Friday, January 28, 2022

(Almost) All the Reds

I actually had a plan for this month. (This year?) Are you surprised? While I do admit to trying to complete projects I start, I don't usually like to plan too far ahead. But I started the year with a list of eight things I wanted to do. And I did seven of them. I even accomplished a couple of goals that weren't really on my list--although they were implied. So here goes:

1. Finish Confetti quilt blocks. At the end of 2021, I had completed 49 blocks of my Confetti quilt (Rachel Hauser's pattern). I thought that might be it for a 7 by 7 block quilt. But I still had some fun colorful bits left. I impulsively ordered more dotted background fabric for curbside pick up and during the first few weeks of this month I made 35 more blocks.

I quickly laid them out and sewed them up.

And can you believe I almost made 12 more blocks to expand those quilts to 48 blocks each? I reined myself in, though. The quilts are an appropriate size for the organization I plan to donate them to. And it is time to move on. 

I do need to buy fabric for backings. I really like some of the large modern floral prints I've seen lately, but couldn't find any in the colors/price range I had in mind. I had a bit of two other prints that have worked with other rainbow colored quilts, so I auditioned them.

I chose the second one because it has a bit more variety of colors,and I like the crisper print with these blocks. I've had to order it and just got a message that there are delays in shipping, so the tops will be sitting for a few days before I move on. 

2. Continue making Triangle blocks for 52 Weeks of Scrappy Triangles Hmm. This project might need another name, as it has now been more than 52 weeks since I started Leila Gardunia's pattern. My intent was to try to finish this quilt quickly this year, but since I was full bore on the confetti quilt, I continued this with Angela's Rainbow Scrap Challenge 2022 color for this month: Red. I need 38 more blocks for the quilt, so first I chose which patterns I wanted to use from the 52 patterns from last year. Then I made four blocks. If you remember, I was trying to reduce my multi-colored scraps bin last year. Yeah, it's still overflowing, although the choicest sizes have been used up. So for these blocks, I supplemented some of the scraps that have red in them with other red scraps. 

If you want some idea of how this quilt might look when it's done you can see here. After I finish the Confetti quilts, I'll probably pick up the pace to get this finished.

3. Cut the rest of the patches for the handsewn four-patch quilt The blocks for this quilt sew up surprisingly fast, and I'm always running out of squares. So I decided to cut the rest of the patches I need. Then I'll always have a hand project ready to work on. I have sewn 144 blocks. I need 36 more. So I cut 144 squares from old jewel-toned fabrics. 

4. Start a Bear Paw quilt with solids This one's been in my head for awhile. Remember this block? 

I made it as part of the Quilter's Color Quest workshop with Rachel Hauser in 2020. I have a bin full of solid scraps and another of larger pieces. It's time to do something with them. So I plan to follow the RSC22 colors this year. First I ordered some Kona black and white pieces for curbside pickup. After I got them home, I realized that I had used Kona Snow in the original block, so I did a little surgery to replace the claws of that block. Then I made several combinations with reds and other colors. These are fun blocks with the added challenge of a tiny partial seam to get those yellow centers in. I cut the colorful rectangles a bit oversized so I can trim the paws to 4 1/2 inches before I add the claws. The yellow centers finish at 3/4 inch. Not sure what I'll do when the color of the month is yellow, but I'll figure that out later. Maybe I'll skip yellow since these centers will stand out enough on their own.

The rainbow fabric you see is kind of the inspiration for the solids and the combinations. It might work its way into the quilt as background or as the back side. I had rejected it for another quilt last year. It's has a sort of rough feel to it, but I do want to use it somehow.

5 and 6. String piece red strips/make placemat I had a bag of red strings that didn't make it into a rainbow stripped quilt a couple of years ago--probably because they were mostly dark red and not my favorites. It was time to get rid of them. Also, I had been wanting to make more placemats this year for a collection for Meals on Wheels. It dawned on me that an all-red placemat might appeal to someone that wasn't that crazy about patterns and colors. Then it occurred to me that I could string piece AND quilt at the same time. Yup, a quilt-as-you-go placemat. First, I sorted the strings into piles of like widths. Then I pieced those piles into long strings because I knew that most were not long enough to cover the width of a placemat by themselves. I found a larger piece of red fabric (leftover of a quilt I made years ago for our bed) and a scrap of batting and away I went. Such fun. I found another piece of old fabric that worked for the binding. And what do you know? I like it. A lot. Who knew a bunch of old dark red fabrics could actually be attractive? I think I'll be doing this again with old strings in other colors. The placemat finished at 14 by 18 inches.

7. Start an adding machine tape quilt This project came about unexpectedly. I was shopping at a local general style gift store that carries some fabric, and in their bargain basement there was adding machine tape on sale at half-off. On impulse, I bought a pack. It is two spools and says 126 feet. I don't know if that's each spool or both together. Either way, that would be a lot of stripped fabric. I decided to string together the rest of my red scraps. A lot of my scraps were bits of slabs I made awhile ago, I cut chunks big enough to cover the tape and added in other scraps from my bin. I ended up with a fabric strip about 80-85 inches long. 

The tape is 2 1/4 inches wide. 

And now I know what to do with all my old thread cones until I make these into a quilt.

I really don't care for making slabs with random shapes/sizes of scraps, but this was somehow fun. And the best part is that this is all I have left from my red scrap bin!!!!!! (There are really not enough exclamation marks to convey how I feel about this.)

There was one item on my list that I did not do: Make foundation paper pieced block(s) from Carol Doak's book Easy Machine Paper Piecing. These pieces would work for that, but I'll wait a bit. 

I am thrilled that my old red scraps are almost used up. I would be dreaming if I thought that I could keep this up for other RSC colors this year. It turns out my red bin was probably my smallest batch of scraps. But I'm going to enjoy the delusion for a bit. It makes me feel good.

So that's January. So many projects. There are some wonderful Quilt Alongs (QALs) happening right now. I would have liked to do at least three of them, but I just do not have the space to work on more projects. What I have going right now is pushing the limits for me as you can see by the state of my living room and guest room.

I guess I'll have to do my version of a QAL: Quilt Alone Later. For now I have two quilt tops finished this month. My goal of sorts for February will be to get those quilted. And then continue with all these other fun projects. I can't wait to see what the color of the month will be to tackle.

I'm linking up this week with Angela at So Scrappy for Scrap Happy Saturday and with Cynthia at Quilting is more fun than Housework for Oh Scrap

I hope your new year's quilting projects are bringing you joy and a bit of a mess whether you are doing a QAL (or several) or following your own path through the scraps and stash.

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