Tag Archives: scrap quilts

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.





Filed under design, quilting, Uncategorized

Toy and Joy Time

Toy and Joy month snuck up on me, and I hadn’t prepared ahead even though I always think I will start early. The only start I had was the tops for two doll quilts that were my leaders and enders at a summer retreat. These are now finished.

They are made from mini charm packs that we got in swag.  Bordered they are ~16 x 16. The quilting doesn’t show well in the photos. The brownish one is diagonal lines and the blue one concentric circles.  However, I don’t recommend the circle quilting for a quilt that has been stitched to the back and turned.  Even with a walking foot, the fabric bunched up.  I don’t think the doll or child will mind this time, but I’d not do it again. The backs are minky fabric, and I still haven’t used up the leftovers. So I guess I’ll be making doll quilts next year till it is gone.

However, I’ve shifted my focus to the baby quilts because of the fire fighters running out last year. Seems the need is greater for them.  The baby quilts are used beyond Toy and Joy time when fire fighters have to remove babies from burning homes.

So I have one finished and four more tops ready to sandwich and quilt.

baby 1

Over the year I’d cut scraps into various sized squares.  These are the 6 1/2 inch squares that easily make a 36 x 36 quilt. I use the term “scrap” somewhat loosely to include fairly large left over pieces that could be called yardage. But if I have no further planned use for them, they are scraps to me. That is how I get many matching squares–however almost never the requisite 18. Quilting is a simple meander.

Linking with the Friday finish blogs and Oh Scrap (buttons in sidebar) and Let’s Make Baby Quilts. Now excuse me while I get back to finishing the last 4.



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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.


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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)


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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.




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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).


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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.


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