Saturday, December 30, 2017

The Last Quilt of 2017: Splash of Color Quilt is Finally Finished

Doesn't this quilt make you think of warm, sunny weather and forget that it's windy and sub-zero temperatures outside.  No, it doesn't, hubby will vouch for that.  I know it's the season for taking indoor photos now but I just had to take some outside photos.  It would have been nice, though, if outside was warm and perfect like Australia or New Zealand, maybe.
All it took to make this quilt to turn out this way it did was the Splash of Color QAL and a flash of faux pas.  There is no pattern for this quilt but maybe a pattern for getting into another situation called "Whoops".  I think I may be a member of the Chaos School of Quilting  after finally finishing this quilt.  At least it's ready to be part of the parade of quilts in January.  My mind is somewhat clear now to relay how my colorful quilt came to be made.
Splash Quilt Along @ Busy Hands Quilts
Myra from Busy Hands Quilts hosted a QAL back in October for quilts to be made with black and white fabrics with a splash of color.  Those who joined in this fun QAL had the choice of deciding which pattern they wanted to use and the only requirement to be eligible to win prizes was that the finished quilt top needed to be at least 40" square.
When I joined the QAL, I commented I was looking forward to doing a relaxing project which as I found out several times this year that sometimes quilts don't turn out the way I say it will.  This quilt was more of a challenge; I think I may have somewhat mentioned this already. I was all for making a quilt since I have a huge stash of black and white fabrics and thought I would use my Crayola solid fabrics for the splash of color.  One of the quilt patterns I considered was doing a hexagon pattern but instead decided to make a tessellating pinwheel pattern using my Sizzix die which I have never used.  Before I started die-cutting, I changed my fabric choice for the color prints and switched to Crazy Mom's Good Neighbor fabrics since I thought it would make the quilt brighter with the black and white prints.

I spent an evening watching TV and die-cutting the pieces-enough to make over 200 4.5" blocks. Then, I realized, after going to bed, I made a huge faux pas which I could have avoided had I remember prior to starting the die cutting.  Unlike the half-square triangle which is an equally divided square cut at a 45 degree angle (I'm taking my hubby's word on this since I've never taken a Geometry class), any other half triangle, like the half rectangle, has a definite right and left side, meaning the point at the bottom faces either right or left.  There may be a mathematical  term for this but I don't know what it is.  If you want all of your half rectangles to point the same direction and you use a die cutter like I do, the fabric must all face up or face down depending upon what side you want to point to, you cannot fan fold the fabric over the die because you will get both right and left side blocks.
Righty Quilt on the left and Lefty Quilt on the right
I learned this several years ago when I die cut half rectangles for what I thought was going to be one Cotton + Steel quilt which I ended making two quilts; one quilt with with right pointing half rectangles and the other quilt with the left pointing half rectangles. (When I look back at this, I could have made a diamond quilt but it's not what I wanted to make with my half rectangles). I should have remember this when I was die cutting the tessellating pinwheels but didn't realize what I did until after all the blocks were die cut.  A big whoops and faux pas has now happened.
Again, I was stuck with two different blocks, one tessellating right and one tessellating left, which meant making two quilts again and they would each be 40" square.  I really didn't like the pinwheels and decided, even though it involved taking apart the blocks I already sewn together and repressing the seams several times and playing with layouts, I decided to make elongated hexagon blocks with the patches.
Once again, this would involve making two separate quilts because there are two different types of blocks, one with the black patch on the top left and the other with the black patch on the top right.  Sewing them in one quilt didn't look right to me because I made another faux pas by using the same low volume print for the color patches.  As you can see the light patches do not alternate when the two types of blocks are next to each other.  I really wished that I would have used different prints for the color patches but didn't have enough white low volume prints in my stash.  Looking back at this now, I could have opted for making separate black and white blocks and color prints blocks but my thinking then would have meant die cutting more color print blocks but chose not to because I was at the point of just wanting to get this quilt done.
I came up with a layout which could use the two different type blocks together in horizontal row by sewing two rows of the same type blocks together and then separating the double rows with a 2-1/2" sashing made with two different black prints so the same low volume print next to each other wouldn't be so noticeable.  This quilt top measured 56" x 70" and I thought my top was done until I happened to noticed after sewing the rows together that I really liked the way the quilt top look when the blocks were vertical.
So, I decided that I could have it both ways if I removed the bottom two rows with sashing from the top which would make the new measurements to be 56" x 54", close enough to be a square.  I like the idea of seeing lava lights or lozenges when I look at this quilt.
The next decision to be made was how to back and quilt it and it took me several days to come up with a plan.  I finally decided to back it with an Ikea print which has the right colors but I was hesitant to use because it was decorator weight. After I prewashed it and some of the sizing/stiffness was removed, I was happy with the way it felt. It really was perfect for the quilt which is going to be another playmat for the very quilt-spoiled granddaughter.  It's going to reside in the Grandparent's pad at her house and it's going to look quite nice on the black and white tile floor.
I was really indecisive about whether I wanted to quilt it with straight lines or curvy lines and I'm glad I chose to once again do curvy lines with pale yellow thread.  It sort of helped that my Primitiva quilt with the curvy lines was laying on my dining room table during the Fall holidays and each time I pass it I would admire the quilting which sealed my decision. (you can see the Primitiva Quilt here.  I normally quilt with an 80/12 Quilting Needle but used a Microtex Sharp needle for this quilt because of the decorator weight backing and the quilting turned out so nice.  The black binding was sewn down by machine with black thread which was another challenge when you decide to do this at one o'clock in the morning but it turned out really nice.  I've been reading my Christa Watson's books, Machine Quilting with Style and Piece and Quilt with Precuts and she uses Sharp needles for machine quilting which I may now have to stock up on these needles. The Sharp needles gave the binding a nice topstitch look.  BTW, Christa is starting Squiggles QAL, (you can read about it here) and I'll be participating. I really love her style of machine quilting and she has inspired me to try out some of her techniques in 2018.
This is my final quilt finish for 2017 and you can say I ended it with a splash. To avoid making the same mistakes with my half-rectangle dies again, I plan on marking them, but not with just a color dot because knowing me I'll forget what the dot is for.  And yay for me for using up some of the black and white stash but sad that my stash of Good Neighbor fabrics is getting low and there's no more to be bought.
And before I close out this post, I like to give a big shout-out and Thank You to my hubby, the man behind my quilts who is always willing to be the Master Quilt Holder, no matter how cold it is outside and Baby, it was cold outside. Mwah!

Hope everyone is staying warm if cold weather is visiting you and enjoying the holiday week.  It's been a busy week of posting for me ( you can read my Best of 2017 post (here) and my Quilty Confessions (here) and I have just one left to write; my year-end and New Year post which has been brewing in my head now for the past few weeks.  It'll be nice to finally download it from my brain; it's getting crowded up there.

28 comments :

  1. Ah ha! The story is now complete! Seems there is always a solution for those faux pas. We just have to step back and look for it. Your quilt is quite lovely!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Shannon! I'm so glad the quilt turned out well, I liking it more now that it's done.

      Delete
  2. The oopsie quilt turned out beautifully! Way more unique then pinwheels, and I love it. Do I see pattern writing in your future?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Myra! I'm glad the quilt is finished. Thanks for hosting the QAL. And no, to pattern writing. (This really made me laugh) I rather be making quilts. Have a Happy New Year!

      Delete
  3. It's a great post explaining all of this, although I have to admit I am still slightly confused. I love how the quilt turned out. I've always wanted to work with half rectangles but haven't gotten around to it yet.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Lisa! I'm good at confusing people aren't I. Rotary cutting half rectangles is different than die-cutting them. If you're going to die cut them, I may be able to help you. I do like the look of HRTs. Happy New Year!

      Delete
  4. I love the way this quilt turned out. So different than any of the others I've seen from this QAL. Nice job! Yeah to the hubby out in the cold. Cold here too and about 2 feet of the white stuff on the ground.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Jan! It's so cold and no warm up for at least a week. Thank goodness we don't have 2 feet of snow; my house isn't stocked up with enough food, but fabric yes. Stay warm and enjoy your New Year Day.

      Delete
  5. Your quilt is lovely. Happy New Year!
    -Jean

    ReplyDelete
  6. I'm giggling as I read this post, since I can see me doing the same thing with a quilt. I'm so glad you made it work! It will always have a fun story! Nice man, your hubby, but sweetie, buy the man a pair of gloves!! It is bitterly cold here too, with little snow. Happy New Year, Rose!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Wendy! I told Hubby what you said and he does have gloves but does wear them because they would show more on the quilt than his blue fingers, ha ha. I should mention that he vacuums my studio plus feed my squirrels too. He makes a mean nutty roll for the birds. He's a keeper.

      Delete
  7. Love your lava lamp quilt and the whole kitnkaboodle story! And yes, it reminds me of swimsuits on the beach at a tropical paradise. Good job and pat on the back to Mr. Quilt Holder, too.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Nancy! Lava Lamp Quilt is the perfect quilt to make during the cold weather. I've been thinking about having to take photos inside during the winter and may have to take them in our screen room. Stay warm!

      Delete
  8. OMG I love how you write, rose! "it's getting crowded up there"..."knowing me I'll forget what the dot is for" BAHAHA. I did not even realize these are Good Neighbor brights!!! They are wonderful, and wonderful too is your solution as to how to handle the same low volume backgrounds touching, and how you can have lozenges or lanterns. I see a bit of a 3D effect at times, almost like a strip of folded paper standing on end. I have to get my SoC to the flimsy stage and quilted up asap!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. agh... Rose, capital R. Got so excited there... Happy New Year!

      Delete
    2. Thanks Sandra! I was so glad to finally finish the quilt so I can download the story. And I'm enjoying the quilt more now that it's done. I can't wait to bring it down to Micah so we can sit on the floor together, provided we can limit her stuffies from joining us. I think the quilts need to be posted by the 15th and you can do it. Plus I want to see the teal and black quilt.

      Delete
  9. I have been watching your progress with this very unique quilt. Thanks for sharing the "rest of the story". I need to use up more of my Black and White stash!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Judy! You're being kind by calling my quilt "unique". I'm just glad it's done and you know what, I still have a lot of black and white fabric in my stash. I need to find another project, a simple one please. Happy New Year!

      Delete
  10. Wow! What a fantastic job of making lemonade out of lemons. This quilt is gorgeous.

    ReplyDelete
  11. What a great design Rose! And even though you don't do the math, there's a lot of thinking, planning and designing going on in this quilt! I think they look like lava lamps, so that's what you should call it! Congratulations on a great finish!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Suz! I'm glad you like Lava Lamps--it really did make me use up some brain cells.

      Delete
  12. PS: I love the heart shaped photo of your special Quilt Holder. Isn't it great to have a supportive hubby? :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, and he also vacuums my studio for me too. It's great to have a supportive hubby but there's a story behind him holding up my quilts. He only started doing it this past summer and only because he doesn't want to put up a clothes lines in our back yard and I made a comment that I was going to mention this in my blog and he didn't want that so we came up with a solution that he would hold up my quilts. It's much better than using those clothes hangers . :)

      Delete
  13. I love that hubby is dressed like Nanook in this frigid weather and willing to do anything you need! Mine is like that. I love this quilt - a really good solution for a self-created problem. Reversals are so hard (and I will write that on the dies that need me to remember that - maybe with a bright red sharpie.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Kathleen! Nanook also vacuums my studio and feed my squirrels for me too. He's a keeper. Definitely a good idea to mark those reversal dies with the word reversal and not just a "R" because knowing me I'll think it's my initial and nothing more.

      Delete
  14. Great choice on the backing. What a nice quilt.

    ReplyDelete
  15. I'm sorry the quilt gave your fits, but it sure turned out wonderful. I am glad you persevered! Makes me want to make one:)

    ReplyDelete