Quilter’s Color Quest: Stash Challenge

The Quilter’s Color Quest is drawing to a close and I have a bit of catching up to do! The Challenges set in August by Rachel Hauser of Stitched in Color revolve around stash fabrics. The final chapter in her book , The Quilter’s Field Guide to Color, is all about ‘Working in Cloth’. There’s a wealth of thought provoking advice about evaluating a stash of fabric and how to categorise fabrics by style which helps identify personal preferences as well as how to destash unhelpful fabrics and how to build a stash that will be ready to use when the creative urge stirs.

The first part of the stash challenge is to distinguish between helpful fabrics (simple pattern, one colour, tone-on-tone or solid) and limiting fabrics (multicoloured, large scale or novelty print).

I had a sort through my scrap boxes , selecting nine fabrics that to my eye meet the criteria for being ‘limiting’ fabrics.

Next I had another rummage and found helpful fabrics to sit along side the limiting fabrics. (I realised too late that I’d turned the Challenge on it’s head as I should have been selecting fabrics and proving them to be ‘helpful’ by pairing them with tricky limiting fabrics!)… Anyhow these are the pairings I made:

A helpful fabric to the right of each limiting fabric.

The Quilter’s Color Quest has been such a boon for me through all this pandemic craziness: A series of short, absorbing tasks; learning about colour whilst handling lots of fabric :-); with the promise of a super scrappy Bear Paw quilt at the end.

Picking up the August Challenge today has been a bit of life-saver. Well! ‘Life-saver’ is an exaggeration, maybe ‘mood-saver’ would be more to scale. I’ve read posts by other quilty bloggers who have struggled with the pro-longed social restrictions and found their creativity dwindling. For some reason that’s the place I’ve landed in just lately. This was brought home to me this morning when I pinched my thumb nail between two hard surfaces – ouch! Tears sprang to my eyes. Then I started to cry. I realised the tears and the crumpling of my face had nothing to do with my thumb hurting and everything to do with all the emotions swirling around in my head through this strangest of years. So, I had a cup of tea (as we Brits do!) and disappeared into the sewing room to sort out fabrics for the Quest Challenge! I also put away the FMQ quilting project that wasn’t working – no point testing my resilience at this point, we know it would end in tears and/or rude words!

There is a popular hashtag on Instagram that I often use: #quiltingismytherapy I can truly say patchwork quilting has been a great restorative therapy for me today.

Having worked on the Color Quest Challenge and made some Bear Paw blocks I am ending the day feeling far better than I did at the start. Helped in no small part by my daughter’s prayers and a loaded phrase that pops up in the Bible with reassuring frequency, ‘But God…’ We try so hard to sort things out, plotting and planning events with a particular purpose in mind, forgetting or ignoring the fact we are not in charge! Today I read Paul’s speech to the Jews in Antioch,

Though they found no proper ground for a death sentence, they asked Pilate to have him executed. When they had carried out all that was written about him, they took him down from the tree and laid him in a tomb. But God raised him from the dead…. We tell you the good news: What God promised our fathers he has fulfilled for us, their children, by raising up Jesus…

Acts 13:28-32

There is no promise in the Bible that we will not have to face great hardships, maybe injustices too. Joseph certainly experienced some deep lows in his life, spoiled by his father, his brothers plotted his murder before selling him as a slave, he rose to a position of trust only to be falsely accused and imprisoned. Eventually he become Pharaoh’s right hand man, all so that he could give aid to his family in time of famine, saying to his brothers, “You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives.” (The history of Joseph is given in Chapters 37-50 of Genesis.)

I hope you are not struggling at the moment. If you are then don’t lose heart. If at all possible take a little step towards creativity – the simpler the project the better ๐Ÿ™‚ I do believe creativity is a core part of our being – we are made in the image of a creator God – we function better when we have a creative ‘outlet’, even more so if we can share our creativity with other people.

Allison

Saturday Quilting Bring and Share (118)

Welcome to Saturday Quilting Bring & Share. I hope you have time to bring along a sewing project or two whilst enjoying the sharing of ideas and inspiration by other members of our Worldwide Quilting Community. Do add your thoughts and links by using the comments box at the bottom of this page. Thank you!

I’ve enjoyed an unusually sociable week. So lovely to catch up with friends and family face-to-face, in real-life, rather than via Zoom or social media. The dry weather may have given us lots of watering to do but it has given ample opportunities to meet-up outdoors.

On the sewing front I’ve been working on making my Bargello experiment into a quilt top. The Bargello panel measured 51″ wide by 40″ long. Dimensions suitable for a wall hanging maybe but not very useful as a quilt or throw. I’d used almost every inch of the Circulus Jelly Roll but still had a Circulus Charm Pack to use. Slowly an idea formed in my mind… Using the 5″ squares with a background fabric to make curved blocks…. Inspired by the circles printed on the Circulus fabrics.

Some weeks ago I ordered a background fabric but when it arrived I knew straight away it was the ‘wrong’ grey *sigh* On the plus side a couple of yards of any grey added to my fabric stash is a happy occurrence! Last Saturday I made a visit to Purple Stitches (lovely to see Eve and step inside the shop) and after an enjoyable browse chose a grey print from the Fantasy range by Sally Kelly.

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Saturday Quilting Bring and Share (110)

Welcome to Saturday Quilting Bring & Share. Bring along your project(s) and join in the generous sharing of our Worldwide Quilting Community. Do add to the conversations by leaving your links and thoughts in the comments box at the bottom of this page. Thank you!

I must confess the cover has remained on my sewing machine for most of this week. We’ve had a couple of days out – a real treat in these times of limited travel and social distancing. My husband fulfilled my birthday wish and took us on a woodland walk. It turned out to be the last day of a run of of warm, sunny weather. Walking (or sitting!) in dappled shade in the peaceful Hampshire countryside was such a treat.

Our walk ended at the flint walled Ellisfield Church which is a typical of old buildings in this part of the country where

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Saturday Quilting Bring and Share (91)

Saturday Quilting Bring & Share logo 2Welcome to Saturday Quilting Bring & Share ๐Ÿ™‚ Bring along your project(s) and share in some of the inspiration being freely shared throughout the Worldwide Quilting Community. Do join in by clicking on the links and using the comments box right at the bottom of this page. Thank you! It gives me a real a buzz when I see the links have been used ๐Ÿ™‚

I had a full-on, very enjoyable day teaching session two of the Beginners Course to the morning and afternoon classes at Purple Stitches yesterday. Amazing to see these patchwork newbies getting to grips with Half Square Triangles and Flying Geese for the first time but already asking such intelligent questions about the craft and planning their next projects!

Dashing Stars 4 all blocks on design wall by Allison Reid

My Dashing Stars blocks are all pieced and ready to be stitched together. Of course spending a whole day in a fabric shop meant I came home with a couple of purchases myself – I mean it would be rude not to buy fabric in such circumstances! I bought a length of a text print extra wide backing which I think may provide almost enough fabric for the Dashing Stars quilt and the smaller Log Cabin. With Viv’s expert help I also chose the border fabric to use for the Log Cabin quilt. I just can’t get enough of this electric blue Orion fabric by Libs Elliot. It was one of the blue fabrics I used for the quilt I recently made for #2 Son.

Fabrics Jan 2020 by Allison Reid

That bright electric blue is particularly appealing at this time of year when hours of daylight are in short supply and often very dull. Photographing quilts and fabric is very tricky so apologies if some of my photos look rather grey – I promise I have tried hard to edit them to true colours! I’ve noticed our choices of clothing can become rather dull this time of year. It was a real tonic to see the lady seated in front of me at Church this morning wearing an orange jumper topped with a lovely bright orange Gilet!

And so to the links. I hope you find plenty of interest here:

Were you/are you a fan of the long running TV show Downton Abbey. Carole shares lots of photos from a Downton Abbey exhibition she’s visited in the US. It looks to be a visual treat, with many of the sets reconstructed and a separate exhibition of the exquisitely made costumes. I had to confess in my comment on Carole’s blog that I live just 20 miles from Highclere Castle (the stately home used as Downton Abbey) and have never visited! Funny how that happens isn’t it?

I am enjoying watching Sharon’s Plad-ish quilt coming together. It is so effective – another quilt design I’d like to make :-O Sharon shared the link to the free pattern by Erica at Kitchen Table Quilting.

Leanne has released her first quilt pattern of 2020, ‘Hollow Jewels’. In this post she explains how she executed the dense straight line quilting. The quilting compliments the patchwork very well but it’s the photo of the quilting pattern on the back of the quilt that really caught my attention.

Christ Watson is running a QAL on her blog. Even if you are not taking part you might like to take a look at this post as Christa has provided a very clear foundation paper piecing tutorial – definitely filing this on my Foundation Piecing Pinterest board ๐Ÿ™‚

It feels like I’ve only just packed the Christmas decorations away but Allison over at Cluck Cluck Sew has reminded us that it’s only a few weeks ’til Valentines Day! She has lots of patterns featuring hearts and a link to a heart block tutorial too ๐Ÿ™‚

Should you need a little encouragement to move out of your comfort zone and try a new technique or two then I recommend you follow Nancy as she works through the blocks of a ‘Cheddarback’ quilt. Thisย  month she has tackled blocks requiring foundation piecing and y-seams. Her blocks look great, each requiring a willingness to try something new or work with a technique she’s not entirely comfortable using. The Cheddarback QAL, based on an antique sampler quilt, is organised by Gay Bomer of Sentimental Stitches.

Alyce Blythe has updated her very popularย  ‘HST Tutorial and Maths Formula’ blog post. As well as lots of useful tips and explanations there are three charts to download – very handy!

Lorna at Sew Fresh Quilts designs and makes very clever character quilts. She shares her latest version of ‘Life in the Pond’ featuring Koi Carp and swimming frogs. The blocks can be rearranged in any number of ways to create your very own pond.

Happy Stitching!

Allison