Tag Archives: patchwork

Many Peoples’ Scraps and a New Leader-Ender Project

I brought home one kit that I put together from the pieces remaining at the end of the recent Sunshine Retreat.  And I’ve been itching to see what it will produce. So I laid the pieces out and did my usual rearranging thing and ended up with this:

Omaha arrangement

These squares and rectangles came from the offerings of many Sunshine members who started cutting their scraps as soon as the block pattern was announced. While selecting, I’d decided on a floral theme. First I pulled all the BIG floral squares. There were not 24–it was near the end and the piles had been picked over many times.  So I added medium size and then small. Finally I added the monochrome green and I had my 24. After selecting the big squares, it was just a case of finding colors that would work for the other parts.

I debated between making blocks and then arranging or arranging from parts since I could. I chose the latter, the better to switch colors of the big square around without ending up with with smaller pieces where I didn’t want them.

Having decided on this arrangement, I’ve now gathered the squares by row and labeled them so that when I am ready to sew, I can just start sewing. No more planning and re-plannng. No forgetting what I had in mind should significant time pass.

On another note, Leader-Ender projects.  I’ve had only short ones lately, relatively without a project goal. Just assembling parts that await future inspiration. But Deanna of Wedding-Dress Blue has come to the rescue with Irish Stars. Maybe you’ll want to play too.

I’ll try to remember to link with other scrap projects, one (Oh Scrap!) is in the sidebar. The other, Scrap Happy deserves that you check it monthly on the 15th.

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40 X 40 Welcome Blanket Project

The people who brought us the Pussyhat Project have now brought us the Welcome Blanket Project . They ask, What if we welcome instead of exclude? What if instead of a concrete wall 2000 miles long we offer a yarn line 2000 miles long, a line of welcome blankets?

Blankets can be knitted, crocheted, woven or–drum roll–quilted.

I decided to get out my F2F (FootSquare Freestyle) blocks since 9 of the 12 1/2-inch blocks with a small border would make the required 40 x 40 size. This being the first quilt I’ll have made from the total (well, minus one really as I have one of my own 3 yet to make) I have a full range to choose from.

Arranging sampler blocks, various patterned blocks, requires a balancing act. Will I balance blocks by color? by saturation? by shapes? by value?

I started out with my eye on color. I create balance mostly diagonally in a square construction, but I pay some attention to horizontal and vertical.

40-1

Although it doesn’t show in the photo, the middle-column blocks each have green in them, the brights make a cross, and the browns finish the corners.

Not quite working. The upper right is too light. So I started to work with value, keeping the color arrangement.

40-2

Better. Now one diagonal is brown and the other brown with a touch of bright. Nice. But the white background of the lower-right block draws attention as out of place. And the upper right square piece didn’t complement the lower left checkerboard. So I switched the top and bottom of the right column.

40-3

Somewhat improved, but there was still that white background problem, now in the upper right.

And then it dawns on me. The color arrangement isn’t cut in stone. It too is a variable. And there are lots of star blocks.

40-4

This time, paying more attention to shape created the final arrangement. I’ll sew the top tomorrow, then quilt it as soon as I can.

The final due date for quilted/knitted/crocheted/woven blankets is September 5, 2017.  However, the Installation at the Smart Museum of Art of the University of Chicago will open in July with an empty room and change as they receive blankets. So the sooner the better.  When the Installation closes, the quilts will be distributed to various refugee resettlement groups.

Are you interested in making one?

Essential information (more detail on the  website– https://www.welcomeblanket.org/ )

The blanket itself: 40 inches by 40 inches. (If they find more sizes can be used, this will be updated on the FAQ on the website.) Preferably washable fibers

Include a note of welcome and introduction. There are suggestions on the FAQ. Without the suggestions, I’d not have thought of including my own immigration background.

Mail them to Smart Museum of Art, WELCOME BLANKET, 5550 S Greenwood Ave., Chicago, Ill. 60637, USA

 

 

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Threads of Resistance Top

As with most items, the top took about twice as long as I planned for it. But here it is.

Threads of Resistance

~20 x 24

Not much is changed from the sketch.  However, it always amazes me how different a colored design looks than the black and white sketch. I pondered long over using two shades of red for the broken sign, and I’m not sure I made the right decision. There would have been more continuity with all one shade, but I didn’t want bright in the “dirty” bottom. And I wanted bright at the top. So let’s hope the fact of red, if not the shade, is enough continuity.

First I enlarged the design to the size of the quilt, played with the arrangement of the red pieces, then drew lines completing the curves. Next I traced the design onto freezer paper for templates. Before cutting the templates, I carefully labeled each piece with a number and its color, plus I made registration marks so that pieces would end up oriented correctly. (There were a lot of small squarish pieces that would have been easy to mess up.) When doing a design with fewer pieces I don’t make two copies, but this time I knew I’d get confused.

What took the most time was figuring out the order of assembling pieces so I would avoid Y-seams. That done–and written down, I started assembly.  Although I am rather comfortable with curves, I worried that the small pieces that made up some of the curves would distort more than large pieces do. So I didn’t cut the large blue pieces till I saw how the narrow curves fit on the master drawing. Besides ironing the shelf paper onto the fabric, I also pinned because I was worried that much handling would dislodge the templates and i needed the labels until units were recognizable and the registration marks till I got them transferred onto the fabric. Keeping the paper on the pieces worked for the slight curves, but the large ones required stay stitching just outside the seamline, stitching that also was a guide for seaming.

Now to ponder quilting design and thread. Red threads? All or part? Match color of thread and fabric? Hand or machine? Big stitch for accent?  While that is germinating, I’ll turn to the Riley Blake challenge top. And keep thinking titles: Currently thinking Over 350 or Deregulation.

I’ll be linking with Finished or Not Friday and Off the Wall Friday–buttons in the sidebar.

 

 

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Last 5 Weather Blocks

I guess it is time to get with the program and finish off this 2016 project. So here are blocks for August-December

weather-aug-dec

These are ready to put with January – July, blocks that have been patiently waiting. (If you click back to the early post you will have to scroll way down to get to the weather update.)

October . . .

weather-oct-2017

. . . I think it is safe to say, was the most boring month! If I had divided temperatures into groups of 5 instead of 10, I’d have been able to switch out only 7 of the grass green squares.

The design definitely works out best in a strip setting instead of monthly setting, as you can see from the others in the Facebook group. But I had to try. The image in my head was of calendar dish towels.

I’m aiming for 50 x 70 for the AIDS camp that I make several quilts for; here’s hoping one of the participants is a weather geek. I’m thinking of 1-inch strips between months and a narrow border on the right. On the left a wider border with the key to the temperatures. In keeping with the dish towel look, the top border will have “2017.” And the bottom “Portland Highs.”  So now to make the letters and numbers.

I didn’t get to use red for 100s or purple for 20s. I’d have been able to use the latter for this January–at least three days, so cold does happen here. Hot not so much.  I’m pondering using them for the letters and numbers and/or binding.

ETA: Linking with Moving it Forward Monday–button in sidebar.

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Fall Quilt Retreat

It was time for quilt retreat, and I wasn’t about to take the ocean quilt.  I need lots of time and space to design as I go. Luckily I had three kits left over from the last retreat, so I didn’t have to think much, just grab.

I finished this child sized charity quilt top.

6-in-squares

40 x 60 inches

A couple years ago I was making kits for a friend’s project. I kept out some to finish myself, the ones that needed more arrangement than alternating matching blocks . This is the last of them, so I’ll have to start cutting again. It took about half a day to assemble at retreat pace. For me that is slow because I stop to talk a lot. Others power along and finish up way more. Still others think more and are slower. We each have our preferred pace.

And I finished the third of my last year’s leader-ender block tops.

l-e-blue-sashing

~42 x 60

The blocks were pieced and arranged and the sashing cut. And I had labeled the rows clearly enough that I could remember my plan even after a year. This one took about a day, retreat pace. This one is the same setting as the inspiration quilt (here). The first two are here and here in case you missed them.

ETA: It is amazing how much difference a sashing color can make. Mishka used black (in the inspiration link above)  and Deanna at Wedding Dress Blue used white (here). I needed a color because the group I donate to prefers less white, but black would not do for a child quilt.

With all the people at the retreat, I should have asked someone to hold it for a flat shot, but I didn’t think of it, so back to the sofa shots.

Remember the Sunny Lanes block? (here, if you forgot) One of the quilters was doing just what I had been thinking would work well with scraps. Here is her top.

sunny-lanes-top-with-red

This is what it can look like in a top.(Yes there are a couple blocks that need repair. It was an exchange and a couple blocks didn’t follow directions.) I really like the red, but I haven’t decided on what color I’ll be using for the stabilizing colors. Meanwhile, the 4-patches will make a good leader-ender project, and I need another.

I also pieced the blocks for a Rail Fence twin size quilt. You’ll see it when it is together. And when that was finished, I knitted on a pair of socks. It was a totally good retreat–I’d packed exactly the right amount of projects, always a challenge.

ETA: Linking up with Oh Scrap!

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Another Start–The Ocean Quilt

Perhaps the title should read, Another Shift in Priorities.  December suddenly seems close and I have two projects due then. So all other pieces in progress move to the back burner.

The ocean quilt has been planned for a long time, in general concept: Work the traditional ocean-wave block into it. A diagonal line. Tans to one side for beach. Blues to the other for water. It is the details that have not gelled. Should the shapes be square, diamond, or triangle? Should they be the same size or variable? Then along came curved strips, and I was ready to begin.

The traditional ocean-wave block looks like this.

ocean-waves-quilt-block

And it is usually set in an all over pattern. Here is a link to Kat and Cat’s quilt so you can see the overall traditional look. Some day I may try that, but not for this quilt.

My first step was to gather many blue fabrics; now that is one of my favorite parts of planning. The other day I got them out and arranged them dark to light.

blue-fabrics

Some of these are fat quarters, which went well when I was thinking small pieces. I may have to get creative now that I want longer, wider strips.

Now come some less interesting steps, like cutting squares and sewing half-square triangles (HSTs).

480-squares

Here are 480 2-inch squares, patiently waiting. I did avoid drawing the diagonal lines with the Clearly Perfect Angle tool from New Leaf Stitches.

perfect-angle-tool

I think it was meant for modern machines that are mostly in white cases, but I can see the three places to align the squares. (It is set up so you can either sew with a 1/4 seam allowance as I am here or directly from point to point.)

But I don’t know any way to avoid pressing and trimming. Since those steps are not very photogenic, there will be a pause until I have something interesting to show you. Meanwhile, linking up with Kelly’s Needle and Thread Thursday.

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Sunny Lanes–more tips than tutorial (and weather update)

Last year I participated in Foot Squared Freestyle (F2F). The time came for me to receive my blocks, and I did (link here if you want to see them all; scroll down to March for mine). I had planned to make my three after I saw if any color/shade was needed to balance things. I’d also made Sunny Lanes for everyone and planned to make one for me. That is what stalled the process. I needed yellow-orange and didn’t have any. I finally bought some and prewashed it, but by then I was on to other projects. So I am finally back, and here is my finished Sunny Lanes.

sunny lanes orange finished

12 1/2 x 12 1/2

Since I made one for everyone, I thought it would be fun to see what variety color differences can make for one block pattern. (There are only 11 because I started a month late.) A reminder of the rules: Members could make any pattern 12 1/2-inch block using the colors chosen by the recipient.

After seeing all those, you want to try one, right? I foresee a quilt in my future using scraps for the squares and a unifying pair of colors for the HSTs.

A 12-inch block requires 8 HSTs (Cut four 4-inch squares of two colors–I allow oversizing and trim to 3 1/2 inches.) and 32 2-inch squares (they will finish at 1 1/2 inches).

When I have plenty of fabric, I cut 8 squares of each potential color and make my HSTs and play around. I add the extra squares to my collection for scrap quilts for later use. So I tried three color groupings for the current block.

I started out thinking I wanted the medium brown in the corners, then saw the bright red beside the stripe and thought I’d like it. Last I tried the gold, just in case. In the abstract it was my least favorite, but I ended up liking it best. I thought the medium brown too distracting and the red too bright. I wait till the 4-patch pieces are sewn to fiddle with the direction the corner ones will go–sometimes a diagonal line, sometimes more rounded. Much easier to rotate one piece than four each time.

After making 3 or4, I finally had a system.

Three challenges for assembly: keeping the HSTs going the correct way, keeping the colors where you want them, and pressing the seams so they will nest when assembling the next seam (of course people who press open don’t have to worry about the latter).

I lay the pieces out on my 15 1/2 square ruler.

I start chain piecing with the small squares, L to R, top to bottom. I do not cut them apart until after they are pressed, and I leave the thread bunny (or leader/ender) attached to mark the top. I press seams in alternating directions. That way each pair will nest.

SL string

It would have been smart to show the wrong side, but you can see some of the fold directions. And the thread bunny.

I snip the pairs in twos as I lay them in their place on the square ruler. Then, again moving L to R and top to bottom, I stitch each four patch segment.

This time pressing is a major issue only for the center 16 squares because they will meet up. The corner ones do not matter. I lay all pieces back in place on the ruler and carry it to the ironing board. I press the seams in the two in the center-left column down and the ones in the right up.

Now you have the choice of assembling the center and the pairs of HSTs then assembling the whole as if it were a 9-patch block or assembling row by row. I have found the latter easier as it requires fewer breaks.

I sew pairs down one side, then down the other, then sew the middle seam, making four strips. I lay them out and press in alternate directions. Nothing left to do except the final joining seams.

I hope to see some of your variations on Sunny Lanes.

10/3/17 Linking with Quilting Jetgirl’s and Late Night Quilter’s Tips and Tutorials

And after I come back from vacation, I’ll lay out blocks, make my last two and start setting them together.

BTW I will be without WiFi on most of vacation, so won’t be responding to comments till I get back.

Also while catching up on blocks, I finally made June and July for the weather quilt.

June block

June 14 1/2 x 14 1/2

Yep, that orange is for highs in the 90s and that is what we had at the beginning of June, 97 to be exact.

July

July

July was cooler and pretty boring colorwise. Too bad I hadn’t planned on different colors for each 5-degree increment.

And here are all the blocks so far.

weather-Jan-July

There will be cream sashing between eventually. Most weather quilts are done in rows (some samples here) instead  of blocks and look better, but I’ll finish what I started.

See you in three weeks.

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