Friday, June 19, 2020

Quilt #138 :: Happy Scrappy Colors

So, 2020 has certainly turned into a year none of us will forget!

Like everyone else, I have been holed up for the last three months. I have gone through the "organize and purge stage", where I got Niels' home office decluttered and organized a day before he started working from home. I also did a lot of purging of things from our storage room and got rid of things that we realized we didn't need after our move a year ago.

Next, I went through the "parenting in a pandemic," where we all adjusted to online learning and helping D adjust to a new routine for the rest of 5th grade. What a year for him: new house, new school, ADHD diagnosis, starting middle school, first time with homework and grades, 10 different classes on a rotating schedule...and then a pandemic! I'm so proud of how he pushed through the challenges and finished the year with all As!

Then, I went through "the slug" stage. I slept in. I went to bed early. I stared at my craft room but didn't feel motivation to do much other that slog through making masks for my family and a few neighbors. I played a lot of my favorite app, Fishdom.

And now it's summer. Our vacation plans are cancelled. D's summer camps are cancelled. We aren't able to host our soccer coaches because they are staying put in the UK this year. We are adjusting to the new normal and feel very lucky that Niels' job is secure and we have a beautiful new-to-us home to enjoy. But I'm still feeling blah.

One lesson I learned from my brain injury is that the best way to get over feeling down is to look for a way to help someone else. Quilting has been such a godsend for me in this regard, because not only is the creative aspect of quilting good for creating new neuro pathways, the emotional reward of being a giver again is incredibly healing.

Several weeks ago, while walking our dog, we noticed that one of new neighbors was expecting a little one. During our socially-distant chat, we learned that her little boy would be arriving at the end of May. We joked that with everything shut down, the only thing we had to do was to look forward to her baby being born. And what do quilters do when a baby is one the way? We make a quilt!

Before COVID closed the fabric shops, I had made a goal this year to not buy anything new fabric unless it was specific to a project I was currently working on, or backing to finish a quilt top I had completed. I also want to make more scrappy quilt to reduce the overflow of my scrap bins.

I love word quilts, so I had the idea of using my little 1.5" squares to make a rainbow quilt.

It was a fun project because it wasn't too difficult and I had fun remembering other quilts I made with the scraps.

Unfortunately, this project made little impact on the amount of scraps I still have. I think I could make a dozen of these quilts before it would make a difference!

Yellow proved to be a challenge because the lighter shades didn't have enough contrast to the white blocks, particularly the off-white pieces. I would step back from my design wall to decide which squares I needed to replace until the word "yellow" was clearly visible.

Spring came into full bloom as I was working. I love being able to look our at our little lake while I work. My mom is gardening for the first time in nearly 30 years, and making peace with leaving her beloved Arizona.

There is something very satisfying about making something beautiful and unique with tiny pieces. As I trimmed some of my scraps, I saved 1" strips for the Omigosh quilt I'm still planning to make. 

A funny thing happened while I was making this quilt. I learned that someone changed the rainbow! I grew up with the mnemonic Roy G. Biv (Red, Orange, Yellow, Green, Blue, Indigo, Violet). But most rainbows I found when Googling images look like this:

Instead of Green, Blue, Indigo, most rainbows show Green, Teal, Blue. So along the way, I guess I forgot what color Indigo was! One thing is for sure, it isn't Teal or even Turquoise.

My scraps are color-sorted by the "new" rainbow colors, with even Teal and Turquoise separated. But my Purple scraps include both Indigo (bluish-purple) and Violet (pinkish-purple). So I had a little extra sorting to do to find scrappy shades that could be differentiated in the quilt.

I didn't put a lot of thought into the design other than the color texts, but in my mind, it would turn out in a baby quilt square. Instead it was long and skinny once I stitched up all the colors and aligned them to the right.

I started adding more white blocks to the right and left to even it out.

I thought briefly about adding a border, but decided it was already getting a little big for a baby quilt. 

It's a little hard to see, but I quilted it with a half rainbow design. 

For the label, I had to do a little extra digging to find a ROYGIV rainbow.

When I finished the quilt, I walked it over to its new home. Mama didn't answer the door so I left it on the handle. Seeing someone open a quilt they didn't expect is my favorite thing, but I know better than waking a newborn! 

I always hold my breath a bit when I send a quilt off until I know that it has safely arrived in its new home. Happily, my neighbor stopped me outside a day later to tell me how shocked and happy she was with the new quilt--the first she has ever received. 

To see more pictures of this quilt in progress, check out #HappyScrappyColors on Instagram. To see what I'm currently working on, please follow me at deJongDreamHouse. 

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  1. It's SEW wonderful, Jen!! How big DID it turn out?? I've always wanted to make this sort of ROY G BIV quilt. One of these days!

    1. It turn about about 41” x 61”. It’s a fun one to make!

  2. It's fabulous! I love the letters and the scraps and everything about it! Interesting to note that the rainbow colours have changed... I didn't realize that!


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