At the Overseas Office more scrap sorting and folding has taken place and it has now been determined that there are sufficient scraps stowed away to make several quilt tops, many bags, hundreds of cushions (possible exaggeration there?) and no new fabric is needed. Of course, as we all know, there is a difference between “need” and “want” …. But, for now, Barbara is still finding plenty of scrappy project inspiration from the freshly-organised scraps – you may remember these from an earlier post –
Sorting scraps has led on to sorting the basket stuffed with project bags. This simple little 4patch piece was put together probably four years ago (not that anyone is counting). Time to get this out of its bag and quilted then rummage back in the scraps for a binding. Lots more quilting to be added but it’s looking good so far –
Somehow simple always seems to work really well when pulling together a wide variety of scraps. Scroll back to see some of our earlier scrappy posts on squares and –
Its time to look at our September EQ Doodle and magically turn it from greyscale to glorious scrappy technicolor. Our block this month is Drunkards’ Pinwheel (download the templates to make 3inch units here) which in colour could look like this
Or you could use different shades of the same colours
or you could use lots of colour (or scraps!)
And then put them into quilts
You can download a quilt to colour here – print it out, chop it up, re-arrange it, colour it in, have fun playing with ideas and no fabric will be harmed!
A few more bags of small scraps have surfaced at the Overseas Office –
– so there may be more sorting, smoothing and re-packing to come.
We started Scrappy Sunday posts almost a year ago and, during this time, we feel we have barely scratched the surface of “Scrappy”. Barbara has come to realise that almost everything she has made over the past decade has had a scrappy starting point. And it certainly is the case that sorting and sifting scraps can often lead to a new scrappy project – look lower left in the picture above. It’s another hexagon/diamond star – EPP this time – which just might be the first of many.
No plan at this stage for the many, yet to be made, star blocks. Maybe a variation on the setting of some earlier scrappy star blocks which are a little smaller scale. The diamonds in this piece measure 1 1/4inches along the side, the newer diamonds are 1 1/2 inches along the side.
Scrap sorting beckons – happy scrappy stitching!
Trawling through photos of quilts looking for inspiration for a scrappy post I came across this little quilt.
I’d called it Higgledy-Piggledy Stars many years ago before computers got too smart. But now? Spellcheck really doesn’t like that name – perhaps we should just call it Wonky Stars instead. But whatever its called, it is a great way to use up scraps. This one is a 9-patch with smaller 4-patch stars in the cornerstones of the border.
You can make each block with scraps of the same colour – as I have in my quilt
Or you can make them with different scraps.
You could use different prints, but similar colour, backgrounds as in my quilt.
At the moment the pattern for this little quilt is available as a Free Pattern in the Meadowside Designs Payhip Shop – along with several others – if you fancied giving it a go.
An almost momentous event this week at the Overseas Office – various bags of scraps were emptied onto the worktable with the aim of sorting and reducing the heaps and making them more manageable.
Resisting the urge to press everything -!! – Barbara spent a happy hour or so straightening and sorting ALL this jumble into categories.
Category 1 – Far too small to be of any use to anyone.
Category 1a – Small weird shapes, 1inch or more
Category 2 – Very narrow strips, any length
Category 3 – Less narrow strips, any length
Category 4 – Slightly wider strips, any length
Category 5 – Wider strips and chunks
Category 1 is covered by scissors, Category 1a is to the right, Categories 2 – 5 middle and above.
Categories 1 and 1a have been combined and are off to a good home with another quilter who collects improbably tiny scraps. The rest have fitted neatly into one medium ziplock bag –
Overall result of this sorting and organising is that it makes room for more fabric! It may be time for a little online retail therapy…..
We thought we were done with squares but in tidying (!) the cupboard of ‘class samples and Blue Peters’ ( it sounds better than abandoned bits) Chris found her bag for Cathedral Windows classes. Squares! Big ones and small ones.
If you just want to give it a little try then make a Christmas ornament (sorry, its a bit early, but . . .)
or, more useful perhaps, a pincushion
Or make lots and turn them into a whatever this was meant to be (a pencil case possibly?) – but do make sure you actually finish yours as this one is just tacked and the small squares are falling out.
There is also a variation called Secret Garden. Again – you could make a thing to dangle on the Christmas tree (and you might even finish yours!)
or you could combine the two techniques and make a ‘mat’. You don’t have to use the same fabrics for the ‘window’ and the ‘garden’ as I have.
Experiment! Have a play. Find some squares and do some folding and fiddling – hand or machine, your choice. Download a quick tutorial sheet here. If you are in need of more help then the accompanying blog post can be found here.
If you find you love the technique and/or are feeling really masochistic you could try this idea Chris found in one of her old books (Learn Patchwork by Lynette-Merlin Syme, 1986) – a window blind. I imagine the background fabric was a sheer one of some description!
Sometimes you can overlook the obvious – take a look at Barbara’s worktable at the Rural Office
Concealing the crates that are stowed under the table is a very well worn scrappy quilt placed face down. The quilting on this vintage piece is fabulously random and bears no relation to the simple large squares of varying weight fabrics that have been pieced together –
An excellent reminder that quilts don’t have to be complex or complicated to be useful and treasured – simple scraps simply pieced and simply quilted = great result.
Our August EQ Doodle block is Birds in the Air. There are so many ways to use colour and scraps in this block – and its great for using up those left-over half-square triangles too. So whether you have plenty of the same colours, or not much of anything you can make lots of blocks and put them together. Ideally for each block you need a consistent ‘background’ colour – it needn’t be the same fabric, just the same shade of the same colour (more or less) – a variety of whites, or creams, or greys perhaps; or go darker and use navy, black, or dark grey with brights or pastels.
And once you have made lots of blocks you can put them together and twirl them around and make a variety of patterns. You’ll find lots more ideas on the EQ Doodles page (in greyscale).
If you want to have a go at making the block you can download the rotary cutting measurements for a 6 inch block here courtesy of Electric Quilt (EQ).
Much rummaging deep in The Cupboard at the Rural Office this week and this gloriously scrappy (and pink) quilt top came to the top of one of the quilt stacks. Hand pieced with fabrics dating from 1860 onwards we think this would be a great scrap project to remake in contemporary fabrics and you can find a pattern over at our Heritage Quilts Payhip Shop.
Hard to believe that July is slipping away and it’s almost time to tidy and close The Cupboard and transfer to the Overseas Office for a while. But Scrappy Sundays will continue – see you next week!
Is your scrap bag full of random strips? Different lengths, different widths, not even straight? We have a plan! You can do this quilt-as-you-go or just fabric and quilt later – your choice. But the basic premis is the same – stitch those strips together!
You do need a bit of a plan if you like order and symmetry, otherwise just go completely random. If you want to do q-a-y-g then you will need to find some wadding squares and some backing – all cut to about the same size. Even with random ones you may find it easier if you stitch to some sort of backing – interfacing or light weight cotton of some sort – that is cut into a square, especially if you are going for the more ordered look.
Start with a central strip diagonally across the square centre(ish) – if you like a plan then this should be the same colour fabric, if not the same fabric each time; then add strips to either side of this – right-sides together, stitch, press back etc. Trim square.
Your squares will look either neat and ordered if all your strips were the same width, or a bit wild and wonky if they weren’t –
Once you get bored with making squares you can join them together. By having the same fabric down the centre of each square you can make different designs by turning your blocks around. Notice how having wonky strips means no matching of seams other than the blocks themselves.
If you did qayg then you may (depending on the method you use to put the blocks together) have a little sashing strip between the blocks – you could make this the same colour as the centre strips if they were all the same.
If you get bored very quickly then you could just make a simple little runner or two –
Join us next week for some more scrappy ideas . . .