Friday, August 17, 2012

Bottled Rainbows Picnic Blanket

Today I'm not feeling so hot.  I'm actually annoying myself by how irritable I am and since I was much the same yesterday, I'm pretty sure the problem is me.  To add to my frustration, I can't seem to put a finger on what exactly is at the root of it all.  Shortly we'll be having a playdate so maybe my friends will help me get at it, but meanwhile a little color therapy never hurt....

Bottled Rainbows Picnic Quilt

Bottled Rainbows is a collection of 16 Kona cotton solids that I put together for a quilt-along last year.  There's a lot of goodness caught in a rainbow, and it doesn't take much talent to spread it out and enjoy.  When Kona added the new colors and I reworked my Bottled Rainbows set (available at Marmalade Fabrics), I decided I ought to find an excuse to play with this range of solids again.   So... picnic blanket it is.  After all, not everyone wants a picnic blanket filled with flowers, butterflies and polka dots.  This is the blanket for those other people.  Those less-is-more folks (who still love color).  It sounds fishy, but I'm pretty sure they exist.

My picnic blankets are made from 20-piece fat quarter sets.  I cut (4) 8" squares from each quarter yard and then add one more random 8" square from my scraps to make 81 squares total.  Since Bottled Rainbows includes just 16 Kona colors, I added oyster (almost-white), jade, coal and curry for 20 colors.  I think my extra block was cut in curry, but any color would work.
 
with Kona Modern quilts 
backing


For the back, I scored this beautiful Kona Modern Quilts yardage from Marmalade Fabrics.  It's the Merlot Patchwork print.   I had 3 yards of it for the backing, but that was just a tad short.  I think 3 1/2 yards would have allowed for a complete backing for this 68" square picnic blanket.

makes a great backing!

No matter, I just made do with some purple I had on hand.  I do think this Patchwork print is ideal for a backing, though.  It's tough to see the real seam that I pieced together since the print already has "faux" seams all over.  Lots of the Kona Modern prints would be great for quick quilt backings, actually.

Merlot Patchwork

The funky, wonky style of Merlot Patchwork really rocks in person.  I like those pretty pops of purple in this colorway.

stop!

The top came together on Tuesday, my stay-home-and-sew day.  When family arrived I was known to shout "stop" just as they opened the door in fear they'd trample my work-in-progress.  No trampling occurred.  And, during dinner prep I snapped this shot because I can't resist the setting sun.

in color order

Loving how it turned out!  I tried a random color arrangement first, but this beat it by about a mile.

color, color.

It was fun to "blur" the edges of the color transitions by placing some colors unexpectedly.  Just enough that I can see it, anyways.  Makes it more interesting for sure.  That and the pops of neutral - white and gray.

cool Bottled Rainbows

Don't you love these blues and greens together?  I've been thinking I need to do another monochromatic (or close) project real soon.

Bottled Rainbows Picnic Blanket

You know, I tend to especially love my all-solids projects.  And I know that others dig this look as well. It's ironic that we love it, but are so rarely able to resist the lure of prints.  And prints are fantastic - I don't mean to imply otherwise. 

If all-solids is your thing, how long has it been since you did all-solids?  Or, have you ever tried?

36 comments:

  1. I love solids! I also love the shadow of the tree over your blanket.

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  2. I love solids too and have an overflowing stash. I want to step outside my comfort zone and make something wonky and modern. You quilt is so pretty on both sides!

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  3. You said is so well, so rarely able to resist the lure of prints! But, when I think of ideas for quilts in my head I always dream them up in solids. I love working with solids. This Picnic quilt is right in line with my tastes!

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  4. You're right. The Kona Modern print patchwork is so fun for the back. This will make for a very lovely picnic blanket!

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  5. I am just starting to have a love for solid quilts now that I am ramping up my quilting skills! That backing is incredible!!!

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    1. Oh, you're right - definitely shows the quilting more. Good thing I just tie these =)

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  6. I am a total less is more person and a color lover! We totally exist and that picnic blanket is perfect!

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  7. Well I loooove color. There isn't a single white wall or piece of white linen in my home! That being said, when it comes to solid color, I have a love/hate relationship. It really depends on the tones, color family, and the arrangement. That being said, I really like the arrangement that you made

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  8. Oops - posted too soon! I was going to say I that I really like the arrangement you made, opposed to something random. It really is lovely!

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  9. WOW this is beautiful! I love both sides! Good job!

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  10. I've been working primarily with solids lately for two main reasons. 1. I'm able to thrift solids I like but not prints I like more easily and 2. I feel like prints get dated much more quickly than solids so my quilts "last" longer.

    Your picnic blanket is gorgeous. Nice job with the layout.

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  11. Oh, I so love the arrangement of the colors. It's such a fresh and modern looking blanket. Simply gorgeous!!!!

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  12. I have been loving solids lately as well. And it definitely helps that they are less expensive than prints! Although I have been pairing solids with just one print recently in a couple of projects. I feel like the solids make my piecing really pop and the one print really gets featured. I actually am usually drawn to solid quilts when I browse and favorite items, but it is hard to not go crazy on the prints when there are so many pretty ones out there.

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  13. i finished up an all solids quilt in may and have a stack sitting around to work on my next one...i was procrastinating because i needed to fix my paper piecing templates a bit. now that's done, so i'll get started soon! plus my mom put a batch of solids in the mail for me to dive into for a few small projects, which is awesome!! she is my solids supplier :) her LQS has a lot of amish customers, so they carry TONS of solids in lots of brands, so their range is pretty spectacular.

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    1. Oh, cool, I hadn't realized that Amish use a lot of solids. That makes sense, obviously. See - there's nothing new!

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  14. Both quilts - LOVELY! A solids quilt is on my list...
    Hope you get feeling back to normal soon. :)

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    1. Thanks, Cat. Fortunately my friends had some new ideas and I'm feeling better already. Thank goodness for community!

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  16. What a great design! You are amazing! And fast!

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  17. I like mixing solids and prints. It makes the prints pop.

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  18. I love the depth of colour in solids and I have a list of favourites that are solids but I haven't made anything yet. I use prints and solids together all the time. I actually find it a challenge to put prints next to each other but I'm learning!

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  19. Solids are so gorgeous on there own! I'm trying to use them more often as I love the effect they have =D

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  20. Love the gorgeous colors you've used for the picnic blamket and the merlot patchwork print looks awesome! I've joined in a quilt along recently using all-solids - this would be my first all-solids project and I look forward to start cutting and piecing them up!

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  21. If you're selling that at your craft show, I wish I was there to buy it! Absolutely gorgeous! I do like an all solid quilt, though I haven't had the courage to make one yet. I'll get there though.

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  22. Wow, that second quilt - I'm loving it! The white blocks really make it interesting.

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  23. I love this! Looks so great! When I was just starting sewing prints overwhelmed me. I loved them, but couldn't figure out how to mix them together to get that wonderful patchworky goodness that you do so well. My second ever quilt I made (and several after) was an all solids disapearing nine patch in blues shades graduating to black. As I was getting the fabric cut the lady at the counter and I were chatting about my projects and she is like, "You're not having any prints in your quilt?" and I was flustered and lied and said they were at home and she said, "Oh, okay. You wouldn't want to make a quilt with no prints, that would be too boring." I was a total newbie sewer and was crushed! I made my quilt anyway (looked fab, by the way) and now I have the confidence to not to listen when people say things I don't like!

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    1. Very good story! Another commenter also said she started with only solids for the same reason. What a smart approach, I say!

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  24. I've never done an all solids. But, this makes it very tempting,and your quilt turned out droolworthy! I think I need to get me some solids and think up something nice to do in solids.

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  25. We all have those off days. Hope your today is way better. I know what you mean about prints just begging to be bought and used. For the most part I have a busy print, very Kaffe Fassett, kind of style. But the lure of solids is getting a really really strong grip on my designs lately. Like you I just LOVE color. Actually have several all solids in the design stage with hopes of QuiltCon in their future. I love your color sense. Always cheery and uplifting.

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  26. I really love this Rachel, and I'd be hard pressed to say which side was the front and which the back if you hadn't told me - they both look so amazing. Simple yet stunning.
    Hope you get to the bottom of what's annoying you today (apart from the heat, it's really hot in southern France at the moment too, and we're all a bit raggedy with it), I'm sure once you put your finger on it and then work it through, you'll feel a thousand times better. Until then, have a nice cold beer!

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  27. Both sides are perfect! I definitely plan to do solid quilt one day.

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  28. Oh this is so great! Solids aren't the fabric I fall in love with and "have to buy" at the store, but after projects like this I feel the need to go get more!

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  29. This is just gorgeous and the inspiration I needed to use up this rainbow fat quarter stack I have. They aren't solids but all monochromatic botanical prints. I wonder what the overall effect of that will be...I'll get started soon just to find out!

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  30. I love all solids, but you're right, I rarely do projects without print. My next project though is finally going to be ALL Kona solids and I'm excited! PS- love your picnic blanket. It's bright and happy just like it should be for an outdoors quilt.

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