Scrappy Sunday 3

One idea we both had was to cut our scraps into 2½ inch wide strips. Barbara even went one step further and cut strips from all her fabrics. We have also been seduced by the handy packs of 2½ inch strips (a.k.a ‘jellyrolls’ etc) and each have a little selection of unopened as well as part used ones. But what to do with those strips and squares once you have them?

Here’s one idea from Chris which used 2 1/2 inch strips and squares but could be used with any size – providing they were all the same width.

jellyroll leftovers

You need a collection of leftover (or newly created from scraps) 2½ inch strips and squares in assorted colours and /or prints and in a contrast plain such as white/cream or navy/black/dark grey. The plains can be all different fabrics – they are in Chris’s quilt – but they need to be the same colour and value. The block will finish at 12 inches if you use 2 1/2 inch wide strips and squares.

4-patch centreMake 4-patch centres either by joining two strips and then cutting into 2½ inch slices, turning one slice and stitch together or by joining four 2½ inch squares. You can find out more on how to make these units here.

You need one of these units for each block.

Corner units are made by again either joining two strips and cutting into 2½ inch slices or joining two 2½ inch squares. These pairs of squares are then stitched to a 2½ x 4½ inch strip.  Use a background strip with pairs of colour/print squares and a colour/print strip for pairs of background plus colour square. You will need two of each sort for a block.

other unitsRemaining units are 2½ x 4½ inch rectangles of background and colour/print stitched together.

You need four of these for each block.

 

Stitch the units together as shown – taking care with the placement of the background strips.

top row

centre row

bottom row

 

Stitch the rows together – reversing the bottom row – to complete the block.

Make as many blocks as you can or you feel like. Join them together to make a quilt top, or a runner, or a wall-hanging or  . . .

Further strips can be used to construct a border.

You can find another free pattern to make two little quilts from left-over 2 1/2 inch strips on our Free Patterns page.

cot quilt

Or there is this quilt from our Payhip shop which uses 2 1/2 inch strips and squares.

sbendsb

 

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Scrappy Sunday

Welcome to the first (probably) of various posts (probably on a Sunday) about scraps.Before we look at what we/you can or could do with all the accumulated scraps we thought it might be an idea to take a look at organising those scraps. We use the term ‘organising’ very loosely here!

2019-06-23-10.33.10.jpgWe define scraps as those pieces that really aren’t all that big – less than an eighth (fat or thin) – usually, but its a bit of a loose definition. Less than a fat quarter sometimes gets classed as a ‘scrap’, a lone strip from a jelly roll is a scrap, trimmed off triangles are scraps, so are excess units (those ones that get made when you aren’t really concentrating and make twice as many HST units as were required) . . . and trimmings when squaring up a quilt before binding it – those are scraps.

Where do we put them all?

Chris chucks everything into a large plastic sack that hangs from a door, the floor is also a recipient of many of these pieces – her aim isn’t that great! Eventually the sack gets too full and heavy and its time for a sort out. Very small pieces and bits of wadding are either recycled into cushion stuffing, donated to the nursery school for ‘art’, or handed over to the recycling centre. Small cotton shreds are composted. Bigger, usable (possibly) pieces are sorted by colour and chucked into other plastic bags in the cupboard – out of sight, out of mind. Eventually some of these get used: a small piece of a particular colour may be required – there’s sure to be one in a scrap bag, which gets tipped out onto the floor to be rootled through in the (usually) vain hope that a big enough bit in exactly the right colour will magically appear.

Very occasionally the urge to make a truly scrappy quilt arises and all the bags are tipped out, fabric bits are sorted out into different sizes and shapes and usability and then, after a mammoth pressing session, they can be used – providing the urge to make a scrappy quilt has survived all the pre-preparation! If it all gets too out of hand the larger ‘scraps’ get donated (unsorted, unpressed, sorry) to a local Linus group.

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As for storing larger bits of fabric – half-metres, fat quarters, and slightly smaller pieces are stored in baskets, largely by colour. Big chunks of fabric (backings etc) are in another cupboard.

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Barbara is considerably more organised than Chris – as she does a lot of hand-piecing her scraps are sorted into bags ready to be turned into (or already turned into!) hexagons or diamonds or . . . While larger pieces are neatly folded into large crates under the cutting table, fat quarter sized pieces are, again neatly folded, stored on shelves along with pre-cuts.

Some exceedingly organised folk we know cut all all their scraps into sensible sizes – squares, triangles, strips and then store them in labelled boxes. Chris can only marvel! Yet others profess to just binning all left-over pieces. Eek!

So, join us as we try to impose order on the chaos that is Chris’s scrap collection and come up with ideas to use some of it up. (Note – ‘ideas’, not actually do it; never make a promise you can’t keep!)

March Doodles

Where do the days go?! While we actually got around to putting up the Doodles page for March at the beginning of the month, we forgot to do a blogpost about them. This month’s doodle features a block called Birds and Star and you can download a colouring sheet here.

March block c

It has taken a long time to come up with the latest ‘bright idea’ but it occurred to us that as well as doing some colouring you might occasionally actually want to make the quilt – so you would need instructions to make the block(s). So now, over on our sister site – Meadowside Designs – you can find instructions and download templates for our March Doodle block.

We have both been busy teaching at the Corner Patch this month. Barbara is using two of her vintage frame quilts in her hand-stitching classes and you can find the patterns on the Heritage Quilts Payhip site if you want to give them a go yourselves.

Chris’s students are busy making a Block of the Month quilt which this year features blocks on a 5-patch grid by way of a change – you can find photos of progress over on Chris’s Instagram account.

While we are on the subject of the Corner Patch – some of you may have heard some rumours about the shop. Jane has been making a regular appearance as a demonstrator on the Sewing Quarter TV programmes for the past couple of years – she’s been so good that they offered her a full-time job. She’d have have been mad to turn it down, but it does mean that the shop needs a new owner. So, if you have ever wanted your own patchwork shop – here’s your opportunity. The shop is based in Eccleshall, a thriving little market town in the middle of the Staffordshire countryside. It has a busy online presence too, as well as a team of teachers (we’re all excellent of course!) covering a wide range of classes and workshops. You can contact Jane via the shop website.

Hannah Hauxwell quilts

Hannah Hauxwell (1926 – 2018) was an amazing woman who lived on a remote farm in Yorkshire almost entirely cut off from the outside world until a TV documentary was made about her in 1972. She died in February last year and next month Tennants will be auctioning the quilts from her house. You can find out a little more about the quilts (and Hannah) in this blogpost from UK Quilters United.

We think most of these quilts were most likely made in the late 19th century (1890s). In her book Seasons of my Life Hannah says –

Both Grandma and Mother were clever with their hands, making mats and quilts. Grandma laboured for years with her frames and turned out all the mats for the house. I have still got two quilts that she made, which have been in use for as long as I can recall. Mother knitted a white cotton quilt before she married, which I treasure to this day. I have done a bit myself, but possess neither the ability nor the patience to do fine work. I prefer thick wool which gets done rather more quickly, and during the war I unravelled some of Grandma’s things and knitted them up again“.

This ‘Grandma’ was probably her paternal grandmother Elizabeth Hauxwell (nee Bayles) (1862 – 1940) as one of the quilts has the initials EB embroidered on the back. Her maternal grandmother was Ann Sayer (nee Tallentire) (1853 – 1930) and it is unlikely Hannah would remember her as she would have only been about four when Ann died. Hannah’s full name by the way was Hannah Bayles Tallentire Hauxwell thus showing her ancestry through her middle names – an absolute gift to genealogists!

We rather liked this six-pointed star quilt from the ones being sold and as Chris has drafted some templates to make something very similar (download them here) Barbara may have a go at making if not an entire quilt then perhaps a cushion or table runner.  Rumour has it that a stash has been picked through, fabrics assembled and pieces cut for a test block or two.  You’ll notice that the original shows identical fabric placement from block to block but we think this charming star and square pattern would look just as good in random scraps.

Mystery quilt?

Chris’s classes at The Corner Patch come to an end this week until September and Barbara won’t be teaching until the Autumn either, so some of you may be feeling a bit bereft and short of something to sew over the summer.

Of course, there is the Retreat on June 22nd to look forward to (contact Jane for details of any last minute places), but it only lasts a weekend.

But, as ever, C&B have the answer! Over on our sister blog Meadowside Designs a new Mystery Quilt is starting this Sunday (June 17th). You can read a little more about it on the blog now.

Retreat

It’s very nearly June. Already. We’ve just been enjoying ourselves too much. Barbara has been supervising operations at the Overseas Office and getting some hand-stitching done while Chris has been reconfiguring the grounds at C&B Towers – a new pond has been dug and is being planted.

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Added to this has been the excitement of walking in Teesdale and discovering all the wonderful plants to  be found there (not to mention the lovely gardens and plant nurseries).

 

But . . . as mentioned earlier, it is nearly June and all these fun and games have to stop. We are booked to do the Corner Patch Retreat. Worksheets need to be written. Samples need to be made up. We are getting there. Slowly. Layer Cakes have been cut up and joined back together again (and even joined together and then cut up!), a couple of existing quilts have been unearthed . . .

 

In addition to the Chris and Barbara Workshop on the Saturday (this may be the last one we do – your final opportunity to experience the fun) Barbara will be delving into The Cupboard and bringing a selection of her antique quilts to talk about on Saturday evening (another opportunity not to be missed).

 

On Friday evening . . . , well, you’ve heard of the Jelly Roll Race, . . . the Corner Patch present The Log Cabin Race. A lot of fun and a great way to meet everyone. And on the Sunday is an opportunity to learn the basics of hand quilting or machine quilting, whichever you prefer.

We  hope to see you in Yarnfield on June 22nd – 24th, meeting friends old and new!