Friday, April 1, 2022

RSC Yellows and an Urge

I knew March would be monumental for the Rainbow Scrap Challenge. My bin of yellow scraps overflowed. Notice the past tense. I worked hard at it, and was pretty successful in using up the scraps. So let's get started:

First up, were the multi-colored scraps with yellow in them for Leila Gardunia's 52 Weeks of Scrappy Triangles. Not as easy as I thought they'd be as the scraps with yellow in are getting down to the odd sized/shaped pieces. In fact, I de-sewed parts of old pieced scraps just to get some of the yellow bits. And you'll notice that some of the fabrics are really mostly yellow. But here are the triangle blocks for this month, and I'm pretty pleased with what I was able to cobble together.

From now on, I hope to work more consistently on the blocks to finish this project quickly. I need to count them up. I think I need 26 more blocks.

Next, I made a quilt-as-you-go placemat--and then another one! It turns out that my yellow bin had way too many strings leftover from another project. The yellows in these placemats are a bit more vibrant than seen here, but the camera just couldn't capture them. I was trying to photograph outside between thin sun and snowflakes. Yes, snowflakes! Nature's April Fools joke.

For the back of this mat, I chose a sunflower print that had languished in my fabric drawer for many years. I had bought it for this quilt, but it didn't fit in. I did make a Bear Paw block with it during Rachel Hauser's 2020 Quilter's Color Quest (more on that block in a minute), but it was just the right size to back this mat with one seam down the middle. I guess you can tell what was on my mind when I chose this. Perhaps somewhere there is a potential recipient (I hope to donate these mats to Meals on Wheels) who has a Ukrainian background or connection. 

There were so many strings left, I kept going.

The back is not as exciting, but it may suit someone who doesn't care for flowers. I see the light is showing some old creases from the fabric being folded for so long. They aren't as big as they seem here, but I guess it's time to get the iron out. 

I quilted both of these with some leftover yellow Aurifil thread. They are 17 1/2 by 13 1/2 inches.

After that bit of fun, it was time to tackle all the little pieces for my adding machine tape project. I managed to fill more than 26 feet of tape. 

That indoor photo is a bit washed out. Here's a sunnier view of all that adding machine tape fun.

If you've been following this blog this year, you will know that I've also been working on some Bear Paw blocks in solid RSC colors. The centers of the paws are yellow, so I decided to skip making them this month. Stay tuned for pink ones in a few weeks. 

After these projects, I still had some biggish scraps left, so I put them in a zip-close bag and set them aside. They bothered me though. There were still too many scraps left from the bin to suit me. And there was also a scrap of sunflower fabric left. I could probably say that what happened next was a DrEAMi (Drop Everything And Make it) or a squirrel, but it didn't feel dreamy in the whimsical sense, and it certainly wasn't a squirrel in the humorous sense. It was more of an urge that I couldn't deny. I just had to make a quilt for my front door with a message to the world. Remember that Bear Paw block I mentioned a few paragraphs ago? 

It became a seed for the quilt. I made another similar block

and then worked in a haze of obsession, until I had this:

The quilt went from more abstract/improv to more planned as I worked, partly due to some missteps. (I don't know: can you have missteps in an improv quilt?)  I was thinking of placing the two sunflower blocks next to each other with a flag below them based on this pattern. But the position of the sunflowers reminded me of an abstract nude--not the look I was going for. Then I drafted some foundation paper pieced letters to put along the sides and top of the quilt. I wasn't sure exactly how big the strips of letters would be, but I figured there would need to be some filler squares in the corners, so I cut the small squares of sunflowers (never mind that I forgot seam allowance) and then hoped I would have enough of the rest of the print to make the letters. I had almost enough print, but ended up having to borrow sunflowers from another completely different fabric to make up the shortfall. I'm pretty sure you'd be hard pressed to identify the alternate fabric. I had to add a bit of blue fabric to the corner sunflowers to make up for my cutting error. I made another Bear Paw block with the mottled gold fabric. I still thought I could put a flag in there for the fourth quadrant, but it just didn't work out, so I made one more gold Bear Paw. I had run out of the background fabric with little green dots, but found one with some blue print that worked fine.  I added in bits of white and blue fabric to fill out the main part of the quilt to match the size of the word strips. I forgot to add extra seam allowance to the right side and bottom blue strips, so there are some irregularities, and why everything is a bit wonky along the right edge I have no idea. The final result is more traditional than I had in mind, but I think it works for a front door where big contrasts are important for visibility from the street.  

Remember the bag of biggish scraps? The lightest ones became the back of the quilt.

If you look close, you will see lots of half square triangles sewn into rows. For the quilting, I did in-the-ditch work, scribble-quilting on the sunflowers, and meandering in the background using off-white, gold and blue threads. The binding is more scraps (lots of little ones) in medium yellow. 

Here are the stats: 

Pattern: My own foundation paper pieced letters, drafted on graph paper to finish at 3 inches square per letter. I had to squeeze them to keep the quilt size small, so they ended up as rhombus shapes with the short sides a little over two inches. Traditional Bear Paw blocks finishing at 6 inches. 
Fabrics: Years of scraps
Batting: Frankenbatting made from a narrow strip of Warm and White.
Thread: Superior Masterpiece in Granite for piecing; Superior King Tut in White Linen, Aurifil 40 wt. in Tarnished Gold and Mettler 50 wt in Smoky Blue for quilting; non-decript yellow hand quilting thread (Coats and Clark?) for hand sewing binding.
Size: 17 1/2 by 20 inches
Machines: Singer Featherweight for piecing; Singer Treadle 115 for walking foot and free motion quilting and for machine work on the binding.

I signed my initials, but forgot the date. I suppose I could still add it in, but I really don't care for embroidering 2s, so maybe that's why I forgot. 

Overall, I'm pleased with the project. It's not perfect, but then neither is our world. In fact, it's a downright mess right now. As an individual, I feel helpless and sometimes hopeless. I give to my favorite charitable organization to support refugees, but beyond that, what? So I sew my feelings out and share a bit of them with whoever passes by. And pray. 

Most of the yellow scraps are gone now, but I might be able to eke out one more placemat. Maybe with that other sunflower fabric I mentioned. In fact, I have a Quilter's Color Quest sunflower Bear Paw block made with it, too, that could go into a placemat. This month's RSC color is pink. I don't think I have a lot of pink scraps, so maybe I can fit a little more yellow sewing this month. We'll see.

I hope you are having fun with scraps this month, and if an urge has prompted you to abandon your usual sewing, just go with it. 

(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.) 


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

wow you got a lot of yellow done this past month!

Linda said...

Your sunflower quilt is beautiful and the fabrics and placement of your blocks makes it so attractive. Your mention of "rhombus" made my mathematician's heart happy, but my heart is hurting for the people of Ukraine. I've had my blue and yellow scraps set out for "something" to make some small show of support, and making a mini quilt sounds doable for me. Thanks for the inspiration!

The Joyful Quilter said...

Two scrappy YELLOW placemats and a banner in support of Ukraine? Way to go, Janine!! Looking forward to seeing what you do with the small amount of PINK scraps that you have waiting.

Margo Yang said...

The front door quilt is adorable! I agreed with you with all the mess in the world. Aren’t you glad you have a hobby that helps you to express your feelings? I’m sure glad I do. I’m a little down in a slum with a cold but seeing all the things that you’ve done gave me a huge motivation. Thank you so much. Peace…….

Lin said...

Such a lot going on but I love your Peace door hanging. Great use of all your yellow scraps. xx

LIttle Penguin Quilts said...

Your quilt for the door is so beautiful, JanineMarie, and so perfect! I love your string placemats, too. They're a fun way to use up scraps!

Mari said...

Okay, I *love* the Ukraine quilt, but can we talk about the adding machine tape? What a great way to use up all those precious pieces that you just can't stand to get rid of. Great creative use of those bits! The Ukraine quilt is amazing, and I'm glad you hung it on your door. It needs to be seen!

Sylvia@Treadlestitches said...

Wonderful door quilt, perfect sentiment! Congratulations on persevering through all the math! And I adore the adding machine tape scraps, and the placemats!

LA Paylor said...

26 feet of scrappy good yellow tape! gorgeous!
peace for Ukraine and the world... may it be

Jenny said...

Your Pray for Peace is amazing, I'm sure it will get more than a passing glance as people walk past your home.

Chantal said...

You definitively showed those yellow scraps who's the boss! Bravo! I commend you on your effort to use them all up. Love your door quilt. It turned out so beautiful and truthful. Regardless of the little "mishaps", you should be proud of what you created because it is really cute. Great job! ;^)

Preeti said...

I've had Ukraine on my mind too. How could we not? Let there be peace. With the recent news of war crimes, I pray for justice. I love how you put all the scraps - big and small - to use. Your front door quilt sends an important message - softly. Keep sewing and inspiring!

Andree G. Faubert said...

Those are great yellow projects! Looks like you had lots of fun.

Sandra Walker said...

Well, I know I was here because I loved your comment about the sunflowers together looking too much like an abstract nude, but I don't see my comment, like what?? And I remember saying how great it looks on the front door. Ah well, into the pixellated universe I guess. Thank you for linking this up with DrEAMi, and, as always, for your thoughts, which I echo as you know.

Raewyn said...

Fabulous yellow sewing and a great DREaMi project - a standout piece with a powerful message.