Attack of the Drunken Monkeys

by Stephanie on February 21, 2012

in Art Quilts & Wallhangings,New York Beauty

Post image for Attack of the Drunken Monkeys

Finished the New York Beauty wallhanging that’s my “Scrap Attack” project a few days ago, and have given up on waiting for better weather/light for pictures. The sun will reappear one of these days and if I get better pics I’ll add them to Flickr. For now here are indoor-with-crappy-light shots.

This is my first paper foundation-pieced project, and I’m delighted with how precisely those crown-arcs came out. From the get-go, though, I’d planned to minimize accuracy (which can feel rigid) and play up the wild-wonky aspects of this piece. Loosey-goosey spirals in the center circles seemed like a good way to go, so I loaded up the machine with the brightest multi-colored King Tut variegated quilting thread available at my LQS (color #921: “Cleopatra”), let down the feed dogs, and had at it.

Halfway through the first spiral, I thought I’d have to rip it all out and come up with a better idea. I had in mind loose and wonky, not something that looked like the work of drunken monkeys. I’m the sort of quilter who rips out stitching only under dire distress, so I shrugged off the creeping unease and let the monkeys have their way. Now I love it.

Here’s a shot of the whole thing:

New York Beauty wallhanging

Here’s the back. I’ve had this fabulous leaf print for about a year and a half, and am delighted to be using it for something (and that I still have a nice piece left):

back of NYB wallhanging

There’s no label on it yet. I think I’ll just write on one of those pale leafy bits.

It’s 25″x44.5″ which is a perfect size for where I thought it would go — above the toilet tank in “the beige coffin” toilet enclosure in the master bath — but Mr. de Hilo is negotiating. I think a space that we are in and out of multiple times every day deserves to be as pretty as possible, and in this case said space is a windowless beige closet that could really use some life and color. No disrespect to Miss NYB, but I made her with that  space in mind. Mr. de Hilo thinks she deserves better. Could be he feels confronting it up close several times a day would be too much, but he swears he really likes it. So it looks like we’ll be going with Plan B: the tall wall between sink and shower areas, which ought to have a full-length mirror on it but doesn’t. That location provides the same “see it often” advantage, plus it will also be visible from the master bedroom.

Which is a fine compromise, and means I now have to come up with something else for the smallest, blandest, beige-est space imaginable. I already have some ideas…


1 Wanda February 21, 2012 at 6:30 pm

I think we all struggle with the ‘hating the quilting’ when we get started, but in most cases I really like my quilting the next day. I think it looks great, and of course I love your fabric selections.

2 Miki February 21, 2012 at 8:28 pm

This turned out great! I love the colors, and the quilting is wonderful.

3 Beangirl February 22, 2012 at 4:26 am

hahah! Well I like it too, I wouldn’t mind looking at it several times a day. But then, this is really one of my favoritest ever “store-bought” patterns. I’ve never managed to get started on the dumb thing (which I’ve owned for… um… 15 years? 20 years? yikes). You’ve inspired me wtih your fabulous version, maybe this will be my “summer” project. We totally need a wall hanging (although not in the bathroom, in the bedroom and the living room).

4 The Slapdash Sewist February 23, 2012 at 10:03 am

Beautiful! I suppose men have a different view of the toilet area than women. He might feel like he was peeing on your work and would feel bad about it?

5 Margaret February 24, 2012 at 4:02 am

haha … funny post! I, too, have a mini hanging above a tank but it’s not enclosed … agree with the Mr in that I think it’s too beautiful to hang in a closet . It’s stunning … love your colors & the quilting!

6 Shelley February 24, 2012 at 9:26 am

Good compromise and stunning wall quilt! And I love that you kept the wavy borders. I’ve got to check back through your posts to refresh my memory on how you pieced those. Pieced arcs like the ones in your blocks don’t scare me, but a wavy border kinda freaks me out a bit (when it comes to the how-to anyway). Bravo!

7 Connie March 2, 2012 at 1:18 pm

What a beautiful quilt! Love the batiks too!

8 Noga March 26, 2012 at 12:27 pm

This quilt is a real beauty! Amazing colors! Congratulations!

9 Rachel at Stitched in Color March 26, 2012 at 1:50 pm

Congrats! What an accomplishment for sure!

10 Donna March 26, 2012 at 8:19 pm

Looks like a fun quilt to choose the fabrics for–great colors that make me want to visit Hawaii! :)

11 Lizzie March 28, 2012 at 9:59 am

Delightful drunken monkeys! this quilt just sings, I love it!

12 Barb in MI March 28, 2012 at 12:05 pm

Wow, what a stunning quilt! Fabulous – no matter where it ends up hanging in your house…

13 Lynnette April 17, 2012 at 11:59 am

Absolutely love this quilt. The colors are fantastic and brilliant and I love the New York Beauty blocks but haven’t gotten up the courage to try one yet. And the quilting is splendiforous!

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