Our remit for Scrappy Sunday was quite wide-ranging, but Barbara seems to have got stuck on scrappy vintage – possibly no surprise as The Cupboard at the Rural Office contains a lot of exactly that! So this Sunday we’re featuring one of the first vintage quilts Barbara ever acquired. No provenance, bought at a general antiques fair in 1984, fabrics are all furnishing weight wools and chenille, cotton wadding, pieced strippy back, linear scallop quilting across the whole piece. Enjoy!
It seems to be December already. Again! So I suppose the Scrappy Sundays ought to look at using up some of those red, green and white scraps that we will have accumulated. Chris was playing with these when making the braid strips the other week but if we go back another couple of weeks there were Christmassy (oops, said the C word) scraps used in some of the Dresden Plate blocks.
These may (or may not) be destined to be turned into a runner or table mats at some unspecified time in the (distant) future.
But the Dresden Plate can be turned into other useful things at this time of year. Such as a wreath
or a tree skirt
The big one is still lacking its ribbon – and may well continue to lack its ribbon!
If you would like a guide/pattern to making either of these you can download it here.
The December Doodles are here on our Doodles page and Barbara was feeling a little festive when she started colouring these in! The blocks used are Rolling Star and Five-Patch Chain.
You can download a colouring sheet to design your quilts – festive or otherwise – here.
If you head over to Meadowside Designs you will find the templates for a 10 inch Rolling Star block and the cutting instructions for a 10 inch Five-Patch Chain block in case you fancy recreating your design in real fabric.
How amazing that this beautifully stitched piece was stitched by an 11year old!
Next, a little scrappy piece Barbara unearthed while searching for some other long-lost project. It just needs a little quilting so it has been put on the growing “to be quilted” pile.
Strips and hexagons again this week – but not at the same time. Braid is an excellent way to use up left over strips, particularly those of different widths. Chris was demonstrating this at the weekend’s quilt show in Eccleshall. Starting with a triangle (these ones cut from 5 inch squares as they were available) it involves sewing strips to alternate sides of that triangle and trimming as you go. Chris had a bag of assorted green strips and a bag of assorted red strips beside her and just picked from each bag in turn and at random. To get the chevron effect half the triangles were started with the green on the left hand side and half with it on the right.
These sections were cut to the width and length of the ruler available on the day, which was a small one, but you can make your strips any length or width you like – the width is determined largely by the size of triangle you start with. If you make your strip really long (bed length) you may find it starts to bend like a banana by the time it gets beyond 4 foot – take care with the pressing to try to correct this; also, with luck, when you join all your bendy long strips together you can fudge/block (in extremis – dampen it slightly, pin it to the carpet so it is square and straight, leave it to dry) the whole thing straight!
You can be a little more ordered with your braid and cut all the strips the same width to start with.
You can piece the strips with contrast fabrics.
You can add squares to the ends of one set of strips so they travel along the centre of the braid.
You could make the strips on one side of the braid an equal width and the strips on the other side alternate wide and narrow and light and dark.
When you put the strips together you could separate sections with plain ‘sashing’.
You could make very ordered (in terms of colour and width) braid strips which can give a totally different look.
But didn’t someone say ‘hexagons?
Yes, you can make braid strips with these! They do need to be the same size, and actually they are half-hexagons . . . . but . . . !
These ones were cut from jelly roll strips, so there’s another way to use them up.
And if you fancy (or have to) use completely random strips in a variety of colours? Try to use darks on one side and lights on the other if you can.
And those pieces Chris was making last weekend – they may end up as a runner a bit like this
Over at the Rural Office Barbara’s store of vintage quilts continues to offer some scrappy inspiration – today we are showing details from an unfinished top that was offered to Barbara on her teaching travels. Yes, we are back with our old friend the hexagon but this top is a little different from many vintage hexagon pieces – the fabrics are not dress cottons but slub weave furnishing fabrics, some wools, some mixes. Dark colours predominate and Barbara was intrigued to find a wide range of green prints scattered throughout. Dating this piece is still at the “considering” and research stage but it may turn out to be somewhere around 1900. The hexagons are small – 1inch sides – and appear to have been folded over the papers from rough chunks and squares of fabric rather than cut hexagonal shapes. We thought you might enjoy a few close-ups of the various green prints –
If ever a block called out for scraps it has to be the Dresden Plate in all its guises. Each petal only uses a tiny piece of fabric (especially when making 6 inch blocks) and they can all be different. Even when you use the same fabric more than once in a block you still won’t need a huge piece. Here’s one Chris made earlier (although it has to be said – Barbara did the hand applique!)
The blocks are six inch squares and have the same orange fabric for the centres but the petals are scraps of blues or yellows.
Another tiny one waiting to be finished (at some unspecified time in the distant future) is this little yellow scrappy one – lots more petals and pointed ones this time
but note that it has quite a large centre circle (or it will have one day).
You can use fabric strips to cut your petals from – these were jelly roll strips but any scrap strips will do. This block is about 16 inches square.
Who says your centre has to be a circle? Here are a couple of examples from Chris’s students
You can have a lot of fun changing the size of the centre, or the size and shape of the petals as you can see from these other examples from students work
Normally when making a Dresden Plate you stitch the petals into pairs then the pairs together as you build up the units until you just have two halves to join – and hope it all lies flat – as in these two examples.
But you can ‘cheat’ and use fusible web with satin or zig-zag stitch instead
and, if you have a large enough scrap you can even ‘fussy cut’ some of the petals and/or the centre.
Over on our sister blog Meadowside Designs there is a whole series running on different Dresden Plate designs – they are all 16-petal ones and you can download the templates to make 12 inch blocks. Pop over there, have a read – its been running for a couple of months now so scroll through to find all the posts – and follow the links to the tutorials and the templates.