About Barbara

teacher and writer http://barbarachaineyquilts.wordpress.com www.barbarachainey.com

Scrappy Sunday

Chris’s post on squares gave us both pause for creative thought in these challenging days.  Barbara was unpacking class “stuff” this week and picked up a bag of assorted jelly roll strips and decided to cut some  2 1/2inch squares before sorting the strips and putting them away.  No  Grand Plan, just making a stack of 2 1/2inch squares. A dig into one of the stash crates produced a few more strips for squares without any serious loss of fabric – one or two strips from three or four half yard pieces is barely noticeable. And now the plan is shaping up – it’s not Grand, but it is do-able and will fit in well with these changed circumstances.

Make 4 patch units – mixed colours, prints, 2 dark squares, 2 lighter squares. Be as random as you dare!

If you like setting goals for yourself you could think about stitching 1 unit a day as a minimum.  We’re thinking ongoing stitching here which will fit into daily life rather than marathon sewing sessions.  Barbara will be adding these to her other hand sewing projects, you could make your 4patches by hand or by machine (but don’t mix the two processes!!).

Make more 4patch units.

Keep all units together in a Safe Place or a Satisfying Stack

Cut more 2 1/2inch squares.

Make more 4patch units.

At the end of April set out all the units made so far, take a picture and let’s review our production.

Classes at The Corner Patch may be suspended for the time being but we can still buy online – supporting your Local Quilt Shop is vitally important.  There’s a particularly yummy range of black prints that Barbara has her eye on……. and then there’s the threads, notions and all sorts of things that might be needed.  We’re off to do a little web browsing – and make 4patch units!

Scrappy Sunday

When we first thought about setting up Scrappy Sunday posts we both wrote satisfyingly long lists of possible topics and titles in our respective notebooks and quaffed a considerable quantity of caffeine at HQ.  It seemed such a good idea and we have been delighted with the response to the weekly posts.  This week we’re re-visiting one of our absolute favourite scrap-busting blocks – Log Cabin.  Both of us have taught this piecing classic for many years and it is one we return to time and again – in fact Barbara is teaching a class at The Corner Patch this month (making sure that Chris’s Little Book of Log Cabin is in her class resources bag).

We both have well-thumbed copies of the Bonnie Leman/Judy Martin book Log Cabin Quilts published in 1980


and it’s really interesting to see just how much quilting publishing has changed and developed over the years – compare the presentation and illustrations here to what we regularly see in books and magazines nowadays.

 Probably the first instruction we followed for Log Cabin blocks was in the BBC booklet Discovering Patchwork –

 Just look at the suppliers list at the back of this publication! –

This is 1978 – what a difference today!! 

Scrappy Sunday – not!

Well, the delights and trials of technology, apps and scrambled brains seem to have conspired to put the Scrappy post intended for Sunday 23rd completely out of synch. and well ahead of the correct publication date.  Which is a nuisance.  So scroll back to find out thoughts about using scraps of time and meanwhile we’ll see if we can put things back in sequence.  Here’s  one  of  the  pics  from the  Wrong  Post-

Scrappy Sunday

A slightly different take on scraps and scrappy this time – Barbara was reviewing her many “in progress” “not yet finished” “only ten years since it was started” projects and started thinking about using scraps of time.   As in always having a small bag with handsewing within reach so you can put in a few stitches in those little scraps of time waiting for appointments, on the train, at the airport etc.  And you can use other scraps of time at home to prepare patches, marking out, cutting out and pressing.  EPP projects in particular are perfect for this approach and stitching on the move, keeping your hands occupied and your blood pressure down.  

 The blocks shown below were handpieced (not EPP) over the course of one year, mostly during one 2hour train journey most weeks.  Cutting and marking pieces ( which were scraps from an earlier project) was squeezed into ten minutes here and there at home.  The block is one Barbara knows as Antique Rose Star, and has since proved a very popular class.  Still waiting for it’s final setting, this remains one of Barbara’s favourite “in progress” projects.

Scrappy Sunday – just random

Scraps, as we know, come in different sizes and quantities and you can use them to make all sorts of quilty items. One of Barbara’s most treasured and most used stitching possessions is this mini needlebook made by her good friend Katharine Guerrier

Teeny squares of Liberty lawn make up both front and back – a great way to maximise even the smallest scrap.  This needlebook has racked up thousands of miles with Barbara on her travels and is, after nearly thirty years, beginning to show signs of wear and tear.

Another well-travelled stitching companion is the flat pincushion Barbara made for herself with scraps left over from an earlier scrap project. Scraps from scraps can still be turned into something useful!

Another of Barbara’s treasured possessions – a bag made by the amazing Mrs Moog – is made from scraps and recycled fabrics.  Mrs Moog’s bags (find her online at Etsy -https://www.etsy.com/shop/Moogsmum – and on Instagram @mrsmoog) are a byword for artistry and technical excellence – no two bags are exactly the same and the quality of finish and presentation is second to none.  A completely creative use of scraps!

We’re off to sort our scraps again and see what ideas we can come up with – more scrappiness next time !

Scrappy Sunday

This week’s scrappiness is all wrapped up in one very small quilt.  The inspiration came from a vintage “cheater” cloth used in an equally vintage quilt – just too good to ignore!

Chris drafted the pattern using our beloved Electric Quilt program (find out more at UKQU as well as the pattern links) and Barbara raided her scrap bag for the scraps needed to piece it.  Look really closely and see how many different fabrics Barbara managed to  put together to make this – probably more than you might think at first glance.  One of the main themes of these Scrappy posts is that you can make almost any mix look good if you keep a balance and a style and you can see that here – many different repro shirtings and a mix of black and red prints with no two blocks being identical.  Here’s another shot of the same piece basted ready for quilting –

– and you can just about see that the scrap concept was carried through even to the borders.  



Scrappy Sunday

A rather mundane, but hugely practical, interpretation of our scrappy theme today.  Meet “Grandma’s Red Bag” – hastily made from leftover strips and chunks of fabric about six years ago and much-travelled since then.  It has seen use as an overnight bag, shopping bag, travel tote, sewing bag but it’s most important function is to carry treats, comics and silly gifts for Barbara’s two grandsons.

This was very satisfying (and easy) to make and has held up well to hard use.  It might be time to use up some more strips and scraps and make another……

Before Christmas Barbara received a stunningly smart quilters bag from one of her students.  To call this bag scrappy probably does it an injustice – several different fabrics  may have been used but they have been carefully chosen and the overall effect is very handsome. It holds an amazing amount of “stuff” as you can see and has already travelled many miles.  Thank you Pat B!!

And that’s it for our scrappiness today!  Back to gathering up and organising all the scraps that have taken over in our sewing spaces during the recent festivities.

Happy stitching!