Scrappy Dresden Plates

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!)

dresden spring

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

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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.

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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

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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.

Scrappy Sundays – machine hexagons

Chris has been loving the pictures of Barbara’s  hexagon ideas and vintage quilts, but . . . . they are all hand-pieced – which Barbara loves doing and Chris cannot get her head (or more importantly: hands) around.

But it is possible with a bit of thought to make hexagon-style quilts by machine without having to do those dreaded Y-seams. How? By splitting the hexagon into half or into triangles. Ann Jermey started Chris off with her quilt – Hidden Hexagons

hidden hexagons

There was also a craze for cutting up cushion panels and rearranging them – a sort of ‘stack and wack’ precursor – which led Chris to make this little wallhanging

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There were probably six cushion panels to start with which were then cut into 60degree triangles which were arranged to make hexagon kaleidoscope-style designs with the remaining triangles filling in the gaps. You can see a little better from the close-up photos

half hexagonsAnn’s hexagons were made from strips split on a 60degree angle but you could just just make half hexagons and join them in strips to make a honeycomb-style quilt on the machine.

Making your hexagons from triangles however opens up all sorts of new design opportunities. Instead of joining the triangles into hexagons as you would if hand-piecing though you need to think and plan ahead – a design wall or pet-free floor helps here so you can lay all the pieces out – as you will be stitching  row by row.

You can now make Tumbling Blocks

or even Tumbling Boxes by machine

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You can see in the first picture that the gaps were filled with plain triangles, by the second and third ones these had been replaced with plain strips – much easier! The triangles for these last three quilts were also cut from pre-stripped fabrics too.

We’ve probably strayed a bit from ‘scrappy’ at this point because the Tumbling quilts do need quite large pieces of fabric rather than scraps, although the last one with only three boxes didn’t use much.

We’ll be back next Sunday with yet more scrappy ideas.

A Challenge and a Diary Date

It’s very nearly November and this year The Corner Patch is holding a Challenge – all entries will be displayed at the Eccleshall Quilt Show on November 16th and 17th at Holy Trinity Church, Eccleshall. The Challenge (and the Show) have the title Take Two as this is the second Show at the church. You can download an entry form for the Challenge here – it must be returned by November 1st so that the display arrangements can be worked out but you have until the 15th Nov to get your entry to the shop. It can be in any crafting medium and incorporating/illustrating anything that includes the number 2. The aim of the Challenge is to raise money for The Autistic Society. Entries will be judged by the visitors and the winner will receive a gift voucher to be spent at The Corner Patch.

The last Show was a great success and we are hoping that this year’s will do just as well. The church will be filled with quilts, there will be craft stalls and demonstrations and John Scott from The Sewing Quarter will be presenting the prizes on Sunday afternoon.

This picture is one taken at the last show – Eccleshall is a lovely church and a very interesting little market town with lots of independent shops.

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We hope to see you there!

quilt show poster

Scrappy Sundays – more triangles

Barbara has branched out into other shapes and her collection of vintage quilts. Chris meanwhile is still playing with half-square triangles and Electric Quilt. This hasn’t been helped by Ann Jermey giving a talk on her quilts the other night – many of which featured scraps, and triangles in particular. She even made a quilt featuring different ways to put triangles together –

 

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So Chris came home and played around with EQ and some triangles, turning them this way and that, adding squares in or not . . .

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But these triangles have also been a feature of recent quilts. The other week at The Corner Patch Chris was teaching Roman Stripe – and what is it but half-square triangles. One half of the square is pieced with diagonal strips and the other is a ‘plain’ triangle. Just like the simple HST units these blocks can be put together in a variety of ways with or without plain squares and will create interesting designs.  Note that you can cheat and use a striped fabric instead of creating your own from strips.

By the way – the pattern for the Roman Stripe quilt used during the workshop is available from the Meadowside Pattern Store.

Another quilt Chris has been completing is one started several years ago when demonstrating ideas for 2 1/2 inch strips. These batik strips were paired with a white on white print. The problem was choosing a setting.

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You can cut up 10 inch (or other size) squares, join them back together in a random sort of way and then pair those resulting squares with a plain one to make HST units as well.

In fact the possibilities are a bit endless.

And so we leave you with another couple of Ann’s quilts . . . .

. . . . the first is just ordinary half-square triangles but sorted into colour families and arranged to make stars across the quilt (sorry its not a brilliant photo but I had to snatch an opportunity after the talk)

 

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This last one is another take on the strips plus plain triangle –

 

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More scrappy quilts and ideas next week.

PS We will play around with ‘crumb’ quilting and ‘improv’ piecing in future posts but we’d just like to point you to a blog with instructions for making crumb blocks using your scraps which will then go to the charity Siblings Together. Read all about it here.

Scrappy Sundays What If?

Barbara’s post last week got me thinking. What if I took some of those HST blocks and cut them up, then rearranged the bits? Fiddly, yes . . . but I had to try it. Think of Disappearing 4-patch or 9-patch but with variations! There were several orphan blocks and HSTs lurking in the scrap bags to play with so I hunted them out and got cutting.

I started with the Pinwheel block as I had two of those. I could have cut them somewhat randomly but because I thought I might mix up the bits from the two blocks I was a bit more considered in my cutting. The blocks were roughly 4 inches square so I measured and cut 2 inches from the centre seams.

I made all these variations with just the orange block and leaving the centre mini Pinwheel where it was. I didn’t get around to moving that centre to a corner or to one side and playing around again.

Then I added in the bits from the purple Pinwheel to make this block. Again there were so many other ways to play with all these bits, I shall have to set aside a day (or two).

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Next I found a Broken Dishes block and some more triangles to make a second. Again I measured 2 inches from the centre seams to cut them up.

Then mixed the bits around a little.

Plus the other Broken Dishes block.

I could mix up the two different blocks (Pinwheels and Broken Dishes) couldn’t I?They were the same size (more or less) to start with.

What other blocks could I cut up and mix about? And I have only cut horizontal and vertical lines.

The Broken Dishes block could be divided in half along a diagonal and then the two halves of different blocks put together – especially if you cut the diagonal one way on one block and the other way on the next.

Some other blocks might lend themselves more to diagonal lines – like the 9-patch blocks I was playing with a few posts ago to make my bag.  I’m off to hunt in the orphan blocks bag – it could be the beginning of a whole new scrappy quilt, one that doesn’t look like a lot of orphan blocks in random fabrics squidged into an almost coherent design.  Or am I merely going to create yet more little bits for the scrap bag?!

Yet more happy scrappy ideas next week!

 

Scrappy Sunday Half-Square triangles

How do you acquire scrap half-square triangles? Easy! You use the ‘square’ method to make Square-in-a-Square units, or Flying Geese units which will both give you paired sets of HSTs. Or you acquire them when you join strips on the bias and cut off the excess triangles. Or you find you have cut too many for a project – when it tells you to make (say) 24 HST units and you absentmindedly cut 24 squares of each fabric only to end up with 48 HSTs.  And sometimes you find you only need one out of the two you get from a square. What to do with them?

Firstly you should probably sort them out by size and then by colour or whether they are light, medium or dark. You could start a separate heap/box/bag for those that have already been joined into HST units. Only then can you really decide what they could be turned into.

But before we do that we could have a look at a few ideas and finished quilts – and it doesn’t have to be a big quilt, you could make a cushion, or a bag, or a table runner if you haven’t many triangles of the right size and shade.

So here are a couple of Ann Jermey’s quilts – with a rainbow of triangles but all with a white background

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And then more muted with the triangles arranged into squares of one light and one dark triangle then set on point.

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This one is a vintage quilt belonging to Ann and has some Quarter-Square Triangles added to the blue HSTs to make a Windmill block. The blues are not all the same.

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This little Pinwheel quilt was made by Chris using the leftover triangles from a set of Flying Geese units.

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All the Sawtooth Star blocks in this quilt were made with left-over triangles from  Square-in-a-Square units made for another quilt.

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And finally some photos from the design wall of a collection of blue and yellow triangles. Should they be alternated to make clearly defined stripes or maybe offset slightly or . . . ? How would you arrange them?

But then here’s another one Chris made earlier – much earlier (and maybe it belongs in ‘squares’ rather than triangles?). Long, long ago there were hardly any local quilt shops and we ordered fabrics from Strawberry Fair in Devon – send a stamped addressed envelope and receive a bag full of one inch squares cut from all their fabrics, send the order form back with the squares of the fabric you wanted to buy. Simple! But what to do with all those tiny sample squares? Chris joined some of them into nine patches – ‘light’ ones and ‘dark’ ones. These were then paired, right sides together and a seam stitched either side of the diagonal – giving a selection of scrappy half-square triangles. Turned into a bag, these are the two sides –

More scrappiness next week!

Yet More Squares

With the magic of EQ we’ve come up with yet more square ideas. One day we really will have to make one or two of them.

Starting with squares of different sizes – suppose you have the equivalent of a layer cake and a charm pack for example – plus some strips of similar ‘background’ – plain whites or white on white/cream prints for instance. The Checkers block will make good use of these and will soon grow into a good size quilt.

checkers block

checkers

Lots of different sizes of square plus a couple of different ‘backgrounds’ will make the Squares and Oblongs block and (if you have enough squares and oblongs) a quilt.

squares and oblongs block

squares and oblongs quilt

More squares and backgrounds will make the Hen and Chicks block – and if you switch the backgrounds over in alternate blocks it will, again, make an interesting looking quilt.

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Did you realise it was possible to make Half-Square Triangles from squares – with no cutting involved? Take your ‘background’ square and a ‘star’ square the same size. Fold the star square in half along the diagonal and place over the background square, matching the raw edges. Tack the raw edges together if you’re not going to stitch lots of them straight away. This little quilt of Friendship Star blocks was made in this way – the two different reds are in fact the right side and the ‘wrong’ side of the same fabric. You could put four of these squares together to make a Pinwheel or Windmill block.  Make yours with lots of different coloured scrap squares – keep the same colour, if not fabric, in each pinwheel or star if you haven’t got four identical squares.

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But as this fold is on the bias you could roll it back into a curve and make curved pinwheel blocks. How clever is that! Stitch the curves down with an invisible stitch or a decorative stitch or just topstitch.

 

Or you could put four of those folded triangles onto a square a different way – around the edge and tucking them under each other. Use a bright colour as your base square and two colours for the triangles. Roll back the edges and stitch to reveal the base square. If you have used similar colours for your triangles then you will get whirling stars appearing where the blocks meet.

whirligig star

whirligig stars

And then, of course, there’s Cathedral Window . . . which you can make the traditional way by hand, or you can make them on the machine or you can make faux ones with folded triangles . . .

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Join us next Sunday for more scrappy-ness.