Thursday, January 31, 2019

RSC18 Wrap-up

The last several months have been filled with non-quilty activities--some celebratory (the holidays and my dad's 95th birthday) and others related to cares and concerns. My mother-in-law broke her hip early in November, and then entered a time of rapid decline in her overall health. She slipped away from her earthly life early this month. This past weekend, we met with family and friends in the Chicago area for a memorial service and celebration of her life. It is sad to have lost her, but she lived a wonderfully active life physically and socially until the last couple of years, and it was a joy to have her in our lives for such a long time. She would have been 95 on January 28.

I didn't feel much like quilting lately and even less like blogging about what little sewing I did, but now that our lives are on a more even keel, it's time to get back in the flow. (How's that for nautical-speak from a landlubber?) Anyway, at long last, I have a finish. Two finishes actually: my remaining RSC18 quilts. (Never mind that I did not meet the one little goal I had for January, finishing these quilts in time to mail them before the US postage rates increased. It's all good.)

These quilts started with 8 string blocks a month in the Rainbow Scrap Challenge colors of the month (hosted by Angela at So Scrappy) from January to October. The one "rule" I made for myself was to include a strip of one other color of the month in each block. If you'd like to see the blocks as I made them over the year, click on the RSC18 label in the list on the right or at the bottom of this post. There were 8 blocks (pink and purple) that I did not use in one of the quilts. They became this Butterfly quilt. (You can also see it with its mates in the above photo.) I replaced them with blocks in the other colors, bringing the number of my RSC string blocks for the year to 88).

I played with some fun layouts throughout the year, but I pretty much knew how I wanted these quilts to look when I first started making the blocks, with a simple layout and sashing. The other layouts would have had bulky seams, and I didn't want to mess around with those. For the first quilt, I used Kona Snow for the sashing, and laid out the blocks all in the same orientation, with random placement of the colors. 
I'm leaving that sunshine in the photo. We need all we can get in this deep freeze.
For the backing, I found an awesome digitally printed rainbow fabric: Gradients by Moda.

I wanted a more playful look for the other quilt. In a sale bin at my local quilting store, I found a llama print that coordinated with the scrap colors without overwhelming them. For that quilt, I laid out half of the blocks in one direction and half in the other facing direction.

I bought some extra llama print for the backing, but (purposely) not as much as I needed. I knew I had some solids that would work to make a pieced back, saving myself a little money and using more of my fabrics on hand.

I quilted these two quilts last week while waiting for our trip for my mother-in-law's memorial service. It was good therapy. At first I wasn't sure how to quilt the one with the Snow sashing, so I set it aside. On the other quilt, I used my walking foot to stitch through the center and outer corners of the blocks following the direction of the layout, then filled in with more lines between those to create a giant chevron. You can probably see it a little better on the back in this photo. I really like the texture it gives. 

By the time I finished that quilt, I just wanted to be done. I hadn't done FMQ in quite awhile, so I decided to stipple the other quilt. It went really fast, and I do like it. (What's not to like about stipple quilting? No, don't answer that. I know it's not a favorite of some quilters. But it is so relaxing for me.)

I was planning to make a scrap binding for the Snow sashed quilt, but when the time came, that seemed like too much work. I had bought a little piece of another Gradient print for the other quilt, but decided to first use that print on the Snow quilt. It's the fabric on the right in this photo.

(When I showed these fabrics on Instagram, I think some people thought they were quilts. The print is tiny, though. The hourglass squares on the right are only about 1/2 inch on a side.) It just kind of blends in with the backing, but I love how it looks on the front. I stitched it so that it looks like a stripe. I did not have enough to go all the way around on the llama quilt, but there was a bit of the backing left from the Snow quilt (the fabric on the right in the above photo), so I alternated them around the Llama quilt. I had just enough. Yay! (I guess in the course of this post, I have named the quilts. Ha!)

Do you see the subtle change from one Gradients fabric to the other?

I'm really pleased with how these finished. Here are my initials and the dates:

They are going to go to Margaret's Hope Chest, and ultimately the Mother and Baby Program (treatment program for mothers with post-partum mood disorders) at Pine Rest Hospital. The mothers use them as a comforting shawl during therapy sessions. 

So here are the stats:
Design: String blocks made for RSC18. Blocks were trimmed to 5 1/2 inches before quilt construction for 5-inch finished blocks. The sashes finish at 2 inches wide with outer borders finishing at 3 inches. Using a print background for the Llama quilt was inspired by this quilt by Mari at The Academic Quilter.
Fabrics: Scraps from nearly 40 years of quilt-making. 

Snow quilt: Kona Snow for sashing; Gradients in Triangles by Moda for backing, Gradients in Bars by Moda for binding.
Llama quilt: JuxtaPosey Toss by Betz White for Riley Blake for sashing and backing; Kona solids in Robin Egg, Laurel, and Sunflower for backing; Gradients in Triangles and in Bars by Moda for binding.
Batting: Hobbs Premium Heirloom 80/20
Thread: Superior-- Masterpiece in Granite for piecing; King Tut in Temple (Snow quilt) and White Linen (Llama quilt) for quilting; Treasure in Old Lace for hand stitching binding.
Binding: 2 1/2 inches cut, double layer, machine sewn to front and hand stitched on back
Size: Snow Quilt: 60 by 39 inches; 59.5 by 38.5 quilted and bound; 56 by 36 inches machine washed and dried.

Llama Quilt: 60 by 39 inches; 59.5 by 38.75 quilted and bound; 56.5 by 36.75 inches machine washed and dried.
Machines: Singer Featherweight for piecing; Singer Treadle 115 for walking foot and FMQ quilting.

One more photo--just out of the washer and dryer in all their crinkly drapey-ness. And I am so happy to say that there was no dye migration--even from some of those very old fabrics. Yippee!

I had so much fun doing RSC18--even if it didn't really use many of my scraps at all, and I bought even more fabric to make the sashes and backing. Oh well, I used up what I bought, and now I can keep doing RSC. I have some ideas--I want to make some butterfly blocks, maybe some crumbs and/or more strings, and maybe long lines of strings. I have other ideas, too, but need to restrain myself a bit. I want to see just how much I can use up, though. The only thing is, I have only one more day of January as of this writing to get my reds (color of the month) finished. I may double up January and February colors. If you would like to participate in RCS19 check out the links here and here. I have already bought my background fabrics for my quilts (Mexicali Fresh Beaded Paisley from Benartex and Stella Tossed Flower from Red Rooster). Still mulling over how I'll use them.

I'm linking up this week with My Quilt Infatuation for Needle and Thread Thursday, Confessions of a Fabric Addict for Can I Get a Whoop WhoopSo Scrappy for ScrapHappy Saturday, Wendy's Quilts and More for Peacock Party and Quilting is More Fun than Housework for Oh Scrap!

Now, let the RSC19 sewing begin! Since we're in the deep freeze in my part of the world, and I am windchill bound, I should make a lot of progress sewing! If you are also in a cold area, stay warm and stay quilting!

(I'm not affiliated with any company, so when I mention products, services, or stores I'm just documenting what I used or liked.) 


Bobbi @ Snowy Days Quilting said...

Such a lovely way to use string blocks! There's so many fun details in these quilts. I love that little butterfly poking out in the first picture. These quilts are sure to be well-loved by people in need of a little cheer.

Karen - Quilts...etc. said...

what wonderful quilts and the backings are so pretty! I will need to keep an eye out for backings like that that - do you know where you got yours?
Sorry about your mother in law and your father in law so old and alone now that is sad

Mari said...

These turned out so, so lovely! I love the Llama quilt, especially the quilting, and that llama fabric is just so cool. The snow quilt is really pretty. Amazing what can happen with those little bits of old fabric, isn't it? The RSC is fun, can't wait to see your projects. Stay warm-- maybe under a quilt!

Sheila said...

I Love what you did with your unique string blocks. Your quilts are beautiful. I love the sashings. The quilting. The pictures. I think I told you last year that I may steal your idea for this year's RSC. And I did. I plan to make ten 7.75" square string blocks each month for 10 months.
I'm so sorry to hear about the death of your Mother-in-law. Nice to hear that she lived a wonderfully active life.

LIttle Penguin Quilts said...

I loved watching your string blocks pile up as you made them last year, and now it's fun to see how you finished them off! The fabrics you found for sashing and backings are so perfect for all the pretty color in the string blocks. These quilts are going to bring someone lots of comfort!

Louise said...

Oh, Janine, they are so wonderful! So much scrappy rainbow goodness here. Great choices on the backing and binding fabrics, and that llama sashing is soooooo cute! Your quilting adds wonderful texture and just finishes them perfectly. I'm a big fan of stippling: fast, easy on the brain, and it lets the fabrics shine as the stars. Congrats on these two super finishes :)

I'm already behind on RSC, too, and also for family health reasons. But quilting can be our comfort later. When family needs us, we respond in that moment. I'm so sorry for the loss of your MIL. She sounds like a real treasure. May she rest in peace.

KaHolly said...

They are beautiful! Stipple has its place and was a perfect choice! Sorry for your loss. 95, my goodness! How blessed you were.

PaulaB quilts said...

The nice thing about buying the llama fabric and others from the same line is that they are all color coordinated. They do work so well together. Great finish four of the stripes!

Quilting Babcia said...

These are two very cheerful finishes, both are likely to bring much comfort to those who use them. I love multi-fabric bindings, it's a great way to use leftover pieces from many quilt finishes.

Cathy said...

Wow, the quilts turned out spectacularly! So beautiful!!

Katie Z. said...

I love the pink and purple butterfly!

Jennifer said...

i really like how you did the strip blocks with an accent/different color. it adds a wonderful dimension to the quilt- and makes it stand out from other, similar quilts.

Jo said...

You may have 40 year old scraps in there but you have made something fresh, modern, and inspiring! Well done!

The Joyful Quilter said...

I always knew those String quilts would finish nicely. I was SEW right!! :o))
Have FUN with those new fabrics!!!

Wendy @ Wendysquiltsandmore said...

I am sorry to hear about your mother in law, but glad you've managed to find some solace in quilting. String quilts seem to be all the rage at the moment. Thank you for linking up to the Peacock Party.

Cynthia Brunz Designs said...

These two quilts are adorable! I am always up for seeing a lovely string quilt. Thanks for sharing with Oh Scrap!

Stay warm!

Jannette said...

Just found your blog through Cynthia's "Oh Scrap" post. I'm sorry for the loss of your MIL, but thankful that she enjoyed a rich, long life. I lost my dad just 2 days after Christmas, so I know the mixed emotions that come at a time like this.
It was a real surprise to read that your quilts will end up going to Pine Rest Hospital! I worked there for a summer MANY years ago, and it's always had a special place in my heart. The quilts are sure to be a blessing to the moms recieving them!

QuiltGranma said...

Precious quilts! Love the love you put into them.

Cathy said...

Congrats on the lovely finishes!
My condolences on the death of your mother-in-law.

Linda said...

I am so sorry about your MIL. I am always mystified about falls leading to declines in health in the elderly. It really seems to take a toll on older folks. It is so sad. I'm glad you had quilts to finish. Quilting really is good for what ails you, and it is a comforting therapy.
I love Snow and Llama! Those scrappy blocks are very pretty, and the gradient fabrics are perfect for them. I love how you included a color from other months in each block. And what a great purpose for the quilts.
I'm sorry to say that I am not one of those that finds FMQ relaxing. I have to have a glass of wine first. ;)

Preeti said...

Love love love everything about these quilts. I love the rogue strip in each block. I am sure I have mentioned it before - the touch of whimsy and devil-may-care attitude that naughty strip brings to the whole block is awesome. It is so me. Sorry I almost forgot that it is your quilt ;-) I got a bit carried away. Ooh love that gorgeous bright backing with all the colors. I am looking up where to find Gradients fabric line as soon as I hit Publish. The super colorful striped binding is just my kinda binding. OK, now that I have stopped drooling I will add just one more things - that texture is so inviting...I started drooling again.
Thinking of you and your family. Sending hugs and best wishes.