Thursday, December 30, 2021

Rainbow Bowties

This was the first project I planned on for the Rainbow Scrap Challenge this year with Angela at soscrappy. I knew I needed to control those strings of mine. Did I succeed? Well a healthy throw-sized quilt later, and .... yeah, hard nope! They just multiply like crazy.

The skies are grey yet again but I hung this from our deck for natural lighting. Just a whisper of wind in the back yard today, so I got a pretty good shot. Could use a weighted bar at the bottom to straighten out that wavy. It is straight, trust me.I just love everything about this quilt: the final layout, the rainbow effect, the quilting, and the fun binding.  I based it on the quilt below which is from Mary M. Hogan's book Classic to Contemporary String Quilts. I got the book out of my library, and it is a great one. When I just now searched it to get the author's name right, a link to Connecting Threads popped up first, so I went there, and well, my friends, it is currently new in Clearance (affiliate link) and is more than 50% off, just sayin'....
Makes me want to make it again and do her layout! I also based my RSC Cardtrick Quilt, Delia, on another one in her book. AND, my second last quilt as an Island Batik ambassador, The Final Season, was based on yet another in this great book!

The backing is a hoot, a fabric that is oh 30+ years old, a cotton my sister gave me that she'd made some funky pants for her boys, or had planned to. I had thought it would be good to Stack 'n Whack, but that hasn't happened.
Isn't it just WILD?!

When I checked in my backings/yardage vault for potential backings for this quilt, I saw it and thought, hmm, I really should USE that. So I did. It is 54" wide so I didn't even have to piece it! I have about two metres left, so I should be able to use it on a 2022 RSC quilt.

The binding is one of a set of striped and plaid fabrics I bought at Fabricland several years ago for bindings or fussy cutting/piecing that can create really interesting patterns Ă  la kaleidoscope effects. I was short about 24", so I dug in my bag of leftover binding and found two perfect pieces to add in.

This photo gives you an idea of the main binding, and the two I added in, (look at the top of the photo) along with my satin label in a corner of the quilt. I used orange Aurifil 28 wt to topstitch it down; it gives such a nice finish. I still grin when I see the one pink square and the one yellow square where I used selvages of Benartex fabrics. One is Free Motion Fantasy by Amanda Murphy and the other Color Theory by Greta Lynn.

For quilting I wanted to keep it simple due to needing this done before I left to spend Christmas in  Alberta with Brianne and Brady, and it being on my Q4 list. However, I couldn't NOT do some pretty design in those begging-for-it snowball spaces! I stitched in the ditch around the octagon, and then did a dot-to-dot design that ended up creating a star with my Slim ruler, and added in some FMQ circles which made it look rather snowflake-ish. Continuous curves went in the snowballs in alternating rows, just FMQ-ed, and then FMQ echoed.
I used Sulky rayon thread, a lovely sheen, and it blended in so well on the string blocks where I did a large meander. 

I used part of a Fairfield polyester I had left over and hand-stitched with big whip stitches it to some Hobbs polyester. I find this works best, and the hand-stitching to join the batting chunks isn't tedious; it's nice and flat and supported on the longarm, and I whipstitch about 18", smooth down the top and continue on! The texture is beautiful and it's so light and airy.

This quilt fulfills one of the PHD Quilter requirements, to finish every project one starts. (check!) It also fulfills my finishing all three RSC quilts I made this year. (yahoo!) And it checks off one of my goals on my Q4 list for Leanne's #wipsbegone2021 on Instagram.

Very happy to be home and able to walk outside for half an hour and not be at risk of freezing my skin, having my eyelashes freeze together, scarf go solid with the moisture from my breath as it hits the, approaching and actually reaching, -40 degree mark. That's where Celsius (two s's please remember, one c) and Fahrenheit meet. The morning Brianne drove me to the airport, at 5:30 am, it was -37C, and by 10 am that morning she texted us the weather app screenshot: it had dipped to -41 with the wind chill making it feel like -50C which is -58F for my American friends. Yeah, BYE!

I got my booster this morning in Windsor yahoo! So happy. Wow, does our health unit (and so did my family doctor when we got our second shots) know how to organize a mass vaccination clinic. I think they should be in charge of our infrastructure, streamlining our garbage and recycling pickup and allowing more items TO BE recycled, setting up a composting system like we had more than ten years ago in Alberta.... But I digress. I rant. They were just stellar at the system there. 😊
Afterwards we went for a stroll along the Windsor/Detroit River walkway. It was Xena's first time there and she did really well. This is about as good a photo as I could snap of the two of them.
For those who don't know, we are on the Windsor, Ontario side of the Detroit River, and that is Detroit, Michigan in the background.

I will be back tomorrow with (fingers crossed) at least a quilt top for a certain patient, love-of-my-life husband. Got some math and figuring done yesterday, eee!

Quilt Stats:
Pattern:  based on a quilt in Classic to Contemporary String Quilts by Mary M. Hogan
Size: 48.5" x 64.5"
Fabric: scraps
Backing: as above
Batting: Hobbs and Fairfield 100% polyester leftovers
Quilted: on Avril:  73 061 stitches
Threads: pieced with various; quilted with Sulky rayon; The Bottom Line in the bobbin; binding topstitched down with Aurifil 28 wt.


  1. Hooray for getting your booster and for this beautiful finish. So much goodness in one post. I hope that you have minimal or manageable side effects (I honestly felt worse after my booster than either of the original two vaccine shots earlier in the year). Happy New Year!!

  2. Great job on this quilt! I am thinking of doing RSC next year. I love the quilting and the back is so funky. It really is ok to use those fabrics we have hoarded for such a long time.

  3. Lovely Sandra and good getting lots done. Your backing looks great & so does the quilting. Glad to hear you are home and I had to have a giggle over the difference in our temperatures with 36deg here today and we were melting. We had our booster shots in early December so hope yours is OK & you feel a little less stressed knowing you are fully vaccinated. Love the photo of the dogs. Happy New Year. Take care, stay safe & hugs.

  4. I love the quilting in the snowball areas, and that wild backing is perfect! Yup I like South western Ontario temps much better. Yeah for your booster I go Jan 13 for mine.

  5. I love your string bowties, Sandra! Such a creative way to use string blocks. Your quilting is amazing, too! Happy New Year, and happy new quilting ideas!

  6. Love your string quilt!!! It is great!
    And ... isn't it amazing how our scraps grow?
    Happy New Year, Sandra! :-)

  7. Oh i spent a bunch of time in the 70's crossing the Windsor Detroit bridge and underwater tunnel while dating my husband . The border guards knew us and eventually just waived us on daily. lol BTW, LOVE your stripy bow tie ! What a piece of work! The quilting design is great too.

  8. Congratulations on the finish. I love the quilting in the centers. I heard the plains were getting that freezing (deep freezing) feeling so I shall not complain about our single digits, lots of snow and roads blocked!! My booster went off without a hitch a few months ago. Still keeping it low key with Omicron out there. Hope your husband quilt is up tomorrow. Can't wait to get a look at it.

  9. Lovely quilting in the snowball blocks. I don't think I could tolerate temperatures that low. So being home must feel like a heat wave. I'm glad you've gotten your booster. I got mine in mid-Oct, but now with the newest Omicron surge I don't feel safe going anywhere again. I think you're running out of excuses not to work on McGiver's quilt. Happy New Year.

  10. Pretty! It is amazing how no matter how many scrap quilts we make, we still have more scraps! Love your quilting in those snowballs. Happy New Year!

  11. Ohhh LOVE that!!!! and the quilting in the open spaces is spectacular!!!!

  12. Sandra, that snowball string quilt is gorgeous. I think I bought that book already after reading about it on your blog or someone else's. Quilt blog reading is dangerous if one's goal is to finish current projects before starting new ones because yours is the third quilt I've seen this morning that makes me think "Oh, I want to make that one, too!!!" As for the weather, well UFF DA! And here I am in North Carolina, USA, complaining that it's been in the seventies (F) the week after Christmas and it feels annoyingly like Spring instead of Winter. I guess I should be careful what I wish for, but I'm still having serious Snow Envy when I see all of the beautiful pictures from other parts of the world where they have all four seasons every year! Happy New Year and Happy Stitching!

  13. Good morning and Happy New Year! I have had this post open in my browser for days because I wanted a good look at this quilt - It is a stunner! Really great and that backing is amazing!
    Glad you are home and enjoying weather that is a bit more tolerable!! All the best to you Sandra!

  14. Love your string quilt! I am contemplating my RSC project for the year so seeing some of the finishes is so inspiring. Thanks for linking up to TGIFF!

  15. I would very much like to see a photo of your nephews wearing the pants their mother made from that funky material!