Tag Archives: scrap quilts

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. 🙂






Filed under design, quilting

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.


Filed under design, quilting

Quilt Guild Members Sales

Every couple years my local guild, Northwest Quilt Guild, replaces a speaker program with a chance for members to sell quilt related items. It is all very informal: just bring stuff and look around and interact and maybe buy.

I went intending to resist and mostly did. I walked by several tables of books. I had recently weeded my own book collection so wasn’t very tempted. I walked by fabric, tables with lots and tables with little.

Before walking by, I paused a little longer at tables of antiques. One had 25+ quilt tops, mostly hand pieced. I teasingly asked the seller, if she had made them all. She pointed to an 1890s top and said, “I don’t think so!” Lucky for her, others were not as resistant as I was. I did walk by.  Another antique table had really old baby garments, all tucked and laced. If I could have thought of a quilty use, I’d have been more tempted. But I walked by.  Several tables had antique doilies that I enjoyed looking at. However, my quilting isn’t up to the standards needed to turn them into quilts, so again I walked by.

But I couldn’t walk by baggies filled with 2-inch squares. Someone apparently had been managing scraps but decided she wasn’t going to ever get them all sewn up. (Sound familiar?) I picked up one baggie for $1.00. The last of the big spenders . . .

2-inch squares

While precuts like charm and mini-charm packs don’t speak to me, bona fide scrap squares that are precut do. I haven’t counted, but I’m guessing ~100. I did sort them by value, and I think there is enough variety to use them with each other, no background fabric needed. I haven’t decided on their destination: 4-patch blocks? 9-patch blocks? A checkerboard doll quilt? I am leaning to the latter.

I’ll start by making pairs as leaders and enders and see where it leads.

Meanwhile, I’ll link up with Needle and Thread Thursday and maybe later with Oh Scrap!–links in the side bar.


Filed under quilting

Scrappy Block-of-the-Month Marathon

Well, it feels like a marathon because I’ve decided to make up all the rest of the blocks so they won’t interrupt other projects as the year progresses. (I had had that thought once before, but managed to get only three made up–link to that attempt with ‘red’ below.) This pattern is a great one for using up 2-inch squares (finish at 1 1/2 inches). Or you could modify it and make other than 12 1/2 by 12 1/2 blocks.

ETA correction to measurements: These are 12 1/2 inch blocks made from 2 1/2 inch squares of color fabric and 4 1/2 of white.  Two-inch squares would make 9 1/2-inch square blocks with 3 1/2 inch white squares. Of course you all figured that out already, right? 2/14/16.

So, my blocks are now completed from January through July.

I prefer the more mixed palettes like the first month’s block. We have had single color twice ( blue, red ) besides the pink above. Not only do I like the look of more variety, but it would be easier to find enough fabrics to make a whole quilt from my scraps. The block in the larger photo, limiting choice to brights, provides a nice mix of control and variety.

July is the last month for this pattern. I’ll wait to see what the next one is before I decide whether to play along or not. Maybe if I were to win the batch one of the months I’d be more eager to try again.

Linking up with Oh Scrap!  (Button in Sidebar)


Filed under quilting

Infant Quilt for Toy and Joy

I have finished the last quilt for the Toy and Joy project this year.  Before I show you the quilted version, let me tell you about a design decision, made using precise artistic principles, not.

I had debated whether to add a border or not. It measured about 33 inches square, so would have been big enough. But did I want the pieced sashing/border to be eaten by the binding process? Decision made by a toss, not the toss of a die.

infant scrap border fabric

I had just pressed some fabric that was to be a border on another WIP, and the infant quilt got tossed on top of it while I pondered quilting design. I really liked the darkening of the colors that were in the center strip of the border and knew I had enough to add an inch.  I don’t do forced random, but I will accept random after auditioning. (I once had a semiotics professor who pondered if her books had an effect on each other…maybe I should ponder the same about my fabrics.)

So, here’s the bordered and quilted top (and bound, since I did envelope style finishing).

Quilt top

~34 x 34

What was meant to be an inch border became more like 3/4 inch after trimming and stitching. So it almost looks like a binding.

For those who haven’t seen prior posts, here is the link to Mishka‘s tutorial for the block. And for those interested in the history of this leader and ender project, here is the post of the first finish with all the links.This is the second from the blocks of this pattern, and there is one more in the works.

Now for the quilting, a front detail so you can see how the quilting relates to the patchwork.

infant scrap detail

My first plan had been flower in the center of each block , filling it, and something else in the sashing and border. But when I reread Lori Kennedy’s tutorial and saw it could be used as an allover design, I decided to try it. Here is the back view for the allover look.

Quilt back--Flower Power

Quilting pattern “Flower power” by Lori Kennedy of Inbox Jaunt

It is fun to quilt this design, and it goes about as quickly as meandering.

So my contribution is eleven doll quilts and two infant quilts. If at guild they announce the total, I’ll come back and edit it in.

ETA: At guild they announced they had given 1100 doll and infant quilts! And because it is Thursday, linking with Needle and Thread Thursday, button in sidebar.

Linking with Oh Scrap!, Free Motion Mavericks, and eventually with Let’s Make Baby Quilts and Leader/Ender Challenge. Buttons in Sidebar.




Filed under quilting

Problem with the Best Laid BOM Plans

Well, I thought I had a good plan; I would make up the BOMs for the rest of the year at the guild retreat. Since I have the fabrics all cut, selected, and sorted, it seemed a quick retreat project. And it still is except for one. The October BOM is due before retreat.

So I got to work and stitched it up.

purple and orange

12 1/2 x 12 1/2

As you can see, this month’s colors are purple and orange. I think I prefer the blocks with  more than one color.  I could have fun with this batch if I were to win it. Every block is an entry. I think there were about a dozen and a half last month. Not bad odds.

Previous months: Totally scrappy and blue

Linking with Oh Scrap! and BOMs Away (buttons in the sidebar).


Filed under quilting

One of Three

I left off with 25 blocks finished of a  started 65. If the block interests you, the tutorial is here. I had triangles to cut and blocks to trim–enough to stall anyone who didn’t have a due date. My earlier plan was a twin and a child quilt. Well, plans can change. I decided that two child quilts were more useful than one twin. So I did some math to figure out what I could do. One will have the planned blue sashing. One will have some pieced sashing and be more baby sized. And one top  is finished.

First top

~46 x 62

I do have to find a better way to photograph quilts than draped over my sofa, but oh well . . . The white rectangles don’t stand out that much IRL.  They were WOW, and I think that does something to the camera “eye.’

To make best use of the blocks at hand, I had to use this alternate block setting instead of sashing. The yellow pieces were too big to call scraps, but they were three leftovers that had no further use planned. Yellow provided a good place to use the blocks that had blue that might not work with the blue sashing. The red border was from $3.00/yd remnants at Mill’s End in Reno. Quite a tempting shop! Good thing I don’t live close. And the print, well I broke down and bought new to have something that went well with the rest.

With the Leader and Ender quilt having become a primary project, I still have plenty of L/E potential.

Drawer of squares

And that is just the 1 1/2-inch squares. Some, especially the light fabrics, are still from the old Keepsake sample box. The rest are new additions from my various scrap control days.

New L/E starters

The triangles to the left are left over from making the blocks. Although I was counting, I kept making more because I needed different colors to complete blocks. I’ll not cut any lights to go with them till I know what I want to do with them. Meanwhile I’ve started combining a light (random colors) and a dark blue. From there I can go to  4-patch, 9-patch, or checkerboard, depending on future designs.

Linking with Oh Scrap! today and Leaders and Enders Challenge next month –buttons for each in sidebar.

ETA direct link to tutorial. Twice, beginning and end. And a link for those who want to see the finish, it is here.


Filed under quilting