Category Archives: quilting

Scrap Attack

I’ll leave it to you to decide whether the scraps are attacking me or I am attacking them. You may have noticed the new button “I may have a scrap problem” in my sidebar. It leads to Confessions of a Fabric Addict’s  scrap posts. Here is the link to the plan behind those posts. Sometimes there are linky parties, sometimes not.

I’m not sure I’ll pull a task and follow through on it for a month as she does, but there is value in listing tasks.

  1. Assemble left over flannel into backing for baby quilts backing flannel
  2. Assemble left over batting pieces into usable sizes. (In a box like that of the flannel pieces, but not colorful enough for a photo)
  3. Sort “crumbs” by color/value crumb jar
  4. Make crumb “fabric”
  5. Make blocks from crumb fabric
  6. Make quilts from blocks in #5.
  7. Spend 15 min a day for a week cutting squares/rectangles from any drawer of scraps (I’ve tried this before as an open ended goal and didn’t stick to it; maybe limited will work better.)
  8. Press and trim bonus triangles that are stitched into HSTs bonus triangles
  9. Design a quilt with trimmed HSTs
  10. Sort strips (That tub is too far down to get a photo of it. )
  11. Make strip-quilt blocks
  12. Assemble blocks from #11 into top
  13. And I will copy Fabric Addict’s final goal: send a box of scraps to someone. (I do know a willing recipient.)

Maybe if I do even a little bit of this, I’ll have something to show on the 15th  of each month when Kate posts the Scrap Happy list.  You might enjoy looking at the progress of other Scrap Happy folks (here).

Linking up with Oh Scrap! Some people are beyond organizing and actually have projects going–go see!

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A New Year and a New Quilt

With a due date the beginning of February, I guess it is time to get beyond mental quilting. The Stretching Art theme this year is “Under Scrutiny.” (The Stretching Art challenge is to make an art quilt 18 x 36 on the assigned theme and to try some new technique. The quilts are hung in three or four Mancuso shows in the East, so I’ll probably never see them hanging.) This theme was daunting for quite a while. Last year’s, Dream Big, was much easier for me (Dreaming of Cool, Clear, Abundant Water here ).

What hindered me was that the theme, asking us to look deeply and drill down, seemed to invite representational art (even though the challenge mentioned abstract ideas) and I prefer abstract design. I didn’t get an idea till Fall came, and gorgeous leaves filled the sidewalks.

So I took a walk, camera in hand. From the photos, I selected this one and cropped and cropped and cropped. Idea one was to replicate the last one, more or less. But before I started sketching, I remembered an ancient start of a tree themed quilt. I’d made four test blocks, one for each season, and gazillions of  one-inch HSTs. The plan had been to make the first four the center of a queen sized medallion quilt, either as four blocks on point or as a square..

I got stumped on the decision of whether to keep the season represented by the center tree for that whole quarter of the quilt or to intermingle the HSTs randomly or to keep seasonal coloration by rows. I set them aside with the fabric the HSTs had been cut from while I thought on the dilemma. And you know all about “out of sight, out of mind.”

Having remembered them, I thought, Why start my scrutiny from the tree when I could start with ecosystem, forest, tree.  Finally I was ready to sketch. Although I did the outline to scale, I’d made the 6-inch tree blocks too small, but the idea seemed a good place to start..

leaf sketch

I’d gotten this far before Thanksgiving, but set it aside again for the holidays.

Today I dug the old tree blocks out from the bottom tub in a four-tub stack and began auditioning fabric.

leaf fabric audition

The leaf “veins” will be much narrower, of course.  And I’m still debating whether to vary the shades of gold in the background or use just one. I’m leaning to the one. I also have to decide whether to make the “veins” straight or slightly curvy as in the sketch. I’m leaning to straight. Curves can come in the quilting. And I’m pondering whether to make templates or do improv piecing. I’ll sleep on it.

Linking with Nina Marie’s Off the Wall Friday.

 

 

 

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The Next Four

I finished the last four baby quilts just in time to get them to guild for the fire fighters’ pick up for Toy and Joy. The guild has given 2044 this year. (Membership is around 300.) Earlier quilts are two posts back.

The first two are made from larger scrap left overs, but they both needed additions.

a aqua brown

(I’ll trim the empty space when I have my photo program again–and have time. Done!) The blue print is a batik of little baby feet. I try for at least a few kid friendly fabrics.

a pink and fern

 

This quilt gets its kid friendliness on the back with this cute bear-print flannel.

I used all I had mixed with left over green and blue checked pieces. The yellow in the photo is green IRL.

The last two were made from a mix of 6-inch squares. My first consideration was alternating lights and darks.

a multi-bridge in corner

a multi owls

 

 

Some of the darks aren’t very dark–just darker than the squares beside them.

Since I was running out of darks i repeated more than I would have liked. I spread them around as much as possible. I also made sure “stand out” colors–yellow and that bright green–were spread evenly.

I quilted with a light tan 50-weight Aurofil thread; it blended with the lights and will sink into the darks after the quilts are washed.

I used a meander for each; it worked well except on prints with a high proportion of dark background.

I had this square finished before I realized the problem. So I tried for the look of water on the rest.

The 4 squares in these quilts are the very last of my bridge fabric. I hate to see it gone.

ETA: 1603 were picked up at the December meeting; the rest had trickled in over the year. And joining Confessions of a Fabric Addict for a Whoop Whoop

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Toy and Joy Time

Toy and Joy month snuck up on me, and I hadn’t prepared ahead even though I always think I will start early. The only start I had was the tops for two doll quilts that were my leaders and enders at a summer retreat. These are now finished.

They are made from mini charm packs that we got in swag.  Bordered they are ~16 x 16. The quilting doesn’t show well in the photos. The brownish one is diagonal lines and the blue one concentric circles.  However, I don’t recommend the circle quilting for a quilt that has been stitched to the back and turned.  Even with a walking foot, the fabric bunched up.  I don’t think the doll or child will mind this time, but I’d not do it again. The backs are minky fabric, and I still haven’t used up the leftovers. So I guess I’ll be making doll quilts next year till it is gone.

However, I’ve shifted my focus to the baby quilts because of the fire fighters running out last year. Seems the need is greater for them.  The baby quilts are used beyond Toy and Joy time when fire fighters have to remove babies from burning homes.

So I have one finished and four more tops ready to sandwich and quilt.

baby 1

Over the year I’d cut scraps into various sized squares.  These are the 6 1/2 inch squares that easily make a 36 x 36 quilt. I use the term “scrap” somewhat loosely to include fairly large left over pieces that could be called yardage. But if I have no further planned use for them, they are scraps to me. That is how I get many matching squares–however almost never the requisite 18. Quilting is a simple meander.

Linking with the Friday finish blogs and Oh Scrap (buttons in sidebar) and Let’s Make Baby Quilts. Now excuse me while I get back to finishing the last 4.

 

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Border Practice Becomes a Finished Quilt

This quilt has a long history.

It started with my picking up the light and medium green fabrics in a charity quilt starter packet at my guild in Indiana (and I left Indiana in 2011). It continued when I did my first round robin and had never done pieced borders before, so I practiced each border before making it on someone else’s quilt. This was a year or more before I left Indiana. Not big enough, it needed more borders.  That was accomplished at a quilt retreat in 2013 (here), and then it rested till now.

Border Practice finished

55 x 65

What prompted the finish is the guild’s charity project, quilts for hospice patients, this quarter.The subdued tones seemed right for that. And I had time.

I ended up quilting in a meander except for the circle in the center. That I just outlined.

border practice center

In addition to practicing borders, I had been practicing inserting circles–yes, we were doing that then. This quilt is not a typical medallion quilt, since the center isn’t really a medallion, a special block. The 9-patch seemed the fastest way to get a center the size of the round robin piece awaiting my border.

In some ways the large squares (6 1/2 inches) are too large for the rest of the piecing. Seeking balance, I made the final border the same width. Luckily there was enough of the medium green print to make four cornerstones. I think the “imbalance” ends up working because the light green borders in a gestalt view read as one wide light border. (Perhaps I delude myself that it works–feel free to say so.)

Something else different from my usual is the color of the binding. Usually I bind darker than the final border. In fact I went to the store with “the right” brown or dark green in mind, though I was also considering pink.  No pinks were dusty enough. Moving on to the brown section, I paused at the gold. Actually in the store it looked closer to the peach of the raspberry and peach narrow borders, and it seemed good to repeat that peach. And gold appeared in three prints.

border practice corner

Actually that was just an excuse to show that mitered corner. While I don’t love the gold binding next to the medium green, I do like it next to the dark green and in the overall look at the whole quilt. I think the striped print with its green in between two light pink stripes set up to have dark with light on each side. So I think the lighter binding works here, though it may not work everywhere.

One more UFO loosed on the world.

Linking with TGIFF and Finished or Not.

And Finish it up Friday (when link available)

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Second Welcome “Blanket” and Last Omaha Top

At long last the second welcome “blanket” is finished. It was so easy to keep putting it off while I did other things, and then the due date appeared. I’ll get it in just under the wire.

pink welcome blanket finished

42 x 42

I wrapped the back to the front for binding–since it was a pieced back, there are the pink interruptions in the cranberry print binding. Not as great an effect as a wholly pieced binding, but it will do.

I quilted it with an all-over floral pattern. I’ve used it before, but then it slipped out of favor. A recent blog posting by Angela Walters reminded me of it again, and it seemed just right for all that pink. And it is just as easy as  a simple meander.

pink quilting detail

Here is a link to the Welcome Blanket blog–you can browse it and see the exhibit to date. They had received 1500 at the Oct 9 post. Maybe there will be an update soon. The blog mentions mass deep freeze.  An earlier email described the museum process: 72 hours freeze, 24 hours thaw, another 72 hours freeze. Just so no moths, etc. are entered along with the blankets.

Quilt history: top here, (You can see its destination changed.) back here, BOM project here.

The other finish is the top I had started at the retreat.

Omaha big flower

40 x 60

This top is made from the kit I assembled from the parts that people had sent it. Most of us took some extra parts home from what were left at the end of the retreat. I had fun picking up all the big flower pieces, then when they ran out, medium and smaller flowers. I made the rectangle pieces from neutral fabrics that had been donated. We assembled 170 tops while at the retreat, but others have been making tops since as well, so the total is higher now.

This one will go on the pile of quilts that need backs.  A step between top finished and quilting. That plus cutting the batting are the hold ups for me, but eventually they get finished.

Linking with Free Motion By the River and if I remember, with the Friday finishes (buttons in side bar). ETA 11/12/17: Also linking with Free Motion Mavericks (changes in WP keep me from showing the button anymore).

 

 

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Fall Retreat

Another fall retreat has come and gone; I’ve been well fed, had lots of good laughs, and also managed to sew on several projects.

I liked this view of sewing machines four deep.

NW sewing machines

My first project was the one I’d laid out last week (here). I finished the top all but the border by Friday lunch (while stitching 2 1/2-inch squares as leaders and enders for the larger Irish Star (tutorial and quilt along here).

NW Rail Fence

Although it had been raining, there was a brief moment when I could get an outside shot. I thought I had a perfect border fabric, but upon seeing them together, I am no longer sure.

NW Rail Fence Border Audition

It feels like it draws too much attention to itself and overshadows the body of the quilt. And that is not what a border is supposed to do.  I’ll keep looking at it and thinking about it while also stash diving a bit deeper for alternative possibilities. Your thoughts?

Next I moved to the smaller Irish Star quilt made with bigger squares. That top took the rest of Friday and a good part of Saturday to finish.  (Meanwhile continuing on the 2 1/2-inch leaders and enders.)

NW Irish Star 1

45 x 45

This one is also made from the left overs from Urban Chickens--and there are still MORE.  Having those 3 1/2-inch strips/squares was enough to motivate me to do the math to use them. (The tutorial is for 1 1/2-, 2- and 2 1/2-inch squares.) Probably no math teacher would recognize my method of modifying the size. There is probably an easy formula, if only I knew it. But I ended up with 15-inch blocks (finished).

I’d started out thinking to reverse print and solid, thus making stars of prints. But as I looked at the solids in the chain, I decided all solids would look better. It will become a lap quilt for guild giving to nursing homes.

Other small finishes were two doll quilts–Fire Fighters’ Toy and Joy is coming up.

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The mini charm packs came from swag at a previous retreat and had been leaders and enders then; they were waiting for borders to make them about 20 x 20. The brown stripe was in the free box; the blue came from a shopping expedition some fellow retreaters made.

I got a start on the Omaha kit I”d made up at the end of the Sunshine retreat in Omaha. (Sneak preview of the look here). The rows are made and half of them attached. More on that one later.

It’s been a while since I’ve linked to Oh Scrap! This post seems scrappy enough. 🙂

 

 

 

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