Monday, June 3, 2024

bramble blooms 2 start

It seems I took a bit of time to recover after the hubby went back to his usual shift.  I think I had to (again) reassort myself and figure out a new schedule that works around him again.  That maybe sounds like I'm complaining, but really it's just like any other change - it takes a bit of time for things to settle back in.

A couple of weeks ago - right in the middle of the transition - the next Bramble Blooms project started.  This is designed to be a set of three quilts, all related in some way, but different too.  I've been bad about reading blog posts lately and this one, though I'd been waiting for it, I still kinda skimmed it (which is honestly more than many others have been getting - I need to get back to those, as they're inspirational and fun) and misread the prompt.  I thought it said to take ANY motif from the previous project and refigure and echo it into the next project.  Here's the (maybe) top from the first project:

I'd been loving some rainbow blocks that Jo Avery had been posting over on Instagram (you might have to scroll down a little, but all of her stuff is so pretty, I want to make it all just like hers!), but had no real idea to use them.   And then it hit me.  The little hills I put in the first border would be like the center of the rainbow!

I did a little math to figure out how many I'd need to make and how big and whatnot and then did a little sketching.  Then I decided I didn't like it, so Salem helped me erase my (pencil) drawings and refigure them a little better with size guidelines noted on my paper.  (She LOVED chasing the eraser.)

A little coloring...

Salem was also very helpful here.  She made sure the non-pointy ends of the colored pencils were roughened up with teeth marks (for better gripping, you know) and it seems here she might be pointing out where I've made an error?

I used the template from the larger hill in the first quilt as my center for the rainbows.

And then I read the prompt again.


I'm supposed to echo a PIECED element from the first project.


I hadn't cut anything yet, but I went back and squinted at my project and searched the interwebs for inspiration and just kept coming up frustrated.  The only really pieced elements in the first project are 9-patches and cross blocks, which are basically 9-patches as well.  I tried for wonky 9-patches.  I tried for altered 9-patches and nothing was working.  Probably because of the 9-patch vomit I tried to make as a border in the first project - I wanted something with more spunk.

And the rainbows?  They have spunk.

So I said the heck with it.  Rules are meant to be broken - and this project, they're more guidelines that you can toss to the wind if you like - so I went back to my rainbows.

I added some golds, but I think at least two of them were already in the first project, as bits of them had ended up in the 2.5" squares bin at some point.  And really, two of the three here are just sitting in the stash, waiting, so still working within the fabric pull guidelines of stuff that's been in waiting forever.

After some modifications of my pattern (due to fabric constraints), I had all the pieces cut and decided on a khaki-green solid for the background.  Then mixing and matching pieces and before long I had these blocks ready to hand-applique!

(The background color is off, but I was struggling to get all the colors right, so this is the best of them.  Maybe future photos will do a better job?  I wish my stupid smartphone camera would just represent colors as they are and not try to correct them for me.)

Anyways, I have no in-progress shots, but I've gotten all the red pieces sewn down and most of the yellows.  I'm trying to do three pieces a night, which translates roughly to one block, though some of those arcs go faster than others.

Next up I'll have to figure out how to sash them, but that's a problem for later-Katie.

In other news, the Two Colour Mystery quilt top is still un-quilted.

The rainbow scrap challenge 9-patches were abandoned, but mostly because I didn't realize how fast time was passing.

And until late last week, the cat carrier covers were moving slowly.

What happened late last week?

My volunteer contact asked if I wanted more fabric.  I knew there was a donated stash at the rescue site, but until I'd finished what I already had here, I wasn't going after it.  Unless they wanted it out of the way or something.

She was coming to town (she lives the next town over, so when she's in town we meet up if there's something to meet up for) and had the fabric.  It was "a couple of bins" which could mean anything.  Large, small, good, junk...who knows!  This stash was reported to have come from a quilter who had passed away, but you still never know what you're getting.

The bins were large.  Three of them.  Two were clear and I could see were packed full.  The third was not clear, but I trusted it.  They didn't all three fit in the back of my car!  (Maybe I should go take a photo?  Okay, I took a photo.)

(Gallon jug of water for reference.  You can see they're already in use for finished covers!  And please ignore the Ansel Adams print on the floor - the hangar failed a while ago and while the glass did not break, I'm lazy about getting a better hangar on it.)

So home I went with my new treasure.  I opened the third bin to see what was in it before I started the laundry.

It contained a partially deconstructed canvas tent.  Probably older than me.  And it was MUSTY!  To the trash!  There was some quilty fabric in there, too, so out came the Febreze for wash and the first load went in.  They came out smelling much better, though I haven't ironed any of them yet, so the smell may come back.

Three loads later and that bin was empty.  Thankfully the remaining two bins smelled much better.

In all, I think I did 12 loads of laundry to get all of this fabric washed.  I prewash to make sure it won't shrink or bleed or fall apart (old fabrics) or do something funky (unknown fiber content) the next time it's washed by a rescue volunteer.  It also reduces odd smells, if the fabric has them.


I have a LOT of new fabric to work with.

The stacks here (not the bins on the middle shelf) are ALL for the kitties, and save the very top one on the upper stack, they ALL came from the bins.  It's probably worse than it looks.

Some of it is OLD - I found tags attached to two pieces that are from Meijer.  I don't ever remember Meijer selling fabrics, but I know they did.  Before my time.   I wish they had a date.

(From my random bits scrapbook - I saved them!)

Some of it is fabrics I've used, which like a little blast from my past, though with the large variety of fabrics out there, doesn't happen often.  It's always fun to see what others have purchased, though I know I'm getting the stuff this woman didn't use, so it may not be an accurate representation of what she did use or make.

But I hope wherever she is, she is approving of the use of it for the kitties.  It's better than a landfill!  (And if we're being honest here, the smaller pieces that aren't large enough for hammocks or covers are set aside for whatever random thing these projects or others might need and sometimes make it into Bramble Blooms or baby quilts...*ahem*all the reds in the rainbows*  And I also have my eyes open for a green that might work for a final border on the first Bramble Blooms top - I'll replace it with something from my stash, of course.)

Time to go make more covers!

Happy quilting!


Robin said...

The rainbows are delightful. I'm glad you stuck with them.
12 loads of laundry is really going the extra mile.

Carol R. said...

I remember Meijer's having fabric..yeah, a long time ago. Not sure it was before you were born, but yeah, a long time ago.
I've got a large bin of green fabrics if you want to come see if there's something you'd like to use.

Nancy said...

I love your ranbow arches! They are fabulous. I wish I'd thought of them.
I didn't know Meijer sold fabric, but then the stores have been in our area for only about 25 years. You're so good to wash all that fabric and then sew for the kitties.