Project Quilting 9.4: Mellow Yellow

This week kicks off a new Project Quilting challenge.  Starting and finishing a quilt in one week is intense: Now, try cutting that time in half as I'll be heading to Pasadena first thing Thursday morning for QuiltCon!!  Oh and keep in mind that my quilt challenge MO is to usually start creating the day or two before the deadline!!

Luckily, the new challenge theme, Mellow Yellow created the perfect opportunity for me to incorporate some fun & games into my challenge entry!  Growing up without cable television, my family played lots of board games, card games and games we sometimes made up!  Immediately I thought of UNO, Rummikub (our first edition had a set of yellow numbered tiles whereas many of the newer versions have replaced it with orange which is probably easier to read), Trivial Pursuit wedges (in case you were wondering, Yellow Wedge = History Category), Perfection, Connect Four, Twister...just to name a few!  Instead of an initial fabric pull, I raided my collection of games for anything that was yellow, and included some pops of red, black & white for interest. 
Fun & Games

Without a design in mind, I was reluctant to sacrifice some of my favorite games (ie. Rummikub) nor buy a brand new game just for a few yellow pieces that I may or may not actually use.  Instead of sketching or planning, I started out by simply playing with the various parts shown above.  Initial inspiration came from traditional quilt designs:  checkerboards, woven lattices, square in a square, rail fence, zig zags, french braids and chinese coins.  
Child's Play

After this first round of play, I started to limit myself to only using the UNO cards and shifted my experiments to 4-patch designs.  Exciting new patterns emerged based on which cards were used and their orientation:  Xs, Os, and Stars!!
At This Stage of the Game

While I loved the individual blocks, the overall 3x3 grid was static.  A few small changes led to a much more exciting composition:

  • Placing the blocks on point created some much needed negative space
  • Reducing the number of blocks gave focus to the Wild Card and Yellow Card Blocks
  • Adding smaller pinwheels offered variety in both scale, color and patterning
  • Using a black background helped the cards to really pop!

Game Plan

I had a few options for construction:

  • Option 1:  Use tulle netting to encase the cards onto the quilt's surface which would likely alter both the color and sheen of the UNO cards.  
  • Option 2:  Top stitch through the cards, which I first tested using a sacrificial red UNO card using a 90/14 Top Stitch needle and Natural White Aurifil thread (#2021).  Instead of pinning the cards into place (which would result in permanent pinholes), loops of green painter's tape were used as it tends to stick better to black fabric as compared to blue painter's tape.

Game On!
Once all the cards were stitched into place, a simple zig zag meander was stitched throughout the background using Aurifil Black (#2692).  A red, yellow & blue plaid made for the perfect binding!
At the Top of the Game

This fun checkerboard print was won in last year's Project Quilting Grand Prize bundle and carried over the fun & games theme onto the quilt back.
Back in the Game!

Not only was this a fun quilt to make, but it is fun to look at too!!  The bright colors and radiating designs remind me of Mexican tilework.
"Wild About Yellow!", Finishes 20" x 20"

Be sure to check out all the fun Mellow Yellow quilt entries and VOTE ONLINE starting Sunday, February 25th!! 
A Numbers Game
Aren't you glad I didn't SKIP this week's Project Quilting Challenge?!?  (Sorry, I couldn't resist!!)


  1. How fun! I love the way you walk us through the process -- and I never knew that green painters tape works better than blue on black fabric!

    1. Thanks Susan!! So glad you enjoy the method behind my madness! It helps me to debrief and reflect on lessons learned as much as a way to share with others. Yes--on multiple ocassions I've seen solid black fabric almost repel blue painter's tape. Recently I used blue tape to mark out a quilting design and as soon as I get the sandwich to my machine, the blue tape is peeling up even with very gentle handling. The green tape I've found to hold its grip onto solid black fabric is FrogTape brand (also a 3-M product) that is tackier than most blue tape--but will still require some gentle handling under the sewing machine.

  2. I love you so much. And your work. But mostly you. <3

    1. Awwww...thanks Trish! One of these days I hope to meet you in person as I have a feeling we would have loads of fun!! As always thanks for creating all these amazing challenge themes that have prompted so many awesome quilts!!! You rock!!!

  3. How delightful to walk through your design process with you. Like an artist's tour every time I visit your blog. Thanks for creating another eye-opening quilt.

    1. Thanks Ann! Yes--there is a method to my madness and while I may work fast there is quite a bit of deadends that I take before arriving at my final destination. So glad you were able to join me for another fun quilt journey.

  4. This is brilliant. Does your choice of playing cards make this an "unconventional materials" challenge?

    1. Thanks Andrea! I am having so much fun with adding this unconventional materials bonus challenge to myself. So far I've incorporated two old laptops, holographic film, paracord, pulley & carabiner...and who knows what fun materials will make their way into the PQ9.5 and 9.6 challenge themes!!

  5. Absolutely incredible! I love the additional challenge you put on yourself and how you're using all these fun materials!

    1. Thank you Kim...I was pretty skeptical whether or not I would be able to complete something before heading off to QuiltCon but so happy I was finally able to make the game theme work!! Onto the home stretch with 2 more challenges left!!


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