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.
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!
Scrappy Sunday takes on a vintage air today as we announce the release of another pattern in our Heritage Quilts series. The original quilt is tucked up in The Cupboard over at the Rural Office and is in quite a delicate condition so it’s great to be able to share it in pattern form at least. Very much a scrappy quilt, handpieced (without papers) and handquilted, very well-worn and washed there is still considerable charm to the small Rolling Star blocks which are made from a wide variety of 1930s prints.
This Rolling Star quilt pattern is available via our Heritage Quilts shop on Payhip.
Barbara was the official Template Tester for this pattern and managed to rustle up three scrappy blocks with scrappy sashing and borders to make a mini table mat –
Barbara’s scrappy stitching has swerved off in a slightly different direction this week. Small “apple cores” have sneaked in under the radar and a small teaching sample is under way. Super easy for handstitchers, more of a challenge for machine piecers perhaps.
The most recent scrappy project for Barbara’s intrepid band of handstitchers featured a Four Point Star block – the blocks finish at 6inches so the project is a very manageable 18inches square without borders.
Over at the Rural Office bags of scraps and crates of stash have been emptied out and re-sorted just because that’s what you do when life gives you lockdown. At C&B Towers there has been much cajoling of scraps into blocks, backgrounds, backings and battings. Scrappiness definitely rules!
Double Pyramid is the name Jan Halgrimson gives to this wonderfully scrappy block (Great Scrapbag Quilts, p28). Building real pyramids from tiny half square triangles would be impossible, but it’s a really handsome block and a great way to make a dent in your scraps.
To make one 12inch block you need: 3 squares 4 1/2inches, 3 squares 4 7/8inches cut once on the diagonal to yield 6 half square triangles, 36 half square triangle units (72 triangles), 24 half square triangles. For triangles cut 1 7/8inch squares and cut once on the diagonal. Or cut 2inch squares, cut once on diagonal and trim if necessary once stitched.
We’re not going to do the math to work out how many pieces would be needed for a 4x4block quilt (48inches square without sashing or borders) – we know it’s a LOT! but here’s a couple of virtual quilts to show you the effect –
So we’re off to cut scraps into strips, strips into squares and pair squares to make half square triangle units – we may be some time!
It’s not a finish but it’s a top! The scrappy Friendship Star/Nine Patch blocks Barbara made are sashed and bordered and moved to the “await quilting” pile. This was a really quick make and a great side adventure using some of those 2 1/2inch squares that were cut at the beginning of March.
It looks like we are going to turn our attention away from squares for a while. We’ve had a few high-level virtual consultations over the last week (HQ of course is closed at the moment so everything has been screen to screen and bring your own caffeine..) and we think it might be time to feature traditional blocks which work well with scraps. One of our go-to references for scrappy and traditional is “Great Scrap Bag Quilts” by Jan Halgrimson – here’s the sideways version
We’ve mentioned Jan’s books in earlier scrappy posts – our copies are VERY well thumbed and have been a source of much inspiration over the years. Here’s a peep at one page (P.85) which caught our eye – the block is Scrap Bag Star.
This is a 12inch block and we are trying not to focus too much on that instruction that says “cut 24 light, 84 dark” – that’s a LOT of pieces for a 12inch block! But it would make a reasonable dent in a stack of very small scraps …. The lovely thing about the early books of patchwork patterns is that they are black & white only and you can use your imagination to put colour in them. And the equally lovely thing is that we now have EQ8 (and its predecessors) to draw, colour and make virtual quilts with these blocks. Here’s our first EQ8 stab at Scrap Bag Star –
Then it’s hard to resist clicking on the random recolour tool –
We’re off to get more scrappy inspiration from Ms Halgrimson – tune in next week for June’s EQ Doodles, Free Pattern Friday and more scrappiness on Sunday.
Over at the Rural Office the focus is still on squares but there are signs that half square triangles may enter the picture in the near future. A week before everything came to a halt Barbara had cut a bag of 2 1/2inch squares and we’ve shown some of the blocks that have grown out of that bag in previous posts. The bag is now greatly diminished but proved a handy starting point to lay out some reference pics for an informal online challenge with a group of indefatigable hand stitching students.
Here’s the original greyscale plan for a small (18inches square) quilt top –
And here’s a glimpse of Barbara’s progress so far – just 2 blocks to finish and then choose sashing and borders –
A further progress report in a future Scrappy Sunday post – happy stitching!
Barbara has been very happily stuck in a groove of scrappy squares and it looks as if there will be many more squares cut, marked and stitched together in the coming weeks. All sorts of ideas are floating around but we thought you might like to see the current state of play.
Four of the five 4patch/9patch blocks might go together like this and there would be one block left over – each block measures 12inches edge to edge before setting seams.
or put all five blocks together like this –
The five smaller double4patch blocks might go together like this.
Blocks measure 8 inches edge to edge before setting seams.
or possibly like this –
Barbara’s stash at the Rural Office has been the subject of thorough investigation to come up with suitable scrappy choices for settings and sashings. The investigation has not yet reached any firm conclusions so it’s back to stitching squares into pairs for a while!
Can you believe it’s yet another post on squares? Barbara was rummaging in The Cupboard at the Rural Office and turned up this really simple (but finished!!) quilt she made a few years ago –
One or two Charm Packs may have been put to good use in a very simple sashed setting, longarm quilting courtesy of The Bramble Patch. This was definitely a quick and easy make.
Barbara’s hand stitched 4patch project has progressed to this tentative layout which would be 3x 9patch blocks of 4patch units and borders of 4patches on point. But the stack of 4patch units continues to grow so something larger may be in prospect –
Or maybe the 4patches themselves could be made into larger blocks, and maybe those blocks put on point….. One thing for sure is that the original stack of squares could make quite a few more 4patches and there seems to be no let up in the production rate. One 4patch is just 3 short seams and really fast to hand piece.
In fact the squares into 4patches concept has worked so well that Barbara is quietly considering opening up the (large) box containing 2 1/2inch strips cut from most fabrics in her stash and sacrificing just 5inches from each strip to cut again into squares. Just to see what happens……
Reporting in with progress on the 4patch front – here’s the present position
About half of the first stack of squares have been converted first into pairs and then into 4patch units. No counting at this stage, just keep marking up and stitching and enjoying the process.
Then there’s the urge to lay out just a few 4 patch units to see how they look – maybe this block arrangement?
or maybe something like this? –
Remember that your local quilt shop will have jelly rolls, charm packs etc if you want to freshen up your supplies. Pre-cuts are a great way of enhancing yourstash and are excellent value for money. Barbara often starts a project or class sample with a selection of 2 1/2inch strips cut from half lengths of jelly roll strips – sort of having your cake and eating it….
You may remember these from a scrappy hexagons post last year –
At the time of writing these lovely fresh springlike fabrics are available at a discounted price at The Corner Patch – we just might be acquiring further supplies and adding to the stock of ready-to-use hexagons. Grandmother’s Flower Garden anyone??