheep herding lesson, then we’ll stop at a local quilt store on the way home to see if we can find the Aboriginal fabrics we need for new quilts we want to make.

I’m glad the weekend is here already!

80 Replies to “Red Rows and More Indecision, Plus Some Vacation Adventures”

  1. I really prefer the quilt without the horizontal strips. There are enough solid strips without them to give your eyes a place to rest and travel. The assorted reds have a nice texture. Reminds me of the Algorithm quilt.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I love the nights I get your late night email. Wonderful way to end my say. 🙂
    I think the horizontal strips really pull out the rich dark colors in the fabric and gives it a finished look.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I like the horizontal strips! I think having more purple adds more pop to the reds. Either way, it’s a striking quilt!
    It would be interesting to do a 2nd version with a variety of colors and see if the horizontal strips are needed.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Dear Anne

    Since you ask – I would say no to horizontal strips. Why? Well, I’d agree that the other one definitely IS muddy. It’s actually hard to look at. But Fractured Red is nowhere near as confusing as that. The uniformity of colour is one factor that helps enormously to differentiate it from the other one. But also, I find it very pleasing to look at, because it keeps your attention, as you follow the tracks of all those strips going every which way, and mentally try to find a pattern in them. (And in the end, it doesn’t seem to matter if you don’t find one. It’s still a pleasure to look at!)

    Best regards Selma

    Sent from Mail for Windows

    Liked by 1 person

  5. No purple strips! I love the fractured look without them. I also like the zigzag pattern and those purple strips kind of destroy it. Do whatever you like because it belongs to you and I’m sure it looks different in person rather than photo!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. My quilting friends always say that if you ask 25 (or pick your number – use “x” as the variable for the number of people asked) for an opinion, you’ll get 25+ or more than “x” opinions. So… here is mine. The bottom line is I think you need the horizontal strips in your new quilt.
    My reasons for using the horizontal strips:
    1. The strips make the colors pop.
    2. The strips help draw you eyes to the designs and colors in the smaller pieces of fabric.
    3. The strips help define the triangles. Without the strips, the large triangle looks like you forgot something – either the bottom of the triangle or the top, depending on its position in the quilt.
    4. The strips draw your eye to the secondary design created by the flipping and sliding of the triangles. I see columns of vertical flying geese – some columns with the points facing upward and the others with the points facing downward.
    5, The strips give the quilt more dimension. To me, they make the quilt look 3-dimensional. It’s almost like looking at the magic eye pictures that were popular years ago.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I agree! I would live the strips for all of the reasons mentioned here. I like how the strips make the design stand out! Beautiful bold colors! This is going to be a beauty!

      Liked by 1 person

  7. I say “yes” to the strips. When I look at the bottom half of the picture, and when I look at the older quilt, it feels like just a bunch of fabric pieces thrown together. When I look at the bottom part of the picture, the quilt has a plan, drive, purpose.

    I don’t know if this makes sense, but it’s what occurred to me just now. The professor whose voice students I accompany tells them if they’ve got three of the same notes in a row, not to sing them the same. Each note should be a little different from the previous note. It gives them direction, makes them more interesting. To me, the purple strips make the quilt more interesting.

    Just my opinion, and congrats on all you and your friend have accomplished during her visit!.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Yes to the strips. I am trying to finish a quilt made up of black and white blocks. My idea that the limited palate would be unifying was destroyed when I sewed them together and realized it was just a chaotic mess. Eventually I saw one of the quilts you had been having trouble with (Kaffe fabrics) which you finished by adding strips of all one colour- bright pink, I think. That has helped with my dilemma but I can’t find the old photo on your blog. Maybe a review of that one would help you now.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I’m crazy about sheep so i loved your pictures of the shearing. As for what to do on your quilts, i have no advice. Everything you make is gorgeous, so you’ll figure it out.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. While the pattern IS called ‘fractured’, and the Kaffe Fassett red fabrics are pretty wild, the horizontal sashing would help to visually ‘ground’ it and make it easier to understand. It gives a rest to the eyes for all the up and down of the ‘Vs’. I would vote for the horizontal sashing…it’s a beautiful and visually exciting quilt top…ultimately the design decision is yours….what fun to share this with your friend! Sandy Osborn, Novelty, Ohio


    Liked by 1 person

  11. I like the red quilt without the horizontal strips. The strips within the block do enough “calming” and the red fabrics read as individual pieces much better than those in your previous quilt.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. I’ve changed my mind. I agree with Sara K. for all the same reasons! The strips change my perception of the whole. Keep on sewing this together – it’s becoming whole.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. I agree with Kay…no strips! I like the quilt without the strips because it looks more randomly “fractured.” By adding the strips it makes the purple triangles more obvious, making it look less “fractured!” Hope this helps, rather than adds to your dilemma ; )

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Good Morning,
    I love reading your posts.I feel like I’m reading a letter from one of my sisters.🙂
    I personally like it without the horizontal strips.
    When I look at the quilt, I can see mountains and foothills across each row, the purple seems to stop that flow for me. I like the organized chaos look.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Oh, wow 🤩! Loving the purple strips against the reds! They remind me of branches or netting and connect the many reds, I would use them🥰 What a great place your brother has , beautiful and the added appeal of 🐑! I can just imagine how much the boys love it there and being so close to the ocean. Has he considered renting a room out ? Would love to come! Great pictures of the boys. Does your brother save the wool?

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Your quilt is striking, either way, but I vote ‘NO STRIPS’. I think the strips separating the rows, interrupt the wonderful zig-zag of the blocks.

    Just want to say how much I enjoy your blog combining my two passions: dogs and quilts! We lost our last dog, our golden Liberty, nearly three years ago and our home is so empty without a furry friend or two. Until we welcome another, I’m filling the void reading about the adventures of your guys.

    Liked by 1 person

  17. Your guys (Rico and Bender) are sure handsome.
    I think put the purple strips in. To me, it adds some visual interest, and even though not wide, it does give some place to rest your eyes from all the busyness.

    Liked by 1 person

  18. I actually like the purple stripes. For me, I like how they help define the triangles and give the eye a brief place to rest from all the red. And I love purple. And triangles.


    Liked by 1 person

  19. I LOVE it with NO horizontal strips, because I see the ZIGZAGs that are formed as the two rows are butted up against each other and the Z pathway forms. If you quilt it with lines parallel to the zigzag, it will really stand out. Adding the horizontal strip, prevents the path from forming since the zig is on one side of the strip and the zag is on the other side. Let there be ZigZag.

    Liked by 1 person

  20. Yes, definitely like the purple stripes! It needs that balance and gives your eyes a chance to rest a bit. Looks too chaotic for my taste without them. But it’s your quilt. Do what makes your heart sing. I also love reading your posts.


  21. I didn’t read any of the other comments before writing this so maybe I will be swayed to change my opinion.
    I say no strips. Why? because there is a terrific zig zag pattern going on without the strips. When you add the strips you just have rows of triangles, kind of blah to me. As for comparing it to your black quilt: that one doesn’t have a noticeable pattern whereas the red one has a distinctive zig zag pattern.

    Liked by 1 person

  22. The strips define rows with large triangles. No strips allow a “w” pattern to emerge across the quilt along with seeing the “fractures” better. Strips make those large triangles become the focus rather than the lovely fabrics with the fractured pattern. I’d go with no strips if this was my quilt.

    Liked by 1 person

  23. Anne – I’m feeling like I should be calling you Wonder Woman or perhaps Wonder Women since you and your friend make an amazing duo. My husband and I and our dog Wilson (and a car full of crap) are on a 5-day cross-country road trip from Wyoming to Virginia (this is day #5) and seeing what you have been doing is giving me lots to think and dream about. I LOVE kaffe Fassett fabrics and Like you I have a lot of black and white fabrics. And I have a small Number of Australian Aboriginal fabrics and would love to have more. Unlike you, I’m more of a dreamer than a doer so I’m hoping some of your “doing” is going to rub off on me For what it’s worth I like the vertical zigzags on your quilt that are emphasized by leaving out the horizontal dividers. Thank you for your postings! Carolyn >

    Liked by 1 person

  24. Horizontal purple strips on the red quilt–definitely! It balances out the chaos and gives the eye a place to rest. A purple border would be perfect and would make MY fussy brain happy.

    Love seeing what you’re making. Thanks for the inspiration, not to mention the pictures of the pups–and the sheep this time.

    Liked by 1 person

  25. I like the horizontal sashing. I think it highlights all the different fabrics bc the eye has different places to rest. It’s a lovely quilt and you will have fond memories of making it with your friend. One of the best pieces of advice I received from a colleague when I was still working was to never take less than 2 weeks for vacation. It’s too long for co-workers to ignore addressing a question, issue, etc. that arises in your absence. So all those emails are likely not very consequential. Looking forward to the quilt reveal.

    Liked by 1 person

  26. Hi Anne
    So enjoy reading your blog about your quilting and adventures with the boys. As for your red quilt, I am in the minority who prefer it without the horizontal strips, for exactly the same reasons given by Wanda Hanson. Love the peaks and valleys better than the triangles made with the addition of the strips
    You’ll make the right decision for you.

    Liked by 1 person

  27. Loved your trip to the coast and to visit family. Beautiful, and the dogs were in heaven, you can see. I agree with your idea to add to the strips. Like you said, it’s too chaotic without them and my eye doesn’t know where to go to make sense of the quilt. It isn’t satisfying to look at it, if that makes sense. Good luck, and you and your friend certainly make a good team. Also, I remember those days just back from vacation and trying to get caught up. It will happen, just keep plugging away!

    Liked by 1 person

  28. Glad you had a relaxing visit to your brothers and sil house. It sounds like you packed a lot of things to do while you were there. As for the quilt I like the strips added. It definitely defines the pattern. I bought the pattern but haven’t started one yet. I have so many tops I have to finish into quilts. I keep on making tops but not finishing them with the long arm. I keep plugging along. I love reading your blog each day.

    Liked by 1 person

  29. Hi Anne,
    My vote is for adding the horizontal strips. The reason: I totally agree with Sara K. Your quilt looks awesome. I am sure sure you will miss your quilting buddy when she goes home.

    Liked by 1 person

  30. I like the horizontal strips, too. They give the quilt some definition. You are right – they provide some order for the chaos. It’s a beautiful quilt, by the way.

    Liked by 1 person

  31. Hello Anne You asked for an opinion on your quilt in progress. I prefer it with the purple sashing which is unusual for me as I love blended quilts. Best of luck and happy scrapping Ronnie Rutter

    Sent from my iPad


    Liked by 1 person

  32. I vote for the stripes!

    I admit I’m more of a symmetrical person than abstract, so perhaps that’s why those sections of peaks and valleys stacked up and just “hanging there” bothers me. I feel the purple lines not only accent all those scrumptious reds, but they also ground the design. Though beautiful blocks they are, without the stripes they kinda don’t make sense to me. I’d still say it’s beautiful, but it wouldn’t be my cup of tea without. (Like you’re currently feeling.)

    And how lucky are your boys!?!?!? These two get to travel and run all over the place in such gorgeous settings! Run wild and get to go home to sleep in a nice soft bed and eat good food and get loved on. What a wonderful dogs life they have!

    Can’t wait to see your quilt shop booty!


    Liked by 1 person

  33. Hi Anne, Call me crazy but I really like the “muddy” black quilt top in this post! Would you consider selling it? Just a thought. All your work is beautiful! Wendy Malwitz


    Liked by 1 person

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