Wednesday, January 19, 2022

Rio Linda

 Happy New Year, everyone! One of my goals for 2022 is to blog more, so here I am with a couple of quilts to share.

"Rio Linda"

54" x 70"

The story behind this quilt is fun. I gave a Zoom lecture on scraps to a guild in upstate New York that had been organized by a blog reader (Hello, Linda!!). In my remarks I mentioned the rule that I use for myself to prevent my scraps from overtaking the world. The rule is that if a scrap basket starts mounding at all, if the drawer won't close or a lid won't snap on, I have to make a scrap quilt. Linda was motivated by this advice and found a creative solution for her solids tote that had a lid that wouldn't shut. She peeled off the uppermost layer and sent it to me! Voila, fixed!


I'm a sucker for a good story and a stack of solids, so to honor her ingenuity, I challenged myself to make a quilt with her stack without any additions or subtractions. Luckily for me there was a good range of values in her random pick. I think this quilt is a wonderful example of how value is just as important as hue. I included a black and white photo so you can see the great variety of lights and darks.

 There were a couple of times that I ran out of Linda's fabric and had to use a little of my stash, but they were either exact matches or so incredibly close that I'm the only one that would ever know the difference. The vibe ended up being kind of Californian so I found a fun way to name the quilt after her.

All the strips were cut freehand without a ruler. I pressed carefully and consistently to help combat any waviness in the piecing. Once I cut into my wonky piecing to get the squares and rectangles, I lost any of the slight bubbling I'd developed by not cutting the strips to match. A flat quilt is a point of pride for me and I'm happy to say that despite some unconventional piecing, this one is as flat as a pancake! 

This was hand quilted with perle 8 and 12 wt. threads in the car during our many trips this summer. It's driven to Idaho and Connecticut and has warmed my lap through plenty of piano lessons. When we were on the NY Thruway, I made sure that I waved in, what I hoped was, the general direction of the guild that inspired this quilt.

"Rio Linda II"

~27" x 27"

This is the quilt that I made with the scraps. I've shared before that I like to cut strips out when I'm working on a quilt and place them in a bucket right next to the sewing machine. I enjoy challenging myself to empty that bucket by making a scrap quilt when I'm finished. I've done several of these checkerboard style quilts and I really enjoy making them. They are also a great way to empty the bucket! 

I finished this quilt with crosshatch quilting in monofilament thread.

Thank you so much, Linda, for the invitation to speak to your guild and for the hours of fun I had playing with the fabric you sent. And, if there are any members from the Ottawa MQG that happen to be reading this blog post, let me assure you that it is NOT a shameless plug for more packages of fabric. If you have a lid that won't snap and no ideas of what to do with it by the time I'm done with you on Monday, you're on your own. 😆😂

If your guild might be interested in a Zoom lecture ("Unlocking the Joy in Scraps") or if you're local and would like to have an in-person trunk show, hit me up at