Saturday, February 25, 2012

Sure and Begorra, St. Patty's Day is near!

My bed setting for March and St. Patrick's Day!
The rainbow backing with SITD quilting.

I'm on a roll with making a quilt per month for my bed. It gives me such joy to slip into a snuggly bed each night wrapped up in a warm and colorful quilt! The concept I had for this quilt came to me months ago, and I've been collecting rainbow colored fabrics since then.

One of my favorite quilt stores had packs of fat quarters on sale, 12 for $8 last fall. This was as cheap as I've ever seen them. Granted, the fabrics weren't the quality of the $11 a yard fabrics they carry in their regular stock, so this may end up being the worse for wear in the washing machine, but I'll be careful and hope I can use it for a long time. They had all the rainbow colors that I wanted, so I bought 6 packs for this quilt. I should say, at least 6 packs, maybe more, do I have to tell that? Oh, OK, now you know! I bought more than 6 packs--just for my stash, right?

The method for making the quilt is the same as the one I've used for October through February. I've used some sort of half-square triangle pattern, starting out with an 8-1/2" square. For the last two quilts I've done, I used 10 squares across and 10 down, giving me a finished length of top of 78" and I added a 5" border. My October through January quilts were 8 squares across by 9 squares down, requiring a much deeper border, using multiple fabrrics. For this one, I ended up with a quilt that was 87" square (somehow, can't figure out exactly how that happened!)

I saw a posting on the net this week that called quilts with high contrast fabrics a "value" quilt. I love that name, because my quilts have been value quilts. The interplay of light and dark fascinates me, and this one was no exception. But,this one was especially challenging because instead of randomly putting the light and dark fabrics together,I had to connect specific colors together in a random pattern to make the rainbow pattern possible. It ended up with the pairings of Yellow/Orange, Orange/Pink, Pink/purple, purple/blue, blue/green and green/yellow. I needeed anywhere from 16-18 squares of each combination for the quilt. It all depends on which color combination you start with, because you need more for the rows that end up in the middle of the quilt, since the rows are longer.

You all saw my last post where I was toying with the concept of the pot at the end of the rainbow. Yes, it might have been a cool idea, but I couldn't make it work. I asked for opinions, and it was 2 zillion to 1 for no pot. Unfortunately, after I got the one opinion to "go for it", I sewed it on, double stitched it, with regular and applique stitching. Now that was NOT EASY to rip off! It took me over an hour to rip it, being ever so careful to cut only thread and not fabric! My old eyes aren't made to work on black fabrics anymore, need many more lights than in the past!

I made the backing of rainbow striped fabric. There was barely enough in the store to make this backing, and my quilt needed 1" more in width than two pieces of backing sewed together. So, I added a gusset in the middle to give me more width. When I laid it out, it ended up being close in length, but I had plenty of width.

I stitched in the ditch across all seams with multicolored thread. Not my favorite look, but it's OK. Some day I'll learn to stipple! Bound it and the quilt was finished last night, late into the night. This morning I got up early and did my pillow cases, and so now, I'm ready for March 1 to roll around. For those of you who saw my previous post and commented on the pillowcases, I loved that fabric by itself, but it was too dull next to the bright colors. I had this rainbow fabric from way back when, and found a use for it for the pillowcases. I think I'm happier with this choice than the duller fabric.

It is bright and cheery, and I am 1/2 pure Irish, so St. Patty's Day is meaningful to me. I do love these bright colors, and will enjoy my month of sleeping with shamrocks cradling my head, and the rainbow keeping me warm and cozy!

Next month, Dogwood Trail, in memory of my dear late husband, who loved dogwood trees, planted and nurtured three of the neighborhood's most beautiful dogwood trees (one still living and giving pleasure after 46 years!) I resisted twice at the fabric store from purchasing the necessary materials to make a quilt using this pattern, but someone on the forum said, "do it in memory of him!" So I did purchase the fabrics yesterday, and am itching to get going on it. I'm going to use D9P pattern for that one.

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