Friday, April 27, 2018

SOC Quilt

 About a year ago, I set aside some fabric for a potential quilt. My starting point was a fat quarter of "focus" fabric I had purchased on a vacation. Here's a scrap. (There was more pink and coral in it than pictured.)

Now why would I buy only a fat quarter of focus fabric? Who knows. I was drawn to the fabric but had nothing in mind to make when I bought it. I pulled other fabrics in the same color families and lined them all up in a bin. Then they sat on a shelf. And sat. And sat. Until a couple of weeks ago when I decided that it was time to make the quilt. I spent some time trying to figure out a plan for a quilt. Each pattern I came up with got more complicated than I wanted. 

Then I got distracted by the need to make a couple of blocks for Quilts for Broncos. These blocks were being collected to make quilts for the families of victims of the terrible bus accident that took the lives of hockey players in Saskatchewan. 


I was so taken with the simplicity of the block and ease (speed!) of construction that I knew it was what I wanted for my quilt. I don't know who designed the block, and I hope that the good people who organized the Quilts for Broncos won't mind that I used the pattern for a different quilt. 

It took me a little while to cut the quilt blocks. 

I had a lot of smallish pieces of fabric and was trying to be frugal. Why? Because I am participating in the RSC (Rainbow Scrap Challenge) this year, and have become a fabric miser. Has this happened to anyone else? Fear of Using up Fabric (FoUuF). I am so afraid that I won't have a good variety of some colors to complete my RSC blocks this year that I don't want to cut into them. This is ridiculous!! The whole point of RSC is to use them up. Seriously, can you relate? So I very carefully cut block parts so that there would be strings left over for my RSCs. And in the end, I had plenty left over. Go figure. It just supports my theory that you never get rid of all of your scraps; you just make them smaller.

And here's another weird thing. After I cut pieces from my little fat quarter of focus fabric and got everything laid out, I hated how the focus fabric looked. It stuck out like a sore thumb, grabbing attention away from the other fabrics. So I took it all out and replaced it with more of my other fabrics. Since then, I've pondered on why that happened. The focus fabric was a strong geometric while all of my other fabrics were blenders. Also, since I only had a fat quarter, I could only sprinkle that fabric over the quilt top and that made it look spotty.

After that finicky cutting, this quilt sewed up in a jiffy. It probably helped that we had a plumber in the house for parts of four days,and there really wasn't anything else to do but sew. 
Pesky breeze and overcast skies, but you take what you can get in early spring.
Basting and quilting went quickly, too. I quilted it all in one afternoon with swoopy sort of flowery designs in the dark squares and meanders in the light areas since they wouldn't show up much anyway. 

And here's the neat thing. By making a pieced strip on the back of the quilt, I was able to use the focus fabric in just the right proportion. To fill out the rest of the back, I visited a nearby fabric shop and limited myself to the (very small) sale section. I found just what I needed in a minty print, and as a bonus, a candy striped (yes, striped!) fabric for the binding. 

See those flowers and butterflies? And the after-wash crinkles?
I like the back so much, I almost wish I had used all gray instead of gray and navy squares on the front, but it's really fine either way.

Just a few more pictures. We have just barely started some spring-like weather, so finding a way to photograph outdoors was a challenge. I first tried some usual shots on the fence, but when I crouched down, the humidity off the grass fogged up my phone and all the shots were hazy. 
Almost hidden signature block

You may be wondering why I called this the SOC quilt. It stands for Stream of Consciousness. Except for the pieces I bought for the back of the quilt and that focus fat quarter, these fabrics are almost all leftovers of previous projects, some quite old. So as I was cutting and sewing, it was kind of like this: "Oh, that's K and C's wedding quilt...there's a piece of J's dress for going to the one-room schoolhouse...those are that bookend fabric line I loved--I can't for the life of me remember what I used those for...there's the back of C's baby quilt...those are the fabrics I used in the perpetual calendar quilt...that was in T's quilt...I used that for those blocks I sent to California...I used that in the quilt for my next door neighbor years ago..." and on and on it went. I'm sure you've been there.

Some stats for this quilt:
Pattern: The block that was requested in the Quilts for Broncos. I scaled mine down from 12 inches finished to 9 inches finished. The back is a variation inspired by the front blocks.
Fabrics: Mostly scraps. The large minty fabric on the back is Sandy's Garden by Sandy Lyman Clough for Red Rooster Fabrics, and the binding is...oops, I don't have enough selvage to know.
Batting: Hobbs Premium Cotton 80/20 
Thread: All Superior: Masterpiece in Granite for piecing; King Tut for quilting--Mint Julep in the top and Temple in the bobbin; Mint Julep for hand sewing on binding. I have gotten a LOT of mileage out of that cone of Mint Julep. So many quilts--and there's still a little left.
Binding: Cut 2 1/2 inches wide and folded in half; 3/8 inch finished ( a little wider on the back). 
Size: Quilt: 45 1/2 by 54 1/2 inches pieced; 44 1/4 by 53 1/2 inches quilted; 42 1/4 by 51  inches after washing.  
Machines: Singer Featherweight for piecing; Singer 115 Treadle for free motion quilting.  

The three best things I learned from this quilt are:

  • Simple blocks can make a great quilt 
  • You don't have to use your focus fabric in the front of the quilt, and 
  • You shouldn't worry so much about "running out" of RSC fabric. 

Two more photos after washing:

I'm planning to donate this quilt to Little Lambs Foundation for the Hands 2 Help Challenge. The prints aren't juvenile, but I think there might be a young child somewhere who would be comforted by a minty, pinky, coral hug.

So I wonder what's next in my quilty life. I don't know yet, but I do know that there are two baby quilts in my future. My niece is expecting a baby girl, and...and... AND...WE ARE EXPECTING ANOTHER GRANDSON!!! (I had to yell that.) Whew, I can finally share that. We just found out the grandSON part last night. Both babies are due in September. Maybe one will be my birthday present?

I'm linking this up today with crazymomquilts for Finish It Up Friday and with Confessions of a Fabric Addict for Can I Get A Whoop Whoop. I'm linking up again with Confessions of a Fabric Addict during the week of May 20 for the Hands2Help linky party.

Have a beautiful weekend! 


anna said...

very nice, I like the focus fabric on the back. love the colors

Lisa Marie said...

Wow, this is great! Maybe you only bought a FQ of that focus fabric so it could inspire a lovely color combination? Putting it on the back really tied the whole thing together. Just gorgeous. I'm with you on the "FoUuF" and I have lots of fabric, I'll never run out! I'm glad I'm not the only one who has these wacky ideas.

KaHolly said...

JanineMarie, this was a delicious post to read along with enjoying my first cup of coffee this morning. I love, love, love how this quilt turned out! It’s one of rhe nicest layouts I’ve seen for this block! Congratulations on expecting another grandbaby! How exciting! Enjoy your day!

Linda said...

What a beautiful finish! The focus fabric is perfect for the back, and your choices were so smart. That block pattern is very attractive. I laughed out loud reading about your RSC issues. :D
Congratulations on the upcoming babies!
I used to do "Things I've Learned" on my old quilt posts and don't know why I stopped - you are inspiring me to document those thoughts again. :)

Janice Holton said...

JanineMarie this is outstanding! The simplicity of it and the color combo (thank you focus fabric that didn't get used on the front) are just wonderful! And absolutely some child will love this. One of my boys would have been one. He is a lover of simplicity. Even though I often make bright and busy quilts I can definitely see the draw of the less complicated designs. I REALLY like this. Well done!

Mari said...

Ahhh! You buried the best news--a new grandson! Congratulations! September is a great birthday month (it's mine,too). Very cute quilt finsh for donation. I'm sure some little person will love it. I also have a fear of using up fabric, mostly because I love the prints so much I don't want them to be gone!

PaulaB quilts said...

That's a great solution to your puzzle. The colors are luscious and you got to use them effectively. The back row is a perfect solution for the focus fabric. It's a winner!

Louise said...

Wow, another grandson!! Woo hoo! Very exciting news :)

Congrats on this soft and pretty finish, Janine! That block worked so well with your fabric choices. Thanks for the block link, it looks super versatile. The flowery quilting is such a great motif for adding yummy texture.

It's funny about the focus fabric ending up on the back; I've done that too! Or not used it at all after it did all the hard work of selecting the color scheme. And yes, I have FoUuF (pronounced fooooooooooooof like a big sigh). It's crazy, cutting fabric JUST so there will be good scraps left over. But SOC is why we do it, so we can enjoy those fabrics and memories again. Now I'm tempted to burst into song, "It's the circle of life, um, I mean scraps!" :)

Claire said...

Great quilt! I love the color combination. And the solution with the fat quarter. And he striped binding.

Phyllis in Iowa said...

Just discovered your blog. Your Singer 15-30 Tiffany/Gingerbread decals are lovely. Liked the quilt, too.

Jenny said...

Your quilt turned out beautifully. I love that simple block and it would be a great design to use for some fabric squares I've been hoarding. Would you mind passing on the measurements to me please?

Preeti said...

Love love love the back just as much the front. You just threw scraps together and ended up this beauty? OMG, what will happen if you chose the fabric and pattern carefully? I know it will be a masterpiece :-)

Sarah Craig said...

It's beautiful, Janine, and will be much loved and appreciated!

Carol E. said...

Lovely quilt. Do you really machine quilt on that little Singer? Is it a Featherweight?

My Sister Made Me Do It.... said...

Wow this is gorgeous and your FMQ is outstanding!

Joanna said...

That is beautiful. Nice work.

BunkHouseQuilts said...

Love a pieced back~!

Lynn said...

This is a great quilt, lovely colours, versatile pattern and you did so well with the feature fabric used on the back, wonderful job.