Monday, March 21, 2011

Bottled Rainbows Quilt!

Check it out...my finished Bottled Rainbows Quilt!

Bottled Rainbows Quilt

I super love this quilt! It's so warm and cuddly and bright and it makes me so, so happy!

First thing to note: there's no binding! I had this plan in mind from the start. I sewed wrong sides together (with batting too) and then turned it all right side out. I tried this method with the first quilt I ever made and it worked perfectly. This time...not so much.

Bottled Rainbows Quilt

I couldn't get the layers to work together. First the top would be too big...then I'd flip it and smooth and then the back would be too big. How is that even possible? I did that about four times before I gave up and had Ian help me shake the whole thing parachute-style to get the layers in place. It mostly worked.

Then I tried to quilt it by machine. I wanted to quilt around each block in matching thread. But the tension on my machine was crazy, I couldn't sew a straight line and turning the quilt to get all sides of the block was too hard.

Bottled Rainbows Quilt

So I hand quilted it. Just around the boxes at first and now I'm going back to quilt each scrap. It's taking a long time but I think it's totally worth it. I love how crinkly those scraps are!

For the back I used some Folksy Flannel from my stash...a warm print backing the red/pink side and a cool print backing the green/blue.

Bottled Rainbows Quilt

I love these boxes on the back.

Bottled Rainbows Quilt

I wish they stood out more so I'll have to remember to use a calmer print next time.

I'm calling this quilt finished, even though it technically isn't. I still have 10 blocks worth of scraps to quilt. I plan to work on it when I'm watching movies on the couch...something I don't do often but will enjoy more with a hand quilting project to work on.

Bottled Rainbows Quilt

So anyway, that's it! A huge thanks to Rachel for coming up with this idea and for putting together this quilt-along. I'm really enjoying seeing new blocks pop up in the flickr group and I can't wait to see all your finished Bottled Rainbows quilts!

Bottled Rainbows: Cerise

Better late than never, here's my last (and favorite) Bottled Rainbows block. I was so into hand quilting and movie watching and having friends over this weekend that I forgot to post this earlier.

Bottled Rainbows: Cerise

It's made with Kona Cerise, my most favorite color ever. I was never a magenta person before I started quilting but now it's pretty much the best. I especially love Sugar Snap: Fireball, Park Slope: Leaf Dot and Mendocino.

Bottled Rainbows: Cerise

I'm so excited to make a pink Mendocino quilt for myself...but I don't know what it should look like. It was nice to use some of my scraps, though. I'm also going to buy some more Sugar Snap because it's the perfect magenta and I'm almost out. Don't go out and buy it all up before I get some, ok? Please leave some for me.

Anyway, I'll post "finished" quilt pictures in a little bit. I'm so excited to show it to you!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Bottled Rainbows

As I was sitting on the couch the other night, watching tv and hand quilting (OMG, hand quilting!), Ian asked me why I was in such a hurry to finish this quilt.

Bottled Rainbows: Eggplant
(Eggplant block using Kona Dark Violet and scraps from Jen and Cindy)


And I had to think about it a minute because I didn't feel like I was in a hurry to finish it. But given my normal plodding pace, this is definitely hurrying.

Bottled Rainbows: Eggplant

And I wondered why I was, in fact, in such a hurry. Considering the usual and unusual trouble I had making this quilt, you'd think I was hurrying just to get it over and done with.

Bottled Rainbows: Ocean
(Ocean block using Kona Hyacinth and scraps from Cindy and Daisy)


But I felt quite the opposite, actually. I hurried because I enjoyed the entire process. Yes, there were times when 16 blocks felt like a lot of blocks. And then I had issues with the front and back not playing nicely. And then my sewing machine had tension issues and ruined all the quilting I'd done.

Bottled Rainbows: Ocean
(This is closer to the right color blue.)


And yet, not one of the above phased me one bit. I never once felt frustrated enough to quit. Instead, I felt excited to find a solution and move on. It was weird but awesome! I hope to have more quilting experiences like this in the future.

Bottled Rainbows: Raspberry
(Raspberry block using Kona Pomegranate and scraps from Jen)


So anyway, I've saved my favorite block for last and I'll post it tomorrow. And then finished quilt pictures on Monday! Exciting!

Monday, March 14, 2011

Bottled Rainbows: Moss

This weekend was definitely awesome! Our Saturday dinner plans got canceled which meant I didn't have to spend all of Friday and Saturday preparing to have guests over. Instead, I sewed while watching some of my favorite movies.

Bottled Rainbows: Moss
(Moss block made with Kona Avocado)


First I finished the last of my bottled rainbows blocks. Then I finished the quilt top. And then I layered the quilt.

Bottled Rainbows: Moss
(There are some fabrics in here from the lovely Cindy.)


And then some quilting was going on. And then some un-quilting...and then some new quilting.

Bottled Rainbows: Moss
(Did you know lily-of-the-valley is my favorite flower?)


My goals for this week are: finish 8 star blocks (I didn't make any this weekend because the quilting was too exciting!) and finish the Bottled Rainbows quilt by Sunday night. Finished quilt pictures on Monday if all goes as planned!

Friday, March 11, 2011

Bottled Rainbows: Petal

I'm running late today so I'm going to post my Petal block:

Bottled Rainbows: Petal

Why Petal for running late? Because there's not much to say about this block. It's Kona Candy Pink. I like pink.

Bottled Rainbows: Petal

That is all.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Bottled Rainbows: Ruby

Today's Bottled Rainbows block is Ruby (made with Kona Ruby):

Bottled Rainbows: Ruby

This block has some of my very favorite red scraps in it. They're left over from a red quilt top I made this winter. And since I had so much fun working on that top, it was extra fun pulling out all these red scraps again.

Bottled Rainbows: Ruby

And you know what else? Mixed in with mine are some beautiful scraps from my friend Jen. She sent them when I was working on another scrap quilt. And now we're making a scrappy star quilt. So many scraps!

I just really love this block...it's so cheery and fun and makes me think of friends and summer and picnics. It also makes me want to make another red quilt...but that'll have to wait until I finish my first one. Dang!

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Bottled Rainbows: Indigo

Today's block is one of my favorites, even though I don't usually care one way or the other about navy blue (Kona Marine). But check it out:

Bottled Rainbows: Indigo

When I started this project, I would have sworn to you that I had no navy prints in my stash. But look...I found Castle Peeps, Parisville and Modern Meadow (one of my favorite lines, by the way).

And that's what I love about this quilt along. It's been a long time since I actually looked at my stash. I have so many prints that I've sort of forgotten about. Like that Chesnut Hill print? I've had that forever but was surprised to find it in my blue stack. Or the Castle Peeps...wasn't I so excited to make a Castle Peeps quilt for myself just a few months ago?

I think it's easy to forget about the things we see every day...things that are so familiar they become part of the background. And I feel sad that my stash has become part of the background. I look at it every day, but I don't actually see it.

Bottled Rainbows: Indigo

Anyway, I'm excited to spend more time looking through my fabric, rediscovering prints I used to love but have long since forgotten. Maybe they'll even inspire a new quilt? After I finish this quilt, of course...and all the others I already have started...oh my...

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Bottled Rainbows: Grass

I mentioned yesterday that I only have three Bottled Rainbows blocks left to finish. Were you as surprised by that as I was? I'm definitely a project starter, obsesser and then abandoner. I can't ever seem to finish a project, no matter how much I loved it in the beginning.

Bottled Rainbows: Grass
(Kona Grass Green)


And it bothers me and I'm trying really hard to change. I want to be the sort of person who finishes what she starts.

I've devised a new system that seems to be working. Every Monday, I set attainable (yet significant) project goals for the week/weekend. Those are my priorities and I work on them first. The key to the whole plan, though, is that these goals should be very manageable in size. It's important that I have enough unscheduled time to work on a different project, should I so choose. And the faster I get through my to-do list, the more time I have for said projects.

Bottled Rainbows: Grass

It's the perfect plan for me: I feel a sense of accomplishment when I finish my goals for the week, I make headway each week on important projects (or projects with deadlines) and I also have time to work on other projects that I'm obsessed about.

This week's goals are as follows: finish the last three Bottled Rainbows blocks, photograph them while it's still light out, assemble the quilt top (and back), layer and baste. I also want to finish four wonky star blocks.

wonky stars

Not bad, right? And I think I can do all this and still have time to have guests over for dinner on Saturday. I might also get a head start on next week's goal: finish the Bottled Rainbows quilt! Exciting!

Monday, March 7, 2011

Bottled Rainbows: Plum

You guys! I totally kicked some Bottled Rainbows ass this weekend! I only have three blocks to go! Today's block is Plum:

PlumBottled Rainbows: Plum

I have about two minutes to write about this block so I'm just going to say: I don't have a lot of plum fabric (to match the Kona Lupine) and I cut into my very recently purchased Far Far Away II fabric.

See...the Owl and the Pussycat!

Bottled Rainbows: Plum

They are so cute! I bought a FQ set of all the FFA 2 prints but I don't know how I should use them. Maybe bits and pieces here and there...maybe an entire quilt. I'm having trouble matching the colors to anything in my stash at the moment.

I also wish these were printed on regular cotton fabric. The linen has so much texture that it's hard to see the actual drawings. They're so sweet and filled with beautiful details...it's really a shame.

Anyway, that's it for now. Hope you had a fun weekend filled with sewing or other fun things!

Friday, March 4, 2011

Bottled Rainbows: Tangerine

My last Bottled Rainbows block for the week is Tangerine:

Bottled Rainbows: Tangerine

I used Kona Orange and, while it's not very different from the Kona Tangerine, I think the blocks turned out different enough.

I really had a fun time working with these fabrics. My mom told me that when she was a girl, orange was her favorite color. I was also a girl at the time and I thought "Orange is dumb! How could it be anyone's favorite color?" It was seriously mind-boggling. But now, I take it all back. Orange is such an exciting color! The world would be so boring without it.

Bottled Rainbows: Tangerine

Anyway, I'm taking a blogging break this weekend but I'll be back on Monday with another block. It'll feature one of my new-ish fabric purchases and I think you'll like it.

Have a great weekend!

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Bottled Rainbows: Mustard

I think you guys are really going to like today's Bottled Rainbows block...unless you hate yellow and/or selvages.

Bottled Rainbows: Mustard

I'm not a huge yellow fan in general but there's just something so wonderful about a yellow quilt block. My Kona color card says this is Corn Yellow although I bought it a few years ago to make Pacman pillows...so to me it's Pacman Yellow.

I had a fun time picking scraps for this block because they were just so cheery! Then I got to the last space and couldn't decide which fabric to use. None of them really felt right to balance the block. Then I thought "I should use selvages!"...so I did.

Bottled Rainbows: Mustard

I've been saving all my selvages to make a quilt but I have no idea what design to use. While I super love diamonds and spiderwebs, I'd like to do something a little different. When I first saw this selvage star I thought "that's it! I want to do that!" Of course, I quickly had to admit to myself that I'd never make more than one section of the star before quitting. So, it's back to square one for me.

Bottled Rainbows: Mustard

I don't know...do you have any suggestions? Do you have a favorite selvage quilt or have you made one? I'd love to check them out if you post a link in the comments.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Bottled Rainbows: Teal

Today's Botted Rainbows block is Teal:

Bottled Rainbows: Teal

First, let me just say how hard it is to photograph blues. My camera turns all blues into pretty much this shade, when in reality, this block is more green-blue like the picture below. Second, I was worried I wouldn't have any fabrics in my stash to match this color (Kona Caribbean). And I didn't really...but I found some that worked alright.

Bottled Rainbows: Teal

I've been thinking a lot about color lately. If you couldn't tell, I'm pretty obsessed with things being matchy-matchy. To the point that things become pretty boring. I try to at least include different values (light to dark) but then sometimes a really light fabric ends up next to a really dark fabric and freaks me out.

I don't mind mixing colors together in a quilt. I'm a huge fan of "scrappy" quilts, actually. But if there are blues in the quilt, I want them to be similar blues. Or pinks or especially greens. Just so you know, trying to match greens is just about my worst nightmare. They're either too green, too blue, too yellow or too brown.

In fact, this is the closest I've come to "mixing all my greens" and you can see they're all pretty much in the "lime" family:

half square triangle block

On the other hand, I really care about color. I think long and hard about it when picking just the right fabrics for a quilt. It's my favorite part! Perhaps the problem isn't that I'm too matchy-matchy...perhaps I just need more variety in my fabrics to keep things from getting boring. I'm probably always going to be particular about colors in a quilt...but more variety within those limitations sounds like it just might work. Next time I go fabric shopping, I'm buying lots of fat quarters!

So what about you? Are you an obsessive matchy-matcher? If not, do you just go with your gut or something? I don't get it!

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Bottled Rainbows: Pumpkin

Today's Bottled Rainbows block is Pumpkin:

Bottled Rainbows: Pumpkin

Ok, so this block is definitely more "hunter orange" than pumpkin...but like Rachel says, Kona doesn't really make a subtle rusty orange. I used Kona Tangerine and man, is it bright!

I had to cut into some of my stash fabrics in order to make this block. I didn't realize it until this weekend but I've never made an orange quilt, despite wanting to for a really long time. This explains why I have very few orange scraps. And since I was already cutting into yardage, I took the opportunity to cut some extra squares for an orange quilt. I have a thing for orange and turquoise so we'll see what happens.

Anyway, the thing I love most about this block is this fishy:

Bottled Rainbows: Pumpkin

I was at the thrift store years ago and found what I can only assume are chaps...homemade and possibly to use while painting or making pottery or something? I don't know why else someone would need fishy chaps (edged entirely with lace for extra awesomeness). Maybe I don't want to know.

But the fabric was great so I bought them. It's cotton canvas and I just love the look on their little fishy faces. I've been waiting to use this somewhere but I haven't had a good reason. And I thought it would be hard to cut into this fabric but it was easy. And cutting into the rest of my orange stash was easy too.

Bottled Rainbows: Pumpkin

I've gotten really excited about actually using my fabric. No more saving it for the perfect project. I'm letting my quilts tell me what they need...and this block needed a very special fishy. And there are other blocks in this quilt that are calling for some of my very specialist fabrics too. I've been thinking about this a lot lately and I've decided that life is too short to save fabric. I bought it so I could use it so I'm going to use it and be happy. And I am happy so I know I made the right decision. I only wish I'd made it sooner.