Thursday, May 7, 2020

Remembering Paula

Today I am participating in a blog hop to honor Paula Budinger, a beloved member of our online quilting community. Paula passed away in early February of this year and is sorely missed. Paula blogged at Paula B Quilts, where she shared her bright, happy quilts. She loved color and improv and antique quilts, and was never afraid to try new techniques and join quilting challenges. More importantly, she was sweet and supportive, always offering words of praise and kindness to fellow quilters.

To remember her "can do" spirit, I'd like to share with you my first ever Jelly Roll Race quilt. I made a small change from the standard Race technique, so this is also a tutorial about what I did. I started with this pretty red and white roll, called "So Ruby," by Riley Blake.

There was a nice mix of designs, ranging mostly red to mostly white, with just a few evenly mixed red/white patterns. However, I wanted just a little pop of something else, so I decided to swap out two of the strips for blue fabrics I had in my stash. I removed 2 of the less contrast-y jelly strips and put them into my scrap string bins.

To add a some whimsy, I chose a blue with tiny kitties on it, and another with a bazillion little mice. So cute! From the jelly roll, I pulled out three very white whites and three very red reds. With the two blues, I now had 8 strips.

I sewed these eight fabrics into two strip sets. Each set had four fabrics. One alternated white/red/blue/red and the other was white/blue/white/red. I wanted each strip set to have white at the top and red at the bottom.

Then I sliced the strip sets into 2.5" wide pieces. This yielded 16 rectangles from each strip set, for a total of 32 of these alternating blocks. Since the jelly roll started with 40 strips and I pulled out 8 at the beginning, I now had 32 of the original strips plus 32 of these smaller blocks.

Now I started the jelly roll race part of the program. But instead of just sewing all the long pieces together end to end, I inserted one of the shorter blocks in between each long one.

The key to this part was alternating the colors. So at the end of a long red strip, I sewed the white end of a smaller block. That would leave the red end available for the next seam.

Then I sewed a white long strip to that short red end. At the other end of the long white strip, I sewed the red end of  a shorter strip. I continued like that, alternating long uncut jelly roll strips with the shorter blocks, always sewing red to white or white to red.

And like all jelly roll races, I ended up with one, loooooong strip. I'm sure you know how it goes from there, but if you aren't familiar with how race quilts are put together, here is a nice tutorial.

As the top got closer and closer to being finished, I noticed that a lot of the whites ended up clumped together. Same with the reds. Hm, I didn't expect that. I'm not sure if that often happens with two color races, or if adding my little squares in between caused that. My quilt brain is usually pretty good with math, but right now I have Quarantine Brain. So, I decided to just embrace however it turned out.

And here is the finished quilt. It does indeed have a red side and a white side, but I like it! Kind of an unintended, surprise ombre effect.

The part that I saw in my head from the beginning turned out just right: the little groups of four squares look like they are truckin' across the quilt, and the blues pop nicely. Here they are in a whiter section.

And here they are in a redder section.

For the back, I used up the rest of the mice and kitties, plus a chunk of red, white and blue anchors. Because, you know, I live on a boat and my job is Boatswain. Anchors are my thing! More mice scamper around the binding and a big stipple keeps it soft and snuggly. 

I'll be donating this quilt to the Hands2Help Comfort Quilt Challenge by sending it to Quilts of Compassion. As a long time Red Cross volunteer working in disaster relief, their work calls me.

This memorial blog hop was put together by Janice of Color, Creating and Quilting, and Kate of Smiles From Kate. Thank you, ladies! Please visit the other "hoppers" below to see how they are honoring Paula's memory. And there are fabulous prizes! Every comment you leave on any of the blogs earns you a chance at these fun giveaways: (The deadline for winning prizes was May 15th, but feel free to visit these fine blogs if you are interested!)

Lorna, Sew Fresh Quilts, is giving away a $50 gift certificate for her pattern shop. Super fun animal designs!

Yvonne, Quilting Jetgirl, is offering 2 PDF patterns of choice. Bold and modern!

Bernie Needle and Foot, wants you to have a $25 certificate for her shop. So many pretty fabrics!

A lovely fat quarter bundle from Figo Fabrics could be yours!

A set of super cute quilty gift cards from Initial Thought by DMF  (Note cards set 1) will be given away!

A pattern of choice from Karen, Sugar Free Quilts, might end up in your studio. Some really fun ones there!

A $30 gift certificate is being offered by Doris, Cactus Queen Quilt Co. You'll love her pattern selection!

A PDF pattern of choice from Joanne, I love Joanne's patterns!

$25 gift certificate to Fat Quarter Shop could buy some sweet loot!

In addition to these, I am also offering a prize to one of my readers. It is a jelly roll by Boundless Fabrics, their Ombre Sunset selection. These are beautiful solids ranging from dark purple to sunny yellow. All you have to do is leave a comment below. If you want, tell me if you've ever made a Jelly Roll Race! I will ship this prize internationally, because couldn't we all use a little happy mail right now? The deadline for my giveaway is midnight, March 15, 2020. (Please note this giveaway is now closed. The random number generator chose #28. Congratulation to winner JanineMarie!)

Here are all the folks remembering Paula. I hope you'll visit with them and join in the spirit of giving and learning that is the strength of our quilty community. It's what Paula would have done!

Wednesday, May 6 

Thursday, May 7

Friday, May 8

Monday, May 4, 2020

A very sad day

Our sweet little kitty, Angel, passed over the Rainbow Bridge yesterday. She was 19 years old and in failing health. My heart is bruised and broken and empty. Words are hard to find, so I'll just share some photos of her inspecting my quilts. 

Rest in peace, sweet girl. We love you.