Finishing the Rainbow Scrap Challenge Quilt – the short and long versions

Ok! The short version of my 2021 Rainbow Scrap Challenge quilt goes like this:

Having enjoyed following along with the Rainbow Scrap Challenge last year I was definitely up for the 2021 Challenge. From January to October Angela nominates a colour each month and then it’s up to each maker to create their chosen blocks from fabric scraps of the designated colour. Last year I made nine patch and thirty-six patch blocks using 2½” squares. This year I decided to tackle my over-flowing

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Saturday Quilting Bring and Share (252)

Welcome to Saturday Quilting Bring & Share. Bring along your projects(s) and enjoy sharing in some of the inspiration and conversations circulating through our Worldwide Quilting Community. Join in by visiting blogs via the links below and be sure to leave a comment or two 🙂

It’s been a bit of a strange week here with ‘stuff’ going on and the Bank Holidays making it totally impossible to work out which day of the week it might be! Anyho! I found myself doing a lot of sewing. The 2021 Rainbow Scrap Challenge took over my sewing room.

I started out with the dual aim of making the green March blocks before sorting through the strings box to find all the bright blues for the April blocks. Once I’d started sorting I couldn’t stop!

All the strings were pulled out of the box and sorted into colour groups. Then what? Well! Either squash them all back in the box… OR… Yep! make all the Scrap Challenge blocks NOW!

It took several days – don’t ask me which days! – several bobbins of thread and a lot of back and forth trips between my sewing machine and the ironing pressing station but all 80 blocks are now complete. I can only fit half on the design wall. The finished quilt will measure 64″ x 80″ in an 8 block x 10 block layout.

To make space for the Rainbow blocks on the design wall I had to switch my attention back to the squirrel quilt. The blocks have been hanging around on the wall for a couple of weeks. Rather than just removing them all, creating another WIP/UFO, I decided to ‘bite the bullet’ and get them stitched together into a quilt top.

On the whole piecing is the part of the quilt making process I particularly enjoy. However, I’m not so keen on sewing long rows of blocks together. The thought of all those intersecting seams to pin together before stitching and pressing those l-o-n-g seams tends to send me into a bit of a spin. Having looked at those blocks on the design wall for a couple of weeks I hatched a plan to take the long-seam-blues out of piecing a quilt top. You may well gasp in amazement when I share the following piecing tip with you – I mean how long have I been patchwork quilting without cottoning on to this simple idea? The PLAN: stitch the blocks together into sections rather than complete rows.

Ta da! Only having one long seam to stitch across the width of the quilt top is a game changer for me!

The ‘Squirrel Quilt’ – pieced using the section method!

I will be employing this method to stitch the Rainbow quilt top together too.

I’m sorry the list of links is so short – holiday week and pedal-to-the-metal sewing are to blame – this bares no reflection on the quality of blog posts published, it’s just indicative of the small amount of time I’ve spent reading:

Melva has launched the ‘Pieces of the Santa Fe Trail Sew Along‘. She is sharing excerpts from a book written by a Victorian ancestor who travelled the trail five times. I’m not sure I’ll be making the blocks but I’ll definitely enjoy reading the first hand accounts of a legendary time and place. Find the first instalment and block here.

Taking quality photos of quilts can be tricky. Shelly has some easy to apply tips to help us achieve photos that show our quilts at their best 🙂

Quilt Spot’ is a monthly feature on Melony’s blog site. She shares any quilts she’s spotted whilst watching TV shows and films. In March she watched ‘Witness’ a thriller set in an Amish community. It’s one of my favourite films but like Melony I’ve never paid attention to the quilts that feature in several scenes. I may have to persuade my boys it’s time we watched the film again. If I turn my attention away from Harrison Ford I might just spot the quilts!

Jan has been using Jelly Rolls to make table runners. They all look great with fresh Spring colours and dense machine quilting.

Joining Denise for the Put Your Foot Down link-up.

Happy Stitching!

Allison

 

Saturday Quilting Bring & Share (251)

Welcome to Saturday Quilting Bring & Share and Happy Easter too! Bring along your project(s) and share in the latest news and inspiration along with other members of our Worldwide Quilting Community. It’s great to encourage blog writers by getting a conversation going via their comments boxes so don’t forget to join in when a post gets you thinking 🙂

This week I’ve been concentrating on the March block for the English Country Garden QAL. This QAL certainly provides variety month by month as it is a quilt-as-you-go project so each block is brought to completion before the next one begins (or that’s the plan…) To complete

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Finding my sew-jo during lockdown

My planned 8 x 10 block layout for RSC21

Well! We’re not in our first or even our second lockdown here in the UK. Nope! We are settling into our third. I don’t know why this one has hit me hard. Perhaps the announcement last Monday, 4th January, came just a bit too soon after all the emotional re-adjusting we went through in the run up to Christmas? Plans to see family and friends petered away to a quiet, stay in your household, affair.

Whatever the reason my sew-jo disappeared. It took me ’til the weekend to uncover Julie the Juki ready to power through some patchwork piecing. During the week I did visit my sewing room a few times and fiddled about sorting pink strips, pressing them and cutting foundation papers to size (or what in my fuddled state I thought was ‘to size’).

Halfway through the first string block the bobbin thread ran out…. Then nearing completion of the block it suddenly dawned on me that the foundation paper was 8″ square. My plan was to have 8″ finished blocks! *Groan*! The papers should have been cut with a seam allowance, making them 8½” square. Rookie mistake! After a quick look at the scruffy, untrimmed edges of the block I felt the fabric strips were long enough and the seams stitched far enough beyond the paper that I would be able to square the block to 8½ inches. Thankfully that worked. For the remaining seven blocks I made sure to extend the strips and the seams well beyond the edge of the foundation papers and trimmed them all to the correct size 🙂 So glad I only cut the eight paper squares needed for this months Rainbow Scrap Challenge blocks and didn’t get carried away cutting loads of papers, the wrong size, for future use.

These eight blocks will form one row of my RSC21 quilt. Thought I’d leave my pink slippers peaking in the photo!

The lockdown no-sew-jo has been broken, all be it a rather shaky break-through. Just as well I chose a forgiving block – no accurate cutting or seam matching required – whew!

Now I’m attempting to re-engage my brain cells by writing and testing a new pattern. It involves hearts… Will it be ready for this years Valentines Day or 14th Feb 2022? 😀

If your sew-jo has been missing I hope you re-discover it very soon 🙂

Linking with Cynthia for Oh! Scrap (she’s making pink blocks for several rainbow scrap quilts) and Judy for Design Wall Monday (she is making Drunkard’s Path blocks).

Allison