Scrappy Sunday

Is your scrap bag full of random strips? Different lengths, different widths, not even straight? We have a plan! You can do this quilt-as-you-go or just fabric and quilt later – your choice. But the basic premis is the same – stitch those strips together!

You do need a bit of a plan if you like order and symmetry, otherwise just go completely random. If you want to do q-a-y-g then you will need to find some wadding squares and some backing – all cut to about the same size. Even with random ones you may find it easier if you stitch to some sort of backing – interfacing or light weight cotton of some sort – that is cut into a square, especially if you are going for the more ordered look.

Start with a central strip diagonally across the square centre(ish) – if you like a plan then this should be the same colour fabric, if not the same fabric each time; then add strips to either side of this – right-sides together, stitch, press back etc. Trim square.

Your squares will look either neat and ordered if all your strips were the same width, or a bit wild and wonky if they weren’t –

Once you get bored with making squares you can join them together. By having the same fabric down the centre of each square you can make different designs by turning your blocks around. Notice how having wonky strips means no matching of seams other than the blocks themselves.

If you did qayg then you may (depending on the method you use to put the blocks together) have a little sashing strip between the blocks – you could make this the same colour as the centre strips if they were all the same.

If you get bored very quickly then you could just make a simple little runner or two –

Join us next week for some more scrappy ideas . . .

Scrappy Sundays – Squares

One thing it is easy to cut scraps into is squares. But the same size squares, or different size squares?

Same size squares can be joined into 4-patch blocks

4patch block

Different size squares (one set twice the size of the other) will make Double 4-Patch blocks.

double 4patch block

These Double blocks can make quite interesting quilts when done as light, dark and bright scraps and the blocks rotated. These are just 4 blocks by 4.

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What happens if we add alternate 4-patch blocks to these? Again this is 4 blocks by 4.

4 by 4 quilta4 by 4 quiltb4 by 4 quiltc

But if we add extra (smaller) blocks – 7 by 7 say –

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Or 12 by 12 even – if those little squares are now 2 inches and the blocks are 8 inches you have a giant quilt of 96 inches square.

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More scraps next week!

Scrappy Sunday – EQ Doodles

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.

Doris Delight block

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?

March scrappy

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.

 

Scrappy Sunday – EQ Doodles

The block we’ve chosen for our February Doodles is Red Cross. Over on the Doodles page you will find some monochrome ideas for colourings and quilts designs showing how moving the light, medium and dark fabrics around can change the look of the block and the quilt. But it is Scrappy Sunday today so will this block work with scraps?

This is how the block could look with just one colour – blue

Feb block

 

But you could use your blue and green scraps –

Feb block scrappy

Or multi colours – note that the light rectangles are different fabrics too (honest!)

Feb block multi scrappy a

Or you may prefer to make the rectangles all the same colour and perhaps try a dark colour there and lighter colours in some of the triangles –

Feb block multi scrappy

But what about the quilts? A scrappy straight set with light rectangles could look like this

feb quilt multi scrappy

Or we could add light triangles around those centre squares and the outer edges of the blocks –

feb quilt multi scrappy a

You can download a quilt to colour here. And if you want to make the block (or quilt) then here is where you can download the rotary cutting instructions for a 10 inch block.

Scrappy Sunday – more vintage

Our remit for Scrappy Sunday was quite wide-ranging, but Barbara seems to have got stuck on scrappy vintage – possibly no surprise as The Cupboard at the Rural Office contains a lot of exactly that!  So this Sunday we’re featuring one of the first vintage quilts Barbara ever acquired.  No provenance, bought at a general antiques fair in 1984, fabrics are all furnishing weight wools and chenille, cotton wadding, pieced strippy back, linear scallop quilting across the whole piece. Enjoy!

Christmas Doodles

The December Doodles are here on our Doodles page and Barbara was feeling a little festive when she started colouring these in! The blocks used are Rolling Star and Five-Patch Chain.

December quilt 7 festive

You can download a colouring sheet to design your quilts – festive or otherwise – here.

If you head over to Meadowside Designs you will find the templates for a 10 inch Rolling Star block and the cutting instructions for a 10 inch Five-Patch Chain block in case you fancy recreating your design in real fabric.

Scrappy Sundays – any old hexagons

Over at the Rural Office Barbara’s store of vintage quilts continues to offer some scrappy inspiration – today we are showing details from an unfinished top that was offered to Barbara on her teaching travels.  Yes, we are back with our old friend the hexagon but this top is a little different from many vintage hexagon pieces – the fabrics are not dress cottons but slub weave furnishing fabrics, some wools, some mixes.  Dark colours predominate and Barbara was intrigued to find a wide range of green prints scattered throughout. Dating this piece is still at the “considering” and research stage but it may turn out to be somewhere around 1900. The hexagons are small – 1inch sides – and appear to have been folded over the papers from rough chunks and squares of fabric rather than cut hexagonal shapes.  We thought you might enjoy a few close-ups of the various green prints –

Scrappy Sundays – in the pink

Barbara is still stuck in the groove of looking at vintage quilts that link to our Scrappy theme and this is her latest offering.  It’s an interesting US quilt dating from maybe 1890s with some earlier fabrics.  The block is a C&B favourite and we refer to it as Sawtooth Star.  There’s a real mix of scraps in this quilt and plenty of piecing of scraps together to make bigger scraps as you can see from some of the details below.  The scrappy hand pieced blocks have been set with alternating squares of a classic “double pink” print which becomes dominant by repetition.  A great example of pulling random scrappiness together into a coherent whole.  Diagonal lines of machine stitching hold top and back together, edges are bound.  If you feel inspired to try something similar with your own scraps you’ll find a pattern guide for this quilt over on our sister blog Meadowside Designs – look under the Heritage Quilts tab.

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.

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.