Tag Archives: scrap quilts

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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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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Irish Star #2

Finishing up the instant-gratification Irish Star (here) put me in the mood to get back to the “real” one. And now that I am finished with projects that had deadlines, I can. So I got out what I had sewn so far and pressed seams.

irish star 25-blocks

I thought I had finished all the pieces I could for the 25-square blocks but was disappointed to learn I had only half of the two-square pieces sewn. So there is more leader/ender work to do (and plenty of scrap squares).

You may wonder why the blocks are not finished. Well, I made a design decision at the beginning that creates a SLOW process; I decided each star would have its own background neutral.  Sounded good in the abstract. Then I realized that meant I had to wait till I saw where the stars would be to know which neutral to put where. And of course, arranging the stars will be the first design decision I’ll be making in the layout of the whole quilt. So all I can do now is have the strips readied since every strip touches a background square.

After I make the stars, I’ll get out the design wall, place the stars, then start placing the strips and finish the blocks. Before I get to that, I have to finish cutting the star pieces. I cut four sets, but then I ran out of background scraps.  I’ve come to some more in my scrap pressing, so I hope I have enough for the 13 blocks needed.  I have plenty of solid and read-as-solid scraps.

I think it would be too confusing to make the stars as leaders/enders so I’ll set aside a couple days to work on them, and I’ll make up the missing 34 pairs as leader/enders. Shouldn’t take too long. I’m planning a 50 x 70 inch quilt.

Monday is Scrap Happy day (here), and I’ll be linking with Oh Scrap! tomorrow and maybe with  I May Have a Scrap Problem Wednesday. Links to follow.

 

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Irish Star — Finished

Imagine, a scrap quilt post on Scrap Happy day!  I’ll admit to having been scrap delinquent lately. This top was completed a couple years ago at the guild’s fall retreat. Then it went to the black hole called “to be quilted.”  Thanks to the guild quilt show needing more quilts this year, it is now quilted and bound.

1 Irish chain finished

45 x 45 inches

Deanna of Weddingddressblue started the quilt-along back then. Designed as a relaxed pace, leader/ender project, it is still ongoing, in case you are interested.  She gave directions for 1 1/2-, 2-, 2 1/2-inch squares. I had 3 1/2-inch strips left over from Urban Chickens. (I had cut a 3 1/2-inch strip from each solid I owned and selected from the strips four squares for each Urban Chicken block. That left a lot over for a rainy day.) So I calculated the star pieces to go with the alternating 25-square block. Luckily I had 5 strips long enough to make the stars–seaming two to get the 6 1/2-inch star center. While I know where the solids came from, I have no idea what the original project was for the background pieces, bona fida scraps, they.

Even the back is made mostly from left-overs.  When making the back for Weather Watching, I needed more than one width of fabric of each color. I just sewed two full strips instead of dealing with exact measurement. I’d thought it would make the complete back for this one, but not quite. So I added the beige.

1 Irish chain back

The back has more of the look of using up the left overs than I like. It isn’t as logical a mate for this top as it was for Weather Watching. I realized too late that I could have cut the strips in half and reversed one and gotten more of a designed look.  But I wasn’t distressed enough to rip and resew.

Even the binding is a left over from the group quilt, What If? This is as close to wholly scrap quilt as I have ever gotten.

If you enjoy scrap projects, visit Kate’s Tall Tales from Chiconia blog around the 15th of each month.  I’ll also be linking with Oh Scrap! when the time comes. Till then, button in the side bar.

ETA I have another Irish Star quilt in the works as a leader/ender project. I don’t remembr what size I am aiming for, but I do remember I need 17 star blocks. I entered this one into the “modern” category for the local quilt show. Even though it is a modification of a traditional pattern, the large sized squares and the bright colored solid fabric spoke “modern” to me. And the show committee did not change it.

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Tahoe Quilts Finished at Last

ETA: Linking with Clever Chameleon since color decisions were involved.  Satisfactorily in the binding of the pink one, less so in the addition of green (opposite color scheme) as accent.

The retreat was in the summer of 2015. I finished the tops fairly quickly (post about retreat with tops finished here); quilting took longer (red one here but I think I had decided not to post the quilting on the pink one till it was bound) and the second binding longer yet.

a Tahoe red

40 x 60

It’s been washed, so it has that crinkly look.

a Tahoe red quilting

And here you can see the leaf pattern, an idea I got from Christina Carmelli. And here is the second one quilted and bound.

a Tahoe dusty pink

The quilting is a simple meander, done a couple months ago.  One thing holding back the binding is that I’d planned to match the blue of the pinwheel in the middle. But the back said, No.

a Tahoe dusty pink back

Finally I finished a project that the rust batik had been held for (here–those trees had been intended for a large quilt), so it was released for other uses. And it worked well for both sides.

These blocks were contributed by many members of the Sunshine online guild (now on MeWe more than on Yahoo); whether from scraps or yardage, the end result is a scrappy quilt.

Since this is almost the 15th, check out Scrap Happy for what others have done with scraps.

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Contradance Finished

From idea to finished product in one day (however, the HSTs were premade). A record.  (I should mention that it is only 8-inches square.)

Back when I was organizing scraps (somewhat) I gathered all my bonus triangles and HSTs together.  This is just one bagful:

a trimmings

“Bonus” means they come from rectangle pieces stitched together on the diagonal to make blocks like the Flying Geese bock. Once cut off I keep them, stitch them as leaders-enders, then when the fancy strikes move them along. These are all stitched; some need to be pressed, some are pressed already. All need to be trimmed.

The motivation this time came when our guild was demonstrating quilting at the Gathering of the Guilds.  I figured I could get a fair amount of trimming completed in a couple hours there. And I did.

One batch was a group of HSTs that had gotten separated from the original batch. That batch has long been a quilt (here).  I had enough to make four blocks and I had yet to make a little quilt for the small quilt raffle at the guild show. So I started arranging.

a arrangement

I could have made five of that corner block, but it didn’t make a logical center for a 9-patch, so I substituted the pinwheel and the few extras will go with other random left overs. And I did fix the pinwheel before I started to sew. You can see the resemblance to the Bear Paw, though the larger HSTs would have to be squares and the pinwheel a smaller square for it to really be a Bear Paw.  Someday I’ll browse to see if such a block already is identified in Barbara Brackman’s encyclopedia.

So I started in the morning and finished in the early afternoon. Actually I was surprised it took so long. And here is the finish:

a Contradance

Binding took forever because there were mostly corners. None of those long seams to make time on!

For once a Scrap Happy quilt that has scraps even for the background and backing and binding. I usually fudge on at least one of those items. Visit Kate’s Tall Tales from Chiconia to see more scrappy posts. (I’ll update with specific link later.)

There were 46-47 quilts in the small quilt raffle.  I haven’t gotten any phone calls, so apparently I didn’t win any that I put chances on.

ETA: Today (5/14/18) at guild meeting they announced the small quilt raffle brought in a little over $600.00.

 

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“Stretching Art”* Top Finished

Once I stopped dithering, sewing went relatively quickly, so now the top is finished.

a stretching art 19 top

Because I have several small projects ahead, I’ve set up my portable (52 x 52) design wall. I’d thought I’d be using it for this project too, but since I was following a paper diagram, I had to lay the pieces flat until now when they are attached. You may notice a couple small changes from the preferred arrangement of a couple days ago.

I got several design suggestions, but only one before I’d done a fair amount of sewing.  Kate suggested the bottom left “vein” that had been in the first rejected layout. It took me a while to remember why I had dropped it. At the time I was thinking of the way the veins really angled in the photo of the leaf. But when abstracting from reality, such things as realistic angles don’t matter. and I agreed with Kate that the design needed it.

In case you are wondering, No, the angle variations are not a mistake. I wanted the traditional blocks to be at a traditional on-point angle, and the leaf “veins” to have no right angles and not to parallel the blocks, more like the casual placement of modern improv, and the two “grids” to be in tension. I don’t think this tension between the two is what MQG means by their category “Modern Traditional,” but I might submit it to QuiltCon next year anyway.

I am still not sure if the design has a focus.  My eye tends to fall at the spot where the two veins almost meet above the autumn tree block. Not sure if that qualifies it as a focus.

Now to plan quilting–I have two tentative ideas. Tune in again next [whenever].

*For those interested in details of the Stretching Art Challenge, here is the link.

Meanwhile, while piecing the top I finished off 11 more sets of 5 squares for the Irish Star quilt, the relaxed schedule QAL, relaxed because many of us are making the chain blocks as leaders and enders. (Link here if you are interested in the tutorial.)

Irish Star progress

Whereas most people are making blocks as they go, I am making columns.Why do something easy if you can make it more difficult? Before I realized that each star’s background involved 4 of the chain blocks as well as the star block itself, I’d decided I wanted to use left over background fabric and not have the backgrounds match. I won’t have enough variety to make each of 17 unique, but there will be variety.  That means I have to know where the stars are going to be placed before knowing where to put the background square in each of the four surrounding sets of 25 patch blocks. (If this doesn’t make sense, go look at the tutorial.) I need 68 pairs of 2 1/2-inch squares, so it will take a quilt or two before I have them ready.  I also need to cut more pieces for around a dozen star blocks. To do that, I need to do some scrap control, i.e. cut more 2 1/2-inch squares. My color selection is getting very limited as well as there not being 136 usable squares.

I plan to link with Moving it Forward Monday (ETA link here) and Oh Scrap! (link in the sidebar.

 

 

 

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