Friday, January 6, 2017

Looking Back and Looking Forward

For this first Rainbow Scrap Challenge link-up of 2017 Angela has suggested we show quilts we've made from our scrappy rainbow blocks. I don't think I've yet made an entirely rainbow quilt. Rather, the blocks I've made have gone into several Parts Department quilts. (For the uninitiated, my Parts Dept. is comprised of various orphan blocks and units. I was inspired to create the Parts Dept. by the collaboration between Gwen Martson and Freddy Moran in their book, Collaborative Quilting.)

I watched from the sidelines for a year or two before I became actively involved with the RSC. My first official year was in 2015. I decided to use the RSC color prompts to use up prints that had been in my stash far too long. Since I rarely bought anything bigger than about a third of a yard in the early days of my quilting career these small cuts seemed like scraps to me. I looked for a block pattern that would use up large quantities of fabric in a hurry. I settled on 12" Ohio Stars. I bought white on white prints for the backgrounds but I also used colored backgrounds when I could. A lot of those blocks went into this 84" x 84" quilt that was eventually donated to our local women's transition home.


In 2016 I switched to smaller scraps and smaller blocks. I used 1.5" strips and squares to make 4" (finished) postage stamp units that I then used in 8" sawtooth star blocks. About half way through the year I spotted someone else making sailboats (was it you Gayle?) and got hooked on them. They helped to use smaller scraps. This little baby quilt came out of some of those blocks and a few remaining Ohio Stars. Without checking my notes I think it finished at about 40" x 56."


My local guild did a double four patch for the block of the month in the summer of 2016. That inspired me to use up more scraps, combine them with some of my postage stamp stars, and make this 48" x 56" quilt for a child in foster care.


Finally, I've used more of the postage stamp stars to border the baby quilt I've been working on most recently.


You can read about its' development in previous posts, just scroll down a bit. Once this has been quilted it will finish at about 48" x 56."

I think for 2017 I'm going to continue with the postage stamp stars but I don't want to limit myself to just the one block design. There will probably be more sailboats (6") and little Hole in the Barn Door blocks (also 6"). There's still old fabric that needs to be put to good use so I may look for a larger block again too. If you haven't been there already, hop on over to SoScrappy to see what everyone else has made or is planning to make this year.

12 comments:

Quiltdivajulie said...

I am winging it this year, too - working on multiple projects, many of them smaller, and enjoying the process more. Your Parts Department system really works well for you.

The Joyful Quilter said...

You've shared some WONDERFUL scrappy projects. Best of luck with coaxing additional scrappy projects out of the Parts Dept. during 2017!!

Edith said...

Nice quilts, I do like those postage stamp stars.

Kat Scribner said...

I totally LOVE what you did with those panel blocks!!

gayle said...

I always love to see your 'parts dept' quilts in progress, and I especially enjoy your use of those postage stamp stars. (I'm going to be making some of those myself this year!)
Working on the Gwennie Medallion QAL last year really got me thinking about the blocks I make for RSC. I'd been mentally dividing them each into their own quilt, but when I raided my bin of extra sawtooth stars for one of my Medallion borders (and you pointed out that I had a parts dept without even realizing it), it really put things in a whole new light! I plan to explore medallions more this year, and I have a feeling I'll be dipping into my RSC bins fairly often. 8)
(And I don't think it was me with the ships - I've been making single-masted ones. I think Paula B has been doing double-masts, so it might have been her!)

Kate Chiconi said...

The Parts Department is a great way to use up scraps and small pieces of fabric, but also a really good way to have at hand most of what you need to make a quilt fairly quickly should the occasion arise - as with that gorgeous last baby quilt. It wouldn't work at all for me, but it's obviously working for you! Beautiful work.

annelawson said...

You are so productive as well as creative, Sue! To think these quilts have been made our of little scraps.

LIttle Penguin Quilts said...

I love your Parts Department idea, too, and the way you make such beautiful quilts with lots of different blocks. It makes me want to go down to my seeing room and start looking at some of piles of blocks in a different way! Happy 2017 quilting to you!

Nancy J said...

I really like the sail boats, with the big stars at top and bottom, it makes the smaller blocks stand out perfectly.

Angie said...

Great RSC finishes and plans!

Cherie in St Louis said...

You've been so productive with your RSC challenge blocks!! I've been doing this since 2014 and have one completed top!

Deb @ Frugal Little Bungalow said...

Lots of scrappy goodness here to enjoy / what a roundup! :)