What Shade are You with Erika Bea
My name is Erika Bea, but my friends call me Pink. You can find me @pinksuedeshoe on Instagram. I am addicted to things in every color. Except red, and then purple, they aren’t my favorites. They are a necessary part of every rainbow, but as far as I am concerned rainbows should all begin and end with pink! I grow a lot of dahlias, I bake a lot of pies, and I make a lot of quilts. I started sewing for real about 9 years ago. I have made everything from jeans to doll clothes, bags of every shape and size, stuffed animals and home décor projects. Last year alone I made about 17 button-up shirts or shirtdresses. I sew A LOT. I didn’t really get into quilting until 5 years ago when I started working in a local quilt shop one afternoon a week. I found so much satisfaction putting piles of fabric and colors together, and keeping those bolts organized in rainbow order on all the shelves! And quilting has just kind of stuck.
In the 5 years I’ve been quilting I have probably made close to 200 quilts. Usually between 25 and 35 a year. I have made dozens of quilts that have hung up at Quilt Market, sold plenty, and gifted plenty. At last count there is over 50 quilts stacked in armoires and closets and couches and on the ends of the beds in my small house. And the rest are spread out across the country and around the world. Quilting makes me real happy.
When RJR reached out to me and asked me to be a part of the What Shade Are You project I was so excited, I knew exactly what I wanted to make, which was a quilt I’ve had in my head for more than a year. I carefully picked out my colors, and then choose white cotton lawn for the background and a cotton + steel cotton lawn for the back. I knew this was going to be the absolutely softest coziest quilt ever.
But, before I cut into my bundle I had a change of heart. I was going to start my dream quilt the beginning of October, bright and early Monday October 2. But plans changed. After the mass shooting in Las Vegas on October 1, I decided that my dream quilt can wait. Because this beautiful rainbow bundle was going to turn into another project, a quilt for someone who needed a little piece of hope and love and kindness more than I do.
The Las Vegas Modern Quilt Guild is collecting quilts to distribute to the families of the victims from the October shooting. And so this quilt is for them. They are collecting blocks, finished tops, and finished quilts. It is a massive undertaking, and full of all the love and kindness that this quilting community is so famous for. The LVMQG asked for quilts made using the grayscale block by Alison. She has a block A and B, I used 12 of Block A and 20 of Block B, and then I decided to set the blocks on point, because I love how they look that way.
These blocks come together SO quickly. It really was a quick project, even with a few hitches along the way. I made my first mistake in not planning out color placement very carefully. I originally decided to go with a random layout, but as soon as I took the picture of them laid out on the floor I knew that this quilt would be so much better in rainbow order. I did have to remake two blocks, but it was well worth the extra few minutes. A little rearranging to make the colors blend, and I knew I had something really really great.
I quilted this with simple straight lines, because I think they almost always look good. And I am not great at the actual quilting part. I can sew tiny 1” squares together all day, but I lose my patience and get bored with the actual quilting the layers together process. I decided to make a scrappy binding, and with just about as much dumb luck as can be wished for it worked out as a perfect rainbow all the way around the quilt. I love it when that happens.
I loved working on this project. I know sometimes it can feel overwhelming to try and do something good when there is just so much sadness in the world. One quilt is just a drop in the bucket, hardly a way to combat all the terrible things that happen. But to one person, I hope this quilt will make a really big difference. And I would encourage you, if you have a spare 10 minutes THIS WEEKEND, or a few hours, to make a couple of blocks, or a lot of blocks, or a roll of binding, or some big pieces for backings, and send it to the LVMQG.
As for me, I think I’ll try and get that dream quilt I was planning cut out and started. But I am so glad that I decided to make this one first. Thanks RJR for the beautiful fabric to help me help someone else. You can follow along with my rainbows, pies, dahlias and quilting adventures on Instagram @pinksuedeshoe.
Here is a list of the colors I used. The white background is cotton lawn in Kerchief 5089-21, and the rainbow is 49 Chili Pepper, 92 Golden Rod, 127 Kelly Green, 131 Carrot, 182 Lemon Chiffon, 217 Hot Pink, 218 Pink Sapphire, 244 BubbleGum, 249 Sprout, 276 Tangerine Dream, 287 Raging Ruby, 292 Turks & Caicos, 311 Rio, 316 Lancaster Sky, 317 Jacaranda, 330 Tickled Pink, 332 Mauvelous, 347 Grass is Always Greener, 348 Neon, 354 Horizon, 357 Sunset Ruby, 371 Melody, 372 Orange Crush, 373 Guava, 379 Sunnyside of the Street, 389 Spearmint, 391 Robins Egg, 414 Gelato, 423 Violet, 425 Harbor, 426 Seaside, 427 Lake
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