BCQuilter's Weblog

A little bit of sunshine!

Posted on: 7 September 2010

Each year our Quilt Guild does a challenge.  They are varied as much as each co-ordinator is.  The co-ordinator lays out the challenge at the Business Meeting each September, and if it is a non-quilting show, we have until the Year-End party in June to complete the challenge and then we have the reveal.

The “rules” (or guidelines) for the Challenge for the 2009-2010 Guild Year was to:

  • First of all, have some fun with this
  • Select at least one colour strip from your card
  • Try to match that from your stash [optional]
  • Make a small item(s), (place mats, table runner, small wallhanging, etc) using this chosen colour plus any others to compliment it.

The “rules” and a paint chip were in a paper bag.  My daughter and I both decided to take a challenge pack.  She was very disappointed in her colour chip.  It looked bleak and dreary.

Colour names from top to bottom:

  • Outback
  • Ryegrass
  • Tate Olive
  • Wilderness
  • Down Pour
  • Milestone
  • Distant Thunder
  • Sorcerer

    And on top of that, I didn’t have anything in my stash that even closely resembled either of our cards.  So we left it.

    About February, my daughter and I talked about it, and decided we were not going to do the challenge, I didn’t have any money at the time, to buy fabric in the colour scheme.  And we just couldn’t come up with any ideas on how to use the colours.

    Then there was May 2010.  A dark and dreary month.  I started playing with the idea, of having a flower imposed on a dark/dreary background.  Again, I wasn’t really planning on doing the challenge, at this point.  On a trip to Victoria the first weekend in June, I was enthralled with all the California Poppies blooming.  The weather was overcast, dark skies, but these poppies looked like little bits of sunshine.  The idea started to come to a plan.  What about doing a California poppy as the flower.  What a reminder of May 2010.

    On the trip home, I stopped at a Quilt Shop in Nanaimo.  And ironically enough, I found fabric to match both colour chips!  Now what luck is that!  Of course, now I had to get this project done… it was due June 17.  With working, I still didn’t think I was going to get it done… and where was I going to find a poppy to copy to appliqué onto the quilt.

    I was lucky enough to find a piece of fabric that had all four colours from my paint swatch!

    I did a bit of thread painting, on the cloud, the sun, and the poppy itself.  Now as many of you know, I haven’t done a lot of appliqué, because it intimidates me.  Thinking back, even though it has intimidated me, I have done some pretty neat appliqués.  I used Pellon Wonder Under.  Pressed it to the fabric, drew my design on paper, then cut it out, and pressed it to the background.  I then machine stitched around the appliqué pieces.

    Finding a California Golden Poppy appliqué was proving more difficult than I thought.  Then I happened across Ruth Blanchett’s website, and I signed up for her newsletter, and I received a free pattern for a Poppy block.  For the image I had in mind, there was too much, so I picked one poppy and one leaf and used that for my project.

    With the dreary May 2010 in my head, I decided having the sun, just peek out behind some clouds would be enough for the poppy to reach up, and try to catch the sun rays, despite the rain coming down around it.

    I didn’t get the binding, label, or hanging sleeve completed in time for the Year-End Wrap-up, but I did reveal the little quilt.  It was a joint effort with my daughter (DD#2).

    And here is the finished product.

    Someone at the party, suggested I should call it “May 2010”.  The name was inspired by the paintchip colour names.  “Wilderness Down Pour”.  To be honest, I hadn’t really looked at the names, until after the project idea, and the project was revealed at the party.

    As I was typing up the blog, I had pulled out the pattern for the Poppy block.  I’m thinking that perhaps some of my orphan blocks (remember the APQ block of the month challenge), that perhaps adding an appliqué over the block may be an interesting idea.  Another idea to file away for when I have time.

    I am still plucking along with the Blue and Yellow String quilt, slowly the 9-patches are coming together.

    Food for thought: I haven’t managed to actually schedule some quilting time during my day… I find it’s all or nothing.  Even though, I may stop and start several times, to make supper, do some errands.  If I plan a quilting day, I break it up with other things I have to do.  I can’t seem to plan the other things, and then schedule some quilting time in.  How do you fit in quilting time within your busy/hectic days?


    10 Responses to "A little bit of sunshine!"

    What a great post and terrific result! I appreciate your explanation of the design process, where you find inspiration and how you construct the project. As for quilting time – what’s that?! I haven’t been able to schedule as much time as I would like to lately. I think I would benefit from spending 10 minutes on a couple of days during the week to get organised and setup. I seem to waste time on the weekend tidying up the sewing room, looking for fabric, etc. Not very efficient is it?

    Cheers, Ann 🙂

    Love it! Inspiration is everywhere, as you so aptly illustrated. 15 minutes a day will eventually turn into a quilt but organization is truly the key!


    Who chose those paint chips? Were they the rejects that the store didn’t want any more? Not that the colors are really THAT awful, but for quilting? Were they all that sad and dreary? But I guess in the end it was for the best because you stretched yourself and learned from the experience, right? Good luck finding more quilting time. I know EXACTLY what you mean about planning a quilting day for yourself and then having to stop to do all sorts of chorse!

    Hi Alice, I also love it. I get inspirations all the time but haven’t figured out where to go with them. Even for me (who has been layed off and cannot find another job) sewing time is sometimes very hard. I start up to my sewing room and then remember that I didn’t do this or that, plus this summer has been brutal with the heat and my sewing room is in my loft where the a/c doesn’t quite keep it cool enough. Good to hear from you. Connie204

    Inspiration certainly struck, even if it took its sweet time! I suppose those dreary colours were meant to make the challenge more challenging? As far as finding quilting time goes – it’s a hit and miss thing in my house. I use it as a carrot – get enough of the blah chores and such done and I’ll have a nice reward, a bit of time to indulge in the sewing room. If I am particularly stressed however, that goes out the window and chores get ignored in favour of stress-busting quilting. I have a very understanding family 🙂 It’s nice to hear from you – I hope life gives you a bit more time for sewing and sharing with us again.

    Eventhough the process was a labor, the resulting quilt is fantastic! Way better than I could have done. I love it!

    I like to do my hand work in the evening while watching TV with my husband. That way we are together but I have something productive to do and it keeps my hands busy.

    Aha! So that’s where you’ve been — on a scavenger hunt, looking for quilting time AND the time to blog about it! Well, you win the prize for both! What a spark of sunshine against a dreary sky! Great job! You never fail to amaze me.
    I’ve missed your blogs so much! Glad you paid us a visit, and hope you get to stop by again soon with more inspiration. —“Love”

    That’s great Alice, I really like how it all grew and evolved over time. Yes it is nice to have time to do things quickly but in this case ‘slow and steady wins the race’!!

    At the moment I only get to the sewing machine when Tamsyn is asleep. If my sewing room was set up better I could have her in here with me, but I find that grabbing a snippet of sewing time here and there helps keep me sane! 😀

    Thanks for sharing your quilt and your process with us. It is fun to ‘see’ how original designs evolve. Your quilt is wonderful and I love the bright little flower seeking the sun on a rainy day. Great job as usual. Good to hear from you.

    […] March, but it didn’t happen.  So I made the appointment for June.  Do you recall the “Wilderness Downpour” quilt?  All in the same weekend!  DD#1 got to look at Wedding Dresses, and watch as her Mom got […]

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