Friday, March 26, 2021

Rainbow VIP

It's the end of the month and time for an update on my PHD (Projects Half Done) programme. I'm happy to report that it's the end of the first quarter and I am still right on track to complete this. This is a UFO from last year, one of my two RSC projects, which I've called Rainbow VIP. It's also my OMG for March!
I love how it turned out! Each month last year, I made ten blocks, a 6-patch with a white bar on one side in the colour of the month. This is a pattern in American Patchwork & Quilting April 2006 by Weeks Ringle and Bill Kerr. They did theirs in just six light colours. It's a bit of an improv way of assembling the quilt top, chopping off parts of blocks so the white bars purposely do not align and the side edges are random.
Once I had all the rows together, I decided to add in ten brown partial blocks because were I to chop off randomly the ends of the rows as I had them, it would have ended up too narrow.

I like the addition of the brown at the edges. They all went at the edges since six of the ten rows were sewn together, though row sewn to row hadn't yet happened.
Of course, once I pulled it off the longarm and squared it, Miss Bella had to ecstatically roll around on it and then pose, twinkle toes position, for as long as it took to go get my phone and take her photo! On the Live mode, she doesn't even blink! I swear she knows she's gorgeous!

All I had planned was some sort of all-over meander. I was planning on keeping this beauty since, once again, so many of these 2.5" squares hold such meaning (there's a green from my dear friend Linda's Cat-Eye-doscope quilt, a NYC taxi, stripes from my first ever published pattern at Moda Bakeshop, a Kaffe from a bag pattern I reviewed for Craftsy, a blue from my dad's 80th birthday quilt...) All of those do appear in most of my RSC quilts, however, and the gentle but persistent whispering to be given to a special someone continued. 

I started out with water ripples at one edge, space about 3/4" apart, just FMQ-ed, no ruler. I felt it might be too dense though and I want this soft and drapey, which is when I hit upon the idea to do the sides with the water back-and-forth, and the middle with the jigsaw meander. I love the effect!

I bound it with red. I associate red with Anna, (she looks so good in it!) and red goes with the back of the quilt.

Anna is a longtime friend, former student from my grade 10 French class when she was 15 and I 25. That means we go back, and have kept in touch, for 35 years. From my last post, you know that I have been organizing my studio again, now I have a 16-cube Kallax for my yardage, and in unpacking a tub of kaleidoscope fabrics, I decided that they needed to be used. This Cranston VIP paisley was one, completely gone now, (yes!) and I just felt it was right for Anna with her "I'm Italian and proud of it" heritage. Of course I didn't have enough, so a chunk of Jen Kingwell's Gardenale by Moda went along the side of the red check (all gone now too) which toned in well, and is another Cranston, as is one of the two binding fabrics. That was when I thought this quilt needed to have VIP in its name. You see, Anna is an elementary school teacher. Teachers are Very Important Persons. I have heard firsthand from her of how hard it has been over the past year to engage her little ones, kindergarten age, online, and, before they were online, that she couldn't hug and hold them as per usual during the first few weeks when they were missing their mamas. 
Of course it has her name in it; Essential thread 21160 Parchment is a terrific blender (affiliate link)

She, well all teachers with this topsy-turvy year, need recognition of their hard work, extra hard these days. I am so very glad I am no longer teaching--it's stressful enough without a pandemic.

I stitched the binding onto the front and then machine-stitched it down on the back, a brown Aurifil in the top and Dove 2600 in the bobbin so you barely notice the line of stitching. I also tried a tip I got during the igquiltfest from Amy, the host, who says she doesn't press the binding prior to stitching it onto the quilt because it saves time. It does, AND it works because you end up pressing it when you press the stitched binding away from the quilt top. Sweet! My initials are in the lower right corner.

It looks good in the evening sunlight on the greening up lawn! I really really like how it turned out. Although I feel a bit of a tug-of-war within myself over to keep or not to keep, I know Anna needs a rainbow of appreciation, and I do have a fairly good collection of RSC quilts myself.

ALL teachers need a rainbow of appreciation. Especially now. Yet what did the Ontario provincial government do yesterday in its budget? Take $1.6 BILLION away from education for next year. I am so sick of Conservative policies that ignore climate change, the environment, education, healthcare, and kowtow to the rich. Here is the source, Press Progress, a great independent media site.
Since Sarah has suggested we try to gift a quilt to an essential worker, this is going to be a part of my Hands2Help offerings this year since that was the spirit in which it was made.

Quilt Stats:
Pattern: Kid in a Candy Store by Weeks Ringle and Bill Kerr
Size:  51.5" x 70.5"
Fabric: scraps and stash
Backing: as above
Batting: Warm 'n Natural and Pellon Nature's Touch 100% cotton, Frankenbatted two large pieces
Quilted: on Avril, 57 585 stitches
Threads: pieced with various; quilted with Essential 100% cotton in Parchment

PHD Progress First Quarter

I love lists!

Linking up


  1. WOW! I love this, makes me want to head to the sewing machine and make one of my own.

  2. I feel the same as Stitchin At Home - but goodness knows I don't need to make another top "just because" when I have several piled up to be quilted.

  3. That is beautiful and I have had the same instinct as Stitchin At Home and Gene; I just want to go and make one - another page to save somewhere :-) And I only came to find the Make Modern link :-)

  4. This would be a great way to use crumb blocks, too. Helps to break up all the chaos and no match sashing columns.

  5. SANDRA! This is so randomly fabulous, I just can't stand it. I want to make one right this very minute. Why oh why do I have to work?!!! Seriously, this is definitely going on my leader/ender project list - straight to the top. Anna is going to adore this so much. She will feel all the love and blessings you've stitched into it and all the thoughts from the special projects remain as well. I am going to PIN this so I remember that I want to make this quilt soon. {{Hugs}} ~smile~ Roseanne

  6. I love that you added back and forth lines to the sides of the quilt and meandered in the center. Congratulations on the finish. Teachers deserve so much better. <3

  7. That's a beautiful finish, Sandra, and a lovely gift of appreciation for your teacher friend, Anna. We retired teachers can only imagine and shudder at what the past 12 months have been like for those still in the classroom. Comfort is definitely required!

  8. Congrats! It is a beautiful finish!

  9. Isn't it fun to find something that just needs to be used while organizing your space? You did a wonderful job of getting this meaningful quilt finished. Way to go!

  10. Of course Bella is gorgeous! She knows it, you know it, and all your blog readers know it too!

  11. Oh, yay for getting all of those little pieces used and put into such a happy quilt! And yes, teaching has been very difficult at every level this year, so yay also for appreciation! Beautiful finish!

  12. Oh, how lovely! So many fun fabrics, full of meaning for you. And I love the idea of the different overall quilting motifs playing so nicely together! A borrow-able idea, for sure. Congratulations on a wonderful, scrap happy finish :)

  13. Beautiful quilt and background story. Glad this valued quilt will go to such a worthy friend. I agree that education and educators have been undervalued in USA also. Glad we have a more progressive federal government education agenda.
    Thank you for your inspirational post.

  14. Yet another beautiful finish. Each one is so special and filled with wonderful memories. Your friend, Anna, will really appreciate it. It has been a tough year for all the teachers and teachers aides and a gift like this should make her smile. After all, it has the Bella seal of approval!!

  15. Fabulous RSC quilt, Sandra, and an even better Hometown Heroes quilt for Anna!!

  16. Only the cat will think the quilt is just for them, we have a furry friend who thinks the same way.

  17. It has been a really difficult year to be a teacher. I am sure getting such a bright and happy quilt will cheer Anna up. Still waiting to hear how much we will be losing from the education budget for the next year, but I know that it will be painful.

  18. Such a pretty quilt! Isn't it amazing how many memories we have of the fabric snippets that are leftover. Sounds like Anna is the perfect recipient of this beauty!

  19. Sandra this is such a beautiful finish. I do like your quilting plan. It works. I’m so impressed with your recipient choice. I’m sure she will be thrilled. As for your Provincial Government, my head and my heart hurt.

  20. I love it! its just such a happy quilt, filled with so much love - totally a VIP!!

  21. It's a wonderful rainbow quilt! Now that you mention it I do recall seeing Kerr & Ringle's version in American Patchwork and Quilting and thinking it would be great in rainbow colors -- and you've proved that right. (And your approach to pieced backs is like mine. Hooray for using up a piece that's been around for a long time.)

  22. Beautiful finish; it's so colourful and happy! Such a good idea adding the sashing to the side of each block as you go. Thanks for the tip!

  23. Fantastic quilt! Thanks for linking up with Elm Street Quilts One Monthly Goal and congrats on your finish.

  24. Sandra, this is a spectacular finish. RSC quilts are so long in the making, few blocks every month, that the finish is a big deal, like a long-awaited celebration. This was certainly worth the wait. Kudos to you!!!