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).
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!
As some of you may have noticed, we have been doing a star block every week over on our sister site Meadowside Designs. The other week we featured one just called Two Colours – it was ok (ish) but needed a few tweaks, partly to make it easier to rotary cut and machine piece. The tweaks opened up a few more possibilities for colouring and it struck us that it would make quite a good candidate for a scrappy block.
You can find out a little more – and download instructions to make it – over on Meadowside but here is what a quilt or two might look like if done scrappy-style, without sashing
and with sashing.
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!
Our June Doodle is the Devil’s Puzzle block.
Lots of opportunity for colours and scrappiness here.
Look at the Doodles page for more greyscale design options.
Download a quilt to colour and then if you fancy making it you can download the rotary cutting instructions for a 9 inch block and the (brief) instructions to make a block.
The May doodle is called Jungle Flower – a variation on Drunkards Path. You can download the templates to make a 12 inch block here. Over on the Doodles page we have just shown the block and possible settings in grey-scale, such as this one –
We have shown various possibilities for shading but not for colour and the quilts use the same – or at most two – shadings. So what could the blocks look like with a bit of colour added?
And if we used lots of colour, making each block different, and then put them together in a wonderful colourful scrappy quilt?
Download a quilt to colour here – and remember that you can print it out as many times as you like, cut it up, turn the blocks around and generally play with the possibilities yourself.
Chris has been browsing her bookcase in the last few weeks and unearthed one of her earliest patchwork books – The Perfect Patchwork Primer by Beth Gutcheon.
All black and white, no colour at all, and lots of useful information on making and using templates and sewing patches together by hand – no rotary cutter or indeed machine stitching mentioned. On the other hand it does contain a lot of blocks and one that caught my eye was called Becky’s 9-Patch as it consisted of different width strips plus a couple of squares.
You can download the rotary cutting instructions to make a 9 inch version here (courtesy of Electric Quilt). I then had a play with the colours. If you make all your blocks the same colours (and remember they needn’t be the same fabrics as they are in my diagrams, they could just be the same shade of whatever colour) then you get some very interesting patterns appearing depending on where the colour emphasis is and which way you turn the blocks.
You do get more of a mish-mash if you make everything a different colour.
But you could try to make just the long edges all the same (ish) to get some pattern and symmetry back into your quilt.
Download a quilt to colour in and/or cut up to play with – you can print it out as many times as you like.
Our April EQ Doodle is a Pineapple block.
Over on the doodles page we have shown it just in grey scale and normally these types of block are done with a limited colour palette, but that’s no reason not to try a scrappy block or two or . . .
Download a quilt colouring sheet and/or a 12 inch block pattern (you will need to stick the pages together for this one – and do make sure you have checked the paper size is A4 and that you are printing ‘actual size’). There are no numbers on the block pattern so if you use it as a foundation then start at the middle and work your way out or use it to make templates if you prefer to work that way.
Hope you are all keeping safe and well and finding these posts helpful in using up all those bits of fabric you knew you had kept for a reason: we weren’t hoarding, we were preparing!
Barbara and I are bouncing ideas off each other with these scrappy posts. I said I would do scrappy stars this Sunday but hadn’t decided which one to look at until I saw Barbara’s post last week about squares. There is a star block called Sawtooth Squares. This is how you usually see it coloured in – just one colour family for all the pieces.
But no reason why you can’t do a scrappy one.
Or several ones and turn them into a scrappy quilt.
Download the rotary cutting instructions for a 12 inch block and have a go. Remember that your backgrounds can be scrappy too.
Download a colouring page as well – a little downtime amid the chaos of life today.
And suddenly its March! If the techie gods have been kind then our March EQ Doodles are up on the Doodles page; if not, then hopefully they will find their way there soon.
Our block for March is Doris’ Delight, a variation of 54-40 or Fight.
Over on the Doodles page we’ve changed the shading around a few times and given you a few ideas for quilt settings. But what about a scrappy version?
We would suggest keeping the star points the same colour – not necessarily the same fabric, just the same colour and then mix and match the other pieces – bright plus light for instance – and move them around. You might end up with blocks a bit like these two
But what about a quilt?
Alternating the light/bright placements and keeping the points the same colour does seem to work. Download a quilt to colour here and the templates, rotary cutting measurements and even a foundation piecing pattern (for the Peaky and Spike units) can be downloaded here if you fancy making some 12 inch blocks for real.