Thursday, April 26, 2012

When Quilting Gives You Lemons...

...make a whole bunch of lemonade, and that's what I did with these rejects.

 I hate to call them rejects because I think they're beautiful. They're made using a layer cake of Malka Dubrawsky's A Stitch in Color fabrics which Tammy of Marmalade Fabrics sent me to play with. Malka's line is almost as wonderful as her original hand dyed fabrics. I've bought her hand dyes for years and was thrilled to see this fabric.  I combined Malka's prints with some bright Kona cottons and I think they make magic together.
So what's the reject part?  Well, A couple of months ago, Tammy asked me to design a quilt for her using this fabric and I designed this block which is an adaptation of a block in one of my Japanese quilt block books.  I thought it would make a great tutorial because it uses a partial seam in the construction and this is a simple block to practice that skill.

So far so good and then I started sewing and having a ball making blocks.  I was a happy camper working with fabric I adored and a block that made me happy.  I made a whole big stack and used up almost the whole layer cake and then I noticed something...my stack didn't look right.  It wasn't stacking...you know how blocks that are the same size should stack neatly and all those edges should line up.  Well, they didn't, so I started measuring, a little late now for sure.  For some reason, none of the blocks were the same size and they varied widely.  I measured again, and again...hoping that I was reading the ruler incorrectly.  I kept measuring and I couldn't believe what I saw.  I know I could have framed them all and hidden my error, but it wasn't the look I was going for.  I popped each and every block in the trash...disgusted with myself.

Things sometimes end up in the trash around here, but cooler heads usually prevail and rejects get rescued and made into something else.  These blocks got a couple of layers of batting, some fun quilting, bright binding and my signature large grommet and presto I had loads of potholders.
They're great out by the grill on the balcony...

...hanging in the kitchen ready to keep my fingers from burning...
...and I gave some to my mother for gifts and to my son for his new loft.  Now that's making lemonade from a very lemony quilting day.

Have you gotten some of Malka's fabric?  Tammy can hook you up if you're interested.  It's pretty and fun and hopefully you can do better with it than I did.  I think I need to try again.

38 comments:

gale said...

Oh well-they make adorable pot holders. I tend to be the same way when I mess something up (which is a lot). I love the quilting on these.

Live a Colorful Life said...

Well, they look great and I'm glad they didn't stay in the trash! Did you figure out the problem?

emedoodle said...

Just think, if you weren't so honest with us we would have thought you were just turning out these pot holders like crazy! We'd have no idea! They are lovely and it's nice to know that you have days like that too... I think we all do!

As for me I had a charm pack of the fabrics that Ebony's die cutter chomped up and cut into hexagons for me! Now I just need the inspiration to sew them up!

Kathleen said...

I can see these all hanging on the wall as a focal point in rows or another type of arrangement. They are bright and cheerful. An art display on your house. I think they are great.

Rachel said...

These look great!! I have been drooling over this line for some time now, bu haven't been able to find anyone with the whole line so thanks for the link to Marmalade Fabrics!!

Cheers!
Rachel
Scrapendipity Designs

Patty said...

I imagine we all have days where our projects end up in the trash but I’m not sure my trash has ever seen such nice rejects.

Okay, now I have a question. You mention in the beginning of the post about this block making a great tutorial. Was the tutorial intended for us the readers; or for your guild? I would love to see how this block was constructed.

Ginny said...

They are wonderful! So bright and juicy! And I appreciate your honesty, some days I have quality time with my seam ripper or ruler and think its just me!

Sarah said...

I love your pot holders, what a happy mistake! I'm also really fond of Malka's fabrics and used them in a granny square quilt. (And with those leftovers made a table runner and coasters.)

Carla said...

Great use of the fabric, Jaquie! Were you able to figure out what went wrong?

Shari said...

Very bright and cheerful! Great save.

Amy Friend said...

Glad you saved them from the trash. They are snazzy potholders!

beewitchinstitchin said...

I.Love.These!!!

em's scrapbag said...

Great lemonade! I love Malka's fabric!!! I've made two quilts with it.

Laura said...

These are fantastic potholders! I love them. I pinned your picture as "Tallgrass Prairie Studio Potholders". If that is not OK with you, please, please let me know.

Elsa said...

Really like what you've done with Malka's fabric ~ these potholders are so bright and cheery and with the solids it's even better!

Annie said...

I make a lot of lemons and a lot of potholders. I love how yours looks and the design is very inspiring!

Debbie said...

Love these! Your sense of color and design is always amazing! I'm curious as to what happened in the construction that made them odd sizes. And I'm hoping that you will eventually make the quilt and share the pattern! I guess I'd better make something with my stash of her fabric now!

Kirsty said...

These are lovely pot holders! I love the fabric colours. I'm glad you rescued them from the trash.

Kerri said...

i LOVE the potholders!! they are so bright and happy!!

Penny Gold said...

I would love to see a tutorial on doing a partial seam. For some reason, I've never given this a try. I think I also confuse it with an inset seam, and when you need one and when the other.

Love the potholders!

Miss Sews-it-all said...

Love all those pretty colors together! I'm glad you found another purpose for these blocks, they do make awesome pot holders!

**nicke... said...

i am going to copy you~! xoxo :)

Elaine Adair said...

I DO love your fresh, modern color sense!!!

I oened up my Machine Quilting Unlimited magazine and your name/book was featured! But now it's MY book as well. 8-))

kayleighinstitches said...

What a great save!! These look fabulous even if they didn't end up as they were intended.

SusieDW said...

Those are some pretty fine lookin' lemons! I'm fixated on the possibility that you could have cut all the "squares" down to the same size. No? Or was aligning sides and seams an issue?

A.S.K.-P. said...

I LOVE those potholders! Love the idea of the grommet for hanging as well! Thanks for the inspiration!

Molly said...

I find it funny that what is so frustrating to a quilter that she is compelled to throw something away can be so beautiful to so many- and without you admitting your mistake we all would have never known there was ever a lemon in the bunch! Personal standards are so much higher then societal standards- and that is what makes us the artists that we are. Good for you for making lemonade- these really are stunning and it would have been a shameful fate for them to have ended up as trash.

Tamie said...

Wow, I need to come empty the trash at your place. I love the finished product. Sorry they didn't turn out like the quilt you first imagined.

Karamat said...

A quilt from those blocks would be fabulous. But those potholders... AMAZING!!

Arita said...

They are beautiful, I love the binding. You always manage to find something perfect with your creations.

Scrap,Quilt, Preach said...

I think they are wonderful even if they did not turn out the way you wanted. Every kitchen needs some happy fabric!

cakegirl said...

I do have some of this fabric and am holding on to it until I find a worthy project. It's fabric love. Your potholders are great.

Jenn said...

Love her fabric and your blocks make perfect potholders :) Be-u-ti-ful!

rental mobil said...

Very nice, thanks for sharing.

Debbie said...

I am going to make some too!! Thanks for the great idea!

Marty Mason said...

I do have some of Malka's beautiful hand dyed....hand stamped fabric but can't bring myself to cut into it yet. I'm still enjoying it just the way it is!

Nanette Merrill said...

That has actually happened to me too. I'm still not sure what I did wrong but you're right, blocks this beautiful do NOT belong in the trash!

quilt for fun said...

I was so inspired by your "mistake" that I ordered some "A Stitch in Color" fabric and made my own potholders. They are fabulous! Thanks so much for sharing this post.