Return to Improv and Scraps

Back in the day (here) I started an improv for the Academy of Quilting class with Elizabeth Barton. I chose this exercise because it sounded the fastest. Wrong. I think  spent more time on it than on the two small color studies I recently finished! A piece would look flat after pressing. Then when a new piece was added, it bulged in an old seam, not the new one. I haven’t figured that one out yet. It meant lots of corrective seams and darts.

Anyway, the top is finished now. (Some very pretty curved seams will disappear into “hidden” seams. Oh well . . .

4-patch top finished

38 x 43 inches

Once the top was finished, some fabric turned into scraps.  So I decided the back should be a big four patch.

4-patch back

I hadn’t started out to make the corners not meet; however, the orange piece was all I had, so I decided it was fitting to be unmatched since the front was purposely unmatched. (The light green wasn’t big enough either, but I did have enough to piece it.)

I still had more scraps so I made a scrappy binding (before they got mixed in with outer scraps).

4-patch binding

I carefully laid it out along the quilt to see how the colors worked with the top and to be sure I didn’t have a seam at the corners. However, I laid it out on the front, and I will be sewing it onto the back. The corners will still work.  I’ll just wait and be surprised at how the front looks when it is finished.

Do you make scrappy bindings? If so, how much do you plan them. I’ve been saving left overs from binding quilts, planning on a more random scrappy binding someday instead of a color coordinated one. Someday I’ll have a quilt that that will be appropriate for. Oh, while stitching pieces together, I learned that each join takes up 2 inches.

On a more scrappy note yet, I tackled some leaders/enders. I was running out of 2-inch squares to attach so needed something new. The pile looked big enough to do “something” with.

I have no idea what the plan was when I started these. I pondered between making 4- or 16- or 20-patch blocks. Four-patch blocks sounded easier, so I went with that. I have 80 sets pinned and ready to be Leaders-and-enders.

A baby quilt (36 x 36) would take 72, so that is the current plan. I’ll alternate a 4-patch with a plain square. If I have enough coordinating 3 1/2-inch squares, I’ll continue scrappy; if not it will be a half-scrap project. The left over 8 will become something else.

Although a leader-ender project feels like it happens by magic, there are moments of preparation needed, like this one.

Check in with Kate of Tall Tales from Chiconia to see other Scrap Happy folks’ accomplishments.



Filed under quilting

7 responses to “Return to Improv and Scraps

  1. You have certainly been busy! I make scrappy bindings, but by the time I get to binding I am waaay past wanting to match anything. Ha!

  2. I like a scrappy binding. The scrappiest I’ve ever made is where the individual pieces were 6 inches long. It made for lots of joins, or course, but I really liked the effect. However, I won’t be repeating it too soon – very labour intensive!

  3. Scrappy bindings are fun, but so are scrappy quilts. I wonder if we took a poll, would all of us want more surface decoration in the world (answer for me: yes). Glad you finished your improv. You keep me motivated for keeping going!

  4. Joanne S

    I’ve made a few scrappy bindings. They add a lot to the end product, I think. I have a basket that I save rolled up binding left overs in. They are all colors, patterns, sizes. I figure the next time I need a scrappy binding, I’m half way there what with the pre-cut, folded, ironed scraps I have saved. 🙂

  5. dezertsuz

    Yes, I do scrappy bindings, no I don’t plan much with them. I don’t make angled joins, just seam them and press open. It’s the only thing I press open, I think – maybe border pieces sometimes. When I lay it out, I do move it around so the seam doesn’t come right on the corner, but it still does sometimes, as things change when they are sewn, even if you pin them.

    I think with quilting, this is all going to look very improv – great!

  6. The nice thing about 4-patches is that they can easily grow up to be 16-patches, or stay in the juvenile 4 stage. Yes, I make scrappy bindings, but I don’t plan anything about their placement. I don’t even worry about seams in the corners anymore. It’s happened enough times that I just let that corner be slightly fatter. I had one little quilt recently that had seams in THREE corners, sigh.

  7. This post makes me want to go play in my scrap pile!

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