Tag Archives: patchwork

“Flyover Country”—Scrap Happy Day

My local quilt guild has some very interesting challenges. This year we were given a piece of vintage fabric, of which we had to use 1 square inch in a 9 x 12 inch quilt.

The theme was something we had done without this year. As an introvert, I have adapted pretty well to isolation But there was one major disappointment: my daughter’s bargain tickets became null when Covid caused airlines to cancel flights. So airplanes would be my motif. I consulted my reference book for ideas.

I found 9 blocks that showed airplanes and several more designs named “Airplane” but were not representational. I chose #904, Airways (Washington), attributed to McKim’s Patchwork Parade of States. A square block. I had a rectangle to fill and also wanted to do more than make a block. I pondered making a city across the bottom, but couldn’t make the combination work. So the idea remained dormant till the deadline was a month away.

I thought of how many times I’d heard a comment about how land looks like a quilt from above. The background would be “made fabric,” an idea from Victoria Findley Wolfe.

So I went to my crumb jar and pulled as many green, gold, and tan bits as i could find.

Not nearly enough. So I dug deep into my scrap bin for baggies of sorted crumbs. Yes, once in the past I actually sorted what I had on hand.

And started sewing.

When I had some sizable pieces, I made templates and tried to fit them on the pieces. Most pieces needed additions.

That process took way longer than I expected. I think the basic idea of “made fabric” is that you mindlessly attach pieces when you don’t have any other ideas, then when you need it, it is ready. Maybe someday.

Finally the piece was finished and ready to mail. It is amazing how quickly a 9 x 12 inch piece quilts up. Time was absorbed not only by making fabric but also by working with the odd angles. I even basted and pinned—gasp! And ripped because when it comes to angles, I am spatially challenged.

So here it is.

Flyover Country. 9 x 12

It’s all scraps, batting and backing. At last a use for small pieces of batting other than making Frankenbatting.

If you want to check out other scrappy projects, find the Scrap Happy list on Kate’s blog : https://talltalesfromchiconia.wordpress.com/

And if you want to see the finished scrappy Surprise Jacket, click on “ previous post” below.

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Another Beginning

So the T Quilt doesn’t have a deadline after all. (Plans had changed when I wasn’t paying attention. ) There is no rush for the baby quilt. What better time than now to start something new?

Stretching Art and Tradition is coming up early next year. This year’s entry is being held to show next year, but we have also been given a theme for next year: When One Door Closes. (Wonder where that came from. )

This time the size requirement has changed to 24 inches by 36. A little easier than the old 18 x 36. So I started thinking. As you will remember, I prefer more abstract design, and that makes following a theme sometimes challenging. Also I have some Japanese kimono silk that I’d like to use; working with silk would be the new technique.

The first idea I had was an overall 9-patch structure composed of 9 9-patch blocks, each adding one more light square (well, rectangle and an odd size at that).

The idea turned out to be more interesting conceptually than visually. So I shifted to a grid of 4-inch squares with a dark to light movement. First try

I plan all the light squares to be the silk with fabric manipulation for variety and the dark to be one shade of dark, varied textures (velvet, cotton, satin, corduroy) and maybe different close hues ( brown, purple, black).

Not sure I like the clump of four, though the idea was to have it reappear after being blocked. Again the visual interest may not equal the conceptual. So I tried again.

I’m liking it better but not committed to it. Stay tuned.

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Leaders/Enders Progress—and Scrap Happy

Another project I worked on during the virtual retreat was attaching 4-patch blocks to their alternate blocks for their last round as leaders/enders. These 2-inch squares have been leaders and enders for forever—at least 2 years, maybe 3. Of course their use had been interrupted by two other leader/ender projects: Star Kissed https://knitnkwilt.wordpress.com/2020/05/14/star-kissed-1-is-finished/ and Irish Star https://knitnkwilt.wordpress.com/2020/04/15/irish-star-2-top-finished/

After this step was finished at the retreat, it was time for them to graduate and become a project. So after a while, I laid them out and did a bit of rearranging so that fabrics that drew attention to themselves were somewhat spaced. Then sewed.

36 x 36

It won’t make it to this year’s Toy and Joy, but the fire fighters need the quilts (and quilts get delivered) all year. Usually a fire fighter representative picks a dramatically large batch up at the December meeting, but with Covid and virtual meetings quilts had to be dropped off early November. It will just not get to the guild’s total, and that’s not the end of the world. It will augment next year’s.

This top is made 100% from scraps. There were only threads remaining after I cut the 72 squares for the alternate blocks. If you like Scrappy projects, check out Kate’s blog and follow links that are there. https://talltalesfromchiconia.wordpress.com/

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T-for-Terry Top and Back

And the top is finished.

You can hardly tell that the final border is made of squares, and that was the plan. If there had been enough fabric it would have been a plain strip of the same batik that is in the center block.

I like the narrow brown border, but it didn’t solve the balance issue. And I see why not. The area between the two narrow borders functions visually as a unit. Even though that had been my intent, I’d not made the next step to think balance. Rather I’d used the 2, 3, 4 inch units to figure the next. (Interestingly, I’d treated the middle two as one, but I didn’t carry that concept through. ) So a 9-inch outer border might have worked, or a 6 if I had had enough fabric. And a use for a larger quilt. I was aiming for something near 40 x 60, and it is 46 x 64. ( Do I get extra credit for a palindrome measurement?)

Put on your sunglasses for the back. Are you ready?

The bright is the rest of the fabric in the alternating squares of the final border on the front. When I use only 2 fabrics on a back and have enough fabric, I like to use the “zipper” strip to join them. I think it looks more like I designed it than that I ran out of fabric. And it doesn’t add much construction time.

Tomorrow the quilt gets sandwiched.

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Almost

This was supposed to be the post that said, Top finished. But I laid the last border out and am not sure.

My first thought was that the problem was that the two last borders should not be the same size. If so, I can only learn not to do that again and just finish it up. My second thought was that the blending shades had gotten boring. Interestingly, it looks better in the photo than in real life. The photo has more value contrast.

I am thinking of a narrow brown border before the final one. We’ll see. ( I already have to fudge the length so adding a half-inch border wouldn’t be a problem. )

Meanwhile I am happy with the strip of one-inch squares.

The first layout for that border was a disappointment. I did my usual construction of apparent randomness, and it just looked messy and busy. Chaotic even. (Sorry, I didn’t document it. ) Then I got the idea of matching the previous row, tried it, and liked it. I matched all but the light pink; otherwise, too much pink in spots.

A note about color. Last summer in her color class on Academy of Quilting, Elizabeth Barton mentioned that using cool and warm variations of a color gave a piece added depth. The batik already had that feature, my pink scraps came in orangish and purplish. So I tried it and like it.

I’ll be working on the top tomorrow so I can consider using any early suggestions. Later suggestions will be mentally useful to consider. They just won’t make it to this quilt.

ETA audition of brown

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Turkey in the Straw

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Irish Star #2; Top Finished

Scrap Happy Day’s coming up gave me a nudge to get the Irish Star stitched. So without further ado, here it is:

1 Irish Star 2 top finished

50 x 70

I knew it would be dark when I finished, so I took a photo half way through while the sun still shone to get closer to the actual colors.

1 Irish Star 2-4 rows

I haven’t decided whether I’ll quilt it or not.  It is large enough that guild will accept it as a top and either have a long armer quilt it or tie it at their monthly comforting-quilts sew days (when those happen again). Its destination is the HIV/AIDS “Strength for the Journey” camp, where each new camper is given a quilt. (And if the camp doesn’t happen this year, the quilt will keep till it does.)

I also haven’t decided what next.  Either I’ll quilt some child quilts that are in waiting or start the ocean-themed quilt that has been brewing for quite a while.

Meanwhile, I used the leaders/enders for the final assembly of the top to start on another quilt-along, Star Kissed. Tutorials for both Irish Star and Star Kissed can be found on Deanna’s blog, Wedding Dress Blue (here).

1 leader-ender

These will become a one-block baby quilt, 36 x 36 someday. I tend to reject the pastel squares in scrappy projects, so they have been piling up. A baby quilt seems a good destination for them.

To see other Scrap Happy projects, see Kate,s blog around the 15th. I’ll be linking with Finished or Not Friday, another Scrap Happy, and Oh Scrap! Links will be added when available. ETA And then because I have more time these days, I found Midweek Makers and linked up.

History of Irish Star #2

Started a year ago

Stars begun

Starsresumed

More stars

 

 

 

 

 

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The Last Four Stars

I didn’t feel like I’d made any progress until I got the parts assembled and could lay out the block into a 9-patch.

1 star partial

At this point it almost feels finished even though there are several seams left to sew.

Plan A was to have the  quilt layout planned today.  Not gonna happen, and here’s why.  I’m going to need a whole day to assemble the alternate blocks once they are laid out.  When the design bed is opened, it takes the whole living room and is very awkward. Meanwhile once the quilt is laid out, I don’t want to pick it up till stitched together. This grouping just doesn’t lend itself to any stacking method I know that would allow me to keep track of what goes where. So a one-day sewing marathon is in my future. (And with the stay-at-home order there will be days.)

1 star alternate block

All the alternate blocks are at this point. Because I planned each star to have its own background, I need to synchronize those backgrounds with one square in each of its adjacent alternate blocks. So I can’t finish the alternate blocks till I know which stars will be next to each of its sides. And that won’t be known till I decide first where each star will go and second which parts of the alternate block will be arranged together beside it.

So, the final four.

1 4 stars

Hmmm. Yes, I see that oops. Funny how sometimes you don’t notice till you see a photo. At least this is before any more seams are sewn.

When I started making the star blocks,  spent a lot of time looking for the right square to put in each corner. But once I laid the blocks out with the alternate between them, I saw that the corner square blends so much into the other squares that it really doesn’t matter.  (You can see what I mean in the layout here or in the Irish Stars button in the sidebar.) So I have dithered a lot less since then.

Usually I’ve photographed blocks in even numbered sets, like the above. However, last time I had an odd number. That photo suggested another possible layout for a quilt without the chain alternate blocks. I had to check it out.

1 5 stars layout

I think that would make an interesting quilt someday.

The two end stars don’t have white centers. The white is the four squares that match the background being kept with them for when I finally get the layout planned.

It won’t be too much longer, just not today.

Linking with Needle and Thread Thursday and Oh Scrap! (Buttons in sidebar).

 

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The Stars Are Out Again

After a long break (last touched in December), I worked on the Irish Star quilt along (button in side bar). It is more a quilt echo along now. WeddingDressBlue has moved on to another very interesting tutorial/quilt along.

1 stars

It is a nice change from the recent improv art project to do some repetitive chain piecing. There are things I like (and dislike) about each approach; moving among approaches smooths my interests out.

Now the plan had been to sort and put fabric away before starting a new project. Ah, but this isn’t a new project. (Rationalizing is one of my strong points.) I’d started on a stack on the table and these were at the bottom and just irresistible.  I also need to oil the machine and change the needle before I sew much more. Maybe tomorrow.

Now I have only four stars to go before I can plan the layout–my favorite part! This will be a good thing to do on one day of social distancing–now become stay-at-home. I really want to have time to sew all the parts together once it is lain out.

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F2F Top Finished

And the top is finished, just in time for the guild meeting. I asked a friend to take a photo during show ‘n tell.

1 F2F top cropped

You’ll have to imagine the strip of border at the bottom; it had to be cropped out to remove a head of the person in front of the photographer. Of course I see better places for some of the blocks–that is always the way with a sampler quilt. There is no perfect arrangement. I do like the color of the sashing/border.

The Sunny Lanes block (upper right) is one I made for everyone; here is the post where I showed it in each color way. Meanwhile, here is the post on this top’s beginning. Yep, top finished over the weekend and in two consecutive posts. It is enjoyable,  how quickly a quilt top goes together when the blocks are already made (never mind that I’ve had the blocks since 2016).

I think I’ve mentioned before that blocks came from US, France, UK, and Australia. Here is a fun location-specific print with a kangaroo crossing sign:

1 F2F oz print

For next month, the guild is requesting male-themed throw tops. I think I’ll work on Irish Stars first.

Tomorrow (15th) is scrap happy day. I’d guess some of these blocks were made from scraps–when making three, it is a good use for small amounts of fabric. I know there are scraps in my three.  And you will find a link here to other scrappy projects.

I’m also linking to the Clever ChameleonTuesday Colour Linky party.

 

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