Tag Archives: patchwork

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.

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Grid in Two Color Combinations

Back to the grid sketched for the More-Abstract-Art-for-Quilters class (sketch here among other things).  After the line sketch, I did several value sketches and then several color sketches of the best value sketch. I decided to make a very small version of my two favorite color combinations.

So yesterday morning I pulled all the shades I had of red, blue, yellow, and green.

grid fabric pull

I had no intention of using all of them, but didn’t yet know which I’d want. Notice the top green one–at least it looks like a light yellow-green to me. When I ended up using it, it looked yellow in context.

So I started cutting from the first color sketch.

grid start with sketch

You can see already that the look of real fabric will be quite different from the look of the sketch. And as I worked with actual fabric, I made a couple adjustments to the colors on the sketch–a couple things worked in pencil but not in my selection of fabric.

Sewing took longer than I allowed for it–I’d planned to make them both yesterday. Instead I finished one and cut out the second. Usually I can chop any design into all straight seams. Not this one.  There were several partial seam construction spots. I started sewing what could be completely sewn together, then calculated the order of partial seams. By supper time I had this.

grid color

10 x 15 inches

I figured I’d better cut out the second before putting the fabric away. It was a good thing I had.  It was much easier to work on it today having it already cut.  I should do that more often. So here is version 2:

grid color maquette 2

(You can rotate it once to the right if you want to see it in the same orientation as the first one.) This one is the same size.

I will face them both and do a little stitch-in-the-ditch quilting.  I had thought I might do matchstick since the piece is so small, but I don’t think I want the haze of color that would produce. The “stripes” don’t work out evenly even if I did change thread color.

Now the question is whether I want to make either (or both) and what size. For one thing, it will have to wait till I find that bright green. I haven’t seen that color in shops for years and I have only 6 inches or so left.

I have plenty of sketches from the class to keep me busy for a while. Plus ideas from the improv class. And I am now signed up for Elizabeth Barton’s class on color.  She had one exercise in the More Abstract Art class that was so helpful, I’m hoping for more like that in the color class.

I’ll try to remember to link up with the Clever Chameleon on Tuesday. (Link in sidebar)

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PBS Project Finished

The sewing on the Paintbrush Studio Fabric project was finished a couple days ago. I did the photography yesterday and today. Of course the overcast days were while I was still sewing–quite sunny today. Anyway, finished and sent a day early. I rather like working at a slow and steady pace instead of a last minute rush. I’ll have to do that more often.

The finished quilt front

front sm

~46 x ~46 inches

and back

back sm

I make a lot of quilts just a bit over the width-of-fabric measurement, and I prefer piecing a strip to buying and extra length of the backing for a couple inches. It is also a good way to use left over fabric, though I have a few scraps.

detail sm

I had just read Jacquie Gering’s Walk and decided to try diagonal wavy lines with the walking foot. For the most part it went well. However, twice I ended up with a line of eyelashes on the wrong side (more than I have ever had when doing free motion). It seemed to happen when I tried too hard to make too big of a curve, but the odd thing is that it continued after I went back to ordinary motions.  The fix was to take the bobbin out and put it back. Go figure.

And in addition to diagonals, the gull print suggested loop d’ loop, but not too much. So I put in the free motion foot and did a couple spaced out rows of loops.

And now for a couple glam shots

 

I had to do some serious cropping of the left photo because I’d managed to include garbage dumpsters at the curb! That photo is from the park across the street where the trees are off to the side and the middle is wide open space; the bench is in the patio behind my apartment building.

Quilt history:

Fabric and project information here

First steps here

 

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From Sketch to Top

Progress is happening on the PaintBrush Studio project (sketch and fabric here).  First I got permission to change the background. Glad to know the option remains to select from the whole of Paintbrush Palette–though they supply only from their selection.

And the beginning looked just like the picture in my head.

pbs start

I’m really glad I could use that grayer blue, called Haze.

Then I finished the top.

pbs top

The fourth row doesn’t please me quite so much.  Looking at the whole piece of fabric, I ddn’t see it so white as it became once cut up.  Do any of you have tricks to help see that difference? I am not disappointed enough to do any ripping, as usual. Nor do I think I’ll make another top with one change.  But if I were, I’d make the fourth row of 4-inch squares of the backing fabric (shown in the above linked previous post). It will be better with the red binding.

On to making the back.

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QBB’s FQ Challenge

A little alphabet soup for the soul. Never did like chicken soup.

QBB = Quilts Beyond Borders, an organization that gives quilts to children in need in many places. The above link tells about their Fat Quarter (FQ) challenge as well as the organization. QBB is a group that Sunshine Online Guild donates to, so I had heard of them.   Recently they had a booth at the Clark County Quilt Show that I attended.

So I selected a bright geometric print, thinking it would be a focus fabric to which I could add solids. It came with a pattern, Rainbow’s End, a Villa Rosa Design. A nice pattern, but the block involved 6 equal weight squares.

Here it is, laid out.

QBB challenge

I had not anticipated the dark blue and green squares ending up adjacent. I almost like that it looks like a rectangle instead of two squares.  And if I had it to do over, I’d have used a different yellow. The other yellow fabrics I had on hand were worse than this one.

It is an easy to assemble block; the layout of blocks takes a bit of concentration, but with the help of the picture on the pattern, I got it right after a couple tries.

I think the pattern has great potential for scrap quilts. I’m not sure if I’d try to make a pattern by color of scrap square or simply go for a random look. (It may be decided by what color of squares I have.) I’ll have to see if my 4-inch square pile has anything resembling 120 squares. It also might be hard to have enough large scraps for the purist to make the background scrappy–guess that depends on how one defines ‘scraps.’

If you want to see quilts made from actual scraps, vist Kate’s Scrap Happy list.

 

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Paint Brush Studio Fabrics

I’m trying a new thing. I applied to a  Paintbrush Studio Fabrics  request for people interested in making things with PBS fabric. ( I don’t remember if it was an email request or a link on their website.ETA: it’s a link on their website.) They send an email with their fabric selection and some prompts.  Receivers submit descriptions of what they want to make with it and how much fabric is needed. Then PBS sends fabric to the people whose projects were chosen.

I was too busy to consider responding the first two prompts they sent. There were second requests showing  quilt pattern possibilities for the fabrics. I figured when I was ready to submit I may be in demand. And this month my idea was created and accepted.

Here is the sketch (each square is 2 inches)

quilt sketch

And the fabric arrived today.

I’ve combined pieces from two lines: Gulls Just Wanna Have Fun (designer’s name, other than Paintbrush Studio not given) and Maja Ronnback’s Garden Glory. And Painters’ Palette Solids, of course. I’m rethinking the background shade of blue, but don’t know if I can make a change after a project has been accepted. I’ve asked.

I think the design is a good way to showcase fabrics. I had done something similar with fewer fabrics in the past (here). This seems an easy arrangement to vary. Maybe a series? Time will tell (unless 2 makes a series. )

It is destined for my local guild’s charity program. The size (46 x 46) can be either a child’s quilt or a lap quilt for a nursing home resident.

 

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Baby Quilt with a New Quilting Design

A new project interrupting the other running projects.  It was prompted by the firemen’s request for more baby quilts (36 x 36). They keep some quilts in the trucks for when they have to take a baby out of a dangerous situation, and they were running low. And guild meeting is tomorrow. So a time limit. Couldn’t get too fancy.

When I am on good behavior, I spend regular, short amounts of time cutting scraps into squares and rectangles. I start with the largest square I can make and work down to 1 1/2 inch squares then throw the smaller (but at least 3/4 inch) pieces into the crumb jar. So maybe, just maybe, there would be 36 6-1/2-inch squares that would work together. There were. Not ideal, but passable.

1 baby top

I probably spent more time selecting and rearranging than sewing. Luckily there were 6 of the rainbow striped squares; since they dominate it was nice to put them in the center. I’d always thought I’d eventually gather enough crayon-colored squares to go with them, but oh well . . .

Next was quilting design. It seemed a good time to try a new pattern. Very recently I’d read a blog about Dragon-Fruit Fill and it seemed it would go quickly enough. (Here is the link in case you want to try it.) Susan used it in a smaller space; I just enlarged it.

1 baby quilting

I did it from memory and forgot that her echoes were more sharply angled. Next time. After quilting at least half of it with no problem, suddenly I started skipping stitches. At first it was just on an occasional curve, but it got more frequent and even occurred on straight lines. It no longer seemed like it was a speed change problem, so I changed the needle. That fixed it.Not sure why, but I’ll not complain since it worked.

And here is the finished quilt.

1 baby finished

Sorry about the poor light–I won’t have time before guild tomorrow for a better shot.

And I made two more sets of blocks to send to the Sunshine Online Quilt Guild retreat where blocks will be turned into tops. This time I had some cute novelty prints for the centers. A set is 8 because 3 strips of 4-inch and 3 strips of 2 1/2-inch make 8 blocks.

 

 

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I think the original idea for half light edge and half dark was that they would be alternated; however, I think a quilt using all the same background would work out well. An allover design like the ladybugs allows for turning the blocks any way that appeals; A directional fabric, like the jungle print requires some planning when adding the first piece.  Whatever color/value scheme is used, the result wilt be an alternative-grid look.

I have three more sets prepared. I think I’ll stop at 60 since they said they had a good supply. Then I’ll experiment with enlarging the edge pieces to make 12 1/2-inch blocks so that 9 will make a baby quilt. (I don’t want to enlarge the square because keeping it 5-inches allows for using charm packs.)

Linking with Let’s Make Baby Quilts, Moving it forward Monday, and remember to check here for the Scrap Happy list of bloggers who sometimes have scrap projects, but always have interesting ones.

ETA: At guild meeting it was announced that the guild had been giving 100 baby quilts per year to the firemen; they requested 200.

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